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Adding a New Course

Overview

New courses should not be developed in a vacuum.  They do not stand or fall on their own merits alone; they will be judged according to how they contribute to a student's course of study. Our notion of a "logical sequence" was developed through "Re-Forming the Major," an extensive, grant-funded initiative that the College undertook in the early 1990s.  This initiative was inspired by an exhaustive study conducted by The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), and we have adopted their framework for program review.

Special Topics Courses

The titles and subjects of existing special-topics courses are set in collaboration with the Registrar's Office, and you do not have to submit these proposals to the Faculty Curriculum Committee. If, however, you plan to eventually convert a special-topics course to a regular course, you might find it helpful to review the information below. A special-topics course on the same topic should not be offered more than three times within five years.

If you wish to create a new special-topics course, please follow the instructions below, and provide us with a syllabus of a sample course that could be taught under this number.

Independent Study Courses

By their very nature, independent-study courses do not have set syllabi. Therefore, if you are proposing a new independent-study course, the Committee instead requests that you describe what a typical course might look like.  What sort of reading might a student do?  What written work might the student produce?  What is the overall goal?

Questions to Consider

  • What are the goals, objectives, and intended outcomes of the course?  How do they enhance the program to which it belongs?
  • How does this course fit into the sequence of the program? Is it an introductory course, a mid-level survey course, a capstone course?
  • How does this course enhance the liberal education of the students? Conversely, is this course so narrow and specialized that it interferes with rather than enhances liberal education? 
  • Could this course logically originate in another department or program? (For instance, History of American Education could originate in either the Teacher Education or the History department.) 

Procedure to Follow

  • Fill out the required sections of the FCC's Course Form.
  • Include a syllabus.
  • Submit a cover letter that includes a list of all the documents you are submitting.
  • Submit one Signature Form that covers all of the changes you are requesting. Ensure that it includes signatures from your Department Chair and Dean.
  • If you would like the course to fulfill General Education requirements, submit a request to the General Education Committee.
  • If you would like the course to be cross-listed, submit an acknowledgement from the cross-listing department.
  • If the course could originate in another department, please contact the department chair/program director and submit their acknowledgement with the proposal. (You may want to consult the catalog.)
  • Submit the required information to the Provost's Office (Randolph 210) by the deadline.
  • Attend the relevant Curriculum Committee meeting to present the proposal.
  • Attend the relevant Faculty Senate meeting to answer any questions that arise.
  • Remember that if a new course is approved, it will not appear until the next academic year.