Policy Number: D1.0

Policy Name: POLICIES FOR CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

  1. INITIATING PROPOSALS

    1. An idea or suggestion for curriculum or course modification, or for new courses or programs, can be originated by anyone, be it student, faculty member, staff member, administrator or advisor.

    2. The idea or suggestion will normally be brought to the attention of a departmental chair (or the chair of the graduate committee of the respective department, school or college). If no clear connection to an established administrative unit exists, suggestions may be made to a dean or to the provost.

    3. The departmental chair will normally set up an exploring committee to study the merit of the suggestion and work out a detailed proposal which is forwarded to the departmental curriculum committee and from there to the faculty of the department for approval and recommendation to the department chair.

    Note: In case the dean or provost has initiated the exploring committee, the proposal will be forwarded directly to the college curriculum committee or to the Intercollege Curriculum Committee (ICC). For graduate programs, substitute the Graduate Council for the ICC. Elsewhere in this policy reference to the ICC should be taken to mean the Graduate Council in the case of graduate courses or programs.

  2. DEPARTMENT HEAD AND COLLEGE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE

    1. The department head is the final approval agency if the proposal is for a modification of existing courses only and its initiation will not concern other departments. Only the dean needs to be notified.

    2. The department head will forward approved proposals to the college curriculum committee and to the dean if one or more of the following cases exist:

      1. the proposal’s initiation affects other departments;
      2. new, presently not existing courses are to be introduced;
      3. present courses are to be eliminated;
      4. new programs are to be introduced.

    3. The college curriculum committee will notify the dean and the initiating department head of its recommendation.

  3. DEAN AND INTERCOLLEGE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE

The dean will initiate further action as required below, after receiving a recommendation from the department head, the College Curriculum Committee, and the college faculty.

    1. In case of notification by the department head of a modification of an existing course, this information will be passed on to the Office of the Registrar for the course file and, if necessary, followed up internally, e.g., catalog, and externally, e.g., the State Education Department.

    2. If the initiation of the proposal is not for a new program, does not concern any other college and does not substantially change the requirements of an existing program, the dean’s recommendation will be attached and forwarded to the provost for approval and further action. The dean’s recommendation is to be accompanied by supporting documentation concerning the need for and the budgetary requirements of the proposal.

    3. If the initiation of the proposal is for a new program, if it substantially changes the stated requirements of an existing program, or if other colleges are directly affected, the dean will forward both recommendations to the Intercollege Curriculum Committee as well as to the provost for their consideration. The dean’s recommendation shall in all cases be accompanied by supporting documentation concerning:

      1. The need for the proposed curriculum;
      2. Supporting statements from the deans and curriculum committees of any other college which would be involved in the proposal’s implementation;
      3. Budgetary implications of the proposal;
      4. Implications of the proposal for any support services not covered in the above (library, Space Committee, academic services and computing)
      5. Other information as currently specified by the provost.

    4. In cases of graduate courses or graduate programs, the Graduate Council is substituted for the ICC. In cases of proposals that concern both undergraduate and graduate programs, the ICC and the Graduate Council will meet jointly to consider the proposal.

      1. All major changes in the nature or thrust of an existing curriculum in already registered programs require ICC or Graduate Council approval.
      2. Curricular changes of over 20% of existing courses (or credit hours) in already registered programs also require ICC or Graduate Council approval.
      3. The above changes in already registered programs, if approved by the ICC or Graduate Council, the Academic Senate, and the provost, must be sent to the State Education Department for review and approval as required.

    5. The ICC will notify the provost and the initiating dean of its recommendation.

      
  1. PROVOST, ACADEMIC SENATE, BOARD OF TRUSTEES

The provost will initiate action after receiving a curriculum-related proposal from a dean and the ICC or the Graduate Council.

  1. In all cases - except as noted in B. below - the provost, after consultation with the president, will be the final approval agency for curriculum matters.

  2. If the proposal is for the addition of a new program of study or a major revision of an existing program of study, the provost shall submit it together with a recommendation to the Academic Senate for deliberation and appropriate action. If the matter receives approval of the Academic Senate and the president, it shall be referred to appropriate agencies of the board of trustees for final action.

