Sufficient advance planning and lead time are critical to the successful design and implementation of a new academic program. While the annual deadline to submit program proposals in the CourseLeaf Curriculum Management system is in early November (about seven months before programs become effective in a new academic catalog), planning should start a year or more before you submit your proposal to the Curriculum Committee.
The CourseLeaf system will become available in April each year to receive curriculum proposals for the catalogs that become active in summer quarter of the following calendar year. (For instance, in April 2020 the system will be available for proposed programs to start in the 2021-22 academic year.)
A program planning template is available to help you get started on your proposal during the period when the CourseLeaf Curriculum Management system is not yet receiving proposals for a future academic year.
Steps to approval
1. Obtain support for your program proposal from your department's internal curriculum committee, department chair, and dean. Once a program proposal is submitted in the CourseLeaf system and enters the approval workflow, it must receive approval from the department/school curriculum committee, department chair, and school dean before it reaches the Curriculum Committee for review.
2. Meet with University Registrar Kenda Gatlin during autumn or winter quarter to discuss your planned program. The registrar will review the proposal, make suggestions, and ask for any necessary clarifications. She also will consult with other key offices, such as Undergraduate Admissions and Student Financial Services, to clarify procedures.
3. You are strongly encouraged to meet with the Curriculum Committee for a preliminary review of your draft proposal in the spring before the fall proposal submission deadline. It is not necessary that the preliminary proposal be submitted in the CourseLeaf system prior to this review.
4. Begin conversing with faculty and staff in other departments that may be impacted by your proposed program, as their approval will be required in the CourseLeaf approval workflow. Such impacts might include the use of a course taught in another discipline, the need for additional library resources, or increased student demand on the services of a student support area.
5. If pertinent, begin the process of obtaining detail codes in early September before you submit your proposal in CourseLeaf. Detail codes are necessary when revenue for a program needs to be tracked separately from that of other programs in a department, and when a program includes courses with special fees. It is critically important to notify the Office of Institutional Research of the newly assigned detail code so they can update the registration statistics report to reflect this newly tracked code/program.
6. Submit related new, edited, or deactivated courses in the CourseLeaf Course Inventory Management module by the early October deadline. Even though program approval is not guaranteed, course forms must be received by the deadline for course changes.
7. Submit your proposed new program in the CourseLeaf Curriculum Management module by the deadline in early November.
courseleaf approval workflow
Once you submit your proposed program in CourseLeaf, the automated workflow process (designed to comply with faculty governance policies) will send the proposal to the following individuals or groups in the order below:
- Department chair (whose approval also indicates approval of the department curriculum committee)
- Dean of the college or school in which the new program is housed
- Department chairs of any departments identified on the proposal as "Impacted Departments"
- Deans whose departments were identified as "Impacted Departments"
- Student Academic Services staff (for information purposes rather than for approval)
- Curriculum Committee (for review, discussion, and decision)
- Provost (for purposes of information, unless the Provost deems action is required)
- The initiator of the proposal (to deliver the Curriculum Committee's decision about the request)
- Student Academic Services (so that degree requirements may be built in the catalog for approved programs)
While the Curriculum Committee reviews and approves new programs, the committee's approval is essentially a recommendation to the Provost, who has final authority over the approval of all programs.
after approval of your new program
Contact the catalog editor in Student Academic Services to ensure that all steps in the catalog update process are completed.
Some new programs, and major changes to existing programs (such as converting to fully online delivery), will require approval from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities ((NWCCU). The Provost relies upon the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs to determine whether or not accreditation approval is required and to file necessary paperwork with NWCCU. If you are uncertain whether or not NWCCU approval is required for your program, consult with the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.
Student Academic Services staff will notify Undergraduate Admissions and Graduate Admissions about your new program early in winter quarter and may ask you to provide further information so that these offices can help generate interest in your new curriculum.