Department Chairs: Courses and Scheduling

Courses and Scheduling

How do we change the departmental curriculum? It is common — particularly as new faculty are hired — to change course descriptions, and, in some cases, change requirements for the major. If you are planning to make changes which affect catalog copy, the changes will need to be approved by the Academic Policies Committee.

  • Submit the Form to Propose New Courses to Departmental Offerings, which lays out the information APC needs.
  • If you're editing the description of an existing course, start with the current catalog copy. Use strikethrough to indicate language being removed, and bold the text to be added.
  • Allow time for consideration by APC as well as approval by the faculty.
Scheduling courses requires the cooperation of department chairs and the Registrar's Office.  It also requires coordination with departments whose students take your classes. If you offer courses which are key for other department's curricula, be sure to communicate if you're making a significant change.
  • You will receive a Google spreadsheet with this year's schedule template, and last year's schedule as a starting point for scheduling the upcoming year's courses.
  • If you need to schedule individual faculty for anything other than a course load of three courses, be sure to clear it with the Provost's Office. Plan ahead for sabbatical replacements and other adjunct hiring needs. Requests need to be made prior to the development of the academic year's budget.
  • Requested times should follow the rules approved by the faculty. Not all of our classes can take place between 9 AM and 1 PM.
  • Be aware that courses need to enroll a minimum of seven students for lower division courses, and 4 for upper division courses. Consider offering low enrollment classes in alternate years or altering prerequisites to allow in more students.
  • Departments need to contribute 1-2 First Year Seminar sections each year — please keep this in mind with your scheduling, and please list who will be teaching that on the schedule.
  • Where there was a question of "First Year Appropriate" (can FY students take this course), there is an additional question, "Should seats be saved in this course for first-year registration?"  Please complete both answers appropriately.
  • Please complete each column of the template with current catalog information to ensure the most accurate schedule build.

Turning in book requests to the bookstore in a timely fashion is important so

  • they have time to round up the least expensive copies of used books
  • we comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, which asks colleges to provide the list of assigned textbooks for each course (including ISBNs and prices) prior to registration. Follets does this for us — as long as we get book requests in on time. Even if you are contacting students directly, you need to let the bookstore know so that the books are listed on the bookstore's website.

Syllabi

  • Remind departmental faculty to include appropriate notices on their syllabi — a template is available here; the Syllabus Template Guidelines document gives additional helpful syllabus writing information.
  • The Provost's office will request copies of syllabi for each class early in each semester. These are collected and archived for review by the Higher Learning Commission.