Curriculum Review

Policy Number: II.16
Policy Level: Operating Policy

Originally Issued: January 13, 2016
Revised: April 4, 2016
Revised:
November 29, 2016
Revised: 
January 7, 2020
Revised: 
March 24, 2020
Revised:  
April 28, 2020

Policy Owner: Provost/ VP for Academic Affairs
Policy Implementation: Provost/VP for Academic Affairs
SACSCOC Standard:  7.1, 9.1, 9.2, 9.6, 10.4, 10.7

I.      Policy Statement and Purpose

In accordance with Athens State University’s mission, this policy establishes the standards for initiating, reviewing and recommending curricular change in courses and programs at the University.

Athens State University complies with accreditation standards that require all baccalaureate level degree programs to have a minimum of 120 semester credit hours and all graduate level degree programs to have a minimum of 30 semester credit hours.

II.     Undergraduate Curriculum Review

The faculty have primary responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of the curriculum at Athens State University.  As indicated in the University’s Statement on Shared Governance the faculty’s role includes academic programs and curricula, course content, and degree requirements.

The Curriculum Committee is to review all undergraduate curricular proposals for addition or deletion of courses, changes in degree requirements and changes in course descriptions for existing courses prior to changes becoming policy.  Further, any undergraduate academic item that needs to be submitted to the Athens State Board of Trustees and subsequently to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education must go through the curriculum process at the University and receive approval from the College, Curriculum Committee and the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The scope and responsibilities of the Curriculum Committee shall include, but not limited to the following actions.

  • Review new undergraduate courses and programs (certificates, minor, and majors) suggested by the department and supported by the college as evidenced by the completed Curriculum Review Request form.
  • Ensure quality and clarity in learning goals and assessment areas in submitted undergraduate syllabus review.
  • Ensure collaboration and absence of duplication of new undergraduate courses and programs.
  • Review modifications in existing undergraduate courses and programs of study.
  • Develop and review guidelines for undergraduate courses and new programs as determined by departments and colleges, as well as guidelines for the number of credits in certificates, minors, and majors.
  • Evaluate other undergraduate curriculum issues as assigned by the Faculty Senate.
  • Forward Committee recommendations to the Faculty Senate.

The Curriculum Committee is a standing committee of the faculty with equal representation from each of the three Colleges (four members from each College) and one representative from the library.

Undergraduate Curriculum Review Procedures

The Curriculum Review Request Form (CRR) is to be used in order to implement the above actions. As reflected in the form, the process involves eight steps.

  1. An undergraduate curricular change is proposed by an author (faculty member, department chair or Dean of the College).
  2. All undergraduate program/major faculty members directly involved sign the CRR. A majority of the relevant faculty must approve the proposed change(s).
  3. The department chair must approve of the change and sign the CRR.
  4. The Dean(s) of all college(s) approve the change and sign the CRR.
  5. For an undergraduate curriculum request, the College Dean will send approved CRR to Curriculum Committee.
  6. The Curriculum Committee considers the proposed undergraduate curriculum change. If approved, the chair of the Curriculum Committee informs the Faculty Senate and signs the CRR.
  7. Approved CRRs are forwarded to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs for approval and shared with the University’s Accreditation Liaison for potential substantive change implications.
  8. The author and curriculum committee are informed whether the change is approved or not.

III.  Graduate Curriculum Review

The Graduate Education Council is to review all graduate curricular proposals for addition or deletion of courses, changes in degree requirements and changes in course descriptions for existing courses prior to changes becoming policy.  Further, any graduate academic item that needs to be submitted to the Athens State University Board of Trustees and subsequently to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education must go through the curriculum process at the University and receive approval from the College, the Graduate Education Council and the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The Graduate Education Council consists of graduate faculty from each of the three Colleges, one faculty librarian, one representative from the Office of Academic Affairs, one from the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, and the University’s Policy Analyst.

The scope and responsibilities of the Graduate Education Council shall include, but not be limited to the following actions:

  • Serve as an advisory group to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs (acting graduate dean)
  • Promote the advancement and improvement of graduate study at the University.
  • Review any graduate curricular matters to include new graduate courses and programs (certificates, minor, and majors) suggested by the department and supported by the college as evidenced by the completed Curriculum Review Request form.
  • Ensure quality and clarity in learning goals and assessment areas in submitted graduate syllabus review.
  • Ensure that the proposed graduate programs and/or courses adhere to the Graduate Programs Outcomes Assessment Framework.
  • Ensure that proposed program and courses include graduate level student learning outcomes and rigor.
  • Ensure collaboration and absence of duplication of new graduate courses and programs.
  • Review modifications in existing graduate courses and programs of study.
  • Develop and review guidelines for graduate courses and new programs as determined by departments and colleges, as well as guidelines for the number of credits in graduate programs.
  • Participate in the development of rules, policies, and standards pertaining to graduate education and graduate programs and to act upon any question affecting those policies.
  • Evaluate other graduate curriculum issues as assigned.
  • Forward Committee approvals, for information purposes, to the Curriculum Committee. The chair of the Graduate Education Council will also meet, as requested, with the Faculty Senate.

Graduate Curriculum Review Procedures

The Curriculum Review Request Form (CRR) is to be used in order to implement curriculum actions. As reflected in the form, the process involves eight steps.

  1. A graduate curricular change is proposed by an author (faculty member, department chair or Dean of the College).
  2. All graduate program/major faculty members directly involved sign the CRR. A majority of the relevant faculty must approve the proposed change(s).
  3. The department chair must approve of the change and sign the CRR.
  4. The Dean(s) of all college(s) approve the change and sign the CRR.
  5. For a graduate curriculum request, the College Dean forwards the approved CRR to the Graduate Education Council for review and approval.
  6. The Graduate Education Council considers the proposed graduate curriculum change. If approved, the chair of this committee signs the CRR and informs the Curriculum Committee.
  7. Approved CRRs are forwarded to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs for approval and shared with the University’s Accreditation Liaison for potential substantive change implications.
  8. The author, curriculum committee and Graduate Education Council are informed whether the change is approved or not.

IV.  Responsibility for this Operating Policy

Policy Owner

As part of the initial approval of this policy by the President and subsequent to the original dissemination of the policy, the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs is the policy owner for the ongoing evaluation, review, and approval of this policy.  Subsequent reviews and revisions to this policy must be in accordance with approved operating policy procedures and processes.

This policy will be reviewed every 2 years or more frequently as needed by the Policy Owner.  Revisions will be reviewed/affirmed by the Faculty Senate and the Cabinet and approved by the University President.  This policy will be updated/published in the University’s Policy Library.

Responsibility for Policy Implementation

The President has assigned the responsibility of implementing this policy to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.