Manual for the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
This Undergraduate Curriculum Committee Manual is intended for orientation of persons newly involved with the work of that Committee (either as new members or as preparers of proposals for action by the Committee). This manual also serves as a convenient reminder of established precedents and existing practice.
By-laws regarding the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee is a Committee of the Council of Rhode Island College and as such is subject to all the requirements and regulations of Council committees that apply.
1.1 Article on General Provisions Regarding Council Committees
Unless otherwise specified herein, the following provisions shall regulate the conduct and the execution of business of each committee constituted and empowered under the Charter:
- Unless a by-law governing a particular committee explicitly provides for a Council committee to take final action on a matter, Council committees serve in an advisory capacity to Council or to the President, or both.
- A quorum of each committee shall be a majority of the voting members of that committee.
- In those articles where the election of a committee chair is not provided for, the Committee on Committees shall apoint the chair.
- Each committee shall meet at least one time during each academic semester and as many times thereafter as shall be necessary and appropriate to execute its charge. A copy of each of the minutes of the committee meetings shall be forwarded to the Executive Committee when distributed.
- Each committee shall submit to Council a report of its activities at least once each year. Said report is to be placed and maintained in the Council's public file. Other reports may be requested by Council. If a committee makes a report to any authority other than Council, a copy shall be furnished to Council. Any significant departure from existing policy or normal procedure shall be reported to Council promptly, in advance if possible. The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to all committees defined as being under the jurisdiction of Council.
- The by-law governing a particular committee and the foregoing general provisions (a through e above) governing all committees shall take effect for a particular committee when the Executive Committee certifies that it is appropriate for the committee to be governed by them.
1.2 Article on Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (XIV in the By-Laws)
A. Powers and Duties
The Committee shall:
- Be responsible for the approval and oversight of all aspects of the undergraduate curricula, including honors programs and general education. Implementation of Undergraduate Curriculum Committee decisions is subject to action by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the President of the College.
- Initiate study of new curricula or changes in curricula, and consider suggestions for curriculum development from the administration, divisions, departments, programs, individual faculty members, and students. The Committee shall consult faculty concerned with particular curriculum proposals under consideration.
- Meet at least once a month during the academic year.
Any faculty member may attend any meeting. Except in emergencies specified in the call of the meeting, an agenda shall be published on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee website prior to each meeting.
- Meet whenever necessary to review and evaluate the curriculum in general, to consider important problems and deficiencies in the curriculum, and to discuss its major goals and directions. Such meetings may be conducted largely under suspension of rules and without a formal agenda of specific proposals.
- Publish on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee website the recorded minutes of each meeting.
- Publish on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee website the decisions of the Committee and subsequent actions taken on these decisions, and list proposals that remain on the calendar.
The Committee shall consist of 20 members:
- Two faculty members from Art; Communication; and Music, Theatre, and Dance.
- Two faculty members from English, History, Modern Languages and Philosophy.
- Two faculty members from Anthropology, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.
- Two faculty members from Biology, Mathematics/Computer Science, and Physical Science.
- Three faculty members from the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development.
- One faculty member from the School of Business.
- One faculty member from the School of Nursing.
- One faculty member from the School of Social Work.
- The Chair of COGE,
- Two undergraduate students appointed annually as directed by Student Parliament.
- The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall serve in an
ex-officio, non-voting capacity. The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall appoint two voting members from among academic Deans and Associate Deans.
C. Elections and Officers
- The elected members of the Committee shall serve for two-year staggered terms, so that approximately half of the committee will be replaced each year. No more than one elected member from any department may sit on the Committee at the same time.
- The Election of members of the Committee shall be conducted by the Elections Committee and shall take place in April of each year.
- The Chair of the Committee shall be selected each May by the Committee-Elect from among its members.
Framework of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
2.1 The Organizational Position of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
On most matters within the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee's jurisdiction, the by-law delegates to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee the power to make decisions without referring back to the Council of Rhode Island College, subject to approval by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the President of the College. In cases of new programs that were not included in previously authorized functions of the College, approval by the Board of Education is required.
2.2 The Responsibilities of Members
As specified in the By-Laws, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee consists of 14 faculty members, the Chair of the Committee on General Education, three members of the administration, and two undergraduate students. All members have an equal vote.
It is the responsibility of each member of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee to exercise his/her best judgment as to the good of the College's programs as a whole, even though the member is chosen by, or on behalf of, a particular constituency.
The principal exercise of this judgment is in the discussion and voting in the meetings. Experience shows that in order to exercise this judgment well, members need to "do their homework" - to read and digest before the meeting the materials distributed for consideration. Discussion in the meeting may bring out aspects not clear in the proposal or alternative ways of accomplishing the desired result. Members should try to contribute to this in appropriate cases.
At times, members are needed for subcommittees or special studies.
Members also have a liaison function, both with the College community as a whole and especially with their own constituency. This includes answering questions, alerting appropriate persons to matters of interest to them, and helping preparers of proposals who are unfamiliar with Undergraduate Curriculum Committee procedures.
2.3 The Responsibilities of Officers
The officers of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee consist of the Chair, the Secretary, and the Executive Committee elected annually from and by the membership of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
The Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee has the following responsibilities:
The Secretary of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee has the following responsibilities:
- Receive proposals and check for completeness.
- Assign document numbers for proposals received, and record reception dates
- Inform the preparer of proposals that they have been received.
- Prepare and publish the agenda for each meeting.
- Convene and conduct the regular monthly (and any special) meetings of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee according to the rules of order.
- Serve as a member of the Executive Committee of the Rhode Island College Undergraduate Curriculum Committee; convene and chair the Executive Committee.
- Inform the College community of the meeting dates of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, of the Executive Committee's deadlines for submission of proposals, and of Undergraduate Curriculum Committee action.
- Forward the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee's recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and to the President. If recommendations are approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the President, the date of approval will be noted on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee website and those affected will be notified. Since approved recommendations are viewed by the Office of News and Publications, all proposals should contain accurate copy for catalog additions, deletions, and/or revisions.
- Sit on the College Mission and Goals Committee and serve as liaison between the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the College Mission and Goals Committee.
- Ensure that minutes of meetings are recorded.
- Act as Corresponding Secretary for the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
- Communicate with the preparer of a proposal about the reasons for committee action, in the event that a proposal is rejected or referred back to the preparer.
- Appoint members to any subcommittees or ad hoc committees.
- Inform subcommittee chairs, directors, and deans of reporting requirements.
- Keep the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee manual up to date.
- Ensure that the Elections Committee, or the appropriate nominating body is notified of any upcoming openings on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
- Others as required.
The Executive Committee of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee shall include the Chair, the Secretary, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and two faculty elected from and by the membership. The election of these officers is to be held in the preceding May to facilitate transition. The officers and members of the Executive Committee take office in May. The Executive Committee of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee have the following responsibilities:
- Prepare the minutes of each Undergraduate Curriculum Committee meeting. (Minutes must include revisions and/or amendments to proposals resulting from action taken by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee so that an accurate record of this action is available.)
- Keep records of attendance by committee members. Names of members with more than three unexcused absences shall be referred to the Executive Committee of the Council of Rhode Island College for appropriate action.
- Serve as a member of the Executive Committee of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
- Prepare annual reports of actions taken by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and distribute such to the membership, to the Council of Rhode Island College, and to other appropriate persons.
- Meet with the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee at least ten days prior to any scheduled meeting of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee to set the agenda and plan procedural steps for the upcoming meeting.
- Screen documents submitted to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for clarity, completeness, and correctness, as well as contradictions to policy and/or practice of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the College.
- Recommend "return to sender" actions for documents that need major revisions in order to meet above requirements. It is the policy of the committee that documents returned for revision must come to the Executive Committee a second time for a second screening.
- Make amendments for those documents that need only minor alteration so these documents may proceed to action of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee with the agreement of the proposer, without return to sender and a second screen. Members of the Executive Committee shall make the determination of minor or major revisions.
- Identify substantive curricular and/or policy issues that are explicit or implicit in proposals received by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and prepare statements identifying these issues, and (possibly) make recommendation for action to be considered by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
- Prepare recommendations and/or proposals for revisions, additions, and/or deletions of policy, procedures, and/or practice of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
- Assist the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee regarding committee policy, procedure, or practice of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee as its policy, procedure, or practice extends beyond the committee to other committees and/or segments of the College.
- Call attention to and raise discussion of issues regarding policy, procedure, and practice of the College and/or the governing and legislative bodies beyond the College that have curricular relevance.
- Assist and advise the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee in the execution of his/her responsibilities.
- Others as needed.
2.4 The Jurisdiction of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee is responsible for approving undergraduate curricula, including program requirements, program retention requirements, addition of new courses, course descriptions, course credits, and honors programs - but not grade index requirements for graduation, nor most administrative arrangements. The responsibility of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee is generally exercised by acting on proposals sent to the Committee.
The Committee also has responsibility for initiating study of new curricula or changes in curricula and for considering suggestions for curriculum development. In some cases, initiative may come from the Committee on the Mission and Goals of the College.
Note: Implementation of Undergraduate Curriculum Committee decisions is subject to action by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the President of the College.
2.5 The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee's Relationship to Other Bodies
The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee is established by a By-Law of the Council of Rhode Island College but most actions of the Committee do not require reference to the Council.
The number of credits each student receives for a course is specified by Undergraduate Curriculum Committee action. Faculty load credits for instruction are determined in accordance with the collective bargaining contract. The grading system to be used for a course is determined by the specific department subject to the approval of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee sets curriculum requirements and general policies. The Academic Standing Committee has jurisdiction over requests by individual students for exceptions in individual cases because of special circumstances.
The Committee on Student-Designed Majors has authority to approve ad hoc designs of majors for individual students. The Committee should establish criteria and procedures for the development of individually designed majors and will submit an annual report of their activity each May to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
The Writing Board is charged with the responsibility "to coordinate writing across the curriculum (in an advisory capacity and as a forum for discussion of writing issues)." Each January, the Board, in conjunction with the Vice President of Academic Affairs, sponsors a faculty workshop that explores issues of teaching and writing. (Approved 4/15/2011)
2.5.1 The Committee on Student-Designed Majors
The Committee on Student-Designed Majors consists of 6 members:
- One faculty member from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
- One faculty member from the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development.
- One faculty member from the School of Business.
- One representative from the Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
- One representative from the Office of the Dean of the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development.
- One representative from the Office of the Dean of the School of Business.
Faculty members are appointed by the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and serve for two-year staggered terms. Representatives from the Office of the Dean and Director are appointed by the Deans or Directors and serve at the pleasure of the Dean or Directors. The Chair of this committee is the representative from the Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
The Committee on General Education (COGE) (Revised and Approved 4/20/2012)
The Committee on General Education consists of 18 persons appointed by the Executive Committee of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee before 1 July for two-year staggered terms according to the following constituencies:
- One member to represent the Literature Distribution.
- One member to represent the History Distribution.
- One member to represent the Social/Behavioral Sciences Distribution.
- One member to represent the Visual and Performing Arts Distribution.
- One member to represent the Mathematics Distribution.
- One member to represent the Natural Science Distribution
- One member from each of the schools of Nursing, Social Work, Education, and Business.
- One student appointed by the President of Student Parliament.
- Vice President of Academic Affairs (or designee).
- Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences (or designee).
- Coordinator of First Year Seminars.
- Representative for the Language requirement.
- Chair of the Writing Board (or designee).
