Chapter 9: CC Guidelines


Curriculum Committee Guidelines for Proposals and Meetings

9.1 Overview

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Course offerings and programs are the academic backbone of any college. The Curriculum Committee is the group that makes decisions on courses and programs. Though the membership of the committee is named by several different appointing agencies, the committee itself does not answer to those appointing agents or to other committees. It answers to the state. Vigilance must be taken so that no special interest group ever dictates the actions of the committee. Our policies and procedures follow guidelines from the State Chancellor’s Office and cannot be changed or substantively modified without reference to the CCCCO Program and Course Approval Handbook, Title 5, and other relevant state and federal regulations, guidelines, and accreditation standards.

Once a proposal is submitted in proper form and through technical review, it is placed on the next available agenda and is acted upon at that meeting. (Agenda availability depends on volume of submissions).

Preparation for meetings. The committee has to be prepared in order to act responsibly at meetings. It is very important that all members come prepared to discuss and act upon the proposals. The proposals are distributed in advance of the meeting. All members shall review the proposals and be aware of the content of each before coming to the meeting. If it is not possible for a member to do this, he/she should ask to be replaced on the committee.

Scope of review. The committee must always be concerned with the academic merit of a proposal and should avoid consideration of course cost and/or faculty load. These issues need be decided elsewhere; the committee decides only on the merit of the course.


9.2 Review Process and Guidelines

9.2.1  Technical Review

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After proposal submissions through CurricUNET for new or revised course outlines, course outline addenda, and programs these proposals undergo Technical Review.

Items submitted for Technical Review will be reviewed for compliance with the requirements and guidelines of the appropriate chapter of this handbook.

  • For new courses, course outline addenda, and programs, Technical Review is designed to help ensure that the final submitted version of the proposal is in a format that will not cause unnecessarily lengthy, drawn-out debate at the Curriculum Committee meeting.
  • For revisions of courses where the units and hours of the course are not changing, and for all revisions of course outline addenda, and programs, Technical Review is used to ensure that the item meets standards and can be placed on the agenda as an informational item. Course revisions that change the hours or units, or have other significant changes, must still be processed through Technical Review, but are also reviewed by the full Curriculum Committee.

Items submitted for Technical Review will be reviewed by the Curriculum Committee chair or designees (members of the Committee or resource members), and returned with comments to the Originator. In addition to comments, the reviewer will make a determination as to whether the item is ready for final submission, or whether the comments are extensive enough to warrant re-submission for Technical Review. The Curriculum Committee chair makes the final determination as to whether a proposal is ready for placement on the agenda.

Departments planning on creating or revising a large number of courses are strongly encouraged to prepare one outline first and fully submit it at least through the Technical Review process, to avoid unnecessary repetition of common mistakes and frustration.  

9.2.2  Pre-Agenda Review

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Pre-Agenda Review is a meeting held after the submission deadline and before the meeting agenda is finalized, typically 10 days prior to the meeting. The Pre-Agenda Review meeting is a meeting of the permanent members of the Curriculum Committee including the Curriculum Committee chair, the Associate Vice Chancellor, Enrollment Management & Instructional Support, the Articulation Officer, the SLO Coordinator, the Requisites Coordinator, the CTE Curriculum Liaison, and the CurricUNET Administrator.

The purpose of the Pre-Agenda Review meeting is to help ensure a smooth Curriculum Committee meeting. Departments may be given notes about their presentation or suggestions as a result of the discussion at Pre-Agenda Review. Departments should not prepare revisions or bring alternative proposals to the meeting. Instead, departments should wait until after the Curriculum Committee meeting so that all corrections and stipulations may be addressed at one time.

On rare occasions where there are significant issues with a proposal, the members of Pre-Agenda Review will recommend deferral of a proposal until a future meeting, so that the issues may be addressed and a revised proposal submitted.

Pre-Agenda Review Components

  • Are there items that presenters should clarify during their presentations?
  • Are course and program revisions appropriately classified as Proposal Agenda or Informational items?
  • Does course material overlap what is taught in other departments? If so, have content overlap signatures been obtained?

