Will the University replace any existing collegia?
No. First of all, the ROIU is not an event - it is merely a framework for tracking the classes you've taken and taught, and a venue to recognize those who have participated significantly. We depend on collegia to continue and flourish as they are and will be. The only change you might see is a convenient table set up to register for the University. Should someone want to hold a ROIU event, that's completely doable. But it's not a requirement for the University and would not replace any existing A&S venue or collegia.
How does the ROIU handle beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes? Are a certain number of each level required?
It doesn't, and no. All classes are equal, and it doesn't matter at what level the class is taught. If someone decides that they want to take introductory level classes in as many subjects as possible to build their curriculum, that's perfectly fine. If someone wants to teach beginner, intermediate and advanced classes for each subject they teach, that's perfectly fine too.
I just looked at the requirements for Philosopher and Professor and that's a lot of classes! Are you insane?
If you just look at the final tiers, it may seem that way. But each level builds on the previous level, so a good deal of your progress is already done by the time you're ready to start toward the next one. To demonstrate this progress in the most linear way with the absolute minimum number of classes, it might look like this:
|College D||Total classes|
|Scholar||20||20 in any college|
|Bachelor||20 (Major)||10 (Minor)|
40 (20 + 10 Minor + 10 electives)
|Magister||20 (Major)||20 Major)||10 (Minor)||10 (electives)||60 (40 + 10 Minor + 10 electives)|
|20 (Major)||20 (Major)||20 (Major)||10 (Minor)||80 (60 + 10 Minor +10 electives)|
|Doctorate||20 (Major)||20 (Major)||20 (Major)||20 (Major)||100 (80 + 10 Minor +10 electives)|
|College A||College B||College C||College D||Total classes|
|Fellow||12 taught in 4 different subjects|
24 (12 +12 new in 4 different subjects)
36 (24 +12 new in 4 different subjects)
|Lector||48 (36 + 12 new in 4 different subjects)|
|Professor||60 (48 + 12 new in 4 different subjects)|
You may continue to earn additional Majors and Professorial Foci as you wish. You're not starting over each time. What you've already studied is the base on which you build your next level.
It says that you can take the same class more than once for credit. What's to prevent someone from just taking the same class again and again and again?
To be honest, nothing really. But, if someone tries to game the system this way, they'll only be able to get a limited benefit from it. First of all, the repeated class must be taught by a different teacher each time. This gives students the opportunity to get different perspectives on a subject. Second, even if they traveled the Known World to take the same class as many times as possible, Majors require a certain number of credits from each Division. The most credit a person would be able to get for a repeated class is 10 (20 if it's an interdisciplinary class). Finally, if someone really wants to try this, the only person they stand to hurt is themselves. No skin off our noses.
I took 20 classes in College A and 20 classes in College B. This qualifies me as a Bachelor, but it's also two Majors of Study. Can I put two bordures around my student badge to reflect that?
We're still working on the regalia and badges for the university. We'll keep you posted on developments as they happen here on the ROIU website. Graduation attire is in the process of getting specified as well.
a. I took a class that was horrible! Do I have to sign the teacher's Documentation Form? b. A student was in my class but spent the whole time texting on his phone, and he came in 15 minutes late. Do I have to sign his Documentation Form?
No you do not. No one is required to sign off on anyone's credit. However, if someone feels they are being unjustly denied a signature, they can always appeal to the Board for review on a case-by-case basis. We hope it won't come to this often.
As a student, keep in mind that teaching is a learned skill too. Please consider this before refusing to sign a Documentation Form. If you have constructive feedback to offer a teacher, ask to fill out a Teaching Evaluation Form and help our faculty grow and improve.
Also, ROIU faculty are encouraged to add text along the following lines to their class description: "If a student is more than (x) minutes late to class, they will not qualify for earning ROIU credit." This will help warn students ahead of time if punctuality is important for a class.
How long must classes be to qualify?
The easy answer is one hour. Most classes scheduled at events are typically one hour, so that is our rule of thumb. But in reality when classes are scheduled back-to-back, you need at least some time to get to your next class. Therefore the official minimum class length is 50 minutes.
How are multi-hour classes and continuing workshops handled? Does one class just count for one credit no matter how long it is?
Classes that are longer than one hour, or that are presented in a series of classes over a period of time presented a challenge for balance between fairness and clarity. We encourage teachers to break up multi-hour classes and workshops into discrete one-hour units where a distinct skill set is taught each hour (roughly - we understand how it can be). This would also make it easier for students who might have to miss part of a longer class for other commitments.
A two-hour class on "Agrippa's Fencing Techniques" might be broken down into two one-hour classes:
"Agrippa's Fencing Techniques - the Basics" and "Agrippa - Building on the Basics". Or, if a significant part of the class is putting Agrippa into his historical context, they might be "Camillo Agrippa: Treatise of a Fencing Master" and "Agrippa's Fencing Techniques".
