Curriculum Process Frequently Asked Questions

The following information is intended as a supplement to the official Curriculum Procedure Handbook available at . The handbook includes downloadable forms for every purpose and detailed instructions for completing them, along with related policies.

Q: What kinds of actions must be addressed by the curriculum committee?
A: In general, any action that will result in a change to the academic programs or courses presented in the Undergraduate Catalog or the Graduate Catalog such as addition or deletion of courses or credits, new or revised titles of courses or programs, new or revised majors, minors, or concentrations, renaming or renumbering courses, or changes of course prerequisites or course descriptions must be taken in accordance with curricular procedures.

Q: What form(s) do I need to complete for this intended purpose?
A: The choice of forms is based on the kind of action being proposed. Actions can be major or minor and can affect big or small parts of the catalog. In general, the bigger the change and the bigger the part of the catalog affected, the more elaborate the form and the more involved the procedure. Ranked roughly from biggest to smallest action, the available forms are as follows:

Form 1: New degree, major, or submajor (planning a new degree program requires prior approval from UW System)

Form 2: Change in degree, major, or submajor (including changes in the listing of its components, such as additions or deletions of courses or changes to the numbering of included courses)

Form 3: New course (this refers to new courses that will be listed as such in the catalog, and not newly designed, limited-run instances of workshop or other special courses)

Form 4: Change in or deletion of existing course (includes changes such as number of credits, course description, requisites, and repeatability for credit)

Form 5: Course description (to be used ONLY when a change to the course description is the ONLY change being proposed; otherwise use form 4 to propose changes in course description)

Form 6: Other curricular action (actions not covered in 1-5 above and not in 7 or 8 either, for example, changes in licensure requirements, additions to general education offerings, changes in number of credits required for graduation)

Form 7: Special Courses (This means workshops, special studies, seminars, and travel studies, which have topics that vary)

Form 8: Administrative Action (This is a relatively new form intended for actions that aren't purely curricular, but may affect the offering of courses, such as restructuring or renaming of departments, changes in admission or graduation requirements, or changes in mechanisms such as GPA criteria to regulate enrollment in programs, as opposed to GPA requirements that are intended purely to ensure a level of student competence)

Form 9: Continuation of inactive course (Keeps courses that haven't been offered for four years from being deleted from the catalog automatically. The Provost will regularly alert departments when this is about to happen so that they can decide whether to take action.)

Q: If I complete a form for a new course, Form 4, do I also need Form 2 (change in program)?
A: If a change in a course will make a difference in how a major, minor, or submajor is listed in the catalog, then yes, a change 2 must be submitted.

  • Departmental faculty decide to delete an old course and replace it with a new one. Any major or minor that previously required the old course must now be changed and the corresponding proposal submitted.
  • A course that is listed as a choice to fulfill a requirement in a major is deleted. A proposal must be submitted to change the major as well as delete the course.
  • A required course is changed from two to three credits. The program must be changed to show the new total.

However, changes to individual courses that do not affect the listing of programs of which they're a part do not require the Form 2. Examples:

  • Course description changes
  • Requisite changes
  • Title changes

Q: What happens if required documentation, as specified on the form, is not submitted with my proposal?
A: The Curriculum Committee chairperson can advise the department of the appropriate form when asked to include a proposal on the agenda. If a proposal is placed on the agenda without the proper documentation, the Committee can return the proposal to the sponsor for revisions without taking action.

Q: Who is responsible for obtaining signatures on the signature page related to my proposal?
A: Each department establishes its own procedures. Usually, a department curriculum committee takes responsibility for guiding proposals to the point where they receive the College of Education Associate Dean's signature. This includes obtaining signatures indicating that consultation has taken place with other departments when required.

Q: How does the signature page catch up with proposals that are required to be submitted electronically?
A: Signature pages go from the department to the office of the Associate Dean, who forwards them to the Provost.

Q: What happens if changes are recommended to my proposal?
A: The committee can either approve a proposal with revisions or can reject a proposal until revisions are made. "Approved pending revisions" usually implies that changes are purely editorial, such as putting the proposal on the proper form or listing proposed changes more completely. If the committee recommends changes without taking action or when rejecting a proposal, the proposal sponsor may, with departmental approval, resubmit the proposal.

Q: Who maintains the updated proposal form if it changes, and who forwards it to the next level?
A: Individual proposal sponsors are responsible for making changes, with departmental approval, and sending the revised proposal back to the Associate Dean.

Q: What happens if my proposal is rejected by the College Curriculum Committee?
A: Unless the College Curriculum Committee approves a proposal, no change is made in the catalog. It is up to proposal sponsors and their departments to decide whether to revise and resubmit proposals.

Q: May/should I be present at committee meetings where my proposal is considered?
A: It is strongly recommended that proposal sponsors or departmental representatives be present to answer questions about their proposals, especially if the proposal is for a major or complicated change. If a proposal is approved by the College Curriculum Committee, it can be helpful for the sponsor or a representative to attend the meeting of the University Curriculum Committee at which the proposal is discussed, too.

Q: May I attend other meetings of the CCC?
A: College Curriculum Committee meetings are open to all members of the college.

Guidelines for Web-Based Courses

Q: How many contact hours in a three-credit class?
A: 48, except for online and hybrid courses (see for details on contact hours for these kinds of courses).

Q: When proposing a change, how much detail needs to be shown on the form in the "from" and "to" sections?
A: The course or program listing should include enough context to give the committee members an idea of the nature of the change. For program changes, this usually means listing the entire major or minor as it appears on the students' AR's. It is recommended to use boldface , strikethrough , or other formatting effects to make the changes clear.

Q: Where does a proposal go when it is first passed by a department?
A: To the College of Education Curriculum Committee chairperson, who will screen the proposal for appropriateness and mechanics and determine whether the proposal should be sent to the Teacher Education Committee for action before being received and recorded by the COECC.

Q: When, and with whom, should consultation take place?
A: Whenever another department's programs are affected by a proposed change (for example, when a course in another department's program is being renumbered or deleted, the department should be consulted).

Q: What does a signature on a consultation form mean?
A: A department's authorized signature on the consultation form does not indicate that they approve the proposal, but only that they've been consulted.

Drafted 4/05
Revised 4/26/05
Reviewed 12/10