- Director of Writing (or designee).
- One member from the Adams Library faculty.
No department may represent more than one of the distribution categories in any single year. The terms of faculty members shall be for two years. Appointments of faculty members shall be staggered to allow continuity in membership. The term of the student member shall be for one year. All appointments to COGE may be renewed.
The Chair of COGE will be a faculty member appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Chair (outgoing) of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. The Chair of COGE will normally serve for a two-year term. The Chair of COGE will serve on the College Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. The Chair of COGE will have program responsibility (except for specialized accommodations as waiving and substituting courses, transfer courses and credits, which are the responsibility of the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences) and receive appropriate load credit and necessary support (clerical, financial, and other as needed).
2.5.3 The Writing Board (Revised and Approved 12/20/2019)
The Writing Board consists of 11 persons. The
ex officio members are
- The Director of Writing
- The Director of the Writing Center
- The Director of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning
Rotating members of the Writing Board appointed by the Executive Committee of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee are:
- Two faculty members from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, at least one of which is from Math/Science.
- One faculty member from the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development
- One faculty member from the School of Social Work
- One faculty member from the School of Business
- One faculty member from the School of Nursing
- One faculty member from Adams Library
- One faculty member from the Composition and Rhetoric faculty
The rotating members of the Writing Board serve for two years in staggered, renewable terms beginning 1 July. The Chairperson is selected from among these faculty members by the members for a two year, renewable term.
The Chair of the Writing Board serves as the contact person for the various constituencies responsible for writing and writing instruction on campus, to provide a coherent vision about writing and writing instruction across the college. The Chair shall serve
ex officio on the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning Advisory Board, as well as the Committee On General Education, and receive appropriate load credit
2.6 Reports from other committees and specific individuals
The Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee is responsible for assuring that reports are presented in a timely fashion.
- The Chair of the Committee on General Education (COGE) reports to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee at monthly meetings and presents an annual report in May.
- The Chair of the Committee on Student-Designed Majors presents an annual report in May.
- The Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs presents an annual report in May on what Transfer Minors have been offered and granted during the previous academic year.
- The Chair of the Writing Board reports to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee at monthly meetings and presents an annual report in May.
- Director of Honors presents an annual report in May.
- When appropriate, the Dean of the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Dean of the School of Social Work, the Dean of the School of Business, the Dean of Social Work and the Dean of Nursing report in April of each year on X5O, X60 and X8O courses that have been offered for more than three semesters.
In writing reports, the subcommittees of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee should follow the format found in the Appendix of this manual.
Procedures of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
Meetings of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee are regularly scheduled for the third week of each month from September through May, except when this conflicts with vacations, convocations, etc. These meetings usually last about two hours. In recent years, the committee has met in the Board of Governors room in Roberts Hall.
Extra meetings may be scheduled by the committee or called by the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee in an emergency.
It is urged that all members attend meetings to give their information and insights and to assure the representation of their constituency. Substitutes and proxy votes are not authorized. Though the Committee is usually willing to listen to remarks by someone speaking for an absentee, it is urged that members be present by the scheduled starting time to avoid delay for lack of a quorum.
The By-Law gives any faculty member the right to attend meetings, and this is generally extended to all members of the College community. This does not confer to all members of the College community the right to speak, but the committee usually will hear any remarks that would contribute to an understanding of the issues. It is expected that the originator of a proposal, or someone who can speak for him/her, will be present in case committee members wish to ask questions. Lack of such representation is often cause for postponing consideration of a proposal.
The By-Law provides that the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee prepare an agenda according to Robert's Rules of Order. A typical agenda for a regular meeting includes
- Approval of the minutes of the previous meeting.
- Report of the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
- Reports from COGE and any other committees who need to report.
- Old business.
- New business.
Proposals are not placed on the agenda until the Executive Committee reviews them, and all the necessary signatures have been collected and handed in. The meeting times for the Executive Committee are published each September. Proposals for each meeting should be in the hand of the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee before noon on the first Friday of that month (two weeks before the full committee meeting). Copies of the agenda and documents to be considered are published on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee website prior to the meeting of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
3.3 Conduct of Meetings
Meetings of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee are conducted under Robert's Rules of Order, except when modified by action of the committee.
Accordingly, most of the business of the meetings is conducted by voting on motions made and seconded by any members of the committee. Occasionally, other procedures (such as straw votes on several alternatives) may be used. On some matters, general consent is often requested and received as a way of expediting the business, but major motions are usually voted on, even if not in doubt.
Voting is normally by show of hands, with the secretary recording the number of ayes, nays, and expressed abstentions. Voice votes may be used if the outcome appears to be almost unanimous. If the chair cannot tell the outcome of a voice vote, a show of hands is requested. A member can refrain from responding to any of these categories. Individual votes are not recorded, except in the case of a specific request. A secret ballot could be asked for in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order and in the election of officers. Substitute and proxy votes are not authorized.
3.4 Distribution of Materials
Documents are made available in advance of the meeting so that committee members will have a chance to study the material and perhaps seek further information. These will be uploaded to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee website.
Minutes of the meetings (once they have been approved by the Committee) and reports of the committee's actions, will be published on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee website.
An Action Form is completed to report each Undergraduate Curriculum Committee action and/or recommendation to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and to the Office of the President and all other persons who must know the action of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. (See the Appendix - Action Forms.)
3.5 Deleting Courses from the Catalog
The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee has the following course deletion policy:
- Annually, at the beginning of September, the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee will request from the Director of the Records Office a report indicating which courses listed in the College Catalog have not been taught for three or more calendar years, and the last semester the course was taught. This report will be shared with the academic deans/director and members of the College Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
- The appropriate academic dean will notify appropriate department chairs/program directors of the courses that have not been taught for three or more years and are subject to deletion.
- The department chair/program director has four weeks within which to object to the deletion of the course(s) and to supply an appropriate rationale as to why the course(s) should not be deleted. If the department chair/program director does not communicate with the academic dean in this regard, the academic dean will notify the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee of their sole recommendation regarding deletion of the course(s).
- If the academic dean is notified that the department chair/program director objects to the deletion of a course(s), the two will discuss the situation and attempt to arrive at a mutually agreeable recommendation. If they agree, the academic dean will notify the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee of their joint recommendation.
- If the two cannot arrive at a mutually agreeable recommendation, the academic dean will notify the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee of the two opposing recommendations.
- Decisions for permanent exemption from this deletion policy and procedure can be granted only by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee upon recommendation of the academic dean.
- All recommendations must be submitted to the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee by the first Friday in November. The Chair will place on the agenda of the November meeting of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee a proposal regarding the deletion of courses not taught for three or more calendar years and the recommendations regarding deletion of these courses. If the decision is to delete the course, the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee will submit an Action Form for approval by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the President.
Since these policies and procedures are within the authority of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, notification by way of courtesy will be given to the Council of Rhode Island College. The course deletion policy will be in effect upon approval of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and supersedes all other policies or procedures in regard to deletion of courses. All other course deletions shall be accomplished through the process of submitting a course revision form.
Proposals and their preparation
4.1 Types of Proposals (Updated 11/14/2014)
This chapter is concerned mainly with proposals for new or revised undergraduate programs, including majors, minors, and concentrations, as well as new courses or revisions of courses, such as changes in title, course prefix, number, credits, description, or prerequisites. Proposal originators must be full-time faculty at the college, and each proposal must be supported by a college department. There is now just one proposal form, containing parts A through D, and it is available for download on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC) website. It contains various instructions as screen tips (just hold your cursor over any blue highlighted words/phrases to read) that should be fully read before you fill it in. Only submit those parts that pertain to your proposal. All proposals require parts A and D, while most will only need either B or C in addition to these. Delete from your document those sections that are not needed before submitting the proposal. The UCC looks at all proposals affecting 000 to 400L courses, however, proposals affecting 400L courses that are also offered as 500L, must first be approved by the Graduate Curriculum Committee before coming to the UCC. All proposals that affect only graduate programs and 500-600L courses go through the Graduate Curriculum Committee alone. Any questions: please e-mail the Chair of UCC at
In some cases it is possible to combine related proposals onto a single form, but, in general, each proposal needs its own form. A single form may be used to make multiple changes to a single course (though if you are changing everything this needs to be presented as a new course rather than a revision). A single form may be used to make the same change to more than one course (for example, to make the same prerequisite change to two or three courses), so long as the rationale for each addition is given (in the case of there being different reasons). When making different changesto several courses, please use separate forms for each course. Bear in mind, if you combine different elements onto a single form and one of them should not be approved, then the whole proposal gets rejected. If the proposal is for a new program then the proposal must follow guidelines described in the Regulations Governing Academic Changes in Rhode Island Public Institutions of Higher Education, which can be found on the RIBGHE website at
The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee also receives proposals for policy statements, investigations, etc. either from individuals or from subcommittees. It is helpful to the Committee to have as specific a proposal as possible, particularly something that can easily be put in the form of a motion. An individual wishing to communicate with the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for any of these purposes should contact the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
4.2 Information About the Preparation of Proposals
Proposers should remember that the audience for the proposal, initially members of the UCC (but then students, advisors, Records Office, and Publishing Service personnel) may not be experts in your field of study, so please pitch your explanation at a level appropriate for the readership, to whom it needs to make sense. A clear and compelling "curricular rationale" for why you are making this proposal is key, and is the first thing the committee considers.
Filling Out the Form
Use the current form that is available on the UCC website and
not an older version. It is a single form that has different parts, and the type of proposal will determine which of these parts you need to include. Delete any sections that have not been used. Follow the explanations given on the form under various screen tips—these are indicated by blue highlighted words and phrases that create pop up text boxes when you hold your cursor over them. The proposal form is a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx). It is designed to be downloaded, completed electronically, then saved as a Word file and emailed to the Chair of the UCC at
do not convert to a read-only .pdf or .docm as the website has trouble recognizing these formats, and the Executive Committee needs to be able to write on these documents and make corrections, where appropriate. The Committee needs the electronic file, along with an electronic file of its accompanying catalog copy, straight away, and then one paper copy of the proposal
with all of the required signatures, before your proposal can go before the UCC—this should be delivered to the Chair of the UCC prior to the Executive UCC meeting for that month (see timetable on announcements page) so that we do not waste time looking over proposals that do not have the required approvals. Always double-check that numbers for program credits add up correctly if you have made any changes to course credits or program requirements. Catalog copy needs to be without error (and should agree exactly with whatever was stated on the proposal—please double-check). Make sure you complete all necessary responses, and only leave blank those parts that are irrelevant to your proposal (A.7 always needs something, even if it is just a simple “none” and if A. 8 and 9 are left blank, then you may want to rethink why you are making this proposal if it will have no impact!!). On the flip side, don’t fill in sections that are irrelevant—for example, when making course revisions only include the old and new of those things you are changing (except for the course prefix and number that should be included to allow the committee to place the proposal). Where the form includes possible choices in B. 6, 10, 11, 12 and 15, simply delete the words in the boxes when they do not apply in order that the Committee can clearly focus on the details that are being changed. Do not use highlight to choose words (as when printed in black and white these do not show up), but delete the words you do not wish to use. Course learning outcomes are especially important for new courses, but also apply when making substantial revisions to a course. We do not need the full syllabus you would be giving a student—but an outline to convey a sense of what material/skills the course will include. Your response to C. 1, if working on a program, need not be lengthy, but sufficient to remind the reader of what is being proposed (such as, a brief reiteration of the earlier rationale). Make sure when revising programs that you include clear tables of the before and after in section C. 5 that clearly indicate to the committee what aspects of the program are being altered. Further suggestions for dos and don’ts of filling in these proposals can be found on the
Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning website. Also check there for information about upcoming workshops on the process of filling in proposals for UCC.
