New Course Proposal: FAQ

What type of proposals should be sent through the New Course Proposal process via a completed form?

The following should always be proposed via the New Course Proposal form, completed in full:

  • Any new stand-alone course which has not previously been taught at SAIC
  • Any change moving an existing course from the undergraduate to graduate level, or vice versa
  • Any change to an existing course or section of an existing course that increases the operating cost; incorporates significant new technology resources necessitating CRIT assistance/support; changes the teaching structure (e.g. single instructor becomes team-taught); or alters the course structure to include a sustained off-campus component (more than a field-trip)

I submitted my proposal to my department Chair via email. What happens next?

Your Chair will review the proposal, address any questions or concerns they may have with you, and when appropriate, sign off on the Chair section of the form and submit it digitally to the Registrar’s Office.  The Registrar will compile submitted proposals for review by the full New Course Proposal committee.

After your proposal is reviewed at a New Course Proposal committee meeting you may be contacted by a committee member if there are any questions or recommendations regarding your proposal that need to be addressed before it can be approved.

What happens after the New Course Proposal committee approves my course?

If the committee approves your proposal as it was submitted (no changes suggested), the Registrar will notify you, your department Chair, and your department’s Administrative Director and provide the course’s catalog number (if completely new).  Your department will proceed in including the course in the schedule for the following academic year.

What are “Topics” Courses and how are they different from other courses?

A number of departments at SAIC include one or more “Topics”-based courses, which means a course rotates themes/content from semester-to-semester but uses the same catalog number and generally maintains a standard structure and comparable student learning outcomes.  This format exists to facilitate faculty members teaching from an area of specialty and provides an agile way to diversify curricular content.

Examples of topics-based courses

  • Contemporary Practices 1022: Research Studio II
  • Social Science 3520: Historical Studies
  • Art History 3122: Topics in Comics and Graphic Novels
  • Photography 3005: Topics in Photography

Once a “Topics” course has been approved by the New Course Proposal committee, departments are free to internally identify rotating faculty and content to offer within the standard course framework. 

When would I need to submit a New Course Proposal for a new topic variant within a Topics course?

New topical variations within a previously-approved Topics course generally do not need to receive further New Course Proposal review.  However, certain changes always require NCP review and approval, even if they apply only to a section of a Topics course.

 The full process should be followed if:

  • the new topical section requires an increased operating cost from what was previously-approved;
  • the new topical section incorporates significant technology resources (utilizing either internal or external resources);
  • the new topical section changes the teaching structure (e.g. single instructor becomes team-taught) or;
  • the new topical section alters the course structure to include a sustained off-campus component (more than a field-trip)

In these instances, the new topical variation will need to receive specific NCP committee authorization, and the faculty teaching the course should work with their department to submit a complete New Course Proposal form.

I was not able to submit my proposal by the deadline for the following year—what are my next steps?

Work with your Department Chair to complete the form as usual.  When your Chair submits the proposal, they should use the “Chair Comment” section to describe why it will be imperative that the course be considered for the coming academic year despite missing the relevant deadline.

I am submitting a new course for consideration to receive a Team-Teaching Award.  Should I submit a New Course Proposal separately?

No need!   You will be asked to submit a New Course Proposal form as a part of the standard Team-Teaching Award application process.  When your application is submitted, Faculty Services will coordinate with NCP committee-members to ensure your course receives their approval.  Should you receive a Team-Teaching Award for a course you proposed, this should be understood to signify that your course was approved by the New Course Proposal Committee.

What are the most common issues identified within New Course Proposal forms when they are submitted?

When New Course Proposal committee-members cannot immediately approve a course, it is typically due to one of the following issues:

  • Form not fully-filled out
  • Too many Areas of Study “tags” selected—maximum permitted is three (3)
  • Course description does not clearly describe student experience in the course
  • Course description language is convoluted, unnecessarily-complex, and written at a level higher than the targeted student audience (undergraduate or graduate, etc.)
  • The course appears to be adding a course to an area of curriculum where additional seats are not possible/needed.  In these cases, new courses will need to replace existing ones within the overall schedule

I have additional questions about making a New Course Proposal.  Who should I contact?

First consult with your department Chair and Administrative Director.  If they aren’t able to help you, you can always feel free to contact the Associate Dean for the Academic Division in which the course will be taught (Graduate or Undergraduate).