9.2.3 Curriculum Committee Pre-Meeting Review

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One week prior to a meeting, Curriculum Committee members receive a packet with a draft meeting agenda containing the proposal item and copies of the proposals. At least 72 hours before the meeting (per Brown Act requirements), the Committee members will receive the full agenda and draft minutes of the previous meeting. Committee members should review the agenda, draft minutes, and the proposals prior to the meeting, using the following as guidance for their review.

Reviewing the Agenda and Draft Minutes

The meeting agenda contains proposal agenda items, matriculation items, and informational items. Committee members will have copies of each proposal agenda item, and the agenda has specific details on matriculation items. Committee members should review the list of informational items for any concerns they may have about courses or programs being revised or deleted. Committee members should review the draft minutes to ensure that it accurately reflects their recollection of the previous meeting.

Reviewing Course Outlines

In accordance with Title 5 regulations and City College policy, the following basic criteria have been established for new courses:

  • The course shall be part of a recognized discipline,
  • The course shall be properly of a lower division nature,
  • There shall be a reasonable level of student need indicated.
  • There shall be a qualified instructor available,
  • There shall be documented department approval.

Each proposal should be reviewed against the standards in Chapter 2. Committee members should use the criteria in below as specific guidance.

  • General Description
    • Does the course title accurately describe the course? Is it sufficiently distinct from other course titles?
  • Course Specifics
    • Is the ratio of hours to units in keeping with the standards?
    • If a student needs knowledge or skills prior to enrollment in the course, are appropriate prerequisites, corequisites, and/or advisories identified?
    • Does the justification give sufficient rationale for the course, identifying need and goals for the course within the department’s/discipline’s offerings?
    • If field trips are identified, are they described appropriately?
    • If repeats are allowed, are they in keeping with the college’s Repeatability Policy?
  • Catalog Description
    • Does the description accurately describe the course?
    • Is the catalog description too long (approximately 50 words maximum)?
  • Student Learning Outcomes
    • Are the learning outcomes related to the content?
    • Are the learning outcomes appropriate to the desired level of the course (degree-applicable, nondegree-applicable, noncredit)?
    • Are the learning outcomes appropriate to the stated course justification?
    • Are the learning outcomes assessable?
  • Content
    • Does the content justify the hours/units?
    • Does the content support the learning outcomes?
    • Does the content not unnecessarily overlap what is taught in other departments? If there is obvious overlap, have other area(s) signed off on the proposal?
  • Methodology
    • Do assignments give students sufficient practice in achieving the learning outcomes of the course?
    • For credit, degree-applicable classes, are distinctions made between in-class activities and out-of-class assignments?
    • Are methods of evaluation tied to learning outcomes and contents, and a sufficient opportunity for students to demonstrate proficiency in the subject matter?
    • Are the textbooks and other instructional materials appropriate to the course?
  • Classification
    • Does the course meet the standards and criteria for the requested Title 5 classification?

Reviewing Course Outline Addenda

In general, committee members should ensure that proposed certificate and degree programs are prepared in accordance with the guidance in Chapter 3. The lists below have specific components committee members should use in their review.

Distance Education Addendum Approval Review Components

  • Does the distance education justification describe how the content of the course is conducive to the proposed method of distance education?
  • Are the methods and frequency of modes of student-instructor contact appropriate and sufficient?
  • Is the revised instructional methodology reasonably comparable to the methodology of the course outline of record?
  • Are modes (in-person or remote) identified for each method of evaluation?
  • Are the proposed methods of ensuring distance education integrity appropriate and sufficient?

Honors Addendum Approval Review Components

  • Honors Addendum Approval Review Components
  • Does the honors justification describe how the content of the course is conducive to honors credit?
  • Do the additional and/or enhanced learning outcomes sufficiently augment critical thinking skills to expand, enhance, or otherwise go above and beyond the regular section of the course?
  • Are the additional and/or enhanced items in the instructional methodology of sufficient rigor to warrant honors credit?

Reviewing Certificate and Degree Programs

In general, committee members should ensure that proposed certificate and degree programs are prepared in accordance with the guidance in Chapters 4 (Majors) and 5 (Certificates).

