Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 1: Introduction
The Curriculum Committee is a quadripartite shared governance committee of faculty, administrators, students, and classified members of the City College community.
The Committee is the reviewing and approving body for curricula for
the College as a whole. The Committee is responsible for studying
curricular proposals (courses and programs) and recommending action on
them to the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees.
The Committee is charged with recommending action on the following:
- New Courses
- Course Revisions
- Course Deletions
- Discipline placement of
- New Course Outline Addenda (Distance
Education and Honors)
- Course Outline Addenda
- Course Outline Addenda Deletions
- Prerequisites, corequisites, and advisories for courses and
- New Certificate and Degree Programs
- Revisions to Certificate and Degree Programs
- Deletion of Certificate and Degree Programs
- Revision of Department Name
- Creation of new course prefixes
The mission of the Committee is to promote academic excellence and rigor by means of careful study and discussion and by the application of state regulations (Title 5) and the policies of the District.
The Committee is not responsible for the generating or implementing the curriculum proposals that it approves; such responsibility rests with the faculty, departments, and the administration. For this reason the Committee is also not responsible for the budgetary consequences (e.g. faculty load) of curricular proposals and does not use such considerations as the basis of its recommendations. Rather, the proper focus of the Committee is the academic merit of each proposal and its contributions to the overall educational goals of City College.
In the mid-1990’s the Academic Senate of the California Community
Colleges and the California Community College Chancellors Office
issued revised guidelines for the implementation and approval of
curricula at the California Community Colleges. Title 5 of the
California Code of Regulations and the following publications are the
basis for City College’s implementation of curriculum.
Program and Course Approval Handbook
California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, Sixth Edition, June 2017
The Course Outline of Record: A Curriculum
Reference Guide Revisited
Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, Adopted Spring 2017
Stylistic Considerations in Writing Course Outlines of Record
Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, Spring 1998
Good Practices For Course Approval Processes
Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, Spring 1998
Curriculum Committee Review of Distance Learning Courses And
Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, Fall 1995
These and other relevant publications are available at:
This curriculum handbook serves as City College of San Francisco’s
implementation of the above guidelines.
Where there appears to be conflict between the above standards and the guidelines in this document, the Curriculum Committee shall determine the appropriate application of standards and guidelines for the purpose of course or curriculum approval.
This handbook is organized to serve as a reference for course
developers, department heads, area deans, Curriculum Committee
members, and administrators. The current handbook is available on the
Committee web site.
Chapter 1. Introduction provides the basis for City College’s
implementation of the curriculum approval process. Includes Department
Name change procedure.
Chapter 2. Course Outlines of Record is a reference for
developers of course outlines. Included are subsections on each of the
components of a course outline and the approved format of an
Chapter 3. Course Outline Addenda provides guidance and
requirements on the preparation of the two types of course outline
addenda: distance education and honors.
Chapter 4. Majors presents guidelines for the development of an
major and describes the proper catalog format.
Chapter 5. Certificates presents guidelines for the development
of credit and noncredit certificate programs, and describes the proper
Chapter 6. Establishment of Prerequisites, Corequisites, and
Advisories provides an introduction to, and explanation of the
process of approval of course and program prerequisites
Chapter 7. Course Articulation, Graduation Requirements, and
Transferability provides information about course articulation,
transferability, and graduation requirements.
Chapter 8. Standing Rules of the Curriculum Committee states
the rules, procedures, and protocols by which the Curriculum Committee
Chapter 9. Curriculum Committee Guidelines for Proposals and
Meetings provides Committee members with orientation and
guidelines to the review of proposals and the conduct of Committee
Chapter 10. CurricuNET provides tips, tutorials, and support
for using our curriculum development software: CurricuNET META.
Appendix A. Change log provides a review of changes made to the
curriculum handbook each year.
Since different sections of this handbook can be intended as references to distinctly different audiences, parts of sections will be repeated in other sections.
Course outlines, like the College Catalog, are documents that have a
life cycle. They are developed, approved, revised, and can, sometimes,
go away. They can also become old. They can have lives beyond City
College. There are many persons, each with different goals, agendas,
and expectations, who have an interest in the course outlines that
form the curriculum of City College of San Francisco. The course
outlines are public documents that represent a definition of our
product. Course outlines are the copyrighted property of the
It is very important that the processes that create course outlines and the outlines themselves conform not only to the requirements of the regulatory and standardizing agencies but – more importantly – to our own professional goals and ideals.
