Curricular Changes in the College of Letters & Science
Curricular changes happen on a broad continuum, from "course-level" to "program" and "degree" level. This document links users to policy, procedure, and advice about those changes.
Contact Information: Kimbrin Cornelus (Curricular Administrative Specialist) and/or Elaine M. Klein (Associate Dean for Academic Planning) and/or Divisional Academic Associate Dean.
Depending on the scale of change, a range of institutional bodies may be involved in proposals to change the curriculum. All changes start with the faculty. All changes use either Lumen Courses, Programs, or Structures and flow through college-level committees for approval prior to moving on to campus-level committees; in some cases, proposals require additional steps beyond the boundaries of the college or university.
These governance processes provide appropriate oversight and have long been considered essential to ensuring alignment among programmatic and institutional mission, while also supporting the quality and purpose of the university. The links below are provided to help departments and program determine what type of proposal may be needed, and where to send them.
- Often, the need for change arises from two key academic processes: Academic Program Review, and/or systematic assessment of student learning at the program level. See L&S Academic Program Review - An Overview and [Link for document 25284 is unavailable at this time] for more information about these processes. In addition, implementation of various policies governing obsolete courses or low-enrollment programs may provoke change.
- L&S: Governance review of course proposals : By far the most frequent type of curricular change is found in the renovation of courses and requests to add, change, or retire courses in the department or program course array. This document provides an overview, with links to the online course proposal system and to L&S Curriculum Committee policy and procedure concerning courses that meet L&S criteria for "Liberal Arts and Science" courses.
- Propose changes to L&S program requirements (Major, Named Option, Certificate, Graduate Minor) : The next most common type of curricular change arises when departments and programs revise requirements for an existing academic program. This document provides links to college-level procedures for seeking permission to change curriculum for existing academic programs. The L&S Curriculum Committee reviews and approves substantive changes to programs before they can be published in the Undergraduate Catalog or implemented in the Degree Audit System. The L&S CC also works with the Graduate School to review substantive changes to Graduate programs.
- L&S Procedure: Suspending, Restructuring, or Discontinuing Majors/Programs : Though much less frequent, another type of curricular change that occurs at the level of the major or program concerns substantial restructuring or discontinuing academic majors or programs. As noted in this document, it is important for the faculty to consult the Academic Associate Dean early and often if it appears that a program must be closed.
- L&S Academic Planning: New Majors, Certificates, and Formally Transcripted Options : This document provides links to campus policy and procedures for changing the curriculum by proposing new academic programs. There are generally formal requirements for proposals, and a well-defined pathway for approval for creating any program that will appear on students' transcripts.
- Changing the Name of L&S Academic Programs, Majors, Named Options, Departments, and Centers : From time to time, departments and programs will realize that the name of their academic programs, departments, or subject listings need to be updated, to better reflect the mission and purpose of the unit or the academic programs it hosts. Often related to unit restructuring or redesign, these changes require different types of proposals, that follow different approval routes.
- L&S APC Policy on Creating, Restructuring, or Discontinuing Departments, Programs, and Department-like Units : The most substantial curricular changes are associated with creating, restructuring, and closing departments, programs, and department-like units. These changes will often involve all of the processes noted above, as for example, when two programs merge into a single department. For example, the newly combined faculty may prefer to create a single degree program with multiple options, or that they should retire their old subject listings and create a new listing to contain a updated/revised courses. Such changes are very complex and often require years of planning to implement. Please consult your associate dean and the assistant dean for academic planning as early in this process as possible.
- Departments and programs should be mindful that changes may have a budgetary impact; colleagues in the L&S Budget Office will be engaged in discussions about restructuring and reallocation of resources.