New Course Approval

Process for Development and Approval Resources:

    Required Course Documentation
    Process Flow Chart
    One-time only courses: special exceptions
    Definition of Types of courses
    Do's and Don'ts for writing course proposals
    General Education Requirement
    Racial and Ethnic Studies Requirement

    Forms:
    Cover/Approval sheet for new courses [PDF]
    Checklist for new course development [PDF]

Initiator
Initiator may be one or more faculty members, administrators, students or classified employees. The need for a new course can be based upon one or a combination of several factors:

  • A program director/program committee has identified certain competencies needed by graduates of that program and are best met by the development of a new course.
  • An individual or department determines that there is a need to offer experiences not a part of present offerings.
  • A specific minor or other submajor requires the addition of a new set of courses.

The following should be done/completed early in the developmental stages of the new course:

  • Use the New Course Cover Sheet format as a guide in course development. Become acquainted with the steps to be followed, as outlined in this document, and know the requirements to be met and the concerns to be satisfied in the approval process.
  • Determine if there is overlap or duplication with existing offerings. Contact departments with similar or related offerings to ascertain if the duplication is significant, to resolve possible conflicts, or to obtain agreement that no significant overlap exists.
  • For general education courses, review the general education philosophy, objectives and category definitions and criteria. Relate these to the course objectives. It is advisable to consult with a member of the GE committee while the course is being developed.
  • For racial and ethnic studies or global perspectives courses, review the objectives and category definitions and criteria. Relate these to the course objectives. It is advisable to consult with a member of the Racial and Ethnic Studies/Global Perspectives Curricular Advisory Committee while the course is being developed.
  • Directors of programs that utilize the course should be consulted early to obtain information regarding need for and use of the course. Other potential users, such as Outreach Services, should be similarly consulted.
  • Discuss the budgetary and resource ramifications of the course early with department chair and University Library.

Associate Vice Chancellor aids in development as needed
The associate vice chancellor does not have the prerogative of approving or disapproving new courses but does have the responsibility of assisting proposers with the development of courses in an advisory capacity, as outlined below:

  • Will provide advice and consultation concerning the format, process, and other requirements for approval of a new course.
  • Will assist in determining the relationship of the proposed course with other existing courses (proper housing of course, help in checking possible overlap or duplication or possible conflict).
  • Will coordinate the development of the course if course is determined to be transdisciplinary in nature (involving two or more departments, or not clearly involving one department or college, as determined by process). Courses not housed in a college may be housed under the responsibility of the provost acting as the initial approver of the course. This is done only in rare instances.
  • Will assist with scheduling for submission to necessary approval committees.

Department (or unit) develops and approves new course proposal
The ultimate responsibility for developing a new course resides in the department responsible for the body of knowledge represented in the course. Departments are responsible for the development of new courses as needed for degree programs if such instruction is possible and at such times when necessary resources are available.

  • The development of the course will follow the new course proposal format. The department may designate one or more persons who will be responsible for the development of the course and who will follow the proposal through the various approval steps. This person will be the course proposer and may or may not be the initiator.
  • The course proposer and department chair will review the proposal within the department. The signature of the chair on the signature sheet will indicate departmental approval of the course.
  • The initiator and proposer of a course are to be notified of the department's action and of any subsequent action.
  • Once approved, the proposal will be submitted by the department chair to the appropriate college council for the next approval step.
  • In the case of a course identified as transdisciplinary (curricular area TRDIS), the provost will assume the same responsibility as the department and college in approving proposals.

Appropriate college council and dean review and approve new course proposal
Each new course will be reviewed by the council of the college in which the course will be housed. The council will ascertain if the proposed course:

  • Is completely and clearly defined as required in the new course proposal format.
  • Clearly communicates the objectives of the course.
  • Overlaps with or duplicates other offerings within the university.
  • Should, because of its content, be the responsibility of the proposing agency.
  • Has adequate support in terms of resources.
  • Is numbered for offering at the appropriate level.
  • Fulfills a significant need.

The signature of the dean on the signature sheet indicates approval of the college council and dean. The course initiator and proposer are to be informed of the action of the council and of any subsequent action to be taken. If the course is approved, the dean's office routes the course through the next steps.

General Education Committee
The GEC approves new General Education courses to be sure they meet GE objectives, definitions, and category criteria. The proposer is requested to present the course to the GEC. A plan for assessment should be included. Be sure that the proposal includes a list of the GE objectives addressed by the course. For more information, link to GE Classification and Assessment. GE courses should include the General Education Committee Approval sheet. Fill in as much as possible for the course and follow instructions for content inclusion.

