Policy: Course Review Process

Please see the Course Review Process Policy, attached and listed below.

Title: Course Review Process Policy

Responsible Unit: Academic Directors, Academic Affairs

Approval by: Academic Excellence Committee, Dean’s Council

Effective Date: September 15, 2018

Introduction

The Academic Excellence Committee (AEC) is charged with maintaining academic rigor and curricular quality for programs at the School of Professional Studies. The committee is responsible for reviewing new course syllabi proposals and providing recommendations for revision or approval. This policy attempts to establish a process for a thorough and efficient review of new course proposals. This policy only applies to the review of syllabi for courses that are being offered for the first time. For question about existing courses, see the “Course Revisions” policy.

The AEC decided that the quality of new SPS courses can be improved by having this governing committee review syllabi twice: once before courses are taught for the first time and then again after courses are taught for the first time. Currently, the AEC only reviews new course proposals prior to their first run. This change to the review process enables the instructor to make the inevitable modifications to a course that are needed after the first time a course is offered.   Instructors will be provided with a tracking form to document all observations they make throughout the semester to capture the revisions that will need to be made to strengthen the course in its next run. The second review will look at the revised course proposal in light of the changes that are made to the course. Academic Directors (ADs) will have access to both versions of the syllabus which will be housed in a site maintained by the Academic Administration unit so ADs can identify patterns in course design at the programmatic and faculty level.

Policy

The first level review of a new course proposal will be conducted by a four person subcommittee comprised of the Academic Director for the program whose syllabus is under review, a faculty member who serves on the Academic Excellence Committee, and two SPS administrators who serve on the AEC.  The purpose of the first level review is for the subcommittee to review the syllabus in a timely and thorough manner and provide recommendations for revisions to the instructor. The subcommittee will return the syllabus to the AD and Instructional Designer with recommendations for improvement within two weeks of receiving it. The instructor and Instructional Designer will revise the syllabus incorporating the feedback of the subcommittee within two weeks of receiving the recommendations and return the revised syllabus to the subcommittee.

Once the syllabus is approved by the subcommittee, the AEC members will be notified that the syllabus for a new course has been approved. The Academic Administration unit will ensure that all deadlines are met by sending reminders through the tracking site built for the new review process in Smartsheet.

The second level review of a new course proposal takes place after the course has been taught once and the syllabus has been revised by the instructor incorporating improvements to the course. The entire AEC will review the syllabus for recommendations and approval.

Exceptions

There are no exceptions to this policy.