Part VI. – EDUCATIONAL POLICIES COMMITTEE MANUAL

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section 1. Faculty Approval of Curriculum and Degree Requirements
Section 2. Flowchart of Usual Procedure for Curriculum Revision
Section 3. Procedures Governing Revision of Curriculum and Degree Requirements
Section 4. Format for Preparing Proposals
Section 5. Checklist for Developing Proposals
Section 6. Policies for Open Topic Courses
Section 7. Publication Dates
Section 8. Catalogs and Class Schedules

Section 1. FACULTY APPROVAL OF CURRICULUM AND DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

  1. All curricula and degree requirements shall be approved by the faculty [Faculty Constitution, Article III, Section 2.B.6].
    1. “Curricula” includes all courses, workshops, and continuing education offered for credit at Pacific Lutheran University.
    2. “Degree requirements” includes all undergraduate and graduate requirements of a department, division, or school for successful completion of its program(s). (Examples of such requirements include: prerequisites; the number of courses or credit hours required for a major or minor; area examinations, research, or thesis; recitals, exhibitions, or contests; foreign language requirements; courses to be taken in other departments; and internships.)
    3. All faculty legislation substantively affecting core curriculum elements or degree requirement shall carry with it an effective date.
  2. All curricular changes, except special topics courses that do not meet a core curriculum element, shall be placed on the EPC 30-Day Notice of Curriculum Changes and receive faculty approval before being listed in the university catalog by the Office of the Registrar, or on the PLU website. Specific topics for special courses are not listed in the university catalog.
    1. EPC categorizes proposed curricular changes into three different types of proposals: Type 1 (non-substantive programmatic changes), Type 2 (substantive programmatic changes), and Type 3 (establishing or eliminating new programs, majors, minors, or concentrations). An overview of the process for each type of proposal is detailed in Section 2. of this manual. Forms and templates for EPC proposals can be found in the EPC section of the Provost Sakai Folder (https://sakai.plu.edu/portal). Special topics courses that seek to carry a core curriculum designation must be approved through the usual process, with an EPC Proposal Form, before being offered.
    2. Special topics courses may be activated by memo to the registrar, with the exception of those courses that seek to carry a core curriculum designation, which must be approved through the usual process (i.e., with the appropriate EPC Proposal Form) before being offered. Before inclusion in the class schedule, the course title, number, course description, and credit hours for a specific special topics course must be provided in a memo to the registrar.
    3. The same specific topic may only be offered twice as a special topics course within four years without faculty approval.

Section 2. FLOWCHART OF USUAL PROCEDURE FOR CURRICULUM REVISION

Section 3. PROCEDURES GOVERNING REVISION OF CURRICULUM AND DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

  1. Each proposed change in curriculum and in degree requirements shall be discussed and approved by the department or school of origin. The head of the department or school shall sign the proposal—indicating whether two-thirds of the faculty has approved the proposal or not—and submit it, where appropriate, to the divisional or school dean. Approval by the divisional or school dean shall be given in accordance with established procedures of the respective division or school. The divisional or school dean shall sign the proposal as evidence of such approval. The department or school originating the proposal shall forward one copy with the required signatures to the provost for signature, along with an electronic copy of the proposal.
  2. Approval by the divisional or school dean shall be given in accordance with established procedures of the respective division or school. The divisional or school dean shall sign the proposal as evidence of such approval. The department or school originating the proposal shall forward one copy with the required signatures to the provost for signature, along with an electronic copy of the proposal.
  3. If a proposal affects staffing or enrollments outside of the unit that is originating the proposal, EPC strongly recommends seeking approval for the proposal by the affected unit(s), as indicated by the signature of the representative dean or chair, prior to submission. If a proposal comes to EPC without such an endorsement, EPC will seek input from the affected unit(s) directly.
  4. The provost shall relay the proposal with appropriate comment to EPC for its review. Proposals for new degrees, new majors, new minors, concentrations, and programs that require action by the Board of Regents require submission of a cost analysis. In addition, EPC shall present such proposals to the faculty, which will decide whether to recommend them to the Board of Regents.
  5. Descriptions of proposed curricular changes, course numbers, titles, credit hours, and synopses of proposed degree requirement changes shall be published by EPC in the 30-day Notice of Curriculum Changes and sent via email to all faculty members. Complete copies of proposals are available online in the EPC section of the Provost Sakai folder.
  6. Faculty members must submit objections to proposals in writing to the Chair of EPC within 30 days from the date listed on the 30-day Notice of Curriculum Changes distributed by EPC. Objections received within this 30-day period will suspend approval, pending resolution of the objections. In the event a dispute cannot be resolved, EPC will make its recommendation to the faculty for action at the next regular faculty meeting.
  7. Every proposal that requires action by the Board of Regents (e.g. new degrees, majors, minors, concentrations, or programs) shall follow the procedure described above. EPC will present such proposals to the faculty, which will decide whether or not to recommend them to the Board of Regents.

