Curriculum and Instruction

 Why do we have a Curriculum and Instruction process?

It is mandated by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). The process at JMU is outlined in the Faculty Handbook.

 There are a lot of acronyms in this process. What do they stand for?

BOV = Board of Visitors
C&I = Curriculum and Instruction
CAP = Committee on Academic Programs
PLT = Provost Leadership Team
SCHEV = State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

 Why are there waiting periods during each step of the process?

The waiting periods provide an opportunity for faculty to weigh in on each decision and vote for or against curricular changes. They are mandated by the university as part of the faculty handbook. The time required at each step may vary, depending on the process used by each department or college or the schedule of their meetings.

 Do undergraduate and graduate proposals follow the same process?

Most of the steps required when proposing new courses or modifying existing courses and programs are the same at undergraduate and graduate levels. Graduate-level proposals, however, must go through an additional step (i.e. The Graduate School’s Graduate Council).

 How many Curriculum and Instruction Committees are there, and how are they organized?

Each academic unit has its own C&I Committee, which includes faculty from that unit. The chair of each unit's C&I Committee serves on the College C&I Committee and acts as a liaison between the two groups. The College C&I Chair heads the College C&I Committee.

Each college also has a representative on the Committee for Academic Programs (CAP), a university-wide review board. Faculty members can work on a C&I Committee as part of their service requirement.

 I am interested in developing a new program. How do I get started?

After you discuss your idea with your academic unit head who, in turn, discusses the idea with your Dean, you must set up an appointment with Paula Maxwell, the Associate Vice Provost for Faculty and Curriculum to go over your idea. She will get you started on the process and will work with you to gather the information needed for the Provost’s Leadership Team preview. If your proposal moves past the preview phase, you'll then follow the regular program development cycle (i.e. curriculum review through Curriculog, then CAP review, and if appropriate, BOV and SCHEV reviews).

 How far in advance should I begin developing my proposal?

For course proposals and program modifications, refer to the C&I schedule posted on the curriculum website. Course proposals and program modifications typically take about three months to pass through all approval steps. New minors may take six months to one year. For programs that need to go to SCHEV for approval, plan a minimum of one year, but new degree program approvals can take longer. For new degree programs, plan to start the process two years in advance of the first admission class.

 In what situations must proposals go to PLT preview and BOV for approval?

The general rule of thumb (though there are exceptions) is if it must go to SCHEV, it must be approved by PLT and BOV.

 When must proposals go to SCHEV for approval?

The following proposals must go to SCHEV for approval:

  • New degree programs (for JMU, this means new majors)
  • New certificate programs
  • Degree program deletions
  • Increases or decreased in credit hours by more than 3 credits (aggregate) to a graduate degree or increases to an undergraduate degree to more than 123 credits.
  • Program name changes
  • Addition of a degree program to an existing degree program (e.g., adding a B.A. option to an existing B.S. degree program)
  • CIP code changes

The following proposals do NOT need to go to SCHEV:

  • New minors
  • New concentrations
  • New tracks
  • Credit hour changes within the major courses of a degree program

 When I look at the SCHEV website, it says majors do not have to be approved by SCHEV, yet JMU says they do. Why is there contradictory information?

There are two reasons for this:

  1. SCHEV uses the term “major” kind of like what we would refer to as a concentration (or a “super concentration”). For JMU, however, a major is typically synonymous with a degree program. For example, a biology major is the same as a degree in biology. All degree program must be approved by SCHEV. To prevent any confusion moving forward, all “majors” at JMU will be considered synonymous with degree programs, thus they must go to SCHEV for approval. 
  2. SCHEV does not approve the individual courses with a major. They approve the degree program, which includes the major courses, the general education courses, and electives, all which must total 120 credits (UG).  

 Is there a single published schedule or calendar of due dates for proposals for this academic year?

An overview the of C&I process, including dates and deadlines is published.

 How do I request a new subject identifier (prefix)?

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