Any suggested changes after the proposal has been read, including minor ones, will be reviewed with the originator/proposer before forms are sent to the UCC at large. Maintaining the proposal as a Word document allows it to be posted to the UCC web site, where all members of the college community may view proposals and track them through the approval process.
Submission of Proposals
After completing your proposal, you should forward it to your department or program chair and your dean for approvals and signatures before submitting it to the UCC; if they do not all sign off then you should not be wasting the committee's time with the proposal.
If proposals involve more than one department, department chairs and deans of all affected programs must acknowledge or approve and sign the proposal (see below for further guidelines on acknowledgements and approvals). While the Executive Committee will look at a proposal without the signature page, it will not be placed upon the agenda of the UCC until the Chair has a hard copy of the signature page, and the agenda is typically published one week before the UCC's scheduled meeting. Proposals to revise anything within the General Education Program
must be approved by the Committee on General Education
before they are submitted to the UCC, and need to be signed by ALL the Deans. Proposals which affect Graduate courses
must be approved by the Graduate Curriculum Committee, and need to be signed by the Chair of that committee,
before they are submitted to the UCC. The Board of Education must approve proposals for new programs and/or substantial revisions (more than 25%) of existing programs for Higher Education once they have passed through UCC. The UCC website will indicate when the necessary approvals have been made on its documents page, and the date on which the proposal, if passed, will go into effect. The originator will receive an e-mail confirmation once their proposal has reached final approval (along with other people who will need to know, such as the Director of the library,
To submit your proposal to the UCC, email an electronic version of your completed form as an attachment (with names and affiliations typed onto the signature sheet of those who will be signing). Only send those parts of the form that apply to your specific proposal. Please name the file to reflect the content of the proposal (eg. The number of the course being proposed or changed [such as ENGL 161] or the discipline of the program [such as CHEMprog] and
do not leave spaces in the name as these cause problems during upload). Make sure that any required tables, course outline, or syllabi are pasted into the proposal so that you are sending a single file (please do not send as separate documents), to the Chair of the UCC, at
email@example.com. The only additional file that you
must include is your catalog copy. Please follow the detailed instructions that appear on the "Forms and Information" section of the UCC website to create this copy. On completing your proposal, please acquire all necessary signatures. The paper copy of the form with signatures should be sent to the Chair of the UCC as soon as it is completed. If the chair does not have this in hand by the time of the UCC meeting, your proposal will be tabled. Dates of meetings and when proposals are due for each one are posted on the UCC website, but as a general guide, proposals need to be sent in about a month ahead. This is to give the Executive Committee time to check them over before submitting them to the full committee.
The Executive Committee
The Executive Committee of the UCC examines proposals for completeness (which includes all necessary signatures) and conformity to committee policy. They then recommend or do not recommend that the proposal be placed on the agenda of the next UCC meeting. Failure to recommend placement on the agenda will mean that the proposal is returned to the originator for repairs or revision or consultation with other concerned elements of the College community. If a proposal is returned to the originator, the Chair of the UCC confers with the originator about needed revisions. If these problems are relatively minor and can be fixed in time, the Executive Committee may allow placement on the agenda for that month’s meeting. If the UCC finds further problems with the proposal during its meeting, there is also the possibility of friendly amendments to effect repairs on the floor. These, however, must be made by the representatives of the originator’s constituency or by a member of the Executive Committee, in consultation with the originator. Only members of the UCC may make motions to amend a document before the Committee.
The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
The UCC receives proposals listed on its agenda, and after deliberation, approves, rejects, or tables a proposal. If a paper copy of the proposal, with all required signatures, has not been submitted to the Chair prior to this meeting, the proposal will be automatically tabled. It is recommended that the originator/proposer (or a representative) attend the UCC meeting at which their proposal is being discussed in order to be able to respond to any questions that may arise. If questions about the proposal cannot be resolved at the meeting, then it will need to be tabled to the next meeting. If a proposal is not approved by the UCC, it may be referred back to the originator with an explanation of the reasons for disapproval. The proposal may be revised and resubmitted. Once a proposal is approved, an Action Form (see Appendix II-A), which includes an explanation of the proposal, is completed by the Chair of the UCC. This is forwarded to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who signs or does not sign the Action Form after checking it for content, and forwards it to the President who approves or rejects the action. Proposals that are rejected by the President are returned to the UCC for reconsideration. Notice of approved proposals is sent to the originator. The UCC website shows the progress of any submitted proposal, including when the proposal has been forwarded from the Executive Committee to the UCC, when it has been approved or rejected by the UCC, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the President, and, if necessary, the Board of Education, along with the date on which the proposal will go into effect.
The action contained in a proposal becomes official only after presidential approval and, if needed, Board of Education approval or notification. Monthly lists of these actions are also included on the UCC website.
It is the policy of the Chair of the UCC with the advice of the Executive Committee of the UCC to refuse to accept, for agenda, proposals that are incomplete or that do not contain necessary information as outlined in the UCC Manual. It is the responsibility of the proposer to keep abreast of any changes in these requirements. The Executive Committee may ask for minor revisions. Revised proposals must be ready at least one week before the scheduled meeting of the UCC to give the committee time to read materials thoroughly prior to the meeting.
The Executive Committee may also suggest major revisions to a proposal or recommend that the proposal be withdrawn or reconsidered. These recommendations are made based on the consensus that the proposal would not be approved by the UCC as a whole. The proposer may decide to revise the proposal or elect to withdraw it entirely.
If your proposal will require any resources managed through Information Services, then the VP of Information Services must be informed prior to submitting the proposal to ensure that such resources will be available, and there should be a signature from the VP of Information Services on the form to reflect their approval of this. This action also should be noted on your proposal in the relevant section (A.7), where you are asked to describe the impact of the proposed change on college resources.
Once the Executive Committee forwards proposals to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, the Chair will place them on the agenda of the Committee in chronological or logical order as received with other proposals. A proposal with interdepartmental or institutional concerns may be considered at one meeting with final action postponed until a subsequent meeting.
The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee does not have jurisdiction over administrative arrangements for implementing approved proposals. Hence, any references in proposals to administrative arrangements are viewed solely as informational by the committee.
Course numbering: If changing the number, or creating a new one, please check to make sure the number is not being used for another course, especially for a newly approved course that does not yet appear in the current catalog. Check for recent approvals that may not yet be in the catalog on the UCC website—the document names reflect abbreviations and numbers of courses/programs that are being proposed or revised. To help avoid confusion in transcripts and course repetition, the course number should not have been used for a course recently discontinued.
Course numbering system:
First digit: Indicates the level of the course.
- 0: These courses carry college credit in terms of the student’s credit total for the semester, but do not count toward graduation requirements, so courses numbered 000-099 are effectively non-credit courses.
- 1 or 2: Lower division undergraduate courses, primarily for first year students or sophomores. These are introductory and foundational knowledge courses normally taken in undergraduate students’ initial years at the college.
- 3 or 4: Upper-division undergraduate courses, usually taken by juniors or seniors.
All must have some kind of prerequisite—either other lower division courses, number of credits taken, or permission of department/program chair. Courses whose first digit is 4 may be taken by graduate students, but the number of 400 level credits acceptable in a graduate program is limited by graduate program policies.
- 5: Graduate courses. Undergraduates are not usually admitted to these courses.
- 6: Doctoral program courses, available only to doctoral students.
Second digit: Conveys special information about the course.
- 6: A seminar or general education core course.
- 8: A workshop.
- 9: Directed study
Second and third digit:
- 50: Courses with temporary topical content or courses that are being developed. These courses must be approved by the dean or director but do not come before the Curriculum Committee until they have been offered wit the same content three times, when they should be converted to become permanent courses.
- 80: Workshop courses with temporary topical content. These courses must be approved by the dean or director but do not come before the Curriculum Committee.
Word limits: Titles are limited to six words, course descriptions to 30 words.
Credit hours per semester (and issue of discrepancy between this and contact hours per week): Courses are usually no more than four, although student teaching and internships may have more than four credit hours. Often the number of contact hours per week and credit hours per semester is the same, although courses with labs or studio time may have more contact hours than credit hours. If there is a difference between contact and credit hours, indicate why in the designated space.
Curricular rationales: This is a very important section, and often the one to which committee members first turn.
Never leave this blank. Explain how your proposal strengthens the curriculum of a department, program, major, or concentration. Reasons may include the changing knowledge base of the field, updated language and terminology, the changing needs of students and society, relationships among and consistency with other College programs, professional needs, and changes in content emphasis. When revisions of programs are in response to external evaluations, the proposal must include the curricular reasons for the revisions. Clearly explain how the proposal will satisfy the goals of the department and the goals and mission of the College.
Catalog Copy for programs: include all information you want published in the catalog, formatted as you want it to appear. Information may include Course Requirements, Admission Requirements, Retention Requirements, Course Requirements for a Minor, Professional Components, Requirements for a Certificate Program, etc. If program information will require the addition of new catalog pages, indicate the placement of these pages, in relation to the existing catalog.
Acknowledgments and Approvals
- A new program that includes courses from other departments, needs all of their
approval signatures (along with their respective Deans).
- A revised program that is adding courses from other departments (whether they be required or optional), or changing a course previously included that is offered by another department from optional to required, needs their
approval (along with their respective Deans).
- If your department wishes to delete a course that is offered in a program in another department, you need only their
- A revised program that is deleting courses from other departments, or changing a course previously included that is offered by another department from required to optional, needs only their
- A revised program that utilizes courses from other departments, but in the revision these courses are not being added or deleted needs neither acknowledgment nor approval from those departments (only the departments for which a change is being made need sign).
In more detail:
Acknowledgement signatures (with dates) are needed from:
- The chair or director of any department or program which includes a course that you are revising or deleting as part of their program, along with the Dean of that department/program.
- Any persons in charge of other elements of the College that are affected by this proposal. For example, proposals that directly or tangentially involve or affect resources provided by or activities of other elements of the College, such as the computer center, multimedia center, or other departments.
- The library will be automatically informed of all proposals once they have been approved, and so proposals will no longer require the acknowledgment signature of the Director of the Library, unless specialized resources are necessary.
Acknowledgment signatures indicate awareness (not necessarily endorsement or approval) of the impact of the proposal. If appropriate, these signatures may be accompanied by statements of support (or nonsupport) for the proposal. Affected persons may also appear before the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee to speak for or against a proposal.
Approval signatures (with dates) are needed from:
- The chair or director of the department originating the proposal must sign, as well as the appropriate dean.
- The chair or director of any department or program that will be offering any courses you request in a new or revised program, along with the relevant Dean.
- Proposals that involve more than one school of the College must be signed by all concerned deans.
- If a proposal involves a general education course or policy in any way, the proposal must come before COGE for consideration and obtain the Chair’s signature before it comes to UCC. It must also be signed each dean or their proxy. If COGE disapproves a proposal that has General Education implications, the proposal may come before the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee on appeal from a negative response from COGE, but rarely will the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee contradict a decision by its own subcommittee.
N.B. Proposals that do not have the necessary signatures prior to a UCC meeting will be tabled.
