Office of Academic Affairs

Areas of Responsibility

  • Curriculum Committee Operating Procedures
  • Catalog Maintenance
  • Academic Scheduling of Classes
  • Minimum Course Enrollment Guidelines
  • CHHS Academic Space Management
  • Academic Program Review (APR)
  • Accreditation
  • Academic Policies and Procedures
  • Instructional Design Support

Office of Academic Affairs Staff

Bob Weiler

Robert Weiler

Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs rweiler@gmu.edu

Wayne Adams

Wayne Adams

Director of Academic Administration radams11@gmu.edu

Terri Ann Guingab

Terri Ann Guingab, MEd

Instructional Designer tguingab@gmu.edu

Barbara Helmick

Barbara Helmick

Instructional Designer bhelmic3@gmu.edu

The Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for the non-student-interacting functions of the educational mission. These include oversight of curriculum development, course scheduling and course catalog content management, academic space management, instructional design support, program review and accreditation, and general academic policy development and implementation.

1. CHHS Curriculum Committee (CCC) Operating Procedures

Development of New Program Proposals

Curriculum is the province of the faculty. However, development of new programs and modification of existing ones must undergo rigorous peer review beyond the departmental level by both college and university curriculum committees. Further, because expansions of the curriculum may require additional resources, each one must be reviewed and approved in advance by College administration.

As the first step in developing a proposal for a new program, the unit administrator must submit to the Dean an executive summary. The summary should include:

1.    Outline of the content and goals of the new program

2.    How the new program advances the goals of the unit and the College

3.    What resources will be required to implement and sustain the new program over the first 3 years

The Dean’s approval of the executive summary is required before further development can occur.  If the Dean agrees that the program can be supported by the College, the unit should notify the CCC of their plan and may proceed to develop the program curriculum.

When the program curriculum is complete and has been approved by the departmental faculty and the unit administrator, it should be sent to the chair of the CCC for distribution to the committee members at least 10 business days in advance of the committee’s regular meeting. Guidelines for submitting a new degree proposal to the CHHS Curriculum Committee are attached in the appendix.

Proposals for new programs or new courses may be considered only in face-to-face meetings, with the normal 10 business days advance notice.  Additional face-to-face committee meetings may also be scheduled (and convened when necessary) immediately prior to university catalog submission deadlines, with the normal 10 business days advance notice.

Most proposals for new programs will require consideration at two college-level meetings for approval. At the first meeting, the committee will identify weaknesses in the proposal and agree on revisions they require or recommend before approval. Following this meeting, the submitting unit will make revisions they deem acceptable and develop written rationales for not making those they do not accept. The revised proposal, along with rationales, if any, should be re-submitted to the committee chair at least 10 business days prior to the next meeting, and the chair will distribute them to the committee members.

If the program proposal is approved by the CCC, the unit will be notified and the proposal will be forwarded by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to the university’s Undergraduate or Graduate Council. To open the following Fall, an executive summary must be submitted to the Undergraduate/Graduate Council no later than August and the program must be approved by the Council by September.

Following Undergraduate/Graduate Council approval, the sponsoring unit will submit the SCHEV proposal to the university Board of Visitors (BOV) for approval and then to the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV). Normally, the BOV and SCHEV approval process requires at least 4 months after submission and can take much longer. If either BOV or SCHEV do not approve a proposal, it will be returned to the unit for revision and resubmission.

Guidelines for Acceptable Submissions to the CHHS Curriculum Committee

1.    All new program submissions must be distributed to the committee members at least 10 business days prior to the committee meeting date in order to be included on the agenda.  All other materials must be distributed to the committee members at least one week prior to the committee meeting date in order to be included on the agenda. 

2.    All materials must be in FINAL form in order to be voted on.

a.    All courses must have course numbers.

b.    To obtain a course number, email the Senior Academic Affairs Coordinator with the following information:

                                             i.     Intended course level (2xx, 3xx, 4xx, etc.)

                                           ii.     Draft syllabus (See template - Contact: Academic Affairs)

                                          iii.     Course type (lecture, lab, seminar, etc.)

                                          iv.     Intended start term

c.     Proposals must be approved by the department head before the deadline for submission to the committee.

