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CALS Curriculum Committee and Course Proposal Information

The CALS Curriculum Committee (CCC) is a standing committee of the College charged with the primary responsibility for curriculum matters in the College. Primary responsibility means that no other committee be established that overrides or circumvents the purposes of the Curriculum Committee. If circumstances require sub-committees for any academic program or curricular issues, these should report to the Curriculum Committee.

Voting Members. One voting faculty member appointed by each undergraduate major field of study in the College and a representative from Mann Library.

Non-voting Members. The Associate Dean/Director, Associate Director of Academic Programs, the College Registrar or representatives, and two undergraduate student members.

By Invitation. Instructors of courses under review, program coordinators, others as needed.

Committee Chair. Elected annually by the committee from its faculty membership with a term limit of three years.

Vice Chair. Elected annually by the committee from its faculty membership with a term limit of three years.

Responsibilities shall include:

  1. Creating, reviewing, and revising curriculum-related CALS policies (distribution requirements, learning outcomes, credit hours).
  2. Approval of new courses, changes in course offerings, deletion of courses, cross listings, formation of majors and minors.
  3. Informing academic departments, units and programs on issues or changes relating to curriculum.
  4. Providing a consultative function for majors, minors, departments, units, and programs seeking curricular advice.
  5. Providing an annual report to the CALS Faculty Executive Committee.

(Revision of a policy begun December 1988, revised December 13, 2003, fall 2015 [approved by the CALS Faculty Senate on February 3, 2016], and February 5, 2018.)

DEFINITION: Course that is offered under multiple department prefixes where the content and level are the same. Classes meet together.

NOTE:  Because cross-listing a course increases the complexity of course management for both the Registrar and the instructor, cross-listing should be avoided unless there are clear benefits to the students or instructors.

Therefore, there are only a few grounds to cross-list a course:

  • The course is co-taught by faculty from different departments or programs.
  • The course is a requirement for all students in the cross listed major/department/unit.
  • The course is seen as a significant part of the curriculum in the cross-listed major/department/unit. 

For the committee to approve a rare cross listing on the grounds that a course is not required but is a significant part of the curriculum, a compelling justification must be provided, such as: a vast majority of students (data included) are taking the course in one department or program in order to satisfy a requirement in another department or program.

Once it meets one or all of these criteria, to be considered for cross-listing, a course:

  • Must be reviewed and approved by the curriculum committees in the several majors or minors involved.
  • Must be reviewed and approved by the curriculum committees of the colleges involved.

The rationale for cross-listing must be documented during the approval process.

Alternatives to cross-listing

CALS has generous allowances for courses taken outside of the college (the most generous of any college at this time). Further, the combination of college and major or minor requirements is generally flexible enough to allow students to take courses in other colleges. Additionally, CALS shares several majors and minors with other colleges. Courses in these majors or minors are accepted as CALS courses without cross-listing.[1] Therefore, there should be little need for cross-listing courses.

Requests are often erroneously made to cross-list in order to make a course more visible to students in other majors. Alternatives to cross-listing that satisfy this need are:

  • Departmental and multi-departmental majors or minors in CALS can and often do list required courses that are taught by faculty in other departments. Common examples are calculus, chemistry, and economics.
  • Departmental and multi-departmental majors or minors can and do list courses in any department that meet requirements of the major or minor where their students have a choice among several courses.
  • Majors or minors can and do provide course recommendations to students for a variety of purposes unrelated to requirements of the major or minor.

The Curriculum Committee will not approve courses for cross-listing when this is:

  • Solely or primarily for the purpose of making the course visible to students.
  • Solely to enhance the stature of the course; i.e. to accommodate students who only want to register for courses in fields considered fashionable.

The Curriculum Committee will also not be able to cross-list courses that do not meet the SUNY/Carnegie guidelines for credit in relation to contact hours.

[1] Biological Sciences, Biology and Society, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Information Sciences, Nutritional Science, Statistics.

DEFINITION: Course that is offered under the same department prefixes where the content and level are different (i.e., Undergraduate and Graduate). Classes meet together.

REQUIREMENTS: The syllabus for co-meeting courses must provide clear and detailed statement of how the deliverables for undergraduate and graduate students differ; this is necessary to meet NYSED's requirement that all coursework be appropriate for the instruction level.

The entire course does not need to be different, but some components of the course must reflect graduate-level work, distinct from the undergraduates. Evidence of these distinctions should be found in the learning outcomes, assessment, and assignments.