The following is a list of terms that appear in the handbook and their usage:
- Department: Any department identified in Appendix A of the District/Department Chairperson Council Collective Bargaining Agreement
- College: City College of San Francisco
Catalog or catalog: College Catalog
Class or course: Course
Committee or committee: Curriculum Committee
Office of Instruction: Office of the Associate Vice
Chancellor, Enrollment Management & Instructional Support
- Title 5 or §55###: State of California Code of Regulations, Title 5 Education, Division 6 California Community Colleges
In the chapters that follow, not all of the examples provided are from City College of San Francisco and many examples have been edited.
The expectations of the Curriculum Committee have evolved in the past and will continue to evolve. Some evolution is brought on by external forces, such as changes in Title 5 Regulations. Other times, the evolution of expectations is the product of the dialogue that happens during Committee meetings and other College discussions on curriculum.
The Curriculum Handbook establishes the requirements for submissions
to the Curriculum Committee. It is to be used by faculty when
preparing items for submission, and by Committee members as the basis
Since it is important to faculty preparers and Committee members to
have stability of expectations, changes to the Curriculum Handbook
will normally be made on an annual basis, with a new Handbook
published at the beginning of the academic year. Appendix A: Change
Log will be updated to include a summary of significant changes.
As ideas are developed during Curriculum Committee meetings or other
College venues for changes to Curriculum Committee standards, those
ideas will be noted by the Curriculum Committee chair and developed
for inclusion in the following year’s handbook.
On rare occasions, external forces may require more sudden changes to the Committee’s expectations. In those rare occasions, the chair will endeavor to bring the Committee to consensus quickly on the updated expectations, and will provide faculty originators, department chairs, and applicable administrators with those updated expectations as soon as they are developed.
The Procedure for Curriculum Committee approval of department name change and prefix changes is as follows (adopted Sept. 13, 2017).
Requests to change a department name must be approved by the Curriculum Committee (AP 6.03 A.1.f). Changing a department name has consequences for students, the District, and for communication with other institutions, so should not be undertaken without careful consideration and consultation.
- Department name change requests originate within the affected department, and must be discussed and approved by a majority of the faculty within the department. This approval should be documented in faculty meeting minutes or other appropriate record. Deans should be consulted as well.
- A justification with evidence for the need or desirability of a name change should be part of internal department discussions and made available for Curriculum Committee review. Examples of such evidence may include documents showing the use of the proposed name on departments at other community colleges or universities, time-tested discipline/industry name usage, and/or appropriateness to the discipline and curriculum within the local context.
- Departments should consult with Chairs from departments with related disciplines for their input on the name change and prepare to bring that to the Curriculum Committee.
- The Chair of the department requesting the name change should communicate in writing to the Chair of the Curriculum Committee to request that the name change be on the Committee’s agenda. The Curriculum Committee Chair may request that all of the documentation and support listed above be compiled before placing the request on a Committee agenda.
- Department name change requests must be discussed by the Curriculum Committee at a meeting. The Committee may ask for additional information/justification from the department before making a decision.
- The Curriculum Committee will not approve a name change request for the same department more than once every 6 years, because of the impact of the change.
- The effective date for a department name change must coincide with publication of the College Catalog.
Changes for prefixes on courses have more consequences than a department name change for departments, programs, student records, departments, schedules, and articulation. These will be considered as a separate item from a department name change request, even if requested simultaneously. Approval of one does not imply approval of the other.
- Requests to create a new prefix for new courses, or to change an existing prefix, should be based on discipline faculty discussion and agreement, and justifications similar to the department name change, such as updated discipline designations, and improved communication for students and across institutions. Alignment with a new department name is not necessarily sufficient justification for a prefix change, although it may be considered as one factor.
- In the case of requesting a change to an existing prefix, impacts on existing courses, programs, articulation, and workflows must be considered as part of the approval process.
- The requested prefix must not have been used at CCSF previously for a different department or discipline.
- Prefix changes, if approved, may only take effect at the beginning of a new academic year (i.e., approved by the deadlines for Catalog publication and Fall semester schedule).