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Study Plans & Curricula Committee: Policy and procedures for curriculum review and modification

Overview

Course is defined as the main block of the academic program. Any course it might have some changes while teaching it. These changes will be in the interest of students and improving the program.  The University of Sharjah is carrying the responsibility to make any changes that help the community and student's needs. This policy will include steps for any positive changes may suggest by faculty, external reviewer, committee and students to support the course of any program.

 

Scope

This policy covers all colleges, department, faculty and students of UoS. Moreover, this policy it is very important for the Vice Chancellor for academic affair and central study plans and curricula committee in UoS.

 

Purpose

The main aim of this policy is to guideline faculty and instructor if they would like to do any modification in the curriculum or course structure.  Moreover, any positive modification will increase the quality of the course which is at the end will lead to have more effective programs and more educated students. This continuous enhancement will serve the community and employer demand by graduating more affective students. This policy provides a framework of quality assurance that regulates modification of courses which is the main pillar of Institutional Effectiveness process.

 

Policy

-        Course revision and assessment should be done internally at the end of each semester when the course offer and externally when the external review team are visiting academic program for accreditation purpose.

-        Faculty is responsible to fill course E-files at the end of each semester and discuss the all problems and obstacles facing students and course during teaching it.

-        Any modification should be accepted from an instructor, expert or commissioners who are specialist in the filed related to the same course which needs such changes.

-        Any suggestion for course modification needs evidence that the change will enhance the quality of the Course, as defined by academic CAA standards, contemporary relevance and student/employer demand;

-        The reviewer of the course should have the clue, clarification and reason for these changes. 

-        UoS vision, mission and strategic plan are the main core can base on while doing the modification.

-        This course modification proceeds if the resources are available to maintain the specified change; and

-        Might be implemented after review and approval from central study plans and curricula committee in UoS.

 

Procedures for Curricula revision

Changes are considered as "substantive" or "non-substantive".

 

Substantive changes include:

a) Change to the title of an academic degree;

b) Change to a program's total number of credit hours or the relative distribution of credit hours between compulsory and elective courses;

c) Inclusion or elimination of a track/concentration;

d) Change to the primary language of instruction in a degree program;

e) Change or addition of program offering location;

f) Change in format of instruction or delivery, such as e-learning or remote delivery; and

g) Change program admission requirements.

 

Non-substantive modifications include:

a) Change in course name or code;

b) Change in the term a course is offered;

c) Change in a course prerequisite; and

d) Minor changes in course content.

 

The steps for curricula review and modification are listed as follows:

I)    Department level

1)     The Department Chair should involve all faculty in discussions regarding curriculum development proposals. The department council examines and recommends the proposal.

2)     The Department Chair submits the recommendation for curriculum development to the College Dean.

 

II)     College level

1)     Upon approval of the proposal for curriculum development at the department level, the College Dean forwards the proposal to college-based study plans and curricula committee to consider the proposal. The Department Chair or his/her representative, with support and documentation provided by the department, will attend the meeting of the college-based study plans and curricula when the proposal is discussed.

2)     After examining the proposal, the college-based study plans and curricula committee submits its recommendation to the Dean.

3)     The College Council examines the recommendation of the college-based study plans and curricula committee and decides whether the proposal should be forwarded to the University committee of study plans and curricula or should be returned to the department for amendment.

4)     The College Dean submits a written statement along with the final proposal as a signed curriculum review form and attached documents (Current and proposed course syllabi) to the Deanship of Quality Assurance, Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation (DQAIEA).

 

III)      University level

1)     The DQAIEA examines the proposal write its comments and either forward it to the VCAA or return it to the college for further actions or requirement. The DQAIEA submits a request of substantive change to the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) in the Ministry of Education. Once the CAA decision is received, the DQAIEA informs the University Study Plan and Curricula Committee about the CAA decision. The University study plans and curricula committee will recommend the proposal (if approved by CAA) during its next meeting and submits its recommendation to the Deans' Council. If the request of substantive change is refused by CAA, the University study plans and curricula committee will decline the proposal and inform the concerned college and the Dean of QAIEA.

2)     The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (Chair of the SPCC) schedules regular meetings to discuss the curriculum review proposals submitted by colleges and verified by the DQAIEA. The SPCC discuses and decides whether to recommend or decline the proposal during its next meeting and submits its recommendation to the Deans' Council.

3)     The recommendations of the SPCC are adopted upon consensus of its members.

 

Deans' Council Decision

1)     The Deans' Council decision is communicated to the relevant academic units (concerned departments) and administrative units (Admission Department, Registration Department, DQAIEA, etc.) for implementation and for inclusion in the subsequent year's catalog.

 

For inclusion in the subsequent year's catalogue, proposals should be approved maximum by the March SPCC meeting.