4.3. Revision of Existing Policy or Practice or a New Policy or Practice
Proposals for revisions of existing curricular policy, curricular practice, or for new policy or procedures may be submitted in writing to the Chair of the Committee. Such proposals should include a clear rationale and explanation of the need for the proposed revision or addition of policy or practice. It should also describe the possible impact on the College-faculty, students, staff, administration and resources. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee may schedule open hearings on proposals of far-reaching implications, if appropriate, or may agree if requested to do so. Note that proposals for changes in Academic policy or practice must be sent to the Committee
on Academic Policy and Procedures or to the Executive Committee of the Rhode Island College Council.
4.4 Glossary of Terms (Updated 11/21/2014)
The following glossary of terms are used to define parts of programs:
Capstone means culminating or crowning. It is used to describe a course that is the culminating experience for a program of study.
Certificate of Undergraduate Studies (CUS) programs are primarily for undergraduate-level students, where the certificate components consist mostly of Rhode Island College undergraduate-level courses. Admission and retention requirements are significant. These certificates typically provide applied academic and/or professional training.
Certificate of Continuing Studies (CCS) programs are primarily for non-degree students, where the certificate components consist primarily of courses and/or workshops earning credits not associated with undergraduate or graduate programs at Rhode Island College, such as continuing education units (CEUs), college Outreach Program credit, etc. Admission and retention requirements for most CCS programs are minimal. These certificates typically provide professional development, vocational training, or personal enrichment.
Cognates are required courses in disciplines related to the major; they are intended to broaden and enhance the major.
Concentration is the area of specialization. Courses in the concentration are a group of courses that relate specifically to the student's area of study.
Curriculum represents the student's total program of study (normally requiring a minimum of 120 semester hours) and usually consists of (1) the General Education Program; (2) a major, or for elementary education, a teaching concentration; (3) cognates; and (4) electives. Education curricula also require a professional education sequence. For the sake of clarity, "program of study" is preferred over "curriculum."
Directed Study are courses numbered X90 and are designed to be a substitute for a traditional course under the instruction of a faculty member.
Electives are courses that the student may choose beyond the specifically required courses in order to fulfill the degree requirements (normally 120 semester hours for undergraduate degrees).
Independent Study are courses numbered X9X and the term applies to courses in which students select a topic and undertake concentrated research or creative activity mentored by a faculty member. These are the courses that students who are pursuing departmental honors will take.
Interdisciplinary major is a group of ten or more courses that form a major but that cut across departmental lines.
Major is the discipline or academic area that the student studies in depth (normally requiring a minimum of 30 semester hours).
Minor is a secondary specialization in a degree program (normally requiring a minimum of 18 semester hours).
Mode of Instruction
Standard Classroom: A course that meets at a pre-determined time and place, in-person, on a regular schedule throughout the term. The course may include use of online learning management system(s).
Hybrid: A course in which a portion of standard classroom instruction is replaced by online learning.*
Distance: A course in which all teaching and learning takes place online. There are no in-person meetings.
* All General Education Connections courses must include at least 50% Standard Classroom instruction.
Sequence is a listing of courses in the order they are to be taken by the student.
Specialized requirement is a course, or group of courses, within the major (this needs defining in order to set these courses apart from regular required courses or cognates).
Teacher education program is used in the elementary and secondary education curricula to describe the major and other requirements necessary to earn certification for teaching.
Teaching concentration is a group of seven to nine courses satisfying the requirement for a specialty in the education curriculum.
Other terms such as focus, module, cluster, track, emphasis etc. should not be used to define programs and should be avoided in the text.
I Annual Reports
The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and its subcommittees are charged with making reports of activity during the year. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee reports to the Rhode Island College Council and the format for its annual report must follow the reporting requirements for that parent body as well as provide a detailed record of all actions taken by
the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, so that a record is available for the future. Items required for the report are listed in Appendix I-A. The subcommittees of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee report to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee all action taken during the year. The format for this report is in Appendix I-B.
Content of Undergraduate Curriculum Committee Annual Reports
The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee report should conform to information requirements of the Council of Rhode Island College.
- Membership (names, terms, department, constituency).
- Membership of the Executive Committee of the Undergraduate Curriculum
- Meeting dates of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the Executive
Committee of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
- Dates of any special meetings and purpose of such.
- Subcommittees' membership and terms.
- Annual reports of subcommittees attached to the annual report.
- All ad hoc committees, their charges, memberships, reports, if any, and dates of
task completion (refer to the minutes of the meeting in which the report was
- All special task force(s) formed, membership copies of the charge(s) of the task
force(s), and progress reports and/or final reports.
- All special policy actions taken by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
summarized with dates of appropriate minutes.
- All actions taken by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee classified by
origination source (departments), with indication of action by the President.
- All other information required by the Council of Rhode Island College.
The following may also be included:
- Specific recommendations to the Council from the Committee in the form of
resolutions to the Council.
- Specific recommendations to new communities.
- Self-evaluation with recommendation for alterations in structure and duties for the
- Implications of current fiscal or personnel agreements relative to program,
personnel, curriculum facilities, etc. as they impinge on the work of the Committee.
Content of Undergraduate Curriculum Committee Subcommittees' Annual Reports
- Committee Title:
- Submitted to: Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
- Prepared by: Chair
- Members of the Committee:
- Meeting Dates:
- Review of Committee Activities:
- Decisions Approved:
- Include descriptions of the significant and critical events in the life of the
committee which may or may not have precipitated committee action, but of which future committees and the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee should be informed.
- Include any suggestions for changes or additions in Undergraduate Curriculum
Committee policy or committee structure that should be considered by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee; such as changes in the responsibilities, membership, and/or procedures of the committee.
Report of Undergraduate Curriculum Committee Action to the Vice President for
Academic Affairs and to the President
The report of recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and to the President is prepared by the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. The form used for this report is below. The recommendations must include a summary of all revisions (deletions or additions), with brief explanatory comments.
When and if the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the President approves the action of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee by affixing their signatures, dates of approval, and date effective to the form, the form is held at the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the website is amended accordingly.
Form for Report of Undergraduate Curriculum Committee Action
Date of Action:
Recommended by Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
(Department, Person, or Group)
Catalog citations:See pages on Curriculum website.
Chair, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee:
VP for Academic Affairs:
EFFECTIVE DATE FOR THIS APPROVED RECOMMENDATION:
Subcommittees of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
There are 3 subcommittees of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee: The Committee on Student-Designed Majors, the Committee on General Education, and the Writing Board. The purpose, structure, and policies of these committees are described in this Appendix. All of these committees report to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
The Committee on Student-Designed Majors
To provide undergraduate degree candidates who have earned at least 40 credits and who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 with an opportunity to design unique program that satisfy particular interests or needs or to pursue undergraduate work in an area in which the College has no existing undergraduate program. The structure of this committee is described in section 2.5.1 of this manual.
II. Proposals for Student-Designed Majors
- Proposals from students with more than 75 credits normally will not be accepted.
- The proposal must include at the minimum eight to 10 courses in the major and any essential cognates. Courses in the major should be primarily upper-level Rhode Island College courses. The proposal should also include and describe some means for integration or focus such as a research project, directed study, or field placement.
- The proposal must be approved by a faculty member or members who agree to serve as advisor(s) to the student and by the chair(s) of the department(s) involved. The chair(s') signature(s) indicate that courses on the proposal will be offered in the near future. The appropriate academic dean also must approve any proposal for a student-designed major resulting in a professional program.
- The completed proposal must be submitted to the Committee for Student-Designed Majors no later than 1 October (fall) or 1 March (spring) for action that same semester. Incomplete proposals will be returned. The student may meet with the Committee to discuss the proposal.
- The Committee's action (approval, request for revision, disapproval) will be communicated in writing to the student and advisor(s) before the beginning of registration for the following semester. The Records Office will be sent a copy of each approved proposal, to be used in monitoring completion of degree requirements. Students whose proposals are approved will be required to complete all courses listed on the approved proposal. The Committee on Student-Designed Majors must approve any requests for substitutions in advance.
Forms for applying for a Student-Designed Major are available in the Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Committee on General Education (COGE) (Revised and Approved 1/23/2012)
I. Purpose of COGE
The administration of General Education will be the responsibility of the Committee on General Education (COGE), its chair, and the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The structure of COGE is described in Section 2.5.2 of this manual.
II. Duties and Responsibilities of COGE
Responsibilities of COGE and its Chair shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Administer General Education in a manner consistent with the philosophy and programmatic requirements established by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
- Undertake a comprehensive ongoing review of all General Education offerings to determine that they meet the category definition and requirements.
- Organize and direct General Education faculty development programs to be related to the core courses, and to encompass all aspects of General Education.
- Evaluate and approve syllabi and course proposals for core and distribution courses.
- Review and approve the suitability and content of courses proposed to represent writing within the discipline of each major.
- Forward proposals for courses to be included in General Education to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for approval in a timely fashion.
- The Chair of COGE and the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences will work cooperatively with department chairs to schedule appropriate numbers and sufficient sections of general education courses (core and distribution) and to assure necessary and appropriate participation of full time faculty to support the core courses and distribution courses. This arrangement will be consistent with all details of the contractual agreement.
- All COGE meetings shall be open and an agenda shall be published in the College Briefs one week in advance, notifying faculty, staff, and students of time, place, and agenda.
- Hold an annual meeting open to all faculty, staff, and students for the purpose of reporting on and discussing issues related to General Education. This meeting should be publicized in a timely fashion.
- Organize, direct, and execute an assessment of General Education on a three-year cycle to include, but not be limited to, an assessment of the extent to which the goals and purposes of General Education are realized by the structure of the program, the content of the program, the schedule and timeliness of course offerings, enrollments, the sequencing of courses, the administration of the program and its ancillary components as well as faculty, staff and student satisfaction with the program.
- The Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences shall have the responsibility of determining and signing approval of special accommodations that may be required on a day-to-day basis. The Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences will provide necessary clerical support to expedite such special accommodations for students.
- The Chair of COGE will submit a monthly report to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee regarding the activities of the committee and a written annual report to the President, Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
- The Chair of COGE will prepare descriptions of the General Education Enrichment Programs and Faculty Development Programs sufficiently and appropriately in advance of these events to allow for preparation and participation.
III. Purposes of General Education at Rhode Island College
General Education at Rhode Island College performs several functions. Its primary purpose is to promote active and thoughtful citizenship and individual growth by providing all students with certain common intellectual experiences and with a fund of general knowledge. As specified below in the statement of outcomes, General Education seeks to develop or enhance students' abilities to analyze, synthesize, evaluate, and communicate information in various academic discourses. It seeks to promote students' understanding and appreciation of cultural and multicultural, social and political, scientific and technological, aesthetic and philosophical contents and issues important to life-long learning and successful citizenship in a changing America and a global economy. In addition to its primary purpose, General Education may contribute both directly and indirectly to students' study in their majors by offering required, recommended, and cognate courses at the introductory level. General Education at Rhode Island College is collaborative. Students and faculty work together so that students graduate with basic skills and knowledge, and with a foundation for more specialized learning.
IV. Outcomes of General Education at Rhode Island College
Each course in General Education addresses several outcomes. Students who complete the general education program will encounter each outcome at least once at an introductory level. No introductory course can fully meet an outcome. Rather, every course introduces or develops several outcomes. Relevant outcomes are addressed at a higher level within the advanced work of the respective majors.