REVIEW PROCESS: To have courses reviewed for co-meeting, please submit through the course proposal system for approval. The differing expectations for graduate-level students must be highlighted yellow within the syllabus to aid in the review process.

  • Adding a co-meet to an existing course: use a revision proposal to add an additional parent course to the existing course at the new desired level and attach an updated syllabus for review.
  • Submitting a new course with co-meet: use a new course proposal and add two parents at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Attach the syllabus for review.

All new or existing courses seeking review for distribution requirements will require a syllabus to be uploaded with the course proposal.

Introductory Life Science/Biology:
CALS Curriculum Committee members compare courses seeking this distribution against the following minimum reequirements

  1. No prerequisites or requirements of science comprehension beyond NYSED High School Performance Expectations.
  2. Focuses at least 60% of the course on one or more V&C Core Concept.
  3. Includes an evolutionary component.
  4. Includes the ability to apply the process of science (V&C Core Competency 1) and at least one additional V&C Core Competency in learning outcomes.
  5. Includes a significant student-centered teaching component (e.g. laboratory sections, problem-solving or case study activities, research projects, collaborative activities. Click here for more information).

    *Additionally, course proposals submitted for this distribution will require instructor to indicate if course is suitable for non-life science students.  Determination of how these courses will count toward major requirements will remain at the discretion of the department.

    Details on the NYSED High School Performance Expectations and V&C Core Concepts can be found here.

Other Physical or Life Sciences:
CALS Curriculum Committee members compare courses seeking this distribution against the following definition

  • Courses satisfying this requirement help students understand and appreciate the physical sciences, enhance quantitative reasoning skills, or explore the variability of living organisms.

Chemistry/Physics:
CALS Curriculum Committee members compare courses seeking this distribution against the following definition

  • Includes all Cornell courses with the CHEM or PHYS prefix that are a minimum of 3 credits (excluding courses that are supplemental, independent study, research, TA, internship, and First-Year Writing Seminar).

Quantitative Literacy:
CALS Curriculum Committee members compare courses seeking this distribution against the following definition

  • Courses satisfying this requirement help students develop the skills to solve problems through understanding abstract, logical relationships. Such skills include mathematical analysis of patterns and phenomena, modeling natural and technological systems, and creating algorithms essential to computation.

Written Expression:
CALS Curriculum Committee member compare courses seeking this distribution against the following rubric. This rubric must be submitted along with the course proposal.

Oral Expression:
CALS Curriculum Committee member compare courses seeking this distribution against the following rubric. This rubric must be submitted along with the course proposal.

Cultural Analysis (CA):
CALS Curriculum Committee members compare courses seeking this distribution against the following definition

  • These courses study human life in particular cultural contexts through interpretive analysis of individual behavior, discourse, and social practice. Topics include belief systems (science, medicine, religion), expressive arts and symbolic behavior (visual arts, performance, poetry, myth, narrative, ritual), identity (nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality), social groups and institutions (family, market, community), and power and politics (states, colonialism, inequality).

Foreign Language (FL):
CALS Curriculum Committee members compare courses seeking this distribution against the following definition

  • Any non-native language course offered for a minimum of 3 credits.

Historical Analysis (HA):
CALS Curriculum Committee members compare courses seeking this distribution against the following definition

  • These courses interpret continuities and changes-political, social, economic, diplomatic, religious, intellectual, artistic, scientific-through time. The focus may be on groups of people, dominant or subordinate, a specific country or region, an event, a process, or a time period.

Human Diversity (D):
CALS Curriculum Committee members compare courses seeking this distribution against the following rubric.  This rubric must be submitted along with the course proposal.

Knowledge, Cognition & Moral Reasoning (KCM):
CALS Curriculum Committee members compare courses seeking this distribution against the following definition

  • These courses investigate the basis of human knowledge in its broadest sense, ranging from cognitive faculties shared by humans and animals such as perception, to abstract reasoning, to the ability to form and justify moral judgements. Courses investigating the sources, structure, and limits of cognition may use the methodologies of science, cognitive psychology, linguistics, or philosophy.  Courses focusing on moral reasoning explore ways of reflecting on ethical questions that concern the nature of justice, the good life, or human values in general.

Literature & the Arts (LA):
CALS Curriculum Committee members compare courses seeking this distribution against the following definition

  • These courses explore literature and the arts in two different but related ways. Some courses focus on the critical study of artworks and on their history, aesthetics, and theory. These courses develop skills of reading ,observing, and hearing and encourage refection on such experiences; many investigate the interplay among individual achievement, artistic tradition, and historical context. Other courses are devoted to the production and performance of artworks (in creative writing, performing arts, and media such as film and video). These courses emphasize the interaction among technical mastery, cognitive knowledge, and creative imagination.

