Procedures and Strategies for Adding or Subtracting Something to or from the Curriculum

 

The Committee on Curriculum and Teaching (C&T) oversees the curriculum generally. Any new minor or major programs must be approved by C&T. At the individual course level, C&T really only has power over the Core curriculum.

 

Submitting a New Major or Minor

 

This is really important stuff! A new minor may have an impact on the frequency of course offerings, staffing, students’ abilities to complete their major programs of study and admissions/retention. A new major program will definitely affect all of those. Therefore, if you are thinking about a new minor or major it behooves you to work with all those people who might be significantly involved. Do this long before you submit anything to C&T. A good idea is to form your own set of expert consultants and collaborators among the faculty and develop drafts. Have the major issues addressed before you come to C&T. You may also wish to notify the faculty at large during the early stages of a project to solicit help and helpful criticism. An email to “faculty” would be a very good start. If you do not do this, C&T most likely will, so it’s best done early!

 

Also important here is the reverse process; removing a major or minor program from the Curriculum. This is not often done, but the same guidelines apply. Most recently, an Associate’s degree in Accounting was removed due to low (zero) student enrollment and a decrease for the need of such preparation in the workplace.

 

 

Submitting a New Core Course

Anyone may submit a Core course to C&T via one of its members or may even ask the Chair for time during a meeting to make the presentation in person. To be approved, C&T must have a catalog description and a sample syllabus which contains clear goals and objectives for the students.[1] If the Committee likes the proposal and is satisfied it fits where it is to be placed in the Core, then it is approved. It is then sent on to FC which will likely agree, but may send it back with further questions, suggestions, etc.

 

How can you best prepare a proposal for C&T?

  1. Discuss the course with fellow faculty members who teach similar courses or courses in the same Core area. A good place to go for this would be the appropriate Core Project Team. This is important because C&T is likely to have only one or at most two members intimately familiar with this area of the Core. The first logical question the unfamiliar ones will ask is, “What do the experts have to say about this?” Perhaps a letter from the Core Project Team leader would be a good piece of support to have.
  2. The course will utilize faculty or resources from one or more departments. What is the feeling of the department chair(s) regarding this use of resources? If there’s little chance the course could be offered, it is unlikely that C&T would bother approving it. Perhaps a letter from the department chair(s) involved would be a good piece of support to have.
  3. Will students be interested in such a course? Your answer may be pure speculation, and that may be OK. We won’t really know until we try. But, if you have some way of gauging interest, let us know.

The process is not set in stone, but this gives you a good idea of what likely will be discussed during a proposal.

 

 

Submitting a New Course Within a Major

 

Currently, C&T does not have to be consulted on courses within majors. These are the sole responsibility of the department(s) involved and, ultimately, the Vice President for Academic Affairs. If the course does not have a CORE catalog entry, it does not concern C&T.

 


This document serves as an introduction to new members of C&T or nonmembers who may be submitting a proposal for a new course or program of study. I welcome any comments that will improve this document.

D. Boucher, February 2004


 

[1] In the language current at King’s, an “objective” is just that, an objective measure of the student’s knowledge. That is, for a math course an objective might be “The student will learn to calculate the mean, variance and standard deviation for any set of data.” This, of course, can be unambiguously determined via an exam. A “goal” is a more subjective thing. For example, the same math course may have a goal the following: “The student will develop an awareness of the use of statistics in the world around them and the ability to understand its uses and misuses.” This is laudable, but hard to test conclusively. The thinking here is that we must tell the students, up front, what we expect of them, so that they may be in the best possible position to see the course in the context of our broader educational goals.