- Students will understand the different purposes of writing and employ the conventions of writing in their major fields. Students will produce writing that is well organized, supported by evidence, demonstrates correct usage of grammar and terminology, and is appropriate to the academic context. (Written Communication)
- Students will be able to analyze and interpret information from multiple perspectives, question assumptions and conclusions, and understand the impact of biases, including their own, on thinking and learning. (Critical and Creative Thinking)
- Students will demonstrate the ability to access, understand, evaluate, and ethically use information to address a wide range of goals or problems. (Research Fluency)
- Students will learn to speak in a clearly expressed, purposeful, and carefully organized way that engages and connects with their audience. (Oral Communication)
- Students will learn to interact appropriately as part of a team to design and implement a strategy to achieve a team goal and to evaluate the process. (Collaborative Work)
- Students will demonstrate through performance, creation, or analysis an ability to interpret and explain the arts from personal, aesthetic, cultural, and historical perspectives. (Arts)
- Students will gain knowledge of social and political systems and of how civic engagement can change the environment in which we live. (Civic Knowledge)
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of their own ethical values, other ethical traditions from diverse places and times, and the process of determining ethical practice. (Ethical Reasoning)
- Students will analyze and understand the social, historical, political, religious, economic, and cultural conditions that shape individuals, groups, and nations and the relationships among them across time.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to: (1) interpret and evaluate numerical and visual statistics, (2) develop models that can be solved by appropriate mathematical methods, and (3) create arguments supported by quantitative evidence and communicate them in writing and through numerical and visual displays of data including words, tables, graphs, and equations. (Quantitative Literacy)
- Students will understand how scientific knowledge is uncovered through the empirical testing of hypotheses; be familiar with how data is analyzed, scientific models are made, theories are generated, and practical scientific problems are approached and solved; have the capacity to be informed about scientific matters as they pertain to living in this complex world; and be able to communicate scientific knowledge through speaking and writing. (Scientific Literacy)
V. Statement on Competencies
COGE feels that students must have certain basic intellectual skills to do college-level work. Among the most important of these are the ability to write coherently and perform fundamental mathematical operations, and communicate in and understand a language other than English at a novice-mid proficiency level. Without these intellectual skills, assignments necessary for effective or even successful learning, not only in General Education, but in all other majors or programs could not be carried out. (See the current catalog for methods of meeting writing and mathematics competencies, and second language requirement [also below].)
VI. Structure and Description of General Education
All degree programs require the completion of ten 4-credit General Education courses: three Core courses and seven Distribution courses. Students must also complete the Second Language requirement. A Writing in the Discipline requirement is also included in General Education and is a part of each major.
CORE REQUIREMENTS (Revised 5/1/2020)
First Year Seminar (FYS)
FYS 100 is required in the freshman year, with sections on a wide variety of topics. Each section is discussion-based and focused on developing critical thinking, oral communication, research fluency, and written communication. FYS 100 will not be offered in the summer or the early spring sessions. Students who enter the college as transfer students are not considered first-year students and are exempt from this requirement. Courses are limited to twenty students. HONR 100 is open to students in the College Honors Program.
First Year Writing (FYW)
FYW 100, FYW 100H, or FYW 100P is required in freshman year. These introduce students to college-level writing and help them develop the writing skills needed for success in college courses. Successful completion of the course (a final grade of C or better) will also meet the College Writing Requirement. Courses are limited to twenty students for FYW 100 (4 credit hours), and to fifteen students for FYW 100P (6 credit hours). FYW 100H is open to students in the College Honors Program.
Courses in the Connections category are upper-level courses on topics that emphasize comparative perspectives, such as across disciplines, across time, and across cultures. Students must complete the FYS and FYW courses and must have earned at least 45 college credits before taking a Connections course. Courses are limited to twenty students. Connections courses cannot be included in any major or minor program. Connections courses must include at least 50% Standard Classroom instruction.
Distribution Requirement courses emphasize ways of thinking and methods of inquiry within various disciplines. Students are required to take one course in each of the following seven areas:
- Arts—Visual and Performing
- Natural Science (lab required)
- Social and Behavioral Sciences
- Advanced Quantitative/Scientific Reasoning
WRITING IN THE DISCIPLINE (WID) (Revised 5/1/2020)
Building on the core course FYW 100/FYW 100H/FYW 100P, each discipline has identified a required course or courses within the major in which students learn to write for that discipline. Completion of the major/program fulfills the Writing in the Discipline (WID) requirement.
SECOND LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT (Revised 5/1/2020)
Rhode Island College graduates are expected to communicate in and understand a language other than English at a novice-mid proficiency level. The Second Language Requirement of General Education is designed to meet that expectation. If you are unable to fulfill any one of the requirements listed below, please consult the chair of the Department of Modern Languages.
The Second Language Requirement may be fulfilled in any of the following ways:
- By completing RIC language course 102 or higher, with a passing grade.
- Through transfer credit of language courses equivalent to 102 or higher from an accredited college or university.
- Through transfer credit of a second language course from an approved study abroad program.
- Through Advanced Placement (AP) credit. If students score three or higher on the AP Test in French, German, or Spanish, RIC will award 6 credits (equivalent to RIC language courses 113 and 114).
- Through Early Enrollment Program credit for language courses 113 or 114, with a passing grade.
- By completing the CLEP Test in French, German, or Spanish, with a score on the Level I test of 50 or higher.
- By completing the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and the written exam for languages for which there are no CLEP or AP Tests. Level: OPI (offered in 65 languages): Novice Mid to High. Written test: Novice High (offered in twelve languages).
- By completing the SAT II Subject Test (scores vary according to language).
- Foreign/international students may submit an official high school transcript from a non-English-speaking country of origin.
INTRODUCTION TO RIC REQUIREMENT (APPROVED 1/10/2019)
To maximize student success, a one-credit transition to college course, RIC 100 Introduction to RIC is required of all first-year students during their first semester.
Students learn how to navigate college in general and RIC specifically, including such topics as time management, wellness, college expectations, note-taking, cultural competency, and campus resources.
Note: Students taking COLL 101 or HONR 150 will be exempted.
GENERAL EDUCATION CATEGORIES
Courses that fulfill General Education requirements have the appropriate notation in the course description following
Gen. Ed. Category A (Arts—Visual and Performing)
Gen. Ed. Category AQSR (Advanced Quantitative/Scientific Reasoning)
Gen. Ed. Category C (Connections)
Gen. Ed. Category FYS (First Year Seminar)
Gen. Ed. Category FYW (First Year Writing)
Gen. Ed. Category H (History)
Gen. Ed. Category L (Literature)
Gen. Ed. Category M (Mathematics)
Gen. Ed. Category NS (Natural Science)
Gen. Ed. Category SB (Social and Behavioral Sciences)
Transfer Students may determine their status with respect to General Education requirements by inquiring at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or at the Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
The Writing Board (Revised and Approved 5/18/2012)
To act as an advisory body, helping to provide materials, suggestions, and support to individual departments and faculty members. The Writing Board helps to share information among programs and to sponsor faculty development relevant to writing. The Writing Board collaborates on formal and informal events to facilitate the discussion of writing related issues across campus, and provides fora for faculty discussion of same. The structure of this Board is described in section 2.5.3 of this manual.
II. Responsibilities of the Writing Board
- Meet regularly to discuss writing issues.
- Make such curricular recommendations as deemed appropriate and connected with its purpose to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and COGE.
- Create a forum for cooperation between the Writing Center, the Department of English (which administers First Year Writing courses), and all other academic units on campus, including ESL programs, Adams Library and OASIS.
- Advise Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, COGE, departments, programs, and others about writing and writing instruction.
- Produce issue statements and working papers about writing.
- Maintain a website presence that offers guidance in the instruction of writing.
III. Responsibilities of the Chair of the Writing Board
- Organize and conduct regular meetings of the Writing Board.
- Facilitate and coordinate the support of writing instruction on campus by serving as the contact person for information pertaining to writing across the curriculum and writing in the disciplines and by developing funding opportunities for faculty development as need and opportunity arise.
- Coordinate with the Writing Center, First Year Writing, First Year Seminar, Adams Library and OASIS to enhance the support of writing instruction and to help identify faculty and student needs in relation to writing.
- Regularly meet with departments to discuss writing instruction practices, especially pertaining to writing in the discipline; identify department level support for writing instruction that can be developed and implemented by the Writing Board in collaboration with the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.
- Collaborate with other groups on campus such as the Committee on General Education, Adams Library and the Rhode Island Writing Project, as need and opportunity arise, to support writing pedagogy and instruction and to promote a "culture of writing" at Rhode Island College.
- Facilitate collaboration between the Writing Board and the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning on annual events such as the Faculty Development Workshop and the Summer Seminar for the Teaching of Writing.
- Serve as an
ex officio member of the Committee on General Education and provide information and feedback to COGE on issues related to writing and writing instruction as appropriate.
- Serve as an
ex officio member of the advisory board of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.
- Present a report of the Writing Board to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee at its monthly meetings. Present a yearly written report to the UCC in May.
- Coordinate editorial content and general design decisions to maintain effectiveness of the Writing Board website.
Appendix IV (Revised and Approved 3/26/2012)
The College Honors Program
The College Honors Program offers academically superior students, regardless of major, the opportunity to participate in a four-year honors experience. The program has two parts: General Education Honors and Departmental Honors. Each part may be taken independently of the other and will be noted on the student's official transcript. However, both parts must be completed in order to receive the additional designation of "College Honors" on the transcript.
General Education Honors
General Education Honors admits students directly from high school, during their freshman year, or as transfers. Most of General Education Honors is normally, although not necessarily, completed by the end of the sophomore year, except for a junior year General Education Connections course.
Students take a minimum of five General Education courses in specially designed honors sections. These sections are designed to be more intellectually challenging than regular courses and are kept small in size, thus allowing ample opportunity for class discussion and for individualized study.
Successful completion of General Education Honors requires a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.00. All honors courses taken are noted on the student's transcript, as is the completion of General Education Honors as a whole. Students may withdraw from the program at any time.
Admission to General Education Honors is by invitation of the Director of Honors and the College Honors Committee. Students invited into General Education Honors normally rank in the top 20 percent of their high-school class, have taken demanding academic schedules, and have scored at least 1200 on the SAT (verbal and critical). Each student's application is looked at individually, however, and other factors are considered, such as activities, recommendations, the student's high school curriculum, and his or her personal statement. Students may also join on the basis of their performance at Rhode Island College during their first year or as transfer students, if they have not already completed too many General Education courses.
Each year Rhode Island College awards a number of merit-based scholarships to students in General Education Honors. Those scholarships are renewable for a maximum of four years as long as the student maintains full-time status with a minimum GPA of 3.00 and makes satisfactory progress toward completing General Education Honors.
Other financial scholarships specifically for General Education Honors students are the Eleanor M. McMahon Award, which is presented to an outstanding graduating senior who has completed both General Education Honors and Departmental Honors; the Eleanor M. McMahon Rising Junior Award, which is presented to a rising junior in General Education Honors who plans to complete a departmental honors project; the John Nazarian Honors Scholarship, which is awarded to an outstanding incoming freshman in General Education Honors; the Director of Honors Scholarship, which is given to a deserving student in General Education Honors; and the Ruth Williams '33 Honors Scholarship, which is given to students from the Westerly, Rhode Island area.
Honors 351: Honors Colloquium admits continuing and transfer students who have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.00, whether or not they have participated in General Education Honors. Although most students will have attained junior status, this colloquium is open to second-semester sophomores as well. This course may be taken twice for credit.
