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Section Four - Courses and Curricula Overview

Print Version of this Section

The processes discussed in this section lead to the publication of Policy Statements, Curriculum Certifications, the on-line Schedule of Classes and the University Catalog. These four documents authorize and govern all instructional programs. Announcements in the University Catalog are the responsibility of the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean for Graduate Studies.

Courses (new, revised, reactivated and deactivated) and minor revisions to existing program requirement changes are authorized by formal certifications.

New programs and major revisions to existing program requirement changes are authorized by and communicated by university policy statements.

The Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies will determine whether a title change to an existing program can be considered minor. If so, an approval memo will be distributed.

Changes to Existing Program Requirements

Changes to program requirements and regulations are submitted through two differing processes depending on the nature of the intended change.

When changes to the course requirements and course content of a program will substantially alter the authorized objectives of the program the change is considered major. When changes to the program regulations governing admissions, student progress, or other administrative processes will substantially change the quantity or quality of enrollees and graduates the change is also considered major.

When the proposed change will have no substantial effects on any of these elements, the proposal is considered minor, but the program may be asked to include in the change proposal an analysis of predicted effects. All change proposals are submitted using the curriculum form for program changes that may be viewed here.

The Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies will determine whether a change is major or minor and, accordingly, the appropriate review process. Some major changes may be approved by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies acting for the President while others may require authorization from the Office of the Chancellor or the President by Policy Statement. When review in faculty councils and the Academic Senate is necessary, the proposal will be directed to the Senate for appropriate council review and action by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies. Otherwise, for minor changes, the campus curriculum process will be used. The chair of a council of the Senate may request a proposal in that review process be directed to the council during the fifteen working day curriculum challenge period.

In certain situations published program requirements have been discontinued, or courses have been added to a group of acceptable courses or courses and requirements have been waived or replaced. A department may adjust the requirements, if the changes are eliminating and not adding requirements, by filling out and submitting to Enrollment Services the "Request for Substitution or Waiver of Prior Published Degree Requirements" form. Please note that this form is to correct current or past degree requirements only. Any changes to future catalogs must be submitted through the usual curriculum certification process. The form and cover memo (Attachment 4.3) may be found at: http://www.csulb.edu/divisions/af/cms/end_user/SA/forms/index.html.

Courses Used by Multiple Departments

When making changes to courses in your department that are used by other departments as requirements or electives, it is critical that you notify them of the proposed changes. The notification will allow them to make the appropriate adjustments in their own curriculum in a timely manner.

NOTE: Failure to inform other departments may lead to a delay in your course certifications.

Courses that are used by other departments (referred to as "Service Courses") may be viewed at: www.csulb.edu/divisions/aa/catalog/curr_handbook/curr_word_forms/index.html.

Changes to Courses

New Course - intended to convey subject matter not previously covered by an existing course or, if covered by an existing course, to be conveyed with a substantial difference in objective, course methodology, or perspective.

Course Change - a modification to one or more course features (elements) to achieve minor course (or curricular) objectives that will not alter enrollment patterns.

Reactivated Course - a course that has been dropped and is reinstated as an offering by the department. It goes through the usual curriculum process to become active again. If it was dropped over 3 years prior to the request for reinstatement, normally a new course is requested.

All instructional programs are to avoid "unnecessary duplication of courses." See University Policy Statement 80-11 (Attachment 4.4) that provides some specific guidance on these matters.

For every course offered in the university, a standard course outline, a sample syllabus, and bibliography should be on file in the department or college office and in the University Archives. This is a requirement for all General Education courses and all courses articulated with community colleges or other four-year institutions.

Inactive Courses

The policy of the CSU and of this campus is that a course not offered within a five-year period be declared inactive. Colleges are provided with reports indicating which courses will be considered inactive. There is a three-week period before formal certification for faculty to review and comment.

For reactivation of an inactive course:

Declared inactive fewer than three years ago:

Fill out a "Reactivate Course" curriculum form. Submit it to the college - no department or college curriculum committee review is needed. The college will forward the form to the Curriculum Office and it will be included in the upcoming certification cycle.

Declared inactive more than three but fewer than six years ago:

Fill out a "Reactivate Course" curriculum form. Submit it to the college for review by the college curriculum committee - no department curriculum committee review is needed. If approved by the college, they will forward the form to the Curriculum Office and it will be included in the upcoming certification cycle.

Declared inactive more than six years ago:

Fill out a "Reactivate Course" curriculum form. The course will be treated as a new course (a new course outline and syllabus will be required) when it is submitted for review by the department and college curriculum committees. If approved by the college, they will forward the form to the Curriculum Office and it will be included in the upcoming certification cycle.

Variable course topics (Type II) will automatically be terminated at the end of three years. There are no extensions.

Standard Course Outline - should contain (1) the catalog description of the course, (2) a statement of course objectives, particularly General Education course criteria, when applicable, and (3) an outline of the subject matter to be covered. For a sample standard course outline, see Attachment 4.5. The outline may be thematic and/or sequential. A standard course outline for lower-division courses are required by the Curriculum Office if the change to the course changes the community college articulation agreement in any way or if an articulation agreement is being initiated.

Course Outline - should contain any instructional requirements of all faculty teaching the course, including policies regarding textbooks, testing systems, grading systems, integration of laboratory or other non-lecture/discussion components of the course, and other "administrative" aspects of the course, such as repeatability, etc.

Course Syllabus - is the individual faculty member's "plan of action" for a particular offering of the course. A faculty member may have different syllabi for different sections of the same course taught at the same time. For the specific information that is needed, see Policy Statement 11-07 (Attachment 4.6).

Course Bibliography - to be contained within two pages, should contain information about the textbooks frequently used in the course as well as a listing of the works in the field with which students should become familiar. The bibliography should not attempt to be comprehensive; rather, it should be of maximum utility to students and faculty reviewing the course. Bibliographies for courses for which General Education approval is sought or maintained should contain lists of the works actually used in the course.

Instructional Hour

Various matters concerning the conduct of courses are detailed in the Faculty Handbook and in the University Catalog. The "instructional hour" is 50 minutes in duration, the "instructional hour and a half" is 75 minutes in duration. In all cases, faculty members must provide adequate "passing time" between classes.

Hybrid Classes and Distance Education Classes

Some classes use academic technology to replace part or all of the face-to-face class meetings. In a hybrid class, one-third to two-thirds of the student/faculty and student/student contact time uses academic technology to structure remote activities. The remaining communication is face-to-face, similar to traditional classes. A Local Online Class (LOC) is a course offering in which the majority of the instruction occurs when the student and instructor are not in the same place, but it may require up to two hours of face-to-face meetings per unit on the California State University, Long Beach campus within the given semester. A Distance Education Class is a course offering in which communication between faculty and student occurs primarily via academic technology, but it may also include off-site meetings. The mode of instruction is normally shown in the Schedule of Classes. For more detailed information, see Policy Statement 03-11 (Attachment 4.8).

 

Section 4: Courses and Curricula
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