Montana State University-Northern
Office of the Provost
Academic Senate: Curriculum Guide

Revised April 1996
Second Revision April 1997

  1. Introduction
    1. Program Authorizations (refer to Montana University System Policies & Procedures Manual, Policy 313)
  2. Board of Regents' Policy for Curriculum Proposals (refer to Montana University System Policies & Procedures Manual, Policy 303.1 )
  3. Approval Process for Curriculum Proposals (refer to Montana University System Policies & Procedures Manual, Policy 303.1 )
The Campus (MSU-N), in accordance with Board policy, submits detailed proposals for all curricular changes. Approval of any curricular change is subject to campus (MSU-N) assurance that financial support, qualified faculty, physical facilities and library holdings sufficient to establish and maintain the program will be available within reasonable budgetary support levels. The proposal must follow the format below and be submitted through appropriate campus review levels to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of MSU-Northern.1
  1.  
    1. Procedures for submitting program proposals (all post-secondary programs; degrees, majors, and minors.)

      Refer to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the procedures to submit new programs to the Board of Regents. Program Revision Form and supporting documentation should be submitted to the Curriculum Committee (see Appendix C).
       
    1. Procedures for submitting new course proposals.
      1. New courses may be developed and proposed by one or more faculty members, using the form provided for this purpose and appearing in Appendix C of the Curriculum Guide.
      2. Steps for approval of new course proposals.
        See Appendix C for appropriate forms and curriculum process.
    2. Procedures for revising programs and courses.
      1. Program or course revisions may be proposed in a department. Course revisions should be presented on the form provided for this purpose and appearing in Appendix C of the Curriculum Guide. Program revisions may also need to be submitted to the Board of Regents. Confer with the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for program revisions that need to be submitted to the Board of Regents.
      2. Steps for approval of program or course revisions.
        See Appendix C for appropriate forms curriculum process.
    3. Appeal Process
      1. If a committee (General Education Committee, Teacher Education Council, Curriculum Committee, Academic Senate) disapproves the proposal, the originator may request that the item be forwarded to the next body for consideration. If a committee disapproves an item, it will provide a written rationale to the originator.
    4. Procedures for Approving Special Topics and Independent Studies Courses.
      1. Special Topics courses.
        1. 190, 290,390,490,590, and 690 are scheduled classes reserved for special topics or experimental courses not listed in the catalog. Departments which wish to experiment with new subject matter or meet special demands will use these numbers.
        2. A Special Topics course may not be offered more than twice before being submitted as a new course proposal.
        3. Special Topics courses will be presented on the form provided for this purpose and appearing in Appendix D of the Curriculum Guide.2
      2. Independent Studies courses
        1. 199, 299, 399, 499, 599, and 699 numbers are not scheduled classes. Under the 199, 299, 399, 499, 599, or 699 numbers a student pursues independent work under the supervision of a faculty member. Such work may be:
          1. a regular catalog course, or
          2. a course designed to meet the special needs of an individual student.
        2. Permission for students to enroll in Independent Studies presupposes prior approval by the supervising professor of the project or special study to be undertaken. Such approval should be based on a preliminary plan of its intended nature, duration, and depth.
        3. Independent Studies courses will be presented on the form provided for this purpose and appearing in Appendix E of the Curriculum Guide3.
    1. Role of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
      1. The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs is responsible to the Chancellor for all curricular matters.
      2. The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs is responsible for all academic matters, in support of which he or she conducts studies, investigates problems, and considers recommendations.
      3. The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs reviews all proposals forwarded by faculty and approves them for implementation or disapproves and returns to the program or department level.
    2. Suggested guidelines for considering programs, new courses, and revisions.
      1. Programs. See Board of Regents' policy for program guidelines (Policy 303.1). In addition, confer with the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.;
        1. Credits shall not exceed those listed in Appendix A.
      2. Courses.
        1. Is the new course within the framework of the program, department, and college role and scope?
        2. College standards
          1. Does the course meet generally accepted accreditation standards for college-level courses?
          2. What are the justifications for its placement as a lower division or upper division course?
          3. Are there courses or other prerequisites for enrollment?
          4. Does the proposed course impact teacher education or any other special accredited program?
          5. What needs is the course designed to meet: local, regional, short-term, long-term?
          6. What is the anticipated enrollment?
        3. Duplication
          1. What courses offered in the department of origin are similar to this proposed course?
          2. What similar courses are offered in other departments?
          3. How many courses are now offered in the department of origin or program?
        4. Resources
          1. Are there sufficient resources available or budgeted for the course (library materials, space, laboratories, equipment)?  
          2. Can the course be staffed adequately?  
            1. Is qualified staff presently available?  
            2. Is it possible to offer the course for the coming year without additional staff?  
            3. What specific changes in the teaching of other courses may make additional staff time available?

    1See Flow Chart of Curriculum Approval Steps, Appendix B of Curriculum Guide
    2Special Topics and Independent Studies authorization forms may be obtained from the Registrar's Office.
    3Special Topics and Independent Studies authorization forms may be obtained from the Registrar's Office.

    APPENDICES