STANDARDS FOR UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM PROPOSALS

 

Undergraduate Curriculum Forum
Southern Connecticut State University

The purpose of this document is to detail the standards by which curricular proposals are evaluated at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). There are two motivations behind this stated purpose: the first is to make clear in advance the criteria that proposals must meet; the second is to ensure a level of uniformity in curricular evaluation at all levels. Therefore, this document should be used by proposers of curricular innovations, department curriculum committees (DCC), school curriculum committees (SCC), and the Undergraduate Curriculum Forum (UCF).

This document is divided into two sections: Categories of Curricular Proposals, and Standards for Curricular Proposals. The Categories of Curricular Proposals section provides a summary of the types of curricular proposals that are reviewed at SCSU. The Standards for Curricular Proposals section provides an overview of the basic evaluative criteria by which the required components of a proposal will be reviewed.

The UCF reviews four main categories of curricular proposals. Directions and forms for each proposal category and special designation can be found on the UCF Web site. In addition, basic information can also be found for Proposals for Independent Study, although the forms themselves and the review/approval process are located in the dean's office of each individual school.

 

Categories of Curricular Proposals

UCF reviews proposals for 1) new courses, 2) revised courses, 3) new programs, and 4) revised programs. When appropriate, a proposer may elect to pursue a new or revised course proposal as an All-University Requirement or with "W" designation. Department Curriculum Committees review special topics proposals within the respective department. The faculty sponsor in conjunction with the student proposer, the respective department chair, and the respective dean review independent study proposals.

Below is an overview of the categories of curricular proposals; a brief description of each immediately follows:

 

Standards for Curricular Proposals

As each department holds specific areas of expertise, it should not be assumed that those outside of the field are familiar with the nuances of each academic discipline. Curricular proposals should be written with this in mind, and should communicate clearly the intent and content of the proposed curriculum. The standards set by the UCF are intended to be broad and encompassing of the diversity of curricular offerings throughout the campus community. The guidelines set forth by the UCF prescribe the approved method for communicating curricular innovation and should not be subtracted from. However, as the criteria for evaluating quality in an academic field can be specialized, there is room for departments to add to the minimal requirements set forth by the UCF. If additional department standards are deemed necessary by a particular department, such additional criteria should be established through appropriate departmental process; it is the role of departments to establish and communicate additional standards, and it is the role of the DCC to verify that curricular proposals meet the additional criteria and standards for quality.

It is the role of the SCC to review curricular proposals once they are approved by the DCC. If additional standards are deemed necessary within a particular school, such additional criteria should be established through appropriate process; the intent and rationale for any additions should be established with faculty input and it is the responsibility of the school to communicate additional standards prior to the implementation of such standards.

To gain a more comprehensive overview of the review process within the UCF, please consult the Flow of Proposals document, which outlines the various levels of committee review and their subsequent roles.

Successful curriculum will meet the following standards:

  1. Follow procedural guidelines
  2. Articulate areas of learning
  3. Provide method(s) for determining success and distinguishing excellence
  4. Reflect and promote the aim of the University
  5. Take into consideration resources needed to support

As each category of curricular innovation has specific general requirements, it is essential that one refer to the directions and forms for details. Below is an overview of the components that are required for each of the proposal categories.

  1. New Course Proposal - Standard
    1. New Course Proposal - Signature Sheet
    2. New Course Proposal - Summary Form
    3. New Course Proposal - Required Materials
  2. New Course Proposal - All University Requirement
    1. New Course Proposal - Signature Sheet
    2. New Course Proposal - Summary Form
    3. New Course Proposal - Required Materials
    4. AUR Required Materials
  3. New Course Proposal - "W" Section Approval
    1. New Course Proposal - Signature Sheet
    2. New Course Proposal - Summary Form
    3. New Course Proposal - Required Materials
    4. "W"- Section Approval form
  4. Revised Course Proposal - Standard
    1. Revised Course Proposal - Signature Sheet
    2. Revised Course Proposal - Summary Form
    3. Revised Course Proposal - Required Materials
  5. Revised Course Proposal - All University Requirement
    1. Revised Course Proposal - Signature Sheet
    2. Revised Course Proposal - Summary Form
    3. Revised Course Proposal - Required Materials
    4. AUR Required Materials
  6. Revised Course Proposal - "W" Section Approval
    1. Revised Course Proposal - Signature Sheet
    2. Revised Course Proposal - Summary Form
    3. Revised Course Proposal - Required Materials
    4. "W"- Section Approval form
  7. Existing Course with no changes - "W" Section Approval
    1. "W"- Section Approval form
  8. New Program Proposal
    1. Revised Program Proposal - Signature Sheet
    2. Revised Program Proposal - Summary Form
    3. Revised Program Proposal - Required Materials
  9. Revised Program Proposal
    1. Revised Program Proposal - Signature Sheet
    2. Revised Program Proposal - Summary Form
    3. Revised Program Proposal - Required Materials
  10. Special Topics Course Proposal
    1. Special Topics Section Notification Form
    2. Please consult with Department for proposal requirements
  11. Independent Study
    1. Please refer to the form for specific instruction.

Rachael: Where do these go?

  New Minor form  and  Revised Minor form 

Guidelines/Glossary of/for Required Curricular Components:

MH - Bibliography - needs to address: intent/format/suggested length/example

RVC - Concentration/Specialization - waiting to hear back from Mark/UCF discussion

JF - Catalog Description - needs to address: intent/format/example

Course Numbering - reflect University guidelines (copy UCF)

M - Course Outline - needs to address: intent/format/example

JF - Learning Objectives/Course Objectives - needs to address: intent/examples

M - Methods of Evaluating Students - needs to address: intent/possible formats/examples

MH - Rationale - needs to address: intent/format/example

RVC - Signature of Affected Department(s) - needs to address intent