Instructions: Revision of a Course



Before starting a revision of a course, review instructions, process, and format. Review timelines for submission. If questions or concerns arise, contact the dean of the appropriate college or the Provost's Office. If objectives and/or content outline are not available for a course undergoing revision, follow the format for a new course proposal and implementation and submit complete documentation, using a course revision cover sheet.

A course revision is necessary whenever one or more of the following changes occur:

  1.     Change in course content and/or objectives
  2.     Change in title
  3.     Change in credits
  4.     Change in level
  5.     Change in prerequisites
  6.     Change in course number
  7.     Change in course catalog description
  8.     Add or change Racial and Ethnic Studies category designation
  9.     Add or change General Education category designation
  10.     Discontinue (drop) a course (A memo to the Provost with approval is usually sufficient.)

If you plan to revise several of the above items, you may want to consider dropping the course and submitting a proposal for a new course. This may occur, for example, with a combination of changes involving course number, title, and credits all at one time. It may also occur if proposed changes to course content or objectives are extensive. Creating a new course is only appropriate, however, when students who completed the old course are also able to register for and earn credit in the new course (old and new courses are not equivalent). Where the existing course serves as a requirement or selective in one or more degree programs, it is preferable to treat course changes as revisions; incorporating a new course into programs requires program change. Consult the associate vice chancellor if questions arise on whether to treat this as a revision or a new course.

Note that course revisions may have significant impact outside of the department offering the course. A revision may impact programs that require the course or in which students are advised to take the course. It may impact the prerequisites required in other courses. Finally, all records of the course (official files, catalogs, program plan sheets) must be revised to reflect changes. It is important that course revisions be properly processed to assure that appropriate input has been sought, and that necessary persons or units are fully informed.

Proposers must notify program directors and department chairs of the proposed change, using the Course Impact Summary form and including it with the proposal submitted to CIC. The form will list programs and courses utilizing the course as a requirement or prerequisite. Program directors and department chairs will sign and date their approval or disapproval.

Submission dates for the Curriculum and Instruction Committee are published with the CIC meeting schedule. Additional approvals are necessary for General Education courses, Ethnic Studies courses, and graduate-level courses. Respective oversight committees (General Education Committee, Ethnic Studies Curriculum Advisory Committee, and Graduate Education Committee) are scheduled monthly, prior to CIC meetings for process efficiency. Submitting materials according to published CIC submission dates assures timely approval. Work with the Provost's Office to avoid unnecessary delays in the process.

Exception to the Process: Revisions of Courses

In rare instances the Provost may give tentative approval of a course revision without the revision having first been processed through the required approval steps. In such instances, the dean of the college in which the course is housed will petition the Provost to approve the revision by exception. All of the following conditions shall apply:

    Circumstances beyond the control of the department did not allow for processing in time to offer the revised course. The need for the revised course is valid and well documented.
    The scheduling of the revised course cannot be delayed to allow for processing through the regular approval process.

If the provost approves the revision to the course, the following is stipulated:

    The revised course may be taught only once.  Before further offering, the revision must be processed and approved through the normal channels. If this is not done, the course reverts back to its original state (before revision) after the one allowable offering.
    The course revision forms and the written approval of the provost will be submitted to the approving agencies as an item of information and record.
    The associate vice chancellor will keep a record of such course revisions and approvals by exception with the course inventory in the Provost's Office. Deans will be notified when two such exceptions have been granted for a course, suggesting that a course revision may be in order.