AAC: Course Proposal Submission Guidelines

Academic Affairs Committee Must Review the Following:

  • All new one unit courses that are not Special Topics. Special Topics courses can only be given three times ^ before they must be proposed as regular courses.
  • All courses that are more or less than one unit, including all Special Topics courses that are more or less than one unit.
  • All approved courses that wish to change unit value. (A single course can have only one approved unit value, except for Independent Studies courses.)
  • All requests for distribution credit for new or existing courses; all changes in distribution credit previously assigned to a course.
  • All courses requesting the SYE designation.

Click on the faculty resources page to view 2001 and 2013 Curriculum Legislations including all relevant forms.

Proposing New Courses and Proposing Distribution Credit

  • Use Form A for proposing a new course:

    • The AAC is charged with reviewing all courses proposed as part of the regular curriculum and for inclusion in the University Catalogue. The AAC does not review Independent Studies, Honors Projects, or Special Topics courses, unless offered at other than one unit of credit. A course may be offered up to three times as a Special Topic.
  • Use form B for Requesting Distribution Credit:

    • Use form B for Requesting Distribution Credit under the 2001 Curriculum and form B13 for Requesting Distribution Credit under the 2013 Curriculum.
      The AAC reviews proposals for distribution credit in accordance with the legislation approved by the faculty. A copy of the legislation is available on the web pages of both the Registrar and the Academic Affairs division. Form B and Form B13 are also used to request distribution credit for existing courses, or for proposing changes in distribution credits already assigned a course.
  •  Use Form C for SYE designation of an approved course:

    • The AAC reviews all proposals for SYE designation except in cases of Independent Studies, Honors or Research projects.
  • Use form D for courses that are more or less than one unit:

    • The AAC reviews proposals for all courses, including Special Topics courses, that are more or less than one unit. Use Form A the first time the course is taught at the requested unit value. Form A is also used for requesting a change in unit value.

    NOTE: PLEASE SEND BOTH ELECTRONIC AND SIGNED, PRINT COPIES OF APPROPRIATE FORM(S) AND A CURRENT, COMPLETE SYLLABUS TO THE CHAIR, AAC. The committee's deliberations are helped greatly when all forms and syllabi are as complete as possible. The deadline for submission of course proposals can be found in the Faculty Administrative Calendar.

    Guidelines for Submitting Courses for SYE Designation

    • The process for submitting courses to the AAC for SYE approval.  The SYE legislation charges the AAC with reviewing and approving all SYE courses. To help guide this work, we designed a new form (Form C) that reflects the key principles of the SYE. You will find a copy on the Registrar's page.

      • For new courses seeking SYE designation. Use both Form A and Form C.
      • For existing courses seeking SYE designation: Use only Form C.

    Send both electronic copies and signed paper copies of the appropriate form(s) to the Chair, AAC. Also send a current, complete course syllabus.

    • SYE Designations:  Working with Faculty Council and the Registrar, the AAC has developed a set of common designations to be used for all SYE's.

      • SYE Course Titles: All courses approved as SYE will include the designation 'SYE' in their title. For example, ENG 361 would be ENG 361 SYE: Literary Theory. 
    • Numbers for SYE Other Than Courses: To identify SYE courses eligible for compensation and honors the following designations will be used:

      • For all SYE independent studies that are not Honors: use 489 or 490
      • For all SYE independent honors projects: use 498 or 499
      • For additional SYE projects, e.g. research, you may also use 468 or 469.

    If your department/program currently uses some of these numbers, contact the Registrar about finding new numbers for the non-SYE activities. If you have specific questions about how this numbering system affects your curriculum, please contact the Registrar or the Chair, AAC.

    Guidelines for Determining Course Unit Value

    • Academic Affairs Committee Criteria: The Academic Affaires Committee bases its decisions on the general philosophy that academic credit is only given for academic work. "Academic work", which involves critique and feedback from an instructor, can take many forms; possible (but not exclusive) examples include: time in lectures and seminars, laboratory investigation, studio work in the arts, independent studies.
    • Defining Variable Credit Courses: A variable credit course is one that is not 1.0 unit. For example,

      • Courses that stand alone, e.g. a .5 unit course (e.g., Aquatics), a .25 unit course (e.g., Laurentian Singers), etc.
      • Courses that are more than one unit, e.g., First Year Program, Biol.101, Chem. 103
      • Courses that are .5 units and stand alone, but are aligned with a one unit course, e.g., Physics 308 (one unit) and Physics 318 (.5units). Students must take both but not necessarily at the same time.
      • Courses that are linked to the standard one unit course as a Community Based Learning (CBL) course.
    • Determining Unit Values: The unit value of courses is determined according to the following guidelines, which are derived from the New York State regulations for accreditation:

      • Lecture/seminar time: 3 hours per week x 15 weeks = 45 hours or 1 unit (includes a 3 hour final exam). A 0.5 unit course is 22.5 hours.
      • Labs: if a lab counts for .25 units, a minimum of 3 hours/week in the lab for 14 weeks is needed. This yields .25 units. (According to New York State regulations, a 3 hour lab corresponds to 60-90 classroom minutes.) Additional credit need not be offered for laboratory time or fieldwork. However, departments and programs may choose to request additional credit for a lab.
      • Studio time: This is a combination of lecture and lab time. The credit hour ratio is set between 4.5 and 6 hours per week, midway between a lecture course and a laboratory.
      • CBL courses: Classroom time is 21 hours per semester for a .5 unit course.

    ^Changed from 2 to 3 times on 4/11/17 per faculty approval.