A six-hour workshop on making a period turned stool might be offered as:
- "Introduction to Period Furnishings and Planning Your Stool"
- "Basic Woodworking and Shop Safety"
- "Technique and Practicum I - Planing the Seat"
- "Techniques and Practicum II - Turning the Legs"
- "Techniques and Practicum III - Assembly"
- "Techniques and Practicum IV - Staining and Decoration"
Or, if students will be working at their own pace for the hands on part, the class description might look something like this:
- "Introduction to Period Furnishings and Planning Your Stool" - 1 hour
- "Basic Woodworking and Shop Safety" - 1 hour
- "Technique and Practicum 1 & 2" - 3-4 hours; but due to high one-on-one hands on practice with the instructor, they will only count as 2 class credits for ROIU students.
This approach would also work well for a class that has one hour of material, but due to a large number of students, needs more than one hour for everyone to get a chance to practice a skill.
It can get a little complicated if a teacher is teaching a series of classes over a number of days or nights that lead up to a finished project. For example, say someone wants to teach a stained-glass workshop every Thursday night for eight weeks. If they're teaching the same thing to a different crowd of students each week, it would be the same class taught multiple times. If each night is designated for a specific technique or skill, then it could be up to eight different classes. It gets weird when Lady A shows up for the first two weeks, completes her cuttings and is ready to start the next step, but Lord B missed the first weeks and is just starting his design the third week. Now the teacher has to spend half the class repeating old material, and half the class working with the advanced students. While this is a perfectly acceptable model for getting together and making wonderful art, it dilutes the formal class environment that the ROIU is trying to focus on and would be harder to rationalize as a distinct class credit.
If a multi-session workshop series is intended to be used for ROIU credit, we recommend that each session be designated to teach a specific skill or cover a specific step in a project. If there is no easy way for a teacher to do this, feel free to contact the Provosts for advice on how to make it work. The Provosts can also be approached to decide how to handle workshops and multi-hour classes in other Kingdoms.
Will I get a Laurel at the end of this?
No, that's not what the University is for. Our scope is closely focused on encouraging the teaching and attending of formal classes in the SCA. The titles and recognition we offer carry absolutely no precedence, nor do we report to the Peerage Circles.
This is all very well and good, but I just don't want to deal with keeping track of paperwork. Can I still teach or take classes?
Absolutely! This kind of system will not be for everyone, and that's ok. We want to see classes taught, taken and enjoyed. Teachers and students outside the formal ROIU structure will always be welcome to share their knowledge. And if you ever change your mind, just let us know. We hope you will join us. We've simplified the complete process to lessen the burden on teachers and students. In the future we will be adding an index of teachers and instructors throughout the Kingdom that teach either virtually or in person. We strongly encourage that anyone that teaches anything adds their name to the list.
Master Darvin has offered to teach me one-on-one in his studio. Would that count?
Most likely not. If Master Darvin was offering a class that anyone could attend, and if that class were published in your local group's newsletter, then it would count. Published A&S and Guild classes, even at the local level, do count for University credit. But if it's just the two of you getting together to learn and make stuff - that's great! - but it doesn't fit into our scope and would not count for University credit.
a. Can I transfer over classes that I took in another kingdom's university? b. I've been in the SCA for over 20 years, and I've taken tons of classes already. Can I get credit for those?
Sorry. At this time, we are only counting classes taken after you've registered with the ROIU. The object of the University is to encourage the teaching and taking of classes in an active sense. Recognizing classes in the past would be contrary to that mission. However, because of our curriculum structure, you don't need to re-take any classes that you've already taken - there are lots of other classes that will meet College and Division requirements. For example, way back when if you attended a class on "The Basics of Brewing", perhaps now you might be tempted to take a class on "Before the Bubbly: Early Wines of the Champagne Region" to fill an Arts/Domestic Arts slot.
There is an exception of sorts for teachers. If you have a class that you taught before you registered for the faculty, you may continue to teach that class for University credit. The instances you taught prior to registration will not count, only those taught after; but you do not need to write an entirely new syllabus to meet teaching requirements.
If there is sufficient demand from the populace, we may consider a way to allow transfer credits from other SCA Universities.
If you are an "Interkingdom" University, does that mean that people from other Kingdoms can join too?
Yes, it does. We do accept foreign exchange students, and classes they take outside the Outlands do count toward ROIU credit.
Be aware, though, that our robes and badges were designed for the Outlands, where there are no sumptuary laws (only very strongly recognized traditions). If your Kingdom has rules regarding allowed regalia that might conflict with ours, please respect your local customs and mores.