2014-15 Curriculum Calendar
As another academic year comes to an end, I wanted to give you an update regarding curriculum, especially the few (relatively minor) changes to the process for next year as well as some reminders for those who plan to work on curriculum over the summer.
We have a new process for conceptually approving new curriculum in a faculty-driven process that still ensures faculty are not needlessly spending time creating a course in CurricUNET that we cannot offer (because it is upper-division or graduate level) or that we already offer (perhaps through another department). Provided that the department’s curriculum is all in compliance, a faculty member completes an A9 form, which can be found on the N drive as well as on the Curriculum Committee website, giving conceptual background of the course, including plans for prerequisites, units, DE or Honors addendum, and the rationale for adding the new course. The faculty member or a representative will attend a curriculum meeting and discuss the proposed new course. After the proposed curriculum is approved conceptually, a shell for the course will be created, and the course can be submitted via CurricUNET. We had a few departments test out this process during the spring and found it to be a productive way to ensure faculty creating new curriculum are receiving any pertinent information (such as prerequisites or cross-listing) that will ensure smoother progress through the curriculum approval process both locally and statewide.
2-year CTE reviews and representation at curriculum meetings
Because Title 5 requires all courses that are considered CTE/vocational (which, in part, is determined by the TOP code assigned to the course) be revised every two years, this puts a burden on faculty who offer such courses. The 2-year reviews we have created in CurricUNET assist faculty in keeping their courses in compliance without having to go through the more rigorous revision and tech review required every 6 years. The committee policy requiring representation for all courses on the agenda has also been revised so that courses that are being approved for a 2-year review no longer require faculty representation at either first or second read.
Distance Ed addendum revision
In the past, course authors have had to integrate the course learning objectives into the online adaptation for Methods of Instruction and Methods of Evaluation. Now, as long as authors are sufficiently integrating course objectives in the MOIs and MOEs in the regular course outline, just providing a clear and appropriate online adaptation is needed for the DE addenda.
Library resources for Honors addenda
We are adding a section to CurricUNET for Honors addenda so that you can inform the librarians whether our library resources (including databases) are sufficient for the kind of work Honors students do as well as suggest possible additional resources the library could acquire to benefit your Honors students. If you do not need library resources other than what the students in the non-Honors section use, that is fine, but this will allow you to inform the librarians of additional materials you would like to see the libraries acquire for Honors sections.
Interdisciplinary non-transfer degree
Academic Senate is creating an ad-hoc committee to review the need/current pattern for the interdisciplinary non-transfer associate degrees (Option A Humanities, Social/Behavioral Science, and Science). For those departments with classes that fall into these patterns, be aware that we are having this discussion and consider how these awards impact students in your discipline, if at all. We will be seeking your feedback in the fall.
Working on curriculum this summer?
A revised version of the Best Practices handbook will be posted to the curriculum website in the next few weeks (we will not be printing copies for everyone in order to save money). Please take advantage of the materials since they are developed to help you move curriculum through the process more efficiently and with less frustration. Materials have been added based on responses to the curriculum survey.
We have turned off the submit button for CurricUNET over the summer. Any classes that did not get through the approval process for this year or did not get approved for the September 2014 agenda will be taken out of the approval process. Any work you did on the courses during the year will not be lost, but any feedback from technical reviewers will be. If you have a course in this group, you were sent a separate email with directions on how to “save” those comments.
You can work on curriculum over the summer; however, you will not be able to submit courses for approval until August 1. Email notifications will be suspended over the summer but will start up again once the submit button is activated.
The date for getting courses onto the agenda for the 2015-2016 catalog is October 24, 2014. Please note that this is the deadline to have the courses complete the approval process, not simply be launched. Because of the length of time it is taking many courses to get approved, we recommend you get your course submitted/launched by September 11 to meet that October deadline. This does not guarantee your course will make it to the agenda, and it is possible that courses that are submitted/launched after that date may make it to the agenda, but we are trying to give you an honest estimate of the time that it takes to get a class approved.
I know the process is complicated. One of the best things your department can do is to set a schedule for revising courses so that (1) you do not have to do them all (or too many) at once since the more courses you are working on at one time, the more frustrating the system seems; and (2) you stay current with the smaller changes to the process so that you are not having to learn so many changes all at once.
We have a great group of faculty on the curriculum committee -- but could always use more! It is a tremendous workload but fulfilling. We appreciate all the hard work you do to put your courses through the system. Please let us know if there are other things we can do to help you navigate the system more easily.
Faculty Curriculum Co-Chair