Social & Behavioral Analysis (SBA):
CALS Curriculum Committee members compare courses seeking this distribution against the following definition

  • These courses examine human life in its social context through the use of social scientific methods, often including hypothesis testing, scientific sampling techniques, and statistical analysis. Topics studied range from the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes of individuals to interpersonal relations between individuals (e.g., in friendship, love, conflict) to larger social organizations (e.g., the family, society, religious or educational or civic institutions, the economy, government) to the relationships and conflicts among groups or individuals (e.g., discrimination, inequality, prejudice, stigmas, conflict resolution).

Learning outcomes (LOs) are a required component of all course proposal submissions. The LOs on the proposal form need to match the LOs listed in the syllabus as these will be added to the Class Roster for student viewing.


The CCC reviews Learning Outcomes using the following guidelines:
 

1.  Outcomes must be assessable statements that articulate what students should know, be able to do, or value as a result of taking a course.

  • Quick Tip: Avoid outcomes that detail the tasks/activities/assignments of the course. LOs should focus on the learning gained by completion of the activities, not the activities themselves.
  • Instead of: “Students will… write a five-page research paper.”
    Try: “Students will be able to… source, compile, and articulate research findings.”

2.  Outcomes must use the format: After this course, students will be able to… [Action verb] … [Learning statement].

3.  Outcomes must be specific, measurable, aligned, realistic, and timebound.

  • Quick Tip: Avoid outcomes that use “understand”, “develop an understanding”, or “become familiar with” as the action verb. These are not considered measurable or assessable by compliance standards.
  • Instead of: “Students will… become familiar with bird species native to New York.”
    Try: “Students will be able to… identify bird species native to New York.” or increase specificity if possible and try, “Students will be able to… describe the migratory patterns of native New York waterfowl.”

Before submitting a CALS course proposal, please review the below guide to creating and assessing course learning outcomes, which includes a list of suggested action verbs, and complete the accompanying worksheet.

Cornell adheres to United States Department of Education, New York State Education Department, and Middle States Commission on Higher Education guidelines pertaining to the definition of a credit hour. For more information, see the updated policy on Defining and Assigning Credit Hours, which went into effect July 1, 2021.

A forbidden overlap is a course that offers 50% or more of the same content as your course. It is ‘forbidden’ in that students will not receive credit for taking that course if they also take your course, or vice versa. Forbidden overlaps can take several forms, e.g., significant overlap in list of topics, conceptual themes, readings, activities, learning outcomes, etc.

Given the subjective aspect of determining a forbidden overlap, it is the responsibility of the instructor(s) and the submitting unit to identify forbidden overlaps when proposing a new course.

To identify potential courses, enter key words related to your course title or content in the search fields of both the Class Roster and Courses of Study. If a course’s description suggests that there is overlap, reach out to the instructor to request a syllabus to review. When submitting your proposal, please list these courses and provide details as to why, or why not, a specific course should be designated a forbidden overlap.

50 Minute Periods
Start TimesEnd Times3 Meetings2 Meetings1 Meeting
8:00 AM8:50 AMMWFMW, TRM, T, W, R, F
9:05 AM9:55 AMMWFMW, TRM, T, W, R, F
10:10 AM11:00 AMMWFMW, TRM, T, W, R, F
11:15 AM12:05 PMMWFMW, TRM, T, W, R, F
12:20 PM1:10 PMMWFMW, TRM, T, W, R, F
1:25 PM2:15 PMMWFMW, TRM, T, W, R, F
2:30 PM3:20 PMMWFMW, TRM, T, W, R, F
3:35 PM4:25 PMMWFMW, TRM, T, W, R, F
7:30 PM8:20 PM-MWM, W
8:35 PM9:25 PM-MWM, W
     
75 Minute Periods (1 hour & 15 minutes)
Start TimesEnd Times3 Meetings2 Meetings1 Meeting
8:40 AM9:55 AM-MW, TRM, T, W, R, F
10:10 AM11:25 PM-MW, TRM, T, W, R, F
11:40 AM12:55 PM-MW, TRM, T, W, R, F
1:25 PM2:40 PM-MW, TRM, T, W, R, F
2:55 PM4:10 PM-MW, TRM, T, W, R, F
7:30 PM8:45 PM-MWM, W
     
