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Syllabus of Record Amnesty

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    Many departments, when beginning curriculum revisions or preparing distance education proposals, have asked the undergraduate curriculum committee (UWUCC) where to locate or find syllabi of record for departmental courses. As departments were asked to incorporate NCATE matrixes into their syllabi, they also needed to begin with a syllabus of record, which if available were out of date.

    Ideally these syllabi should be in the department office; many courses at IUP, however, predate the idea of a syllabus of record. Additionally there may have been course drift and a revision might be in order, but has not been completed.

    If a course was proposed or revised in the past twenty years, the syllabus of record that went through the curriculum review process might be in the university archives. These records, however, are not complete. In order to establish a more complete record of all approved university course syllabi, to make them available electronically, and to shorten the course revision process, the UWUCC is proposing a Syllabus Amnesty for existing courses.

    During the period of the amnesty (at least one year) there will be an expedited review process of course revision proposals. We are just requesting a curriculum proposal cover sheet and the following items listed below. This will then become the accepted or approved course syllabus of record and will be maintained in a university electronic database.

    Departments wishing to voluntarily participate in the Syllabus Amnesty should submit the requested items for major’s courses through the regular curriculum review process (Department Curriculum Committee and chair, College Curriculum Committee and dean, University-Wide Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and University Senate).

    Liberal Studies courses should not be submitted at this time because of the upcoming revitalization of the Liberal Studies program and its courses. It might be easiest to begin with the lower division courses first and then the upper division courses. This amnesty will be available through May 2008* with the possibility of an extension if departments request more time.

    What is a syllabus of record?

    • A syllabus of record is a document agreed upon by a department that includes the catalog description, course objectives, basic course outline, and procedures for a course. The syllabus of record is then forwarded through the curriculum review process for approval.

    What is the purpose of a syllabus of record?

    • The syllabus of record is available for new faculty members to assist in preparation of their own syllabus for distribution to students.
    • The syllabus of record is to be available in the department office for review by accrediting agencies, including Middle States.
    • The syllabus of record can be available to students who inquire about the content of a course. Departments might want to post syllabi of record on their department website.

    What should be in the syllabus of record?

    During the amnesty period, the syllabus of record will contain the following elements:

    1. Catalog Description. This includes the course title, number of class hours, number of lab hours and number of credits (i.e. 3c-0l-3cr), prerequisites, and an appropriately-written course description. This cannot normally be changed without a course description revision submitted to the UWUCC. If you wish to change it along with your course revision, please check “catalog description change” on the cover sheet and include the current catalog description along with the proposed catalog description.
    2. Course Outcomes (formerly called Objectives). What is it that students will achieve as a result of taking this course? These outcomes should be measurable and student centered. Normally, if the course outcomes change the course needs to be revised. (Refer to taxonomies in Appendix C of the UWUCC Handbook for assistance with course objectives.)
    3. Basic Course Outline. This should be an outline of the primary topics examined in the course or a narrative description of the scope of the course content. A narrative description might be more appropriate for a course that addresses a particular topic, but whose specific content might vary from instructor to instructor or from semester to semester. It is to be expected that individual instructors may emphasize various topics to particular degrees, but at this point this is the basic outline (or scope) of the content of the course as agreed to by the department.

    The other items that are in the UWUCC Handbook as required in a syllabus of record—evaluation methods, example grading scale, attendance policy, textbooks, special resource requirements, and a bibliography, as well as the old syllabus of record—do not have to be included during the Syllabus Amnesty period, but may be included if departments or colleges wish to include any of these items or other items.

    Please remember to submit an electronic copy of the syllabus of record to

    * Deadline extended at May 1, 2007 Senate meeting

    If you have any questions, please contact the Liberal Studies Office or one of the UWUCC co-chairs:

    Liberal Studies

    Sharon Aikins, 357-5715 or

    UWUCC Co-Chairs

    Gail S. Sechrist, 357-3762 or

    Muhammad Numan, 357-2318 or