2015-16 Curriculum Calendar
As another academic year comes to an end, I wanted to give you an update regarding curriculum, especially the few changes to the process for next year as well as some reminders for those who plan to work on curriculum over the summer.
Our new process for conceptually approving new curriculum helps to ensure 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 who wishes to propose a new course needs to complete an A9 form, which can be found on the N drive as well as provided through links on CurricUNET and on the Curriculum Committee website. The A9 form asks the faculty author to provide 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 and the minutes from that meeting have been approved, a shell for the course will be created, and the course can be submitted via CurricUNET. (In the meantime, the faculty member can begin constructing the parts of the course outline in a Word document so that he or she is ready to cut and paste into CurricUNET as soon as the shell is created.) We had a number of new courses proposed last year (most of which were approved) and found this new process to be a productive way to ensure faculty creating new curriculum are considering any pertinent information (such as prerequisites or cross-listing) that will ensure smoother progress through the curriculum approval process both locally and statewide.
MOUs related to curriculum
A number of recent MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) are impacting curriculum, particularly with regard to prerequisites, corequisites, high school articulation, dual enrollment, and articulation for transfer. Please note that MOUs of this sort impacting any of the above need to come through the committee so that affected areas (such as enrollment services, counseling, prerequisite subcommittee) know what is going on and can participate in the creation of these MOUs so that we are not trying to determine how to make the MOU work effectively for students AFTER it has been signed. MOUs that are currently in place will need to come to the committee with signatures annually (or each time they are renewed). For more information, contact the faculty co-chair.
Out-of-compliance and sunset lists
A list of those courses that are currently out-of-compliance or going out-of-compliance through June 2016 was sent out earlier this morning. Please take advantage of this information so that you can work to revise courses BEFORE they go out-of-compliance as some deans will not allow departments to schedule and offer courses that are out-of-compliance. Remember that courses that are eligible for a 2-year revision can go through the tech review process in a relatively short time and do not require representation at a meeting. CTE courses that are eligible for this process can be brought into compliance simply by updating the textbook, finishing a few areas of CurricUNET, and hitting the submit button. The 2015-16 Sunset list was also sent out; if you have a course on that list, it is in jeopardy of being deactivated if you do not get it revised. Courses on the sunset list are not eligible for a 2-year review. If a course that is deactivated due to the sunset policy is required in an award, the award will also be deactivated.
CurricUNET videos and training
We will continue to add videos related to using CurricUNET which can be accessed via the curriculum website or CurricUNET. We will also be providing training at the Academy for new faculty and returning faculty who need to be trained or want a refresher. Watch for details in the Academy information.
Working on curriculum this summer?
A revised version of the Best Practices handbook will be posted to the curriculum website in the next month (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.
As is standard practice, 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 2015 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 2016-2017 catalog is October 23, 2015 at noon. 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 10 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.
While the faculty on the committee have the summer off from committee responsibilities, the curriculum office staff will be working over the summer (Monday-Thursday). They will monitor the curriculum email and, in some cases, can help you with issues you are having or point you to places where you can find assistance.
I know the process is complicated, but those who are taking courses through the CurricUNET process for the second time are finding that it gets easier once that initial work is done. 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, and I want to thank them all for the time they put into this important work. The committee appreciates 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