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WCSU Faculty Handbook : Curriculum and Academic Standards

Approval Process for Curriculum, Centers, Institutes and Policies

Western Connecticut State University uses an online platform for all curriculum and policy approvals. This platform can be found in WestConnduit, under the faculty resources tab. The portal is called the Curriculum Proposal Process (CPP) but is frequently referred to as Sharepoint.  Diagrams of the workflows (map of committees who need to sign off) for each type of approval are available when you log into CPP.

General Guidance

Curriculum, Center/Institute, and Policy approvals are subject to rigorous review by the campus community.  You should anticipate questions about the content of a proposal and how it may interact with other university programs, policies, or centers.  You should also be prepared to discuss anticipated costs, staffing, and the overall benefits to the university. Note: the BOR requires that all Centers and Institutes be self-funded.

New items require the most approval, to include your department, your school program review committee (PRC), the University Planning and Budgeting Committee (UPBC), the Committee on General Education (if the new item is to be included in Gen-Ed), either the Committee on Undergraduate Curriculum and Academic Standards (CUCAS) or the Graduate Council (depending on the level of the proposal), University Senate (for everything above the level of a course), the Provost/VPAA, and in the Connecticut Board of Regents.

For revisions to majors, options, minors, and certificates you will follow most of the above, but may be exempt from UPBC if there is no change in the number of credits offered and there are no other budgetary implications, as well as exemptions depending on the number of credits to be changed (see approval charts for the numbers).

For revisions to courses, there is a fast-track process from department to Provost, except in cases where a course may impact General Education, if a course dual listed, or if the course is a requirement for another degree program (cognate or major), then Gen-Ed, and/or the other department(s) must be consulted.

For changes to course designations (lab, lecture, or studio), you must proceed through the review process as a new course because there are likely to be budget implications.

Program discontinuation follows the same process as the establishment of a new program, with review from all committee levels.

Academic policy and procedure changes vary depending on the point of origin and scope. Department policies stay at the department level, school policies are approved by the school, General Education, CUCAS, and Graduate Council will bring their policy changes to the University Senate, which must then be approved by the Senate and the University President.

All materials must be submitted electronically, through the Curriculum Proposal Process (Sharepoint). No paper copies are required.  For General Education, there is a cover sheet that should accompany your proposal. (It is included in the appendix to this handbook). Department chairs must include minutes of the meeting in which a proposal was approved as part of the proposal.  While it is permissible to submit a pdf of your proposal in Sharepoint, you should also fill out all fields so the registrar can easily post changes in Banner.

Summaries of the curriculum approval processes are included in the three tables below.

Provost/VPAA Guidance 7/18/2019

Necessary Approvals for NEW Curriculum, Centers, and Policies

 

Acad. Depart. PRC[1] UPBC Gen-Ed CUCAS Grad-Council Univ. Sen. VPAA BOR[2]
Major Yes Yes Yes No Yes, UG Yes, GR Yes Yes Yes
Minor Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes, if 19+ credits Yes Yes, if 19+ credits
Option or Specialization Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Approval required for 16+ credits, info. only for up to 15 credits
Certificate[3] Yes Yes Yes No Yes, UG Yes, GR Yes Yes Yes
Course Yes Yes No, if no new resources are required[4] Yes, if seeking a comp. label Yes, UG Yes, GR No Yes No
Contract Major Yes, for all depts. With 9 or more credits in the major. No No No Yes No No Yes No
Center No No Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes
University Policy[5] No No No No No No Yes Yes No

 

 

Necessary Approvals for all Revised Curriculum, Centers, or University Policies

Acad. Depart PRC UPBC Gen-Ed CUCAS Grad-Council Univ. Sen. VPAA Board of Regents[6]
Major Yes Yes Yes, except for course substitutions. No Yes, UG Yes, GR No, if changes are ≤30 credits Yes Approval required for 15 or more credits.
Minor Yes Yes Yes, except for course substitutions No Yes No Yes, if 19+ credits Yes Yes, if 19+ credits
Option,  Specialization, or Certificate Yes Yes Yes, except for course substitutions. No Yes No No, if changes are ≤30 credits Yes Approval required for 16+ credits, info. only for up to 15 credits within an existing program.
Course Yes No No, if no new resources are required[7] Yes, if seeking a comp. label No No No Yes No
Program Learning Outcomes Yes No No No Yes No No Yes No
Center No No Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes
University Policy[8] No No No No No No Yes Yes No

 

 

 

Necessary Approvals for Course Revisions

Revision Type Department Gen-Ed Provost
Course Pre-requisites Yes No Yes
Course Description Yes No Yes
Course Outline Yes Yes, if gen-ed Yes
Course Learning Outcomes Yes Yes, if gen-ed Yes
Course Dual Label[9] All departments involved No Yes
Course level/number Yes No Yes
Course Catalog Removal (put in inventory only) Yes No Yes
Course Credit Hours Yes No Yes
Course Final Deletion[10] All departments involved No Yes

[1] Some proposals may require interdepartmental/cross school approvals (ERC, BBA)

[2] Consult BOR Guidelines

[3] Certificates may need to comply with federal gainful employment guidelines. Consult the director of financial aid.

[4] No new resources are required if the course added replaces another course or is worked into the three-year course rotations without expanding sections offered each year. All other cases must go to UPBC.

[5] Policy proposals may originate in departments or committees. If they do, approvals should be included.

[6] Consult BOR Guidelines

[7] No new resources are required if the course added replaces another course or is worked into the three-year course rotations without expanding sections offered each year. All other cases must go to UPBC.

[8] Policy proposals may originate in departments or committees. If they do, approvals should be included.

[9] Dual or triple labeled courses must have approvals from all relevant departments.

[10] All departments requiring the course must be informed of the deletion.  For program/major/certificate deletions, so full process here.