The course approval process is as follows...


(A course is usually conceived, reviewed and approved by the department, and offered on an "experimental basis" first, before application for "final" approval to go into the College catalog.  See #11 below for guidelines on offering an "experimental course".)

A course may be added to the College catalog once the following steps have been completed:

1)     The course proposal has been presented to the department or program awarding credit (or sponsoring the offering of the course).   This presentation should address the issues listed below in the section titled--New Course Proposal Form and Issues to Address .

2)    The department or program has considered the proposal at a meeting of its faculty and the course has receivedapproval at that level.

3)     The proposed course, as approved by the department or program, has been circulated among the chairs andprogram directors of the appropriate school, who have provided feedback to the department or program. (Thisstep does not require that approval be given, merely that information be circulated.)

4)     The proposal has (subsequent to circulation within the school) received approval from the Dean of that school.

5)     Simultaneously with steps 3 & 4, a library review has been completed.

6)     The New Course Proposal Form has been submitted to the UEPC.

7)       A brief note of support has been submitted to the UEPC by the Chair of the Department hosting the coursestating that the faculty in the department are aware of and support the new course.  A brief note of support has  also been submitted by the dean of the appropriate school.

8)     The UEPC has considered the proposal at one of its meetings.

9)     The course has been reviewed positively* by the UEPC whose Chair has communicated approval to the Academic Vice Provost in time for the course to be included in the new printing of the catalog.

(The recommended timeline for this approval process, to meet the publication deadline of the catalog is as follows: a) circulation to the appropriate school and approval of its Dean by Dec. l; b) submission to the UEPC by Jan. l; c) submission by the Chair of UEPC to the Registrar and the Academic Vice Provost by March 1.)

*If a course does not receive a positive review by the UEPC, the Chair will consult with the proposer to identify and address any concerns.

In the case of programs that have advisory or governing boards (such # as Collegiate Seminar, Integral, Liberal and Civic Studies, Women's and Gender Studies), this board will be considered "the department or program" for the purposes of applying the procedures above. Individual faculty should consult the Chair of the UEPC if there is a need to identify an appropriate "department or program" for these procedures.



1. List School, Department, course number and course title

[Upper division courses, for purposes of approval, are characterized by at least two of the following guidelines:

  1. have college-level prerequisites;
  2. require an in-depth study of a subject rather than a survey or introduction, and presume the necessary introductory work has been completed;
  3. demand rigorous reading/writing/discussion skills as well as an intellectual readiness and personal maturity in handling complex issues that are characteristic of advanced students;
  4. include course objectives that entail high levels of cognitive, affective, or psychomotor achievement.]


2. Justification for the course

In this section explain why the course is being proposed. Grounds may include but are not limited to: new developments in the discipline, the needs of majors/minors, the needs of other departments, the needs of students fulfilling other College requirements (such as area requirements, etc.).

In addition, please address the following specifics:

  1. Objectives of the course: Indicate expected student outcomes, for example, competence in using methodologies specific to this I field, assessing data/statistics, survey of literature, in-depth research, etc.
  2. Describe how the objectives listed above relate to Department, School, or College goals.
  3. Describe the kinds of assignments/tasks that will be typical of those used to evaluate the performance of students in the course. Will the pass/fail grading option be allowed?

3. Student Population

Identify who the anticipated students will be: department majors? majors from other departments? students fulfilling other requirements? Also give an estimate of how many students will be taking the course when offered.

4. Relationship to present College curriculum

Indicate where this course fits in relationship to other courses in the department. Identify any needed modification to (or deletion of) existing courses as a result of offering this course. List courses in other departments related to or affected by this course, particularly the potential impact (either positive or negative) of this course on other departments and programs.

5. Any extraordinary implementation costs

Indicate whether there will be any special or additional equipment necessary to run the course? special classroom or other physical space requirements?