Racial and Ethnic Studies/Global Perspectives Curriculum Advisory Committee
Courses that satisfy the racial and ethnic studies requirement are categorized as either A or B level courses. They deal in some aspect with sensitivity to African American, Asian American, Hispanic and Native American cultures. As an overall goal they are expected to discourage racism and thus reduce its effects and to promote appreciation of ethnic diversity as it is manifested in non-white groups.  Departments wishing new or existing classes to be considered for inclusion on the approved list of racial and ethnic studies courses should submit the course (or revised course) to the CIC in the same way as other new courses or revisions. The appropriate box should be checked in the course cover sheet and a suggested category designation made for the course. The Racial and Ethnic Studies/Global Perspectives Curriculum Advisory Committee will meet to review the material and recommend a category designation to the CIC. Proposers are requested to meet with the advisory group to explain how the course relates to the categories. Refer to the pages regarding the Racial and Ethnic Studies requirement and the Global Perspective requirement.

Graduate Education Committee
The Graduate Education Committee acts on requests for approval of new graduate courses. Approved courses are forwarded to the Curriculum and Instruction Committee. A member of the Graduate Education Committee is elected to serve on the Curriculum and Instruction Committee to represent concerns of the GrEC. In the case of graduate courses, the following points will be considered: 

  • The course is not identical with another course offered for undergraduate credit in the university.
  • The course ordinarily would be taught on the basis of previous work and prior knowledge, and be other than a preliminary introductory course at a basic level.  
  • The maturity level of the students enrolled may be considered.  
  • The level of abstract thinking required may be greater than that of the usual undergraduate course.
  • The extent of the content covered (the total amount to be learned) may be greater than in an ordinary undergraduate course.
  •  More independent study may be required on the part of the student; the learning experience may be classifiable as a synthesizing experience.
  •  The suitability of the text, or the availability of supplementary texts, should be commensurate with the level of the course.
  •  The course will be utilized in one or more graduate level degree programs. In those instances in which the course will not be so utilized, the provost will consider the appropriateness of the course at the level proposed and whether or not the course is within the mission of the university.


Curriculum and Instruction Committee

Prior to presenting your curriculum item to the CIC, approval from all other relevant committees is required, and any changes from those committees must be noted, presented, and submitted to the Provost's Office. Proposals will be submitted with all necessary approval signatures. An electronic copy and a paper copy with original signatures will be furnished to the associate vice chancellor by the dean's office as specified in the Curriculum Handbook, Instructions for Submitting Curriculum Items to the Curriculum and Instruction Committee. The associate vice chancellor will place the course proposal on the CIC agenda and will provide the complete agenda with supporting materials to CIC members for study prior to the meeting at which the course will be considered. The Curriculum and Instruction Committee reviews the proposal as stated in the bylaws of that committee. Course proposers are expected to present the course at the meeting and answer questions regarding the proposal.  Recommendations (actions) of the committee will be recorded in the meeting minutes. The fully-approved original proposal becomes part of the permanent file of the Provost's Office. 

Provost
The associate vice chancellor will submit the recommendations/actions of the Curriculum and Instruction Committee, along with all course proposals, to the provost for consideration and action. The provost will review the courses to ascertain whether:

  • Courses are following a consistent pattern, or if there is justification for any inconsistency.
  • There is a sequence of courses developing which may eventuate in a major or minor.
  • The course is an elective or a required course in a program.
  • The course will require budgetary adjustments.
  • The course is offered at the appropriate level.

Chancellor
The associate vice chancellor will forward the minutes and materials plus the recommendations of the provost to the chancellor for final action. The chancellor is to ascertain if:

  • Proper approval procedures have been followed.
  • The course is consistent with the mission of the university.
  • A new and different sequence of courses is developing that may require the approval of the Board of Regents or Central Administration.
  • Based upon the recommendations of the provost, there will be necessary budgetary, personnel, and/or facility adjustments.
  • The course is following a pattern that is consistent with changes taking place in the university system.

If modifications are recommended by the provost or chancellor, the associate vice chancellor will inform the Curriculum and Instruction Committee. The proposer, department and appropriate dean(s) will be similarly notified. Final action of the chancellor will be reported back to the provost and will also become part of the record, along with the minutes from previous committees, to be housed in the Provost's Office. The Associate Vice Chancellor distributes copies of minutes, materials, and summaries. Copies of the CIC minutes and all materials covered in the minutes, along with copies of the final approval sheet with the signatures and recommendations of the provost and chancellor, will be filed in the Provost's Office and sent to the Registrar, the University Library and each college.

