Curriculum and Course Development Policy

Authority: Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management
Date Enacted or Revised: Enacted March 6, 2006; Revised August 10, 2015; February 15, 2016; May 16, 2016; July 2016; May 2017; February 2018; March 2018; July 2018; September 25, 2018; January 9, 2019; February 12, 2019; October 26, 2021; July 12, 2022

Purpose

This policy serves to describe the procedure by which courses and curricula are created, altered, or inactivated. These procedures comply with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement Standard 10.4 (academic governance) as well as Louisiana Board of Regents (BOR) Academic Affairs Policies 2.04 Academic Planning and Degree Program Proposals and 2.08 Institutional Requests for Revision or Elimination of Existing Academic Programs and Administrative Units.

Curriculum Requirements

The requirements below are based on University policies, University of Louisiana System Board Bylaws and Rules, Louisiana Board of Regents academic affairs policies, and SACSCOC standards.

Degree Programs and Minors

  • Associate Degrees:
    • Total of 60 credit hours (see BOR Academic Affairs Policy 2.15 Definitions of Undergraduate Degrees and Undergraduate/Graduate Certificates);
    • Must include 27 credit hours of prescribed General Education courses (see Academic Catalog and BOR Academic Affairs Policy 2.16 Statewide General Education Requirements); and
    • Must have at least 15 credit hours in the major.
  • Baccalaureate Degrees:
    • Total of 120 credit hours (see BOR Academic Affairs Policy 2.15 Definitions of Undergraduate Degrees and Undergraduate/Graduate Certificates);
    • Must include 39 credit hours of prescribed General Education courses (see Academic Catalog and BOR Academic Affairs Policy 2.16 Statewide General Education Requirements);
    • Must have at least 40 credit hours of 300/400-level coursework, 12 of which must be in the major;
    • Must have at least 30 credit hours (or 25% of the total credit hours) in the major; and
    • Must require a designated capstone experience course.
  • Minors:
    • Total of 18-27 credit hours; and
    • Must have at least 6 credit hours of 300/400-level coursework.
  • Master’s Degrees:
    • Total of at least 30 credit hours (see SACSCOC Core Requirement 9.2 regarding program length);
    • A minimum of 50% of the total credit hours required (excluding thesis hours) must be at the 600 level; and
    • Must be progressively more advanced in academic content than undergraduate programs and structured (a) to include knowledge of the literature of the discipline and (b) to ensure engagement in research and/or appropriate professional practice and training (see SACSCOC Standard 9.6 regarding post-baccalaureate program rigor & curriculum).
  • Doctoral Degrees:
    • Total of progressively more than 30 credit hours (see SACSCOC Core Requirement 9.2 regarding program length); and
    • Must be progressively more advanced in academic content than undergraduate programs and structured (a) to include knowledge of the literature of the discipline and (b) to ensure engagement in research and/or appropriate professional practice and training (see SACSCOC Standard 9.6 regarding post-baccalaureate program rigor & curriculum).

Certificate Programs

  • Undergraduate Certificates:
    • Total of at least 18 credit hours;
    • A minimum of 50% of the total credit hours required must be at the 300/400 level; and
    • May include only undergraduate courses.
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificates:
    • Total of at least 12 credit hours; and
    • May include only undergraduate courses.
  • Graduate and Post-Master’s Certificates:
    • Total of at least 12 credit hours;
    • May include only graduate courses; and
    • Must be progressively more advanced in academic content than undergraduate programs and structured (a) to include knowledge of the literature of the discipline and (b) to ensure engagement in research and/or appropriate professional practice and training (see SACSCOC Standard 9.6 regarding post-baccalaureate program rigor & curriculum).