115 Minute Periods (1 hour & 55 minutes)
Start TimesEnd Times3 Meetings2 Meetings1 Meeting
8:00 AM9:55 AM-MW, TRM, T, W, R, F
10:10 AM12:05 PM-MW, TRM, T, W, R, F
12:20 PM2:15 PM-MW, TRM, T, W, R, F
2:30 PM4:25 PM-MW, TRM, T, W, R, F
7:30 PM9:25 PM-MWM, W
     
150 Minute Periods (2 hours & 30 minutes)
Start TimesEnd Times3 Meetings2 Meetings1 Meeting
8:30 AM11:00 AM--M, T, W, R, F
11:15 AM1:45 PM--M, T, W, R, F
2:00 PM4:30 PM--M, T, W, R, F
7:30 PM10:00 PM--M, W
     
180 Minute Periods (3 Hours)
Start TimesEnd Times3 Meetings2 Meetings1 Meeting
8:00 AM11:00 AM--M, T, W, R, F
11:15 AM2:15 PM--M, T, W, R, F
1:25 PM4:25 PM--M, T, W, R, F
7:30 PM10:30 PM--M, W

Tuesday and Thursday evenings are reserved for evening examinations and therefore shall remain free from classes and laboratory exercises. On Monday and Wednesday evenings only regularly scheduled courses, and prelims previously approved by the Office of the University Faculty are permitted. Other evening academic activities commencing at or after 7:30 PM on Mondays and Wednesdays are not allowed.

If a course is offered for credit, then the instructor of record is the individual who assigns the final course grade.

The instructor of record must be an academic titleholder if the course is numbered 4999 or lower.

An individual  who is not an academic titleholder can serve as the instructor of record if the course is numbered 5000 or higher  and is not a requirement for any degree program affiliated with the sponsoring unit.

Co-teaching with an academic  titleholder is always allowed provided the academic titleholder serves as the instructor of record.

 

From The Faculty Handbook > 6. Policies and Assistance > 6.1 Instruction > Rules About Staff Teaching Courses

These members are appointed by their units and not elected. The CALS Office of Academic Programs and Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs provide support for this committee.  The committee is an essential participant in the shared governance structure of CALS.

Program AreaRepresentative
Agricultural SciencesFrank Rossi; Jeff Perry
American Indian StudiesKarim-Aly Kassam
Animal ScienceJeremy Allen
Applied Economics & ManagementReza Moghimi
Biological & Environmental EngineeringJohn March
Biological SciencesLinda Nicholson
Biology & SocietyJessica Ratcliff
Biometry & StatisticsJoe Guinness
CommunicationDrew Margolin - CCC Chair
Global DevelopmentAubryn Sidle
Earth & Atmospheric SciencesArt DeGaetano; Toby Ault
Education (minor)Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman
EntomologyJohn Losey
Environment & SustainabilityMatthew Hare
Food ScienceChris Loss; Julie Goddard
Information ScienceLarry Blume
Landscape ArchitectureMartin Hogue
Natural ResourcesMatthew Hare
Nutritional SciencesMarla Lujan
Plant SciencesMarvin Pritts
Viticulture & EnologyKathleen Arnink
  

Ex officio Members

Program AreaRepresentative
Mann LibraryAshley Shea
Office of Academic Programs (OAP)Sara Giroux (Director)
Office of Academic Programs (OAP)Christina Schmidt (OCDIS Director)
Office of Academic Programs (OAP)Kailey Mahar (Curriculum Coordinator)
OAP: Office of Student ServicesAubrey Holbrook (Assistant Registrar)
OAP: Undergraduate AdmissionsVacant
Student RepresentativeAbby Manning
Student RepresentativeJustin Paris

Meetings

Fall 2024 curriculum committee meetings

Fridays, 8:30 am to 10:00 am, Modality: In-person (contact Kailey Mahar, ksm96 [at] cornell.edu, with questions)

  • TBD             

These dates are subject to change depending on University deadlines.

Spring 2025 curriculum committee meetings

Fridays, 8:30 am to 10:00 am, Modality: In-person (contact Kailey Mahar, ksm96 [at] cornell.edu, with questions)

  • TBD

These dates are subject to change depending on University deadlines.

Summer

The CALS Curriculum Committee does not meet over the summer session. Time-sensitive fall proposals are reviewed on an ad hoc basis by a sub-committee, all other proposals are held for review until the first CCC meeting of the semester.