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Tips for Preparing Strong Curricular Requests

Courses

  • Build the justification for deleting, adding or changing courses on how the change will impact student learning.
  • Avoid using individual faculty names in the justification section which goes to the SDBOR.
  • Avoid being very specific with course descriptions which will become outdated quickly. Course descriptions are short, concise summaries that typically do not exceed 75 words.
    • DO: Address the content of the course and write descriptions using active verbs (e.g., explore, learn, develop, etc.).
    • DO NOT: Repeat the title of the course, layout the syllabus, use pronouns such as “we” and “you,” or rely on specialized jargon, vague phrases, or clichés.
  • Prerequisites can only be specific courses and cannot use any words as part of the prerequisite other than and, or.
    Student putting on makeup before theatre performance.
  • Verify on the SDBOR Banner Course Inventory Report if the new course exists within the database. SDSU can request to offer the same course authorized for another university. The course would become a common course.
  • If the course contains a lecture and laboratory component, identify both the lecture and laboratory numbers (xxx and xxxL), credit hours, description and requisites associated with each.
  • The SDBOR Enrollment Services Center assigns the short, abbreviated course title that appears on transcripts. The short title is limited to 30 characters (including spaces); meaningful but concise titles are encouraged due to space limitations in Banner.
    Students working with faculty member in physics lab.

Program Modifications​

  • Reference the online catalog to review the current program requirements.
  • Minor and substantive program modifications need to include all program requirements on the form.  In the first column list the current courses as reflected in the catalog.  If a course is being removed include that course in the proposed column highlighted in yellow and use the strikeout feature to cross it off. 
  • Have a strong basis for the proposed change. Rationale for substantive changes include:
    • to insure the program offered aligns with (referenced) national standards.
    • to address weaknesses identified through program assessment and review.
    • to address weaknesses identified by external advisory committees, employer feedback and/or alumni/graduate surveys.
  • Courses that may fulfill multiple requirements cannot have the credit hours count twice.  For example, if the course meets a college and a major requirement the hours can only be applied in one category. 
  • Check the math – all credits and totals should add up.
Nursing student working with a patient.

Intent to Plan, New Minor, & New Degree/Program Requests

  • Answer all parts of each question.  Use sub-headings within sections which ask more than one question. For example, for the Intent to Plan form, question one, three separate questions are posed.   Use sub-headings of “nature of the proposed request”, “expected demand” and “need for the proposal”.
  • Avoid the use of personal pronouns (“we”, “us”, “our”) in the request.  Instead use “South Dakota State University”, “SDSU”, “the University”, “the department of …”
  • Each of these types of requests must include a curriculum map outlining the student learning outcomes and where in the curriculum the outcomes are addressed.
  • Include numerical data to support the request and quantify the need for the new program.  A good resource is the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Include citations when applicable.
    Student and faculty member looking at plants in a field.

Checklist 

  • Have the correct SDSU and SDBOR forms been used to prepare the request? [ ]
  • Does the curriculum proposal reflect findings from other planning processes such as academic program reviews, student outcomes assessment, strategic planning, and/or licensure, accreditation, and reaccreditation requirements? [ ]
  • Have the appropriate and required consultations been completed? [ ]
  • Have all consultation forms been included in the curriculum request submission packet of information? [ ]
  • Have any unresolved objections been identified? [ ]
  • Have all budgetary needs been identified and estimated? [ ]
  • For a new undergraduate or graduate program has the SDBOR Appendix B Budget been completed? [ ]
  • Have the required electronic signatures been obtained for all proposals? [ ]