Honors 351 promotes intellectual and social community among students from different disciplines at the college. It teaches students to think self-analytically about their majors and about working in particular academic genres. It helps students decide whether or not to undertake departmental honors work and guides them in the initial stages of identifying, researching, and proposing honors projects in their respective majors.
Departmental Honors offers students the opportunity to undertake an independent research, critical, or creative project on a topic of the student's choice and directed by a professor of the student's choice. Normally, the project begins in the senior year, although it may commence earlier, and carries six to eight hours of independent study credit over two semesters. Students may participate in Departmental Honors whether or not they have completed General Education Honors or taken Honors 351.
A Departmental Honors project is completed in the department of the student's major. The student must apply formally to the appropriate departmental honors committee, which is responsible for accepting the student's proposal for an honors project, for evaluating the completed project, and for awarding the Departmental Honors designation, which will appear on the student's transcript. If the student's project involves work with persons or animals, the project must also be approved by the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Individual departments may also require that the student take specific upper-level courses in addition to or as part of the honors project.
If there is no honors program in the student's major or if the student wishes to undertake an interdisciplinary project that cannot be accommodated in the major, the student may apply directly to the Director of Honors to appoint an appropriate faculty committee to review the student's proposal and to oversee the project. In such cases, the student's transcript will reflect completion of an Honors Independent Project rather than Departmental Honors. Such students will still be eligible to receive the College Honors designation on their transcripts.
Students seeking Departmental Honors must have a minimum overall grade average (GPA) of at least 3.00 and a minimum GPA in the major of at least 3.25. Some departments require higher minimum GPAs. Students should consult the respective departmental honors committees for details. A student whose project is denied honors may appeal that decision through the normal college appeal process.
Departmental Honors programs are offered in accounting, Africana studies, anthropology, art, art education, art history, biology, chemistry, communication, computer information systems, computer science, dance performance, early childhood education, economics, elementary education, English, film studies, finance, gender and women's studies, geography, history, justice studies, management, marketing, mathematics, modern languages, music, music education, nursing, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, secondary education, social work, sociology, special education, and theatre.
The General Education Honors Program
I. The Structure of General Education Honors
The General Education Honors program is mostly a lower-division honors sequence, with the majority of honors work to be completed, normally, in the freshman and sophomore years. To complete General Education Honors, students must take a minimum of five General Education courses in specially designed honors sections. Courses chosen normally include the Honors Core, which consists of Honors First Year Seminar, Honors First Year Writing, and Honors Connections (taken in the junior year). Other honors courses are offered in various disciplines as Distribution Requirements. To emphasize active class participation and close student-teacher interaction, the Honors classes are kept small, usually twelve to fifteen students, and are conducted in a discussion rather than a lecture format. Honors sections often employ innovative teaching techniques. Students are admitted to General Education Honors directly from high school, during their freshman year, or as transfers. Most students in the program rank in the top 20 percent of their high school classes and have SAT scores of at least 1200 (verbal and critical reading). Each student's application is looked at individually, however, and other factors are considered for admission, such as activities, recommendations, the student's high-school curriculum, and his or her personal statement.
Students must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 in order to graduate with General Education Honors.
II. Non-Honors Students in Honors Classes
Students not in the honors program but with a demonstrable proficiency and interest in a given area are allowed to take individual honors classes. They will not, however, preempt any student in the honors program who wishes to take a given class or cause the class size to be increased above 15. Admission of such students will be by permission of the instructor and the Director of Honors.
III. The Honors Faculty
Faculty participating in the program normally combine strong credentials as in-class teachers with a demonstrated and on-going commitment to scholarly and/or creative productivity in their respective disciplines.
Faculty participating in the program should normally combine strong credentials as in-class teachers with a demonstrated and on-going commitment to scholarly and/or creative productivity in their respective disciplines.
The General Education Honors program will be administered by the Director of Honors, advised by the Honors Committee, who will report to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Director of Honors, working closely with appropriate members of the faculty and administration, will supervise the development, coordination, review, and publicizing of the program. Ultimate responsibility for the quality and the operation of the program shall rest with the Director of Honors. Scheduling and staffing of honors classes shall rest with the Director of Honors in conjunction with department chairs. Evaluation of honors courses rests with the Director of Honors.
Policy on General Criteria for Departmental Honors Programs
The Rhode Island College Council has charged the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee of Rhode Island College with responsibility in matters pertaining to departmental Honors Programs. Proposals for the initiation and/or revision of departmental Honors Programs should be submitted to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee on Program Proposal or Program Revision Forms for approval. Approval will be contingent upon the proposed Honors Program meeting the following minimum criteria.
- An applicant must have a minimum overall grade point average of at least 3.00 and a grade point average in the major of at least 3.25. Departments may set higher minimum standards and/or additional criteria for entrance into the Honors Programs. Departments may make exceptions to their minimum requirements to admit an individual student but each student admitted as an exception shall be considered to be on probationary status.
- Each department offering an Honors Program must establish a departmental honors committee of at least three members, one of whom shall serve as chair. This may be a committee of the whole or a sub-group of another standing committee.
- Applications for admission to the Honors Program within a department must be submitted in writing to the chair of the department who shall forward them to the departmental honors committee and to the Director of Honors.
- Application for admission shall occur between the fourth and sixth semester.
- All departmental Honors Programs shall require a substantial piece of directed or independent research or creativity in the major field.
- All academic work in an Honors Program shall be in some way awarded credit. All "extra work" in regular courses that could previously be counted toward an Honors Program shall be eliminated and the honors project or thesis be substituted in its place.
- Departments offering Honors Programs shall make use of the 490-91 directed study or independent study courses unless other directed study experiences can serve as acceptable substitutes.
- Each Honors Program must have a written policy stating the conditions of dismissal from the program and a statement on the procedures available to students who may wish to appeal an honors grade or dismissal from the program.
- Students whose projects are not awarded honors by the departmental honors committee may receive elective credit in the major for the directed study classes. Grades for those classes are awarded by the honors project director, not by the departmental honors committee.
Policy on Credit by Proficiency Examination
External proficiency examination refers to the establishment of proficiency through the use of a standardized examination, such as a CLEP test or an Advanced Placement Test; internal proficiency examination refers to the establishment of proficiency through the use of an examination prepared by a member of the College faculty.
A list of CLEP Tests accepted by the College can be found in the Transfer Guide at www.ribghe.org/transferguide.htm.
Credit towards a baccalaureate degree at Rhode Island College can be earned by proficiency examinations in accordance with the policies outlined below:
A. Credit for Individual Existing Rhode Island College Courses Other Than General Studies
The decision on offering credit for an individual course through a proficiency examination shall rest with the department sponsoring such a course or with a quasi-departmental director or committee for interdepartmental courses. It should include discussion with any other departments concerned, require in the case of courses that are part of a professional sequence the approval of the department responsible for that sequence; and be subject to the approval of the appropriate divisional dean(s). Approval of a proficiency examination shall rest with the department as a whole or a committee of the department appointed for this purpose.
The process involved shall be as follows: Each department shall examine course offerings, and within the overall limits specified below, will recommend to the appropriate divisional dean(s) what, if any, courses shall be offered for credit through internal or external proficiency examinations or a combination thereof. Recommendations for external proficiency shall include specifications of the appropriate test and qualifying score. Recommendations for internal proficiency examinations shall include a description of the general features of the examination to be used and specification of the qualifying criteria. The qualifying score on a proficiency examination shall be at least equivalent to a grade of "C." A departmental examination (as distinguished from an individual instructor's examination) shall be used for each course.
3. Limits on Amount of Credit
The maximum amount of credit earned through proficiency examination shall be 60 credit hours. (The requirement that at least 25 percent of a baccalaureate degree must be earned through course work done in residence at Rhode Island College continues in effect.) The proportion of a particular major or teaching concentration earned through proficiency examination shall not exceed one-half of the total number of courses in that major or concentration.
Only Rhode Island College undergraduate students shall be eligible to attempt credit through internal proficiency examination. Each department may establish additional eligibility requirements related to the appropriate prerequisites. A student will not receive credit for a proficiency examination that is taken a second time.
If a student has failed a course at Rhode Island College for which a proficiency examination has been previously approved the grade of F may be removed in accord with existing policy by taking and passing that proficiency examination.
These regulations do not prohibit an instructor from allowing a student to complete a course in which he received an Incomplete, for which a proficiency examination is available by taking and passing such an examination within the time period established for conversion of an Incomplete to a letter grade.
A student may transfer credits earned by proficiency examination from another accredited institution in accordance with general policies governing transfer credit, subject to the limitations in Section 3 above. However, nonstandardized internal proficiency examinations may not be taken at another institution for Rhode Island College credit after admission to Rhode Island College.
A person with a baccalaureate degree will be permitted to use proficiency examinations in working for a second undergraduate degree.
A record of all proficiency examinations attempted at Rhode Island College will be recorded in a student's file in the Records Office. Proficiency examinations that are passed shall, upon a student's request, be recorded on his official transcript. The actual raw score of an external proficiency examination shall be recorded so that an institution to which a student transfers will be able to assign an equivalent grade if it so desires.
6. Administrative and Financial Provisions
The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee notes that administrative and financial aspects of a proficiency program are outside the Committee's jurisdiction. It recommends to the appropriate authorities that fees for taking the examinations be based on costs of administering the examinations, including preparation and overhead and a share of College development costs, rather than on fees for taking instruction in the course, and that the magnitude of the effort contemplated will probably require compensation (in money or load credit) for faculty involved if the program is to have reasonable chance of success.
7. Scheduling of Proficiency Examinations
Normally proficiency examinations shall be offered in September, January, and June.
B. General Studies
The formulation of recommendations on credit by proficiency examinations for General Studies shall rest with the General Studies Committee, subject to action of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
C. Policy Review
At the end of each academic year the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee shall review the proficiency policies and practices in effect at the time and shall make whatever recommendations for revisions it considers desirable.
It is recommended that the Committee of Deans in concert with appropriate College offices develop procedures necessary for the implementation of the policies stated above. These shall include procedures by which a student may request a proficiency examination, procedures involved in recording proficiency efforts, and the like.
Policies Governing Off-Campus and Special-Format Courses
A. Control of Off-Campus and Special-Format Courses:
- Full control of off-campus courses should reside in the academic departments and utilize the defined existing processes for such decisions that:
- pertain to initiation of courses and their validity
- approve course descriptions
- determine the amount of credit to be granted
- approve the course for program credit
- establish course requirements
- determine the scheduling of the course
- determine the assignment of teaching personnel
- The departmental control of courses resides with the most appropriate and proper department related to the course offerings.
- Off-campus course proposals are approved by the appropriate dean or deans.
- "Off-campus courses" in this sense are not intended to include practica and other classes with an off-campus component.
B. Need for an Efficient, Qualitative Mechanism to Respond to All Outside Requests for Workshops
It is recommended that the College:
- Maintain the present procedure whereby all sources of course proposals are introduced to the College community. These are identified as:
Disseminate among members of the faculty and department chairs identifying all elements in the approval process.
- Appropriate Academic Dean's Office
- Graduate Dean's Office
- Appropriate Department Head
- Bureau of Social and Educational Services
C. Time Needed to Study Requests and Render a Decision:
Emergency approval of off-campus courses should be avoided.
- All approvals should be obtained under conditions that permit adequate time for consideration of proposed off-campus courses.
- When school is not in session, or the appropriate department chair and/or personnel are not available, an ad hoc committee may be appointed by the appropriate academic dean for consideration of off-campus courses.
