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New Courses

Planning for a New Course

This should include consideration of the following questions which must be answered in a written course plan submitted in the materials presented to the Curriculum Committee:

  • Why is the new course needed?
  • Will the new course replace an existing course?  Will the department formally withdraw the existing course after the new one is approved and implemented?  
  • Which degree program(s) will include the new course? The chairperson of the department proposing the course should provide written commitment from the chairperson(s) of the department(s) which have degree programs that will include the new course.  And the department(s) housing the program(s) must submit a Chancellor's University Report Section A.III.1. that has a curriculum pattern which includes the new course. 
  • What is the expected enrollment in the course, and how many sections will be offered when it runs?
  • How frequently will it be offered, and why is this frequency being planned?
  • Who will teach the new course? Provide the name, qualifications and relevant experience of the faculty who will teach the course.
  • Are there any resources needed to teach the course and any additional costs that are anticipated? Please specify these, and describe any external funding sources that may be able to support this.
  • What courses at other CUNY colleges will be equivalent? Written agreement about course equivalency and transferability from CUNY senior colleges must be part of the materials presented for the proposed new course.   

Documents to Submit

The following documents must be prepared and submitted via email to the Curriculum Committee Chairperson:

  1. A memo from the department chairperson indicating departmental support for the new course.
  2. A course plan that addresses the eight areas indicated above.
  3. The Chancellor's University Report Section AIV. See the sample for guidance in completing the template. (template). The template requires the following information:
    • Department in which the course will be offered.
    • Course title.
    • Course number (use 3 alphabetic letters according to the department's discipline and add the letters "AA" (eg. BIO AA, MTH AA, ENG AA).
    • College catalog description.
    • Number of weekly class hours (lecture, lab, recitation)
    • Number of credits.
    • Pre- or corequisites.
    • Rationale for offering the new course.
  1. A course syllabus, which includes the following six components in compliance with New York State Education Department and Middle States requirements:
    • Course description and objectives (This should encompass and expand what is in the Chancellor's Report, including general education and /or discipline specific objectives and proficiencies.) 
    • Course credits and hours
    • Student Learning Outcomes
    • Texts/Resources
    • The basis for determining grades.   Please note that if the course grade will be impacted by attendance, lateness or leaving early, information about this should be in the syllabus.
    • Topics with assigned readings
  2. An assessment plan. This should include the following for both the first and second time that the course is offered:
    1. Identification of which learning outcomes will be assessed.  (Please note that not every learning outcome in the syllabus needs to be assessed each time, so you can select the ones which you believe departmental faculty will find most helpful in analyzing student learning the first and second times the course is offered.) 
    2. Description of the student work that will be used to assess them, e.g., multiple choice or other test or exam questions, such as essays; a paper or project; in class assignment or presentation; clinical or other skills demonstration; a written or other assignment; or something else.
    3. The rubric or other tool to be used to assess student work.    This should indicate the criteria to be used to evaluate student work and the various levels of student performance that you expect to be reflected in their work.

If you would like help in developing any of these components, please contact the Academic Assessment Manager.   Resources for assessment may be accessed at on the assessment website.

  1. A Chancellor's University Report Section A.III. which has a curriculum pattern including the new course.  There should be a Chancellor's Report Section A.III for each curriculum program that will include the new course.

Additional Documentation for Special Courses

  1. Experimental Courses.  Courses can only be offered experimentally for a period not to exceed two semesters.  Department chairpersons should discuss ideas for offering an experimental course with the Vice President of Academic Affairs before submitting anything to the Curriculum Committee Chairperson. 

    Based upon this discussion, the department chairperson should submit the documents numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7. that are required for proposing a new course as described above.

    Instead of the sixth document, the chairperson of the department proposing the experimental course must provide evidence that the course will meet graduation requirements for students who take the course when it is offered experimentally. This should be in the form of a written commitment from the department chairperson(s) housing such a degree program.   If the degree program does not have free elective credits equivalent to the proposed course, the department chairperson housing the degree program will have to provide course substitute permission in writing for each student who will take the experimental course for degree credit.

    These documents should be submitted to the Chairperson of the Curriculum Committee according to the regular new course approval timeframe.

    The review by the Curriculum Committee is advisory and requires only one meeting   Following this, and with final approval by the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the experimental course will be submitted for publication in the Chancellor's University Report.

    For an experimental course to be approved on a permanent basis, the course must be assessed and an assessment report, including outcomes analysis, must presented to the Curriculum Committee together with all other required documents for new course approval. The regular new course approval process and timeframe will apply.
  2. Remedial or Developmental Courses.   When a course is remedial, developmental and/or compensatory, and therefore the contact hours exceed the credits, a detailed explanation must be given in each instance indicating the amount of student effort required. These courses, to be properly counted towards a student's load, should be designed so that each class hour requires two student preparation hours
  3. Additional Credit Hours. When any course carries more credits than contact hours, a special justification must be given to explain why the credits exceed the contact hours.
  4. Unique Course Modality. Proposals to offer field work, internships, independent study, online courses, or any other courses that will be offered in a modality that differs from regularly organized courses, require a detailed explanation as to how students will earn course  credits.  The student effort for credit in such courses should be comparable to what is required in regularly organized classes.
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