Section 4. FORMAT FOR PREPARING PROPOSALS

  1. Proposals require a completed EPC Proposal Form. Forms and templates for proposals can be found in the EPC section of the website for the Office of the Provost, Documents & Forms (https://www.plu.edu/provost/documents/file-group/epc-information/).  Type 3 proposals further require a submission of a New Program Notification form and a completed Institutional Impact Evaluation form. [Procure up-to-date form at https://www.plu.edu/provost/documents/]
    1. All proposal forms must be submitted to the Office of the Provost.
    2. All proposals must include both a proposal summary and a statement of rationale, as well as information, where appropriate, about changes to course numbers, title, credit hours, and catalog description.
    3. Proposals should be formulated carefully, with any inherent problems carefully addressed. This is particularly important in the case of major curricular revisions (Type 2 and Type 3). Proposal rationales should discuss the philosophic, strategic, demographic, and economic aspects of the proposed changes, and take into account comparable practices at other peer institutions and those suggested by national, regional, and state certifying bodies. Proposals must also address, using verifiable data and sound argumentation, the direct and indirect consequences and costs of the changes on staffing and enrollment in departments, divisions, schools, and the university.
    4. Non-substantive changes do not typically require the same level of detail as Type 2 or Type 3 proposals. Type 1 proposals include changes in course number, title, or editorial changes to the catalog description. EPC may, at its discretion, determine whether a proposed change is substantive or non-substantive. If a determination is made that the proposal is indeed a substantive change, it may be sent back to the originating unit for additional detail. Minor corrections of language, grammar, or typographical errors may be requested directly by memo to the registrar and do not require EPC approval.
    5. Activation of special topics courses that are not intended to meet a core curriculum element do not require EPC action. (However, the course number, title, credit value, and catalog description of such courses must still be filed with the Office of the Registrar before a special topics course is included in the class schedule.) Special topics courses that are intended to meet a core curriculum element are considered substantive changes (Type 2) and require approval by the Core Curriculum Committee.

Section 5. CHECKLIST FOR DEVELOPING PROPOSALS

Type 1: Non-substantive Changes.Type 2: Substantive changes.Type 3: Creation/ Elimination of Degrees, Majors, Minors, Concentrations and Programs Requiring Action by the Board of Regents.
EPC formXXX
Departmental and Division Signature(s)XXX
Signatures of other affected DepartmentsXX
New Program Notification form and Institutional Impact Evaluation formX
Library Services Signature(s)X
Provost’s SignatureXX
EPC reviewXXX

Section 6. POLICIES FOR OPEN TOPIC COURSES

  1. COURSES DESIGNED FOR INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS: Academic units may add any of the following courses designed for individual students to the curriculum without approval by EPC.
    Note: When an instructor agrees to offer a course available in the regular curriculum to a student on an individual basis, the regular course number, title, and credits must be used. The common title designation on term-based records will be listed as IS for independently studied.

B. INTERNSHIPS: Academic units may add any of the following internship courses to the curriculum without approval by EPC. Academic units that offer more than one internship should use the numbering designation below and distinguish different internships by means of the specific Term-based Title.

internships

C. COURSES THAT FULFILL THE SENIOR SEMINAR/PROJECT GENERAL EDUCATION ELEMENT

COURSES THAT FULFILL THE SENIOR SEMINAR/PROJECT GENERAL EDUCATION ELEMENT

D. SPECIAL TOPICS COURSES: Academic units may activate any of the special topic courses listed below to the curriculum by memo to the registrar and EPC. After a special topic course has been activated, the academic unit may offer any specific topic without EPC approval. However, academic units must still notify the Office of the Registrar of the specific title, credit, and course description by memo as part of the class schedule preparation process. The same specific topic cannot be offered more often than twice within four years. If an academic unit wishes to offer the special topic more regularly, it must be approved as a regular course through the usual course approval process. A special topic course may not carry a core curriculum element, or appear in the university catalog, unless approved through the usual course approval process and the use of the EPC Proposal form.

special-topics-courses

Section 7. PUBLICATION DATES

  1. To permit timely publication of course changes in class schedules, EPC advises faculty to submit all proposals as early as possible. Submission of proposals types by the following dates is strongly encouraged:
    Type 3 proposals – October 1. Submission by this deadline will enable these proposals to be considered for inclusion in the class schedules for the following summer session and fall semester. This will help ensure adequate time for consideration by both the Faculty Assembly and the Board of Regents.
    Type 2 proposals – December 1. Submission by this deadline will enable these proposals to be considered for inclusion in the class schedules for the following summer session and fall semester. EPC strongly encourages earlier submission of these kinds of substantive changes, especially if there is a Core Curriculum element request.
    Type 1 proposals, being non-substantive, are generally considered on a rolling basis. For inclusion in the J-term and spring class schedules, submission at the beginning of that academic year is advised. For inclusion in the summer session and fall semester class schedules (and the catalog for the next academic year), submission by March 1 is advised.

Section 8. CATALOGS AND CLASS SCHEDULES

All catalogs and class schedules shall include only those courses that have been formally approved by EPC. Course numbers, titles, descriptions, credit hours, and status shall be shown only in their EPC-approved form. (Course titles may be appropriately abbreviated, where necessary.)

Only EPC shall authorize material changes in the university’s curricula and course offerings.

Courses which have not been taught (even though they may have been offered) during the previous four-year period shall be automatically deleted from the list of EPC-approved courses and, therefore, from all catalogs and class schedules. Requests for exceptions to this policy shall be submitted to EPC. Reactivation of formerly offered courses may be requested by way of a memo to the chair of EPC.

Previously used course numbers and course information are eliminated from Banner and can be reused once a course has not been offered in the catalog for more than twenty years.