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Curriculum Consultation Process

The complexity of the curriculum development process requires consultation with departments and other university groups that may be affected by curricular proposals and/or should be involved in the curriculum development process. Due to issues relating to planning and financial considerations, consultation with Deans and Department Heads/Directors is of paramount importance early in the curriculum development process. Once specific proposals are under development, consultation with other groups is generally necessary.

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It is the responsibility of the department/school initiating the curricular change to assess the impact of the proposed change and consult with those who might be affected. Each consultation should be initiated in writing (communication and forms can be sent via email or hard copies) and should identify the nature of the proposed change. If departments/other units have objections to the changes, it is their responsibility to PROMPTLY notify the initiating department/school of the reasons for the objections. Both parties are then expected to work together to attempt to find a solution.

Every effort should be made to resolve any objections at the college level, however, if proposals with unresolved objections are approved at the college level, the Office of Academic Affairs must be notified of the unresolved objections. The Graduate Council (GC) and Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) provide forums for the parties with unresolved objections. As part of its deliberations, the AAC looks for evidence of the willingness of both parties to reach reasonable solutions to their differences. The AAC considers a non-response or the lack of a timely response to be an indication of lack of interest, implying that the recipient has no objection to the proposed change. [Note: the AAC considers a timely response to be no longer than two weeks during the regular academic year.] Additional follow-up meetings may need to be facilitated by the Office of Academic Affairs if unresolved objections continue.

Two types of curriculum consultation are available including:  Department/School/College Consultation and Library Consultation.  Each will be described below.

Department/School/College Consultation

Types of course/program curricular changes/request which typically require consultation include the following:

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  1. A change in an existing course which may include a change to course content, a change in course prerequisites, a change in the credit hours, and/or a change in course title may affect other departments that:
    • have a similar course offering or a course with a similar title (a potential duplication issue).
    • use the course as a prerequisite to one or more courses.
    • use the course as part of one or more programs.
  2. The addition or deletion of courses to a major, minor, or certificate program will affect other departments whose courses are being added or deleted, as well as other departments whose courses are prerequisites for the course being added or deleted. The addition of courses to a major or minor may impact demand for library resources, educational technologies, computer resources and other support services, and additional consultation by the originating body may be advisable.
  3. The development of a new program will affect departments whose course may be used as part of the plan of study to meet general education, support courses and/or recommended electives. The addition of courses to a new major, minor or certificate may impact demand for library resources, educational technologies, computer resources and other support services, and additional consultation by the originating body may be advisable.

To help identify which programs/departments/schools should be consulted about proposed curricular changes, it is suggested that the originating department/school prepare a summary for each course which indicates all prerequisites, all courses that use the course as a prerequisite, and all programs that use the course as either a required or elective course. Also, if in doubt about whether a consult is needed or not, it is best to notify the departments/schools or colleges which may be impacted rather than assuming there is no impact. Also, contact the Office of Academic Affairs for guidance.  For these types of requests, use the Department/School/College Consultation. 

Library Consultation

For some curriculum requests, the author must note whether or not library resources are adequate to meet the needs of a new course or program. In order to make an informed judgment about the adequacy of library resources, library consultation is required for substantive program modifications and new courses, certificates, minors, degrees/programs, and site requests.  In addition, a major change in (1) course content, (2) course pedagogy, (3) and/or the addition of courses to programs will very likely increase demand for library resources/educational technologies.  For these types of requests, use the Library Consultation. 

Curriculum consultation process - 1) Department Head/ Director develops curriculum request and routes consultation request, 2) Discuss proposed curriculum request with Dean/Associate Dean and submit consultation to library and impacted department heads/directors/Deans for feedback, 3) completed consultation forms are routed back to the originator, 4) Department/School curriculum committee reviews and approves, 5) Department Head/Director approves, 6) BOR forms and consultation routed to the Dean


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Examples of the Consultation Process and Types of Curriculum Requests

Type of Curriculum RequestDepartment/School/College ConsultationLibrary Consultation
Change in Course ContentXX
Change in Course PrerequisiteX 
Change in Course TitleX 
Change in Credit HoursX 
Course Deletion from SDSU Course OfferingX 
Course Deletion in Program ModificationX 
Courses Added to a ProgramXX
Intent to Plan for a New Degree/ProgramXX
New Course RequestXX
New Certificate RequestXX
New Degree/ProgramXX
New MinorXX
New Site RequestXX
Substantive Program ModificationXX