Course Requirements

  • General Requirements:
    • Each lecture course must consist of 750 minutes of meeting time per credit hour.
    • Each lab course must consist of at least 1500 minutes of meeting time per credit hour.
    • Course numbers cannot be reused for 10 years.
    • A duplicate credit statement in the course description is required for courses with similar or identical content.
    • Student learning outcomes (SLOs) should be consistent with the level of the course in terms of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
    • Regardless of instructional delivery format (face-to-face, online, condensed term, web hybrid, etc.), all courses must comply with the Credit Hour Policy and have student learning outcomes equivalent to the comparable traditional face-to-face instructional delivery for the course or similar course.
  • Capstone Courses:
    • Must assess student competency in their major field in such a way that creates an artifact of student learning that demonstrates mastery of academic program content; and
    • Must assess a General Education competency as determined by the General Education Assessment Council.
  • General Education Courses:
    • Must assess one of the three General Education learning competencies in such a way that creates an artifact of student learning that demonstrates achievement of the General Education competency; and
    • Must include the following statement on the course syllabus: “This course has been designated as a General Education course and, as such, addresses students’ achievement of this general education competency: [state the General Education competency addressed in the course].”
  • Internship Courses:
    • Require a minimum of 40 work hours per credit hour; and
    • Must include a statement about the number of required work hours in the course description.
  • Navigate Your Future (NYF) Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Courses:
    • Must assess one of the two NYF student learning outcomes in such a way that creates an artifact of student learning that demonstrates achievement of the NYF outcome; and
    • Must include the following statement on the course syllabus: “This course has been designated as a Navigate Your Future (NYF) course for the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan and, as such, addresses students’ achievement of this NYF outcome: [state the NYF outcome addressed in the course].”

Academic Planning

The Louisiana Board of Regents requires institutions to submit a three-year academic plan that includes a comprehensive list of planned new academic programs. Planned new academic programs must be designed to support the wellbeing of the state by meeting the needs of students, industry, and academia and must fall within the existing role, scope, and mission of the institution.

Academic plans are first submitted to the University of Louisiana System for approval in July, and then they will be circulated by the Louisiana Board of Regents to chief academic officers and labor market representatives statewide for review and comment.

Full academic program proposals may be submitted to Regents any time after the program concept has been approved through the academic planning process.

Academic Governance

Curriculum and course additions, alterations, and/or inactivations are the responsibility of faculty. The process normally begins in a department, moves to the college, and then to the University before concluding, if necessary, with approval by the University of Louisiana System, the Louisiana Board of Regents, and/or SACSCOC. The following matters bear special attention:

  • A curriculum committee at the department or college level must authorize program and curricula additions, alterations, and/or inactivations prior to seeking approval from the department head and dean.
  • Interdisciplinary programs and programs of broad scope may be initiated by other faculty bodies, but, in cases where a proposal involves a department’s academic discipline, departmental faculty shall be able to review and evaluate the proposal’s acceptability, with this review/evaluation being included in the proposal’s documentation as it moves through the curriculum process.
  • At all review levels in the curriculum process, changes to a proposal can only be made with the concurrence of the body that initiated the proposal.
  • At all review levels in the curriculum process, negative recommendations by an administrative body prevent a proposal from being forwarded to the next review level.
  • In cases of financial exigency, the University will follow guidelines approved by the University of Louisiana System and the Louisiana Board of Regents.

Procedures for Academic Program Proposals

New Curriculum

  1. A Curriculum New proposal should be launched in Curriculog with the following attachments, if applicable:
    1. If a new degree or certificate program that has been approved through the academic planning process explained above, a Louisiana Board of Regents Degree Program Proposal Form; and/or
    2. If a new concentration under an existing program that will be provided via distance learning and the program has not previously been approved to be offered via distance learning, a Louisiana Board of Regents Distance Education Request Form (without signatures).
  2. Once the proposal has been launched, the steps to approval are as follows:
    1. Department Head (Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and/or Graduate Council representative will be notified upon approval)
    2. Dean
    3. Assistant Director of Institutional Effectiveness
    4. Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and/or Graduate Council
    5. Academic Advisory Council
  3. If a new minor or concentration being offered face-to-face or via distance learning (only when its corresponding major has previously been approved to be offered via distance learning), the approved program will be added to the Academic Catalog, Banner, and Degree Works.
  4. If a new concentration being provided via distance learning (when its corresponding major has not previously been approved to be offered via distance learning), new major, or new certificate, the additional steps to approval are as follows:
    1. University of Louisiana System
    2. Louisiana Department of Education Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (if an education program)
    3. Louisiana Board of Regents
  5. If SACSCOC approval is required (see Substantive Change Reporting for SACSCOC Compliance policy), the approved program may be added to the Academic Catalog (with a statement indicating SACSCOC approval is pending), Banner, and Degree Works, and the appropriate documentation will be submitted to SACSCOC.
    1. Students applying to programs requiring SACSCOC approval may not be accepted until that approval is received.