Department places new (approved) course in departmental course files
Once final approval is received, the department housing the course is to place copies of the complete proposal in departmental course files. All departments are encouraged to maintain up-to-date files of all approved courses. Revisions of approved courses are not to be made without completing the approval procedures for a course revision as contained in the university Curriculum Handbook.

Policy on Special Course Exceptions: Approval of One- or Two-Times Only Offering
In rare instances the provost may give temporary approval of a course without the course having first been processed through the required approval steps. Exception to the usual process may be needed if a course is to be made available on a short notice or if a course will not be offered more than twice due to its special nature. In such cases, the Provost's Office assigns a reserved "x96" course number that permits the offering of a special course. The dean of the college in which the proposed course is to be housed will forward the course proposal to the provost for approval by exception. Course documentation must be as complete as possible, using the one- or two-time course approval form and format.  

All of the following conditions shall apply for courses needing approval on short notice:

  • Circumstances beyond the control of the proposer and department did not allow time for the course to be submitted through the normal approval process before the course is to be offered. An example of when an exception may be considered is when a request for a course comes from outside of the university for offering at a time which does not allow for submitting the course through all the required steps.  
  • The need for the course is valid and well documented.  
  • The scheduling of the course cannot be delayed to allow for processing of the course through the regular approval steps.
The term "special course" (with an assigned course number ending in 96) applies in one or more of the following situations:

  •  A course with content other than the usual type of offering in a department or unit proposing the course but within the mission of that department or unit and its ability to field the course.
  •  A course that is planned to be conducted, at the most, twice due to its special nature, the availability of certain faculty, or its ability to meet special requests for certain content on a short-time basis.
  •  A course that is experimental or exploratory in nature and that is offered on a trial basis before being submitted for more permanent approval.
Each department should reserve the numbers ending in 96 (SUBJ-x96) for special course offerings.


If the Provost approves the course, the following is stipulated:

  •  The course may be taught once or twice if justified. If it is desired to schedule the course for further offering, the course must be processed and approved through the normal channels.
  •  The course proposal and the written approval of the provost will be submitted to all approving agencies as an item of information and record.
  •  The associate vice chancellor will keep a special record of such courses and approvals by exception with the course inventory in the Provost's Office.
  •  The Provost's Office will automatically drop the course after the course has been taught the limited number of times.

Policy on Special Course Exceptions: Approval of One- or Two-Times Only Offering

In rare instances the provost may give temporary approval of a course without the course having first been processed through the required approval steps. Exception to the usual process may be needed if a course is to be made available on a short notice or if a course will not be offered more than twice due to its special nature. In such cases, the Provost's Office assigns a reserved "x96" course number that permits the offering of a special course. The dean of the college in which the proposed course is to be housed will forward the course proposal to the provost for approval by exception. Course documentation must be as complete as possible, using the one- or two-time course approval form and format.  

All of the following conditions shall apply for courses needing approval on short notice:

  • Circumstances beyond the control of the proposer and department did not allow time for the course to be submitted through the normal approval process before the course is to be offered. An example of when an exception may be considered is when a request for a course comes from outside of the university for offering at a time which does not allow for submitting the course through all the required steps.  
  • The need for the course is valid and well documented.  
  • The scheduling of the course cannot be delayed to allow for processing of the course through the regular approval steps.
The term "special course" (with an assigned course number ending in 96) applies in one or more of the following situations:

  •  A course with content other than the usual type of offering in a department or unit proposing the course but within the mission of that department or unit and its ability to field the course.
  •  A course that is planned to be conducted, at the most, twice due to its special nature, the availability of certain faculty, or its ability to meet special requests for certain content on a short-time basis.
  •  A course that is experimental or exploratory in nature and that is offered on a trial basis before being submitted for more permanent approval.
Each department should reserve the numbers ending in 96 (SUBJ-x96) for special course offerings.


If the Provost approves the course, the following is stipulated:

  •  The course may be taught once or twice if justified. If it is desired to schedule the course for further offering, the course must be processed and approved through the normal channels.
  •  The course proposal and the written approval of the provost will be submitted to all approving agencies as an item of information and record.
  •  The associate vice chancellor will keep a special record of such courses and approvals by exception with the course inventory in the Provost's Office.
  •  The Provost's Office will automatically drop the course after the course has been taught the limited number of times.