  3. The provost shall inform the initiating dean or other agency as well as the appropriate committees and university bodies (admissions, registrar, scheduling, placement, etc.) of the ultimate disposition of curriculum matters.
  1. STUDENT LOAD AND CREDIT HOURS

    1. The normal student load is 15-16 semester credit hours.  As a general rule, the maximum student load should not exceed 18 semester credit hours in any one term with a maximum of 24 clock hours in class and laboratory. In those curricula with predominant laboratory and studio loads, the maximum scheduled clock hour load shall not exceed 30.  Honor students may enroll in up to 25 semester credit hours in a term.  Permission for any student to enroll in additional semester credit hours can be granted at the discretion of the head of the academic unit in which the student is enrolled.

    2. The maximum number of semester credit hours in any baccalaureate curriculum shall not exceed 128 unless approved by the provost.

  2. ORGANIZATION OF THE INTERCOLLEGE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE

    1. The Intercollege Curriculum Committee shall be composed of:

      1. the provost or designee
      2. a representative from among the academic deans
      3. a representative elected at large by the Academic Senate
      4. a representative from Student Government
      5. a representative from each college of the university

      Representatives of the colleges shall be elected by the faculty of each college (any full-time member of the college who has held faculty rank for three years shall be eligible for election). Each such elected representative shall be a voting member of the curriculum committee or committees of that college. Terms of these representatives shall be for three years, with the terms staggered so that approximately one-third shall expire each year.

    2. Functions of the ICC shall be:

      1. To study from an university-wide perspective undergraduate curricular proposals from constituent elements of the university;
      2. To assure maintenance of appropriate intercollege relationships with regard to curriculum matters;
      3. To assure that existing undergraduate curricula are periodically reviewed.

    3. More specifically, the ICC is responsible for studying each proposal submitted to it, considering

      1. The academic soundness of the proposal with respect to general educational standards of the university and New York State degree requirements. In this connection the committee will also consider standards of accrediting agencies when appropriate.
      2. Budgetary implications of the proposal with respect to its impact on the resources (faculty, staff, space, library, etc.) of the university.

    In addition, in the case of all proposals for new undergraduate certificate, diploma and degree programs, the committee will include in its study the following:

    1. In cases where it is determined that the program represents a departure from current goals and objectives of the university, the committee will refer the proposal to the executive committee of the Academic Senate for subsequent review. If it is decided that such a departure is or may be desirable, the proposal will be returned to ICC for consideration in the light of other factors it normally studies.
    2. The relation of the proposed program to the current long-range plan of the university and the college or college involved. In this connection the committee expects to be provided with positive references to previous master plan progress reports, annual reports, or appropriate portions of budget narratives.

    ICC will establish and circulate to all academic units of the university the procedures to be followed for submission of proposals to be reviewed in the following academic year.

  3. ORGANIZATION OF THE GENERAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE

    1. The General Education Committee (GEC) shall be composed of:

      1. the provost or designee, ex-officio, voting.
      2. a representative from among the academic deans.
      3. a representative elected at large by the Academic Senate
      4. a faculty representative from each college of the university
      5. the director of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment, ex-officio, non-voting.

    Representatives of the colleges shall be elected by the faculty of each college (any full-time member of the college who has held faculty rank for three years shall be eligible for election). Each such elected representative shall be a liaison to the undergraduate curriculum committee of that college. Terms of these representatives shall be for three years, with the terms staggered so that approximately one-third of the terms shall expire each year.

    1. Functions of the GEC shall be:

      1. To assure the general education curriculum is established, monitored, reviewed, and assessed on an on-going basis taking into consideration:

        1. The academic soundness of the curriculum with respect to general educational standards and learning outcomes of the university and the State of New York degree requirements. In this connection the committee will also consider standards of accrediting agencies when appropriate.
        2. The implications of the curriculum with respect to its impact on the resources (faculty, staff, space, library, etc.) of the university.
        3. The relation of the general education curriculum to the current strategic plan of the university and colleges.
        4. The ongoing advice of the college undergraduate curriculum committees.