Curriculum Alteration

  1. A Curriculum Alteration proposal should be launched in Curriculog with the following attachment, if applicable:
    1. If an alteration to provide an existing program via distance learning and the program has not previously been approved to be offered via distance learning, a Louisiana Board of Regents Distance Education Request Form (without signatures).
  2. Once the proposal has been launched, the steps to approval are as follows:
    1. Originator
    2. Department Head (Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and/or Graduate Council representative will be notified upon approval)
    3. Dean
    4. Assistant Director of Institutional Effectiveness
    5. Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and/or Graduate Council
    6. Academic Advisory Council
  3. If state approval is not required (see #4), the approved program will be updated in the Academic Catalog, Banner, and Degree Works.
  4. If an alteration to major or certificate name, credit hours awarded for successful completion of a program, to provide an existing program via distance learning, or to initiate programs/courses offered through contractual agreement or consortium, the additional steps to approval are as follows:
    1. University of Louisiana System
    2. Louisiana Department of Education Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (if an education program)
    3. Louisiana Board of Regents
  5. If SACSCOC approval is required (see Substantive Change Reporting for SACSCOC Compliance policy), the approved program may be added to the Academic Catalog (with a statement indicating SACSCOC approval is pending), Banner, and Degree Works, and the appropriate documentation will be submitted to SACSCOC.
    1. Students applying to programs requiring SACSCOC approval may not be accepted until that approval is received.

Curriculum Inactivation

  1. A Curriculum Inactivation proposal should be launched in Curriculog with the following attachments, if applicable:
    1. If a major or certificate, Louisiana Board of Regents Request to Terminate an Academic Degree Program or Administrative/Research Unit that includes a teach-out plan explaining the provisions to ensure ample time for currently enrolled students to graduate.
  2. Once the proposal has been launched, the steps to approval are as follows:
    1. Department Head (Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and/or Graduate Council representative will be notified upon approval)
    2. Dean
    3. Assistant Director of Institutional Effectiveness
    4. Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and/or Graduate Council
    5. Academic Advisory Council
  3. If only an inactivation of a concentration or minor, the approved program will be removed from the Academic Catalog, Banner, and Degree Works.
  4. If a major or certificate, the additional steps to approval are as follows:
    1. University of Louisiana System
    2. Louisiana Department of Education Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (if an education program)
    3. Louisiana Board of Regents
  5. Regardless of whether SACSCOC approval is required (see Substantive Change Reporting for SACSCOC Compliance policy), the approved program may be removed from the Academic Catalog, Banner, and Degree Works, and the appropriate documentation will be submitted to SACSCOC.

Procedures for Course Proposals

New Course

  1. A Course New proposal should be launched in Curriculog with the following attachment:
    1. Syllabus for the new course that meets all requirements as stated in the University Syllabus Policy.
  2. Once the proposal has been launched, the steps to approval are as follows:
    1. Department Head (Undergraduate Curriculum Committee or Graduate Council representative will be notified upon approval)
    2. Dean
    3. Assistant Director of Institutional Effectiveness
    4. Institutional Research (required to verify CIP codes for student credit hour reporting and faculty credentialing)
    5. General Education Assessment Council (required only if a new General Education course)
    6. Undergraduate Curriculum Committee or Graduate Council
    7. Academic Advisory Council
  3. Once approved, the course will be added to the Academic Catalog, Banner, and Degree Works.

Course Alteration

  1. A Course Alteration proposal should be launched in Curriculog with the following attachment:
    1. Syllabus for the course that reflects all the alterations and meets all requirements as stated in the University Syllabus Policy.
  2. Once the proposal has been launched, the steps to approval are as follows:
    1. Department Head (Undergraduate Curriculum Committee or Graduate Council representative will be notified upon approval)
    2. Dean
    3. Assistant Director of Institutional Effectiveness
    4. Institutional Research (required only if CIP codes for student credit hour reporting and/or faculty credentialing were altered)
    5. General Education Assessment Council (required only if General Education status is changing)
    6. Undergraduate Curriculum Committee or Graduate Council
    7. Academic Advisory Council
  3. Once approved, the course will be updated in the Academic Catalog, Banner, and Degree Works.

Course Inactivation

  1. A Course Inactivation proposal should be launched in Curriculog.
  2. Once the proposal has been launched, the steps to approval are as follows:
    1. Department Head (Undergraduate Curriculum Committee or Graduate Council representative will be notified upon approval)
    2. Dean
    3. Assistant Director of Institutional Effectiveness
    4. General Education Assessment Council (required only if a General Education course)
    5. Undergraduate Curriculum Committee or Graduate Council
    6. Academic Advisory Council
  3. Once approved, the course will be inactivated in the Academic Catalog, Banner, and Degree Works.

Communication

This policy is distributed via the Academic Advisory Council, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Graduate Council, General Education Assessment Council, Campus Digest, and the University Policies webpage.