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Submitting Course and Program Proposals to the SCAA

What is CourseLeaf?

You can think of CourseLeaf as a “beta” version of next year’s university catalogue.  It is a system for uploading, editing and finalizing changes to a course or program.

What is the Learner Centered Syllabus?

The Learner Centered Syllabus is a set of guidelines for the Drexel community to produce effective course syllabi.  SCAA requires that all syllabi submitted as part of a course proposal meet the approved guidelines.  You can find the checklist here: Drexel University Office of the Provost Syllabus Checklist

What should I include in terms of justification for a new proposal or proposed change?

Please remember that while we have representatives from all colleges and schools on the SCAA, we are usually not experts in either the content you are proposing nor the particular history and reasons motivating the proposal.  Thus, when you can provide concrete and detailed justifications for your proposal, SCAA is going to be better able to discuss and review your proposal in an informed fashion.  When there is need for clarification, we will always reach out to the originating unit, but if you can provide all the necessary information up front, it will expedite our review process.

When do I need to include a syllabus when submitting a course proposal?

All (no exceptions) submissions require a syllabus. This syllabus to conform to the guidelines set in the approved syllabus policy.

When does a course change become grounds for proposing a new course?

In general, if the course name and/or description are undergoing substantial changes, SCAA is going to take a careful look at the proposal to determine whether it is more appropriate to propose a new course.

How do I find courses and programs that potentially overlap with my new proposal?

There are several ways you can go about this. 
Search the current catalog.
Search Course Leaf.  For example, if creating a new course involving Biomechanics, search Course Leaf using the search term *Biomechanics* (the wild card characters * will allow me to find things that include the word “biomechanics”, instead of the title “Biomechanics” exactly) to find relevant courses.
Contact or visit the websites of relevant academic units who you suspect might have similar courses or programs.

How do I know when I should obtain a “sign off” from another unit when submitting a course or program proposal?

We request that units submitting a course or program proposal seek out a sign off from another academic unit when one or more of the following occurs:

  • You are adding or removing a prerequisite that comes from another academic unit.
  • You include a course from another academic unit as a required or suggested elective course in a program.
  • You are proposing a course or program that potentially has overlap, due to the name and/or content, with an existing course or program at the university.

A “sign off” can consist of a letter from an appropriate individual at the academic unit (e.g., department chair, curriculum committee chair) or a PDF of an e-mail exchange with the academic unit that clearly states they are fine with the portions of the proposal that impact their unit.

When I am submitting a new or revised program proposal that includes new courses, how should I proceed?

This is an important question, particularly with the recent adoption of the Course Leaf management system.  In all cases, program proposals with associated course proposals should be submitted simultaneously.  For new programs, both the program proposal and associated course proposals should be submitted by the new program proposal deadline (3rd Monday in November) in order to make the following year’s official catalog.  However, proposals may be submitted throughout the year.  SCAA meets 10 months of every year.

If possible, create the program proposal first (even if it is incomplete), so when you create the new courses, you can associate the courses with the proposal in Course Leaf and we can easily track which new or changed courses should be reviewed together with which programs.  To make things go more smoothly, including a brief note in the justification section of the proposal that mentions that a particular course proposal is associated with a program proposal will help us review your proposals together in the most effective way possible.