      2. To be actively responsible to:

        1. Support and ensure the implementation of the approved General Education Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Plan.
        2. Review and disseminate the findings and recommendations from the annual general education student learning outcomes assessment process to faculty and other appropriate constituent groups.
        3. Review and revise the General Education Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Plan and the General Education curriculum as needed.

      1. To review proposals for modification to the General Education Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Plan and the General Education Curriculum as proposed by the college undergraduate curriculum committees.

      2. To determine what undergraduate courses at RIT qualify for general education credit.

      3. To work with the offices of the provost and the registrar to maintain the official catalog of RIT's general education curriculum and a list of all courses approved by RIT for general education credit. The general education curriculum catalog and list of approved general education courses shall be available both online and through the registration system for reference by students, academic advisors, and other RIT units. The General Education Committee shall also maintain an archive of all courses that have at any time been included in the general education curriculum.

      4. To disseminate to all academic units of the university the General Education Curriculum and procedures to be followed with respect to its documentation and assessment.

    1. Criteria and Guidelines for General Education Course Proposal Review

      1. The GEC will review and evaluate all new proposals for courses that are to be considered appropriate for general education credit. Courses will be evaluated using the criteria set forth by the State of New York Liberal Arts and Sciences Guidelines (http://www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue/lrp/liberalarts.htm) and the RIT Student General Education Student Learning Outcomes (http://www.rit.edu/outcomes/).

      2. Review process: A college wishing to have a course considered for general education credit shall have the curriculum committee of that college submit its request to the General Education Committee with the following documentation:

        1. A cover memo affirming that the proposal has been reviewed by all appropriate college curriculum committees and written documentation of the process. This will be completed in an effort to avoid redundancy and conflict.
        2. An outline for the course being reviewed in the ICC New/Revised Course Outline format.
        3. A brief narrative justifying how the course being considered for general education approval is satisfying the above outlined criteria.

      3. GEC will review the proposed course and forward their recommendation to the provost for the final decision. The provost will have the final approval of all requests.

      4. The GEC will inform the ICC of their recommendations and the RIT community of the final decision regarding the course proposal.

  4. ORGANIZATION OF THE GRADUATE COUNCIL

    1. Purpose

    The primary function of Graduate Council, along with the academic deans, shall be to promote the development and maintenance of high quality educational programs at the graduate level at RIT and to see that the policies and procedures of the university are carried out effectively.

    1. Policies

    Graduate work at the university shall be governed by the Graduate Council of the Academic Senate. It shall make proposals to the Academic Senate for graduate curriculum approval or discontinuance.

    The Graduate Council shall study graduate curricular proposals from a university-wide perspective, maintain appropriate intercollege relationships with regards to curriculum, define the essential character of graduate study at the university, and continuously review and coordinate existing graduate programs.

    1. Procedures

    The Graduate Council shall consist of the following representatives: one from each college of the university, each to be elected by his or her collegial faculty, the three members at large elected by the Academic Senate, the dean of Graduate Studies (ex-officio, voting): the provost or his or her delegate (ex officio, voting); and a graduate senator from Student Government serving as a graduate student representative. Each college representative shall be a voting member of the curriculum committee or committees of that college. Terms of representatives excluding the graduate student representative shall be for three years, with the terms staggered so that approximately one-third shall expire each year. The graduate student representative shall serve for a term of no longer than one year.

    The Graduate Council shall be presided over by a chairperson elected by the assembly of Graduate Council representatives with a term of no more than two years, normally. The chairperson will be elected from one of the faculty representatives of the Graduate Council assembly. The chairperson of the Graduate Council shall have the authority to call and chair regular and special meetings and oversee the Graduate Council functions.

 

Responsible Office: Academic Senate. Inquiries may be directed to:

Staff Assistant
Office of the Academic Senate
2106 Eastman Hall
asenate@rit.edu
(585)475-2016

Effective Date: Approved December 1953

Policy History:
Edited July 2001
Revised April 5, 2007
Revised December 17, 2009
Revised January 7, 2010
August 2010

Edited for calendar conversion May 2, 2013