FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: What are the proposal deadlines?
A: A page answering this question has been added to the website (see "Proposals Deadlines" to the left).
Q: What are the different types of proposals that can be made?
A: Proposals fall into three different categories, including Course (new, modify, delete), Program (new, modify, delete), and Policy. Please note that course proposals that change programs (new courses, changes in credits or place in the program, or course deletions) also require a program modify proposal.
Q: How long does it typically take for a proposal to be fully approved and ready for implementation?
A: From start to finish the entire process can take months. This depends largely on the time it takes for home department approval and home council approval. The less complex and controversial the proposal, the less time it should take getting to the UCC for a vote. This is also true for Forum and President approval following UCC approval.
Q: What can I do to facilitate a smooth and timely review process?
A: To facilitate your proposal through the review process be sure to:
- Use the correct proposal form(s) in Curriculog. Be sure to approve your proposal after it is launched.
- Anticipate impacts of your proposal beyond your department prior to its being formally submitted. Meet with those potentially impacted and work to address their concerns.
- Provide clear, accurate and complete information submitted with your proposal regarding:
- What is being proposed and the justification.
- What are the resources needed for the curricular change? Use the three-year verification grid to illustrate planned faculty resource allocation.
- What is the recommended class size and the justification.
- Are there special equipment needs?
- Obtain home departmental and council approval of the proposal.
- If requested, appear at the UCC meeting at which the proposal will be presented for a vote.
Q: What are some pitfalls and common errors in putting together a curriculum proposal?
A: There are a number of pitfalls in the curriculum review process, however, most of these result from incomplete or inarticulate proposals that slip past careful departmental review. In the past, the major problems in seeing a proposal successfully through the review process have been:
- Curriculum conflicts with other classes, departments, and colleges, especially where content potentially overlaps.
- Failure to comply with the “verification grid” (discussed as another FAQ) or the “one-for-one” policy where, generally, one course must be withdrawn for every new course proposed.
- Failure to address or comply with the “40% rule,” where 40% of a department’s course offerings should be upper level courses.
- Improper assessment or presentation of resource demands. For example, if a new course is being added, is there staff available to teach the number of sections scheduled? What are the implications for enrollment into other courses?
- Failure to fully describe and account for all changes being made - sometimes proposals entail more wholesale curriculum changes than the form reflects.
- Sponsoring proposals that are dependent on other proposals that are not at the same stage along the UCC process. It is best to propose all related course and program proposals in the same batch.
Q: What types of courses require distance education approval?
A: Shippensburg University uses the definition of distance education stated in the statewide APSCUF CBA. Courses in which 80% or more of their instructional time is offered online and at most 20% (7.5 hours) of their instructional time is offered face-to-face are required to gain DE approval through the UCC curriculum approval process.
Q: Does a course which has been approved for videoconferencing delivery need to be approved separately for online delivery?
A: Per the statewide APSCUF CBA, videoconferencing and online delivery are types of distance education. UCC approves courses for distance education delivery generally, rather than a specific type of distance education delivery. If the course proposal approved by UCC states a specific type of distance education delivery format (e.g. videoconferencing, online), the course has been approved to be offered by all types of distance education.
Q: Do Special Topics courses require UCC approval to be offered via distance education?
A: The same principles that apply to face-to-face Special Topics courses apply to distance education Special Topics courses. Departments do not have to submit a new UCC proposal every time a Special Topics course is going to be offered face-to-face with a different content topic. Similarly, once the Special Topics course number has been approved for distance education delivery by UCC a department or faculty member does not have to submit a separate UCC proposal for each new Special Topics content area they would like to offer via distance education.
Q: What types of proposals may be expedited and why? How are they expedited?
A: Existing courses that are being requested to move to Distance Education status are expedited and will be considered by UCC within 30 days of being posted to the UCC website (after which they are presented to Forum and the President). They are first examined by the UCC Academic Standards and Policies Subcommittee. The Subcommittee then recommends the proposal for either disapproval or disapproval by the UCC at large. This expedited process is developed to comply with Article 42 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Q: When do I have to submit a Program Modify proposal?
