Curriculum & Assessment Committee

PCPS Curriculum and Assessment Committee

Effective Date: September 25, 2012
Modified: April 20, 2017


POLICY
The PCPS Curriculum and Assessment (C&A) Committee shall consist of one faculty member from CHS, Education, EXSC, HAHR, Nursing, OT, and PT who is tenured, tenure-earning or a faculty specialist. A representative of the PCPS Dean’s Office will serve as a non-voting convener of the committee. Staff may be assigned to provide administrative support for the committee.

The responsibilities of the PCPS C&A Committee are to:

  • Evaluate all undergraduate and graduate proposals for new programs or courses within PCPS, or that will be taught by faculty in the PCPS, for academic rigor and alignment with the strategic priorities and mission of PCPS and the University.
  • Evaluate all changes to programs or courses within PCPS, or that will be taught by faculty in the PCPS, for academic rigor and alignment with the strategic priorities and mission of PCPS and the University.
  • Review PCPS program curricular maps, which include specific direct and indirect strategies for assessing mastery of learning competencies, in order to ensure high quality, academically rigorous learning experiences for all PCPS students.
  • Verify that programmatic student learning outcome assessment activities are taking place and consult with the program about how its plan (rationale and method) may be strengthened and improved.
  • Provide a structured forum for faculty from all PCPS programs to discuss best practices, what works and what doesn’t work and for showcasing examples of closing the loop in actually using assessment data to improve student learning.
  • Provide counsel to the Dean regarding curricular issues and academic policy in PCPS.

Procedures for Curriculuar Submissions

Meeting Dates
The C&A Committee will meet around the third Tuesday of each month during the academic year (September –May) to consider curricular submissions unless it coincides with an official University Holiday (as designated on the University Calendar), in which case it will be scheduled on a different day of that month. Submissions to the PCPS C&A Committee are due approximately weeks before the meeting at which the proposal is considered. The specific meeting dates of the PCPS C&A Committee and the corresponding submission due dates will be published by the PCPS Dean’s Office in advance of the upcoming academic year and posted to the PCPS website.

Submission Deadlines
The specific submission deadlines to the PCPS C&A Committee will be published by the PCPS Dean’s Office in advance of the upcoming academic year and published to the PCPS website. It is recommended that departments make their submissions early in fall semester for inclusion in the upcoming academic year catalog, thus allowing time for any revisions that may be required.

As a general guideline, submissions of new programs for inclusion in the upcoming academic year catalog must be submitted in November and submissions of major program changes must be submitted to the PCPS Associate Dean at least 2 weeks before the January C&A Committee meeting. Submissions of course changes for inclusion in the upcoming academic year catalog must be submitted at least 2 weeks before the February C&A Committee meeting. Submissions of small editorial changes for inclusion in the upcoming academic year catalog must be submitted at least 2 weeks before the March C&A Committee meeting. Submissions made after these dates will be considered for the subsequent academic year.

Committee Membership
Each department listed in the policy shall nominate their representative to the C&A Committee for the upcoming academic year no later than May 31. In the case that no representative is nominated by the department, or if the nominated representative fails to attend two scheduled committee meetings, the Dean of PCPS will appoint a representative for that department for the remainder of the academic year from among the relevant program directors.

Proposal Submissions and Processing

1. Faculty will prepare the proposal using the required forms available from the Office of the Provost http://www.scranton.edu/academics/provost/curriculum__review_process.shtml

2. The chair of the department sponsoring the proposal must sign the cover sheet and submit the entire proposal electronically to the Associate Dean of PCPS. The original hard copy of the cover sheet should be submitted in addition to an electronic pdf copy. The proposal itself should be submitted as an editable Word document.

3. The PCPS Dean’s Office will review the proposal for completeness, understandability to faculty, staff and students and compliance with University policy and policies of the relevant accrediting agencies. Proposals that are incomplete, confusing or that would put the program out of compliance with established policy will be returned to the department for revision. Relative to completeness, particular attention will be paid to the following:

a. Discussion of overlap with existing courses and/or programs
b. Discussion of the impact and response of affected programs/concentrations/tracks
c. Under “Additional Signatures,” inclusion of signatures from department chairs of all of the other departments that will be affected by the change.
d. Under “Additional Signatures,” inclusion of signature of the Dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Education if relevant to a graduate program.

4. The PCPS Dean’s Office will forward proposals to the C&A Committee electronically so that they may be evaluated in preparation for the next scheduled PCPS C&A Committee.

5. The C&A Committee will discuss proposals according to the schedule. If the proposal is acceptable to the Committee, or acceptable with only minor edits, it will be forwarded with the Committee’s recommendation to the Dean. If the proposal is not acceptable to the Committee or needs major edits, it will be tabled or returned to the chair of the sponsoring department for revision, along with an explanation of concerns or perceived deficiencies.

6. The Dean, under advisement of the C&A Committee, will decide whether or not to support the proposal. If the proposal is supported by the Dean, he/she will sign the cover sheet. The PCPS Dean’s Office will then forward the proposal to the Provost’s Office for posting to the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee Angel site. If it is not supported by the Dean, it will be returned to the chair of the sponsoring department with an explanation of the Dean’s decision as to why the proposal is not being approved.

Procedures for Review of Program Learning Outcomes

On a 2-year rotating schedule, program directors from PCPS academic programs will present to the C&A Committee  documentation of program learning outcome assessment activities and how it led to programmatic improvements (closing the loop). Presenters must use the PCPS Curriculum & Assessment Committee Reporting Template. Summary documents should be submitted to the Associate Dean of PCPS at least one week prior to the scheduled presentation for distribution to the C&A Committee. Programs must present assessment data on all of their PLOs over the course of a six year reporting cycle. 

These summary documents, along with the PCPS C&A Committee’s recommendations for future assessment activities, will be kept on file in the Dean’s Office as documentation of assessment activity at the program and college level.

The schedule for program presentations to the C&A Committee will be established by May 31 for the upcoming academic year.