Program Approval Review Components

  • Are the Program Learning Outcomes clearly stated as outcomes, appropriate to the program level, and assessable?
  • Does the structure of core and elective courses support the stated learning outcomes of the program?
  • Does the structure of core and elective courses ensure that students achieve mastery of the Program
  • Learning Outcomes regardless of elective options chosen?
  • Are elective options clearly constructed, so that students and counselors can create educational plans, and
  • Admissions and Records staff can evaluate student achievement of program requirements?
  • Are course numbers, titles, and unit/hour values correct?
  • Is the total number of units/hours correct?
  • Does the mapping of courses to Program Learning Outcomes include all core and elective courses?

Reviewing Prerequisites, Corequisites & Advisories

See Chapter 6. Establishment of Prerequisites, Corequisites, and Advisories for requirements and guidance about prerequisites, corequisites, and advisories. In cases where prerequisites, corequisites, and advisories are approved as separate agenda items from course outlines of record, committee members should ensure that any prerequisites, corequisites, and advisories proposed are aligned with the expectations set forth when the original course outline was proposed.

9.3 Meetings

9.3.1 Proposal Presentation

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The Committee chair announces each proposal or group of proposals and requests that the department chair or recognized representative make a presentation of the proposal(s). The presentation is restricted to the rationale or justification for the proposal and the merits of the proposal. The presentation is to be kept as brief as possible, and should be no more than three minutes.  

9.3.2 Discussion

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After the presentation of the proposal, the chair will call for discussion. Discussion is conducted in a question and answer dialog format between Committee members and the presenter (and possibly supporting faculty accompanying the presenter).

The chair will then recognize Committee members in turn as questions and comments are offered.

Members may speak to a proposal more than once. The purpose of the discussion is to bring the committee to a motion to approve or a motion to table.

Conduct. At all times, the discussion is restricted to the merits of the proposal. The discussion is solely to inform the members and is not a debate or a forum.

Subject Matter Expertise. The discussion of a proposal should be respectful of the subject matter expertise of the discipline faculty. The Committee should defer to this expertise when reviewing the inclusion or exclusion of specific learning outcomes or content in a course outline, or in the structure or inclusion/exclusion of courses in a proposed certificate or degree program. The Committee is encouraged to make suggestions that would serve to clarify proposed courses or programs.  

9.3.3 Motions

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A Committee member can move to:

  • approve a proposal,
  • approve a proposal with stipulations (based on the discussion),
  • table a proposal to time-certain (the next scheduled meeting of the Committee) with stipulations.
  • table a proposal (no possibility of return subject to Curriculum Committee standing rules).

Members may make other motions consistent with the rules of order. The chair will conduct the motion and voting process according to the rules of order.


9.4 Post-meeting

9.4.1 Approved Proposals 

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Proposals that are approved by the Committee are designated in CurricUNET as approved by the Curriculum Committee chair and forwarded to the Associate Vice Chancellor, Enrollment Management & Instructional Support for implementation. The chair also signs the certification of Standards and Criteria form acknowledging the Committee’s action. 

9.4.2 Proposals Approved with Stipulations on Approval 

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Proposals that are approved with stipulations are moved to the Stipulations Level in CurricUNET, and changes are requested of the Originator with notes from the Committee. These changes must be completed and the proposal resubmitted to the Committee chair within a short time period, normally no more than two weeks. The Office of Instruction will not implement any proposals that do not have stipulations cleared – new courses or programs will not be entered, and revisions to courses or programs will not be made. 

9.4.3 Tabled Proposals 

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If a department presents a proposal that: overlaps offerings in other departments; raises objections within the department; or that is unclear in concept, the Committee is encouraged to table that proposal. For proposals that lack clarity, the proposal will return to the agenda when resubmitted with necessary corrections made.  

9.4.4 Minutes 

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The draft minutes of each meeting are published and distributed to Curriculum Committee members with the agenda for the next meeting, with the exception of the minutes for the last meeting of the year. Draft minutes are corrected as needed and approved at each subsequent meeting. Approved minutes are published on the Curriculum Committee web site.

The minutes of the last meeting of the year are pre-approved at that meeting and may be amended as needed at the first meeting of the following year.