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Curriculum Development and Approval

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Bronx Community College has a long tradition of providing education congruent with the needs and interests of the community. Curriculum development relies on faculty expertise, which provides the best assurance that the education process will fit the college's mission.

The general framework within which curricula and courses are adopted and revised at Bronx Community College is established by the New York State Education Law, rulings and regulations of the State Commissioner of Education, the rules of the Board of Regents, the regulations of the City University of New York, and the bylaws of our college.

The State Education Law and the regulations of the State Education Department require state supervised community colleges to provide two year programs which combine general and technical education. Technical / vocational education is to be geared to the occupational needs of the area in which the college is located. The Rules of the Board of Regents define requirements for earned degrees and stipulate that all degree curricula must contain a minimum of bona fide liberal arts and sciences courses that go beyond the particular occupational and professional objectives. Sufficient liberal arts and science courses are thus provided to enable qualified students to transfer to four-year institutions.

Responsibility for the curriculum rests with the faculty of our college, which acts through the College Senate with recommendations of the Curriculum Committee in all matters pertaining to the adoption, revision or deletion of courses and curriculum programs. Actions of the Curriculum Committee are reported to the College Senate. Proposals endorsed by the Senate are reviewed by the President of the College and reported by him/her to the City University Board of Trustees through the University Office of Academic Affairs, which reviews curricular actions before they are submitted to the Board of Trustees. Actions by that body are subject to approval by the State Education Department, which has ultimate responsibility for the registering of degree granting programs.

The University Office of Academic Affairs specifies procedural steps that must be followed in establishing a new curriculum or making a major revision in existing curricula. Letters of intent and curriculum proposals must include detailed information regarding the purposes and goals, needs, enrollment, curriculum content, cost and resources (in terms of space, personnel, money, equipment), and method of evaluation of each proposed curriculum. No curriculum proposal will be approved unless these steps are rigidly adhered to. Even after approval by the Board of Trustees, however, new or revised curricula are sent for review, approval and registration to the State Education Department, and they cannot be offered prior to registration.

The process of program approval is designed to maintain the highest standards. Documents and guidelines for curriculum approval at BCC must comply with what is required by the Board of Trustees and the Office of Academic Affairs of the City University of New York (CUNYOAA), as well as the New York State Department of Education (SED).

The latest updating of the SED curriculum approval process, including documentation required for approval of new programs and modification of existing ones, was announced and published in Spring 2010.    Based upon this, CUNY adopted revised procedural guidelines and forms and these are now available on the web at CUNY Academic Resources.    All CUNY colleges seeking to revise or introduce programs and courses must adhere to these guidelines as published on this website.   Two important documents and accompanying forms related to curriculum approval are available there, and should be used by all faculty seeking to present curriculum proposals for BCC governance approval:

  1. Faculty Handbook for the Preparation of New Academic Programs.   This should be used for developing new curriculum programs, beginning with preparation of a Letter of Intent and concluding with the writing of a program proposal which will be submitted for SED approval after it has been approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees.
  2. Guidelines for the Presentation of Academic Matters in the Chancellor’s University Report. This should be used for revising curriculum programs or options, revising courses, or developing new courses, or officially withdrawing a program or course.

Other information published on the CUNY website should be used as appropriate: for example, regarding financial considerations for new programs, flow charts of the approval process and a calendar of deadlines for submission.  
Please note that approval at the College Curriculum Committee and Senate must be obtained before the College presents curriculum matters to CUNY.    Please see the Curriculum Committee Procedures and Time Requirements.  

Before the Curriculum Committee begins its review of the substance and merit of academic program and course proposals and revisions, attention to matters impacting their viability must take place in consultation with the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs.

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