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FACULTY CONSTITUTION APPENDIX 2-3

CURRICULUM COMMITTEE: POLICIES, PRACTICES, AND PROCEDURES

Last Updated: 7/26/11

I. Proposal Review Process

A proposal may be a request for approval of a new course, a significant change in a course, new requirements for a major/minor, a request for a new academic major, minor or academic program, or the elimination of major, minor or academic program. Further details and requirements in regards to different types of proposals are described in the following sections.
  1. When the Curriculum Committee receives a proposal, the chair:
    • Assigns a reference number based upon date of receipt
    • Places the proposal on the agenda for a future CC meeting
    • Assigns the proposal to a member(s) of the committee to be the reviewer
    • Establishes a tentative date for the CC reviewer to report on the proposal to the full CC
    • Reminds all members to review the proposal ASAP and forward any questions or comments to the CC reviewer
  2. The Curriculum Committee members:
    • Examine the impact of the proposal on the curriculum of the proposing department, other departments and programs, the general education curriculum and mission of the college as a whole
    • All CC members are responsible for investigating the merits of the proposal; however, the CC member assigned as reviewer should discuss any questions or concerns the CC has with the faculty member or department members submitting the proposal. The CC reviewer will report back to the Curriculum Committee and the CC will discuss the proposal and vote.

II. Course Proposals

  1. New courses proposed for college catalog. (see online information)
  2. Experimental courses. (allowing rapid deployment of new, innovative courses). (see online information)
  3. Special Topics courses. Special Topics courses are those for which the specific subject and title in the semester course listing may change between offerings. For example, the hypothetical course SOCI 345 “Current Topics in Sociology” may be listed one semester as SOCI 345 “Social Dynamics of Middle Eastern Nations”, SOCI 345 “Changing Social Structure of Cuba” the next time it is offered, etc. The description of these courses in the college catalog should include the phrase “…Topics in…” in the title and the sentence “Topics may vary with each offering.” in the course description. Only if the current offering of the course would count toward General Education requirements does it require Curriculum Committee approval; otherwise the current name and description can be sent directly to the Registrar for inclusion in the course listing.
  4. Leadership Courses. Proposals for new or substantial changes to leadership courses (LEAD or D-designated) must first be approved by the McDonough Faculty Advisory Committee before the proposals are sent to the Curriculum Committee.
  5. Graduate Courses. (see online information)
  6. Honors Program Courses. Proposals for new or substantial changes to honors courses must first be approved by the director of the college honors program before being submitted to the Curriculum Committee.
  7. First Year Seminar Courses. Unless there is a substantial change to the overall structure or format of first year seminar courses, all FYSE 101 and FYSE 102 lab courses are approved by the director of the first year program.
  8. Cross-Listing of Courses. It is the policy of the CC to approve appropriate courses for cross-listing as a means of encouraging interdisciplinary activity and thereby enriching the curriculum. The content of a cross-listed course should represent the scholarship of both disciplines and may be taught by faculty from either department. Obviously, approval by the departments involved is necessary for cross-listing of a course.

III. Proposals for majors, minors, and other academic programs

Where there is no specific form for eliminating or adding majors, minors and other programs, the proposals should include:

  1. An overview and explanation of the proposal
  2. Course proposal forms, as required
  3. New or modified degree audit sheets. Note: Any pre- or co-requisites for courses required in the program must also be included in the major/minor/certificate program requirements.
  4. Suggested outline or timetable of how students would complete the requirements
  5. A brief assessment plan for new majors and new minors, if the minor is not a subset of a major. This plan may include items such as vision, mission, learning outcomes, and assessment methods.
  6. If the proposal is to eliminate a major, minor, or program, include a plan for allowing students currently enrolled in the program to finish.
  7. Signatures of the Chairs of all pertinent departments or programs
  8. Send 1 paper copy and 1 electronic copy of the proposal to the Records Office.

When preparing the explanation for the proposal, address the following issues:

  1. Expected enrollments
  2. Anticipated impacts on other programs at the college
  3. Impact of staffing of course (including general education courses)
  4. Adequacy of library holdings and other campus resources (e.g., labs, information technology)
  5. How the major, minor or program fits with the mission of the department and with the mission of the college
  6. Limitations on hours in the program:
    • Majors: 35-60 credit hours
    • Minors: 18-24 credit hours
    • Certificates: a minimum of 12 credit hours
    • Exceptions may be considered upon submission of supporting rationale.

IV. Miscellaneous

  1. Minutes
  2. Minutes of each preceding meeting should be circulated by the recorder to all committee members before the next meeting at which time the committee votes on approval. The approved minutes are circulated byu the chair to:

    • The academic dean
    • The Director of the Library for inclusion in the library reference file
    • The college community via posting to the curriculum committee web page
  3. Changes to Catalog Course Descriptions
  4. The chair of the CC can approve all changes to course descriptions. However, if the chair of CC believes the proposed wording alters or impacts the goals of objectives of the course, then the proposed wording changes should come to the full CC for review. These changes will be reported to the committee and recorded in the minutes. Descriptions of courses should be accurate, brief, and clear. In general descriptions should be limited to 60 words that describe the primary theme(s) of the course and any extraordinary requirements. The faculty member is responsible for contacting the records office staff to ensure that approved wording makes its way into all college documents.

  5. Course Numbering (100, 200, 300, and 400 levels)
  6. Departments should give careful consideration to the numerical listing of courses. Course numbering is an important consideration that communicates much about the course, both on and off the Marietta College campus. While some connotations of course numbering map apply to certain disciplines, in general, the CC encourages departments to apply the following criteria:

    • 100 Level Courses-should be taught at a level appropriate for first and second year students with little background in the discipline. Courses at the 100 level typically represent broad surveys of a topic or a discipline, are general service courses for the general education curriculum or other majors, and serve as introductory requirements for specific majors.
    • 200 Level Courses-represent more focused analysis of a topic within a a discipline. These courses may represent general service courses for the general education curriculum and may be core courses for a a program of study. Courses at the 200 level should hold students to an academic standard greater than the 100 level courses.
    • 300 and 400 Level Courses-should be taught at a level appropriate for third and fourth year students. The content of these courses is typically advanced and specialized and require academic skills developed in lower level courses. These courses should present greater challenges to students and require a higher level of independent scholarship than lower level courses.
  7. Due Dates for Proposals needing CC Approval
  8. There are generally two important deadlines:

    • Last date for which proposals will be accepted for inclusion in the spring semester course listing.
    • Last date for which proposals will be accepted for inclusion in the next college catalog.

    Typically the first deadline is about four weeks prior to the registrar’s deadline for inclusion in the course listing and the second deadline is about four weeks before the registrar’s deadline for inclusion in the course catalog. Particularly extensive or potentially ‘controversial’ proposals should be submitted before these deadlines to insure timely action. The chair of CC should circulate the due dates to all department chairs at the beginning of each semester.