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Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee (FSCC)
Committee Charge: The Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee (FSCC) recommends and develops policies and procedures for university-wide curricula, reviews catalog offerings and degree requirements, and initiates discussions on future curricular matters. The FSCC reviews proposals from college curriculum committees and makes recommendations for curricular changes to the Academic Affairs Council, which in turn forwards recommendations to the full Faculty Senate for consideration.
This page provides resources for faculty members and curriculum committee members to initiate curriculum changes and other actions. The links provide access to necessary forms, information on how to initiate curricular review and guidelines for navigating the curriculum approval process.
Introduction and a Summary of the Curriculum Proposal and Review Process
The curriculum development process is governed by the Faculty Senate. At the university level, the FSCC considers proposals for new curricula, changes to existing curricula, and discontinuations of curricula. Additional information on specific aspects of the curriculum review process may be found in the governance documents of specific colleges and departments. An important aspect of the curriculum approval process is documentation of consultation with any academic programs that may be affected by the change.
This document gives an overview of the approval process, the path through Iowa State University and the Iowa Board of Regents.
Offering a New Curriculum - Approval Process Overview
Curriculum proposals should follow the approval process indicated in the following table, beginning with the department or interdepartmental program. This guidance is adapted from Table 10.8 of the Faculty Handbook:
The curriculum approval process generally consists of a proposal from the department/program level, with documentation of appropriate consultation with other programs, and as approved by the department/program curriculum committee (if applicable), college curriculum committee, other representative committees (if applicable) and the dean. Additional approvals are needed from the Graduate College (Graduate Council and Graduate Dean) if the program proposal is a graduate program. The program proposal is then submitted to the FSCC for review. After FSCC review, the Academic Affairs Council reviews the proposal before passing it on to the full Faculty Senate. The Board of Regents, State of Iowa approves all new programs and majors. Pre-major program curricula require approvals only from the relevant department, college, and from the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Programs. For additional information about the approval process, see information in the ISU Faculty Handbook:
The University Catalog provides information on academic programs and curricula, as well as program requirements for individual programs. Office of the Provost oversees production of the University Catalog.. The University Catalog is an electronic document that is updated each year and can be accessed via the following links:
Resources for Proposing New Courses
A new course that is not a required course in a program must be first offered on an experimental basis. This requirement provides an opportunity to determine whether there is sufficient student demand for the course, and to evaluate how the course contributes to existing academic programs. The course number is identified with an “X” suffix to indicate it is not in the published catalog. An experimental course can be included in the catalog if it was previously successfully offered no later than the fall term before catalog publication. For example, an experimental course successfully offered in Fall 2014 may be included in the 2015-2016 catalog. However, additional requirements may apply for each department and/or college. NEW: Experimental courses must be proposed using the online Experimental Course Inventory Management (CIMX) system which can be found at this link:
Note: To use the CIMX system you must log in using your University Net-ID and password. Please note that you may need to login from an on-campus access point (behind the University's firewall), or establish a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection from off-campus locations to be able to access the CIMX system. ISU provides a free download - more information can be found here: http://www.it.iastate.edu/services/vpn.
If the content of a proposed new course is appropriate to consider for meeting University requirements for U.S. Diversity and International Perspectives, the following guidelines and forms also apply:
New courses that are proposed as required courses for existing or new curricula are considered at the department and college level, and are included in annual reporting to the FSCC, which is considered for approval and then forwarded to the Academic Affairs Council, the Faculty Senate, the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost and the Board of Regents.
Procedures for Changing Credits Awarded for Existing Courses
Proposals for credit changes may be submitted in the form of a memo outlining the current level of credit awarded for the course, the proposed new credit, a justification for the change, and the process by which it was approved by the program to the relevant college curriculum committee. Requests approved by college committees will be sent to the FSCC for consideration and if approved will be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar.
Resources for Proposing New Curricula
Proposals for new degree programs (majors, minors, and certificates for both undergraduate and graduate programs) require documentation using templates and procedures established by the Board of Regents. It is the responsibility of those proposing new programs to consult with any other affect programs and to assemble and document relevant information on the new program, including program objectives, student learning outcomes, relationship of the program to the instructional mission of the university, the relationship of the program to existing programs, resources needed to support the new program, and evidence of demand and need for the program. All program proposals must include documentation of the approval process (see “Academic Program Approval Voting Record Form” at the link below). Proposal templates for majors, minors, and certificates are accessible at the following links:
If there are special GPA, Grade or other requirements stipulated in a new program proposal (e.g., a minimum grade in a prerequisite course, a minimum GPA in a set of courses to advance in the program, restrictions on how many times a student can take a course), those must be approved by the Faculty Senate Academic Standards and Admissions committee as per the following policy:
Resources for Proposing Program Name Changes
Proposals for name changes of majors, minors, and certificates for both undergraduate and graduate programs require documentation using templates and procedures established by the Board of Regents. It is the responsibility of those proposing a name change to assemble and document all relevant information on the name change, including a justification for the proposed name change, documentation of involvement of program faculty in developing the proposal as well as stakeholder input, consistency with program names at other institutions, and anticipated effects of the name change in terms of course requirements, currently enrolled students, and potential costs. All program proposals must include documentation of the name change approval process (see “Academic Program Approval Voting Record Form” at the link below).
Catalog Editing Resources
Resources for routine catalog editing activities are located in the online Catalog Inventory Management (CIM) System. Use of this system requires authorization from the office of the registrar and is typically overseen by department and college curriculum committee chairpersons. Resources for catalog editing are available at the following links:
Note: To use the CIM system you must log in using your University Net-ID and password. Please note that you may need to log in from an on-campus access point (behind the University's firewall), or establish a Virtual Private network (VPN) connection from off-campus locations to be able to access the CIM catalog editing system.
Resources for Discontinuing Degree Programs, Majors, Minors, Certificates, or Graduate Specializations
Proposals for suspension or discontinuation of degree programs, majors, minors, and certificates (for both undergraduate and graduate programs) require documentation using templates and procedures established by the Board of Regents and/or the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee. It is the responsibility of those proposing program suspension or discontinuation to assemble and document relevant information, including rationale for discontinuation, procedures for accommodating students already in the program, and recent trends in enrollment and graduation from the program. All program proposals must include documentation of the approval process (see “Academic Program Approval Voting Record Form” at the link below). The suspending or discontinuing a degree program or major requires approval through the Board of Regents and uses the Board Form J provided below. The suspending or discontinuing of a minor, certificate or graduate specialization requires approval within the institution up through the provost/president and uses the form approved by the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee provided below.
Curriculum Committee Information
Specific approval processes for courses and programs may vary by college. Please contact the relevant college committee chair for more information:
College of Business Curriculum Committee
College of Design Curriculum Committee
College of Engineering Curriculum Committee
College of Veterinary Medicine Curriculum Committee