A: Shared governance, catalog, and DegreeAudit changes are all triggered by the curriculum review process, so it is important that revisions be submitted as necessary. A Program Revision proposal must be submitted in the following situations:
* a new course is added to the program
* a course is deleted from the program
* any changes in credits are made
* the program is restructured in any way (e.g. moving a course from elective to core, rearranging courses into topical groupings, etc.)
A Program Revision proposal is not needed if previously included courses are simply renumbered or renamed.
Q:Who can submit a proposal?
A: While curriculum proposals are typically started at the academic department level by faculty members, any faculty, staff, student, or administrator is permitted to submit a proposal.
Q: Why do I have to submit my proposal electronically?
A: In recent years the increased number of proposals and widening variety of considerations needed in the review process, along with efforts to make the process more transparent and accessible, overwhelmed the traditional process. Anybody experiencing difficulty with the electronic process may contact the UCC Chair or the UCC Secretary.
Q: What is the verification grid (replaced the “one-for-one” rule)?
A: In 2006, the President approved the following language: I am also approving the proposed clarification of the curriculum management and expansion of courses (one-for-one) policy as proposed by the University Curriculum Committee and endorsed by the University Forum: “In order to ensure that fiscal responsibility and student needs are balanced with legitimate reasons for curricular change, the University Curriculum Committee recommends that each department proposing curricular change provide a three year departmental verification matrix of course offerings annotated with the number of people within the department who could teach this class; as well as the faculty position and/or specialization area (rather than the individual faculty names.) The UCC also proposes that yearly, the registrar notify department chairs and deans with a list of courses that have not been taught in the previous three years. Courses not taught for the previous five years will be dropped from the official university catalog by the registrar. Exceptions to this policy will be made on a per case basis after consultation with the appropriate dean and department chairperson.” I believe the recommendation is consistent with the policy, while giving the departments and the University Curriculum Committee more information and documentation for decision-making.
The verification grid will be attached to any new course proposal in which an existing course is not dropped.
Verification Grid Example
AAA 300 is the new proposed course. Currently Professor X teaches AAA 100 every Fall semester. With the addition of AAA 300, Professor X will no longer teach AAA 100. Instead Professor Y will now rotate AAA 100 and AAA 200 in subsequent Fall semesters. The Spring semester schedule will not be affected; thus, it has not been included.
|Verification Grid for Fall 2011|
|Fall 2011||X||AAA 100||3||40|
|Fall 2011||X||AAA 101||3||40|
|Fall 2011||X||AAA 102||3||35|
|Fall 2011||X||AAA 103||3||25|
|Fall 2011||Y||AAA 200||3||35|
|Fall 2011||Y||AAA 201||3||35|
|Fall 2011||Y||AAA 202||3||40|
|Fall 2011||Y||AAA 203||3||25|
|Verification Grid for Fall 2012|
|Fall 2012||X||AAA 300||3||40|
|Fall 2012||X||AAA 101||3||40|
|Fall 2012||X||AAA 102||3||35|
|Fall 2012||X||AAA 103||3||25|
|Fall 2012||Y||AAA 100||3||35|
|Fall 2012||Y||AAA 201||3||35|
|Fall 2012||Y||AAA 202||3||40|
|Fall 2012||Y||AAA 203||3||25|
|Verification Grid for Fall 2013|
|Fall 2013||X||AAA 300||3||40|
|Fall 2013||X||AAA 101||3||40|
|Fall 2013||X||AAA 102||3||35|
|Fall 2013||X||AAA 103||3||25|
|Fall 2013||Y||AAA 200||3||35|
|Fall 2013||Y||AAA 201||3||35|
|Fall 2013||Y||AAA 202||3||40|
|Fall 2013||Y||AAA 203||3||25|
|Verification Grid for Fall 2014|
|Fall 2014||X||AAA 300||3||40|
|Fall 2014||X||AAA 101||3||40|
|Fall 2014||X||AAA 102||3||35|
|Fall 2014||X||AAA 103||3||25|
|Fall 2014||Y||AAA 100||3||35|
|Fall 2014||Y||AAA 201||3||35|
|Fall 2014||Y||AAA 202||3||40|
|Fall 2014||Y||AAA 203||3||25|
Q: What is “curriculum duplication” and why should I be aware of it?