- When approval is granted by the ad hoc committee, it will be for one semester only and subject to review when the usual department personnel become available.
D. Staff Qualifications and Availability
To obtain the most qualified personnel to instruct the off-campus offering:
- Instructors for said courses should be regular, full-time faculty of the College except where departments shall explicitly approve special instructors for specific courses.
- Instructors, other than full-time College faculty, shall be approved each and every time they receive an assignment for teaching off-campus offerings.
E. Appropriate Rigor of Offerings Along with Necessary Support Systems
To insure the integrity of the off-campus course offerings:
- When on-campus courses are to be taught off-campus the necessary resources are to be made available.
- All requests for courses already taught on campus shall be subject to the approval process already identified for off-campus course approval.
- The college policy whereby the maximum student load is one graduate credit per week for summer courses shall also be applied for all workshops and off-campus course offerings.
Undergraduate Proposal for Off-Campus Course
Normally, courses carrying college credit shall be taught on campus where the full resources of the institution are available. In certain circumstances, however, courses such as workshops, seminars, or institutes may be offered off-campus where the objectives or the content of the course or the particular needs of students may be more appropriately met. In these circumstances, the proposal to offer the course off-campus must be approved by the appropriate Department Chairman and the appropriate Academic Dean.
Policy on the Administration of Interdisciplinary Courses
- Urban education and bilingual-bicultural programs are to be administered by the Department of Educational Studies and the Dean of the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development.
- International education programs are to be administered by the President's Office.
- Social science programs are to be administered by a director responsible to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The Chairs of the social science and history departments or their designees will serve as an advisory committee to the director.
- All other existing programs are to be coordinated by the Assistant or Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
- The assistant or associate dean will cooperate with the coordinator of programs or teachers (of courses) to work out a mode of evaluation for programs or courses; copies of reports of results of the use of any mode of evaluation will be sent to the secretary of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
- New student or faculty-designed programs involving a limited number of students are to go through the Committee on Student Designed Majors. Formalization of these programs requires submission to the Office of the Dean, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and the President (and may need to be approved by the Board of Education).
Policy on Limits on the Number of Credits for Undergraduate Majors
B. Maximum Credit Requirements for Programs.
Liberal arts major A program leading to the B.A. degree that is not classified as a professional program.
Professional program: A program whose curriculum is determined by licensure or certification requirements imposed by professional organizations, or that is designed to lead to a specific profession or group of professions.
Cognates: Courses from outside a discipline's offerings that form part of the discipline's major, either as required courses or restrictive electives.
NOTE: If the number of credits required to complete a major or minor is a range (e.g. 40-44), the size of the major or minor will be determined by the
lower bound, which represents the minimum number of credits necessary to complete the major or minor.
- General Education Program: 40 credits.
- Liberal arts majors: 40 credits maximum, including all cognates, but excluding courses that also fulfill General Education requirements.
- This limit may not be exceeded except upon a clear and convincing demonstration that the additional credits are necessary to conform to accepted standards of the profession, supported by evidence of practices at peer institutions. In no case shall such a major exceed 60 credits.
- Professional programs, Bachelor of Science Degrees and Studio & Performing Arts majors: 80 credits maximum, including all cognates, but excluding courses that also fulfill General Education requirements.
- No major may exceed 80 credits without either:
- A clear demonstration that the additional credits are required by licensing or certifying authorities
- A clear demonstration, supported by evidence from other institutions, that the additional credits are necessary to prepare students in the field for the relevant profession(s).
- A major which exceeds 80 credits shall have a statement placed prominently in the Catalog to the effect that "Because the total number of credits required for this major exceeds 120, students should expect that the degree requirements will normally not be completed in four years of full-time study."
- Academic minor: 18 to 24 credits, but excluding courses that also fulfill General Education requirements.
- Summary of the distribution of credits:
- Liberal Arts Major
General Education Program: 40 credits
Major: 40 credits maximum
Free Electives or Second Major: 40 credits.
Total: 120 credits
- Professional Programs, B.S. degrees, and Studio/Performing Arts:
General Education Program: 40 credits.
Major: 80 credits maximum
Total: 120 credits
Policies on Mathematics and Writing Competency Requirements
Appendix IX-A Mathematics Competency Requirement
Students are urged to complete the College Mathematics Requirement by the end of their first semester of study at the college. Students who have not fulfilled the requirement will have that noted on their transcript. Students who do not satisfy the College Mathematics Requirement by the end of their first semester (15 or more attempted credit hours at Rhode Island College) will be placed on academic probation. Note: Fulfillment of the College Mathematics Requirement is distinct from and does not substitute for completion of the Mathematical Systems Category of General Education.
- Students who score 480 or better on the Mathematics section of the SAT (or 20 or better on the ACT Mathematics subscore) will have met the College Mathematics Requirement.
- Freshmen who scored less than 480 on the Mathematics section of the SAT (or less than 20 on the ACT Mathematics subscore) will be required to take the Mathematics Assessment Examination prior to or during freshman orientation. Students who achieve a satisfactory grade on the assessment examination will have met the College Mathematics Requirement. (This examination is given at least six times each semester, and, if necessary, may be repeated once. It is administered by the Mathematics Learning Center in 154 Craig-Lee Hall, or call (401) 456-9763.)
- Students who do not achieve a satisfactory grade on the assessment examination (which may be taken twice) must enroll in Mathematics 010 prior to or during their first semester at Rhode Island College. Students who fail to earn a satisfactory grade during that semester shall be required to retake Mathematics 010 until successful completion.
Entering Transfer Students:
- Students who score 480 or better on the Mathematics section of the SAT (or 20 or better on the ACT Mathematics subscore) will have met the College Mathematics Requirement.
- Students who receive transfer credit for a course(s) deemed equivalent to Mathematics 010 or 177 or higher will have met the College Mathematics Requirement.
- Transfer students who do not fulfill the College Mathematics Requirement by means of numbers 1 or 2 above will be required to take the Mathematics Assessment Examination prior to or during their first semester at Rhode Island College. Students who achieve a satisfactory grade on the assessment examination will have met this requirement. (This examination is given at least six times each semester, and, if
necessary, may be repeated once. It is administered by the Mathematics Learning Center in 154 Craig-Lee Hall, or call (401) 456-9763.)
- Students who do not achieve a satisfactory grade on the assessment examination (which may be taken twice) must enroll in Mathematics 010 prior to or during their first semester at Rhode Island College. Students who fail to earn a satisfactory grade during that semester shall be required to retake Mathematics 010 until successful completion.
Appendix IX-B Writing Competency Requirement (revised 5/1/2020)
All students are required to complete the College Writing Requirement. In most cases, this requirement is satisfied by the completion of FYW 100, FYW 100P or FYW 100H, with a minimum grade of C. However, the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development requires a minimum grade of B. Students who receive a C-, D+, D or a D- in FYW 100, FYW 100P or FYW 100H, will receive the college credit but will not have fulfilled the College Writing Requirement. This requirement may also be satisfied by (1) passing the appropriate College Level Examination Program (CLEP)/College Composition, with a minimum score of 50, and by reporting the score to RIC’s Records Office; or (2) by passing the course equivalent of FYW 100 with a C or better; in this latter case, the transcript from the institution at which the student enrolled in the equivalent course should be sent to RIC’s admissions office. Most students will have the opportunity during first year orientation to choose which FYW course best meets their needs. Visit the FYW Program website at www.ric.edu/firstyearwriting for information on this process.
Students are encouraged to fulfill the College Writing Requirement in their first year of study at Rhode Island College. Students who have not fulfilled the requirement will have that noted on their transcript. Students who have not fulfilled the College Writing Requirement before the completion of 30 attempted credits at the college will have a registration hold placed on their account until they have registered for the course. If the course is not completed successfully, the hold will be placed again.
Guidelines for Certificate Programs
1. Certificate definition and nomenclature
All certificates at Rhode Island College are categorized as Certificate of Continuing Study (CCS), Certificate of Undergraduate Study (CUS), or Certificate of Graduate Study (CGS). Certificates of Advanced Graduate Study (C.A.G.S.) are graduate degrees and are not included in this category.
a.Certificate of Continuing Studies (CCS): Primarily for non-degree students, where the certificate components consist primarily of courses and/or workshops earning credits not associated with undergraduate or graduate programs at RIC, such as Continuing Education Units (CEUs), college outreach program credit, etc. Admission and retention requirements for most CCS programs are minimal. These certificates typically provide professional development, vocational training, or personal enrichment.
b. Certificate of Undergraduate Studies (CUS): Primarily for undergraduate-level students, where the certificate components consist mostly of RIC undergraduate-level courses. Admission and retention requirements are significant. These certificates typically provide applied academic and/or professional training.
c. Certificate of Graduate Studies (CGS): Primarily for post-baccalaureate-level students, where the certificate components consist mostly of RIC graduate-level courses. Admission and retention requirements are extensive. These certificates typically provide advanced applied academic and/or professional training.
All new certificate programs are required to identify their category, and all existing certificate programs are classified according to the following taxonomy. These designations appear in the college catalog and certificate program websites.
a. CCS include: Adoption and Foster Care, Green Business, Training Responsible Adults as Bookkeeping & Acct. Clerks, Training Responsible Adults as Insurance Technicians, Training Responsible Adults as Medical Assistants, Giving Refugees a Promising Head Start in Computers, Computer Assisted English Language Learning, and Financial Literacy.
b. CUS include: Public History, Case Management, Gerontology, International Nongovernmental Organizations Studies, and Nonprofit Studies.
c. CGS include: Advanced Study of Creative Writing, Advances Study of Literature, Co-occuring Disorders, Financial Panning, Physical Education, Autism Education, and Modern Biological Sciences.
2. Certificate Program Review
Certificate programs are important to the college and merit considerable care in their development and administration. When academic credit is awarded, these programs should be afforded the same level of guidance and scrutiny given to other applications of academic credit, which is the purview of the Curriculum Committee. For certificates representing academic achievement but not through the awarding of academic credits, i.e., the CCS, guidance and scrutiny are still called for by associated academic units and administrators.
a. Certificates and minors are not awarded for the same course work.
b. CUS and CGS programs are reviewed and approved like all other academic programs.
c. CCS programs undergo review by associated and affected academic units, deans, VPAA, and President.
3. Certificate Program Requirements
All CCS, CUS, and CGS requirements normally must be completed at Rhode Island College.
a. Certificate of Continuing Studies (CCS): The CCS certificate program will be composed of courses and/or workshops totaling at least 3 CEUs (at least 30 contact hours). The completion requirement for the certificate typically includes a minimum of contact hours, but other or additional requirements may be specified.
b. Certificate of Undergraduate Studies (CUS): The CUS certificate program will be composed of at least 15 credit hours, primarily consisting of existing RIC courses. The completion requirement for the certificate is typically a 2.0 or greater minimum cumulative GPA unless otherwise specified.
c. Certificate of Graduate Studies (CGS): The CGS certificate program will be composed of at least 15 credit hours, primarily consisting of existing RIC courses at the 500-600 level. The completion requirement for the certificate is typically a 3.0 or greater minimum cumulative GPA unless otherwise specified.
Current certificate programs not meeting these standards must deliver proposals to the Committee Curriculum in a timely manner to enable consistent requirements to be implemented no later than the beginning of the Fall 2011 semester. Students enrolled in non-conforming programs prior to the implementation of new standards will be encouraged to follow the new standards, but will have the right to complete certificate programs under conditions equivalent to those encountered at enrollment.