6. Library Resources

Prior to submission of the proposal to the UEPC, a library review must be conducted. Meet with the appropriate librarian subject selector who will conduct and fill out the Library Resources Review (guidelines available from the Library), and then submit it to the UEPC. Consider the possible requirements of student assignments in the course, reference needs, reserve readings, or other resources (specialized books, videos, newspapers, web sites, online indexes, electronic databases, etc.) you would envision as necessary to support the course. Determine what is currently available and what timeline (and budget source) would be necessary for acquiring the most important new materials recommended.

*7. Course credit and grading options

Indicate the value of the course in SMC course credits (1, .5, .25) , the total number of hours that the student will spend in the classroom during the semester, the projected out-of-class time per week (average), and the format of the course (lecture/discussion, lab, studio, etc.)

*Special Guidelines for .25/ .5 Course Proposals

(.25 or .5 courses, for purposes of approval, are divided into two categories: "academic" and "activity." Individuals or departments submitting courses for UEPC approval should designate in section 7 under which set of guidelines the course should be approved.)


I) .25 or .5 courses designated as "academic" focus on a specific body of knowledge/method of study and have a specific connection to the College's curriculum in an academic department or program. They must meet the following criteria to receive approval:

  1. The course must be taught by a faculty member (appointed to an academic department or program of the College)
  2. The course must require that work--such as in-class discussion of assigned readings, written work based on assignments, oral presentations in class or other "performance-based" projects--be submitted for evaluation.
  3. The course must require a minimum of 2.5 hours/week (for .25 credit) or 5.0 hours/week (for .5 credit) of combined classroom time and out-of-class assignment time. A maximum time commitment must be specified if it exceeds these norms.


II) .25 or .5 courses designated as "activity" focus on experiential learning/methodologies and may be sponsored by any established College office or program. They must meet the following criteria to receive approval:

  1. The course must be taught by a College-appointed faculty or staff person.
  2. The course requires only regular attendance and minimal if any outside of class work.
  3. The course meets once or twice a week for a total of 1-2 hours/week (13-26 hours for the semester) for .25 credit and 2-3 hours/week (26-39 hours for the semester) for .5 credit. A maximum time-commitment must also be specified if it will substantially exceed the guidelines indicated.
  4. In the rationale for the course, section 2, the nature of the activity proposed, and the benefit to SMC students should be explained. In section 7, either a syllabus or a week-by- week list of topics and assignments may be submitted.


8. Prerequisites, corequisites (If applicable)

9. Course description wording for the appropriate College catalog

Please submit the actual catalog wording, not an approximation.

10. Course content

A syllabus, with tentative reading list, topics to be covered, and major assignments, will normally be expected. In addition, in courses where activities predominate, describe the role of such activities in the design and purpose of the course.

11. Review of experimental offering

Address what was learned and if any changes grew out of the experimental offering of the course. (A course should be offered on an experimental basis before it is presented for formal approval and inclusion in the catalogue.)

The Chair of the UEPC has the authority to approve a first-time, "experimental offering" of a course. Faculty wishing to offer such a course should follow the following guidelines.


Guidelines for Submitting a Proposal for an Experimental Course

A course may be offered on an "experimental" basis once the following steps have been taken:

a) The course proposal has been presented to the department or program awarding credit. That proposal should include:


--Title of course

--Number and type of contact hours per week

--Duration of the course in weeks

--Amount of course credit

--Brief course description and tentative syllabus or reading list

--Brief course rationale (relation to current department curriculum)

--Prerequisites (if any)

--Number and type of students expected (majors? minors? fulfilling area     requirement? general interest?)

b) The department or program approves the offering of the course.

c) The department chair confers with the Dean of the School regarding staffing and scheduling issues.

d) The department chair forwards a written proposal (following these guidelines and including reference to the consultation with the Dean) to the Chair of the Undergraduate Educational Policies Committee, who reviews it, consults with the UEPC members if necessary, and if approved returns the proposal to the chair, forwarding a copy to the Registrar and the Dean of Academic Services informing them that the course may be offered ONCE.

[In rare cases, and only after petitioning for approval from the UEPC, an experimental course may be offered a second time. Extensive revision of the course as originally offered, for example, might be a reason for a second "experimental" offering.]

e) If a proposal is denied, the Chair of the UEPC will meet with the proposer to discuss appropriate revisions.

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