A: Curriculum duplication exists when a program, course, or other curriculum component addresses the same subject matter and learning outcomes as in another program or course. Curriculum duplication results in unnecessary courses and programs and is a waste of campus resources. On occasion, courses are proposed which substantially or appear to substantially overlap in both style, content, and learning outcomes with courses. If substantial overlap exists, the new proposal is appropriately jeopardized. If in actuality there is very little duplication, then the sponsor of the proposal needs to provide clarity as to how the proposal is distinctive from existing courses or programs.
Q: Under what conditions would Graduate Council Review and approval be needed?
A: Graduate Council review is required of any courses that graduate students could take for graduate credit, including those 400 level courses that are approved for graduate credit.
Q: Under what conditions would Board of Governor’s or Chancellor’s review and approval be needed?
A: Generally, action by either Board of Governor’s or Chancellor’s is required for new major programs. Office of the Chancellor notification (but not action) is required for a) new concentration, track, specialization, or emphasis, b) new academic minor c) new sub-baccalaureate, post-baccalaureate (graduate) or post-master’s certificate programs; and d) conversion of current program to online or interactive video learning modality; and e) degree program, minor, concentration, specialization, certificate, letter of completion placed into moratorium. Office of the Chancellor Action is required for a) reorganization of existing approved degree program (changes in name, student learning outcomes, degree designation, credit length that exceed policies); and b) reactivation of a degree program in moratorium. For details, see “Board of Governor’s Policy 1985-01-A: Requirements for Initiation or Change of Credit-Based Academic Programs” and “Administrative Procedure for Board of Governor’s Policy 1985 - 01: Requirements for Initiation or Change of Credit-Based Academic Programs.” These are available on the University Curriculum Committee website as well as from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) website.
Q: Who can attend a UCC meeting? When are they scheduled?
A: The meetings, which are typically held the first Tuesday of every month at 3:30 p.m. in Lehman Library 106, are open to the entire campus community. If you are sponsoring a proposal or impacted by a proposal you are certainly encouraged to attend.
Q: What if I wanted to find out what happened at a particular UCC meeting?
A: For the current Academic Year, all UCC meeting minutes will be posted online at the UCC website (www.ship.edu/ucc). The posting usually occurs within 10 days of the meeting. The minutes are also distributed to all members of the UCC distribution list (see below) and presented to University Forum. Draft minutes are typically approved at the next meeting of the UCC. All subcommittee meeting minutes are included with that respective month’s committee wide meeting minutes. Meeting minutes dating back to the 1999 – 2000 academic year are also available at the web site. For previous years, contact the UCC Secretary.
Q: What is the UCC distribution list? Who is on the list and why?
A: The UCC distribution list, also known as the mailing list, consists of academic deans, department chairs, program directors, members of University Forum, members of the UCC and administrative personnel including the Provost, Associate Provost, and Registrar. This is broadly representative of all stakeholder groups in the curriculum process and includes APSCUF and student representation. The purpose of the distribution list is to make the campus community aware of all developments of substance and process relating to curriculum change.
Q: Who is on the UCC? How is the committee’s composition determined?
A: The committee’s specific composition was arrived at in a re-organization of university governance in the 1980s and is compliant with the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The composition is provided for in Subsection 1A of the UCC Manual. Twelve faculty members, each of the three college deans, and three student representatives together comprise the 18 regular members of UCC. Of the faculty membership, eleven are elected across the academic divisions and non-teaching faculty; one is appointed by APSCUF. Ex officio members include the Registrar and Associate Provost.
These are a few of the most commonly asked questions. If you have others, please contact the UCC chair at UCC@ship.edu.