16 credit hours are required in CUS programs for the student to be eligible for financial aid; 8 hours are required in CGS programs for the student to be eligible for financial aid. Students in CCS programs are not eligible for financial aid; however, third party tuition assistance for certain CCS programs may be available.
4. Certificate Program Registration, Transcription, and Graduation
a. Certificate program coordinators for CUS and CGS students will notify the Records Office when a student is admitted to a certificate program.
b. CUS or CGS students who are not matriculated will be recognized and coded as non-degree students. The Records Office will establish and use uniform certificate coding procedures.
c. Students completing CUS or CGS programs will have the certificate requirements and the certificate awarded noted on their transcript. They will also receive printed certificates and be acknowledged on appropriate websites by the coordinating department.
d. The coordinating department will track student progress and notify students of impending program completion.
5. Other Certificate Academic Policies
a. Undergraduate and graduate courses completed for certificate program credit prior to admission to graduate and undergraduate programs will be applied to those programs according to policies outlined in the Graduate Studies Manual and/or College Catalog. Exceptions to this must be stated in the program design and approved by the appropriate authorizing body.
b. Matriculated students may earn certificates except when specifically prohibited.
c. Matriculated students may earn a certificate
or a minor in a field, but not both.
d. Standard college tuition and fees will apply to all students for college credit bearing courses used in certificate programs.
Policy on x50 x60 and x80 Courses
Each department may offer topics courses, seminars and workshops--X50 and X60 and X80. Topics courses and workshops may be repeated with a change in content and credits may vary.
Within the general category of "Courses with Variable Content," no department may offer any X50 topics courses, X60 seminars, or X80 workshop courses with the same content more than three times. After three offerings, the course in question must either be approved by the College Undergraduate Curriculum Committee as a regular catalog course or the sponsoring department must receive in advance the written approval of the appropriate academic dean for exception to this policy. The Deans shall report to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee in April each year on any exceptions given.
Field Experience, Internship, Practicum Policy
Field experience, internships, practica, etc. are important methods of learning for students. Classroom content can be enhanced by a planned program that allows students to put theory and skill into practice. The use of this educational tool should be purposeful and planned: such experiential learning will supplement and reinforce classroom learning in actual life situations. In such learning experiences, students should be involved directly in the work of the agency and not merely be there as an observer with only vicarious involvement. Student tasks should be consistent with the educational goals of the student and the school.
All such experiences should be treated as a course, ranking it necessary for Undergraduate Curriculum Committee action. The proposal should include:
- Clearly stated objectives.
- Method of instruction.
- Method of evaluation.
- Procedure for placement by the department/school offering the experience.
- A plan for coordination with learning site.
- The objectives should be related to the experience the student will have. This permits a learning contract to be developed, which provides a basis for evaluation. It also provides for a link with theoretical knowledge already learned.
- Commitments with outside agencies shall not be made by students.
- Each program should develop a field manual that must be approved by the appropriate dean and that spells out:
- Specific learning objectives
- Procedures for placement of students
- Procedures for on-site supervision
- Responsibility of all parties involved: college faculty, students, and agency personnel
- Process of evaluation
- Process of coordination between faculty and agency based supervisors
- Method of grading
- Credit for field work associated with courses that are principally theory and/or method in content should be given on a formula basis of two (2) hours per week equals one (1) semester hour credit. Credit for field work with courses that are practice in content (e.g. student teaching, internship) should be given on the formula basis of approximately four (4) hours per week equals one (1) credit.
Policy on Remedial or College Preparatory Courses
- Any course that carries credit toward the 120 hours required for graduation shall be numbered 100 or above.
- Any course that is in the nature of a basic skills remedial course or preparatory course for college entrance shall not carry any credit toward graduation and should be numbered below 100. These courses, however, shall count toward determining full-time status.
- Courses of a remedial nature of special interest to specific populations may be offered by the College from time to time, which shall carry no credit and shall be numbered below 10.
- If the Office of Continuing Education sees the need for a course not currently offered by the College, it shall send a proposed course title and description to the appropriate department for development and written approval to offer the course. Normal Undergraduate Curriculum Committee course approval procedures shall apply.
Policy on the Renumbering of Courses
Courses Numbered 000-099 - Non-credit courses.
Courses Numbered 100-299 – Introductory and foundational knowledge courses normally taken in undergraduate students' initial years at the college.
Courses Numbered 300 and above MUST have a prerequisite.
Courses Numbered 300-399 – More advanced courses taken by undergraduate students. Not accepted for credit toward graduate degrees.
Courses Numbered 400-499 – Most advanced courses, typically taken by seniors, and open to graduate students for credit toward graduate degrees. Number of credits acceptable in a graduate program is limited by graduate program policies.
Courses Numbered 500-599 – courses open to graduate students. Normally these courses require a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite. In certain circumstances, qualified undergraduate students who have earned at least 90 credit hours may be admitted, with documented consent of the instructor and the appropriate dean.
Courses Numbered 600-699 – courses open to graduate and doctoral students only
Courses Numbered 700-799 – courses open to graduate and doctoral students only
In general, when the middle digit of a course number is 6, the course is a seminar or a general education core course; 8, a workshop; 9, directed study
Policy on Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
- The College sponsors noncredit continuing education experiences in which the participants may earn continuing education units (CEUs). The College also endorses noncredit continuing education experience offered by groups and institutions other than Rhode Island College in which participants may earn CEUs. One CEU is earned through ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction. CEUs provide a way for adults, especially those in the professional and technical occupations, to accumulate, to update, and to transfer a record of their educational experiences in non-credit activities. Students who wish to enroll in an educational experience offering continuing education units may range from an adult who has not finished high school to someone who has an advanced degree. People with doctorates in some disciplines must complete CUE requirements for recertification or relicensure.
- CEUs may not be changed to academic course credits, and CEUs do not count as credit toward an undergraduate or graduate degree. The CEU is not a "quasi-credit" to be given for noncredit continuing education experiences.
- Office of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions (OCESS) supports CEU workshops proposed by various on- and off-campus partners according to
IACET guidelines. OCESS requires a completed proposal form, course/workshop description and outline, and instructor CV.
- Proposals submitted by campus chairs or program directors (considered academic unit heads) are accepted without respective dean's approval. Proposals submitted by off-campus partners require approval by the related academic unit head.
- Some OCESS CEU programming (Professional Development Programs) falls under the category of workforce development and work skills training. These courses are offered in conjunction with the RI Office of Training and Development and/or the RI Department of Labor and Training. For the most part, these offer existing or new courses that have been approved by these agencies. The courses do not have content that clearly aligns with RIC departments, and academic unit heads and deans are not involved in the approval process. (See
www.ric.edu/pdp for fall listing of CEU courses, some of which are offered in conjunction with campus units: Financial Test Prep with School of Business and Green Business Practices with Outreach Programs.)
- School of Social Work (SSW) is authorized by the RI National Association of Social Workers (RINASW) to offer RIC Social Work CEUs. Continuing Education in Social Work (CESW) is supported by SSW and OCESS. CESW CEU workshops must be approved by a SSW faculty member designated by the dean.
- The School of Nursing may seek authorization from the RI State Nurses Association (RISNA) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to offer nursing CEU workshops. OCESS's support is not required for this programming.
- Appropriate evaluation methods must be used and evaluation criteria established prior to the beginning of the activity. Many CEU courses/workshops are approved for State of RI incentive credit (IC). IC courses must have a test at the conclusion and participants taking the course for IC must score 70 out of 100 points to receive IC. However, some CEU workshops/courses follow the "seat time" measure in terms of awarding of CEUs, and assessment of value added outcomes are not measured.
Administrative Procedures for the Continuing Education Unit
- The Director of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions will be responsible for the operation, coordination, and development of instructional programs for which CEUs are awarded.
- The Director, in consultation with the appropriate department chair and dean, will certify and approve the awarding of a specific number of CEUs for all sponsored and endorsed programs prior to the program offering.
- CEU courses and workshops will be transcripted in PeopleSoft and participants will be enrolled and graded (S/U/H grading pattern). Permanent records will be available in the form of student transcripts available through MyRIC and/or the Records Office.
FSHED Policy on Continuing Education For-Credit Courses
Note: These guidelines must be followed for CE for-credit courses using FSEHD discipline codes, but other RIC schools and OCESS are not obliged to follow these guidelines.
Credit-bearing undergraduate and graduate FSEHD courses are being offered through off-campus partners, and it is essential that Rhode Island College apply its academic policies, procedures, and governance equally to all courses.
- Any entity, whether affiliated or not affiliated with FSEHD, may request that an existing course that has been approved through college governance be delivered to a specific group of individuals, either on or off-campus. The requests should be submitted to the Dean, Feinstein School of Education and Human Development in writing or online at least three months before the class starts
- Requests may include recommendations for instructor appointment and the adaptation of content, but academic departments retain full control of the academic content and faculty appointments regardless of the nature of the relationship with the partner organization or any historical precedents. Typical recommendations might include:
- Dates, times, and location (for class meetings or course format (online, hybrid, etc.)
- Potential audience, expected class size
- Recommendations with respect to overall course content, possibly referencing a topical outline or a pre-existing syllabus
- Recommendation of one or more persons qualified to teach the course
- Part time instructors assigned to teach a course must submit their detailed syllabus, in FSEHD template form (http://ricreport.org/SyllabusTemplate.docx), to the Department Chair for approval at least one month before class begins. The Chair may choose to delegate syllabus approval to another full time faculty whose area of expertise matches the proposed course. The approved syllabus will be filed electronically with the department and Dean's office, along with a record of approval.
- In case of repeat offerings, the syllabus must be reviewed at least annually.
No course maybe entered into RIC's PeopleSoft scheduling system without prior written approval by the Department Chair and Dean.
Policy on Definitions of Course Modes of Instruction (Approved 4/22/2014)
Mode of Instruction
Standard Classroom: A course that meets at a pre-determined time and place, in-person, on a regular schedule throughout the term. The course may include use of online learning management system(s).
Hybrid: A course in which a portion of standard classroom instruction is replaced by online learning.*
Distance: A course in which all teaching and learning takes place online. There are no in-person meetings.
* All General Education Connections courses must include at least 50% Standard Classroom instruction.
Policy on Class Size (Approved 5/8/2020)
Below is a list of recommended class-sizes for the different types of undergraduate courses. These recommendations are based on the pedagogical needs of different course formats. In addition to these recommendations, consideration needs to be given for lab, studio, or similar space, safety, and contractual requirements, and departmental or program differences that necessitate flexibility.
Departments shall use the table below to guide selection of a class size limit in their course proposal. Once a course is approved at the UCC with a specific class size limit, additions of up to 2 students above that number shall require the approval of the department chair and the permission of the instructor. Any department may use the UCC revision process to propose officially altering class size limits after approval.
Range for Class Size Limit
Typical course types
|Up to 5
||Individual, custom, high degree of faculty mentoring, semester-long, in-depth, research, student independence
||independent study, directed research
|Up to 10
||High-degree of individual instruction and guidance, small groups, practice experience
||clinical, internship, practicum, field, student teaching
|Up to 20
||Writing intensive, small group instruction, high reliance on discussion, student-led discussion and engagement, hands-on learning
||WID, distance learning, seminar, lab, studio, FYS, FYW
|Up to 30
||Focus on content instruction such as lecture and discussion
||Large group instruction, reimbursement guided by RIC/AFT and Adjunct contract language