3.    Course titles should be kept as short as possible – 100 characters are permitted for catalog titles. Course titles over the 30 characters allowed to be printed in the course schedule will must also require a shortened version of 30 characters or less.

4.    Course descriptions are limited to 1000 characters.

5.    All submissions must include a justification.

a.    This information is essential to the submission

b.    The justification addresses WHY the course, program, etc., is being created/modified/deleted.

c.     Please include in the justification how the overall curriculum will be affected by the creation/modification/deletion.

d.    The justification does not need to be long, but it needs to be a thorough explanation

6.    PLEASE remember, if a new course is created or a course is deleted and these courses are to become a part of, or be removed from programs, a separate program modification must be submitted.

Course Modifications

Modifications of a course include:

1.    Changing a course title
2.    Changing the credit level
3.    Changing the prerequisites or co-requisites
4.    Changing the grading type (from graded to pass/fail, for example)

Each of these changes to an existing course will require administrative unit, CCC, and Undergraduate/Graduate Council approval.

Changing a course number (from 500-level to 600-level for example) requires the inactivation of the existing course and creation of a new course. Each will require Undergraduate/Graduate Council approval and can be done simultaneously. Additionally, a program’s curriculum would need to be modified to include the new course.

CCC is the final approval body for the following modifications if they are the only changes proposed:

1.    Changing the course description.
2.    Changing enrollment restrictions.
3.    Substantial modification to the course objectives, so long as it does not overwhelmingly change the focus of the course (which would require developing a new course rather than modifying the existing course).

Modifications to repeatability or schedule type only will require approval by the department chair and associate dean but not committee review.

Review Process

1.    Proposals are distributed to committee members one week prior to the CHHS meeting date in order for the committee members to review the material.

2.    The first time a new program proposal or program modification proposal with substantial changes as defined by SACSCOC is brought to the committee meeting, it is for discussion purposes.

3.    Department representatives will report to their respective faculty on any suggestions for edits or any questions that occurred during the discussion.

4.    At the next CCC meeting, the finalized proposal may be brought to the committee for a vote

a.    Proposal must be distributed one week prior to the CC meeting

b.    Proposal must be in final form (see above guidelines as to what final form entails)

5.    If a proposal is brought to the committee for discussion and no significant changes are suggested for that proposal, it may be voted on by the committee members.

6.    If a proposal for course modification or program modification needs to be immediately reviewed before the next scheduled committee meeting for purposes of accreditation or extreme special circumstance, it should be sent to the chair of the CCC for electronic distribution to the committee members at least 5 business days in advance of the date a decision is needed. Proposals for new programs or new courses are only considered in a regular or called meeting, with the normal 10 business days advance notice.

7.    In order to receive the necessary university approvals before the catalog deadline set by the Registrar's Office, submit course proposals and program modifications to the CCC in December or earlier.

Approved July 2009
Revised March 2013
Revised May 2019
Revised October 2019

Guidelines for Submitting a New Degree Proposal to the CHHS Curriculum Committee

Guidelines for Submitting a New Degree Proposal to the CHHS Curriculum Committee

Adopted May 2019

Executive Summary (that will be sent forward to Grad Council/BOV)
Program Background

Introductory paragraph

                                               i.    Type of degree

                                             ii.     Sponsoring academic unit

                                            iii.     Proposed initiation date

Second paragraph

                                               i.    Purpose

                                             ii.     Graduates prepared to serve the community/job market

                                            iii.     Degree program will prepare students to do what?

                                            iv.     Program will expose students to what (specific skills and/or knowledge)?

                                             v.     To address what specific need or issue(s)?

Subsequent paragraphs

                                               i.    State of the Field

                                             ii.     Note if the degree is emerging, cutting edge, interdisciplinary

                                            iii.     Description of the program area

                                            iv.     Provide a brief, history of the evolution of the discipline, if needed

Accreditation (if applicable)
State Licensing Agency (if applicable)
Admission Criteria
Curriculum

First paragraph

                                               i.    Program name

                                             ii.     Number of credits required

                                            iii.     Thesis/Non-thesis

                                            iv.      Focus and intent of curriculum

Second paragraph

                                               i.     Uniqueness or particular strength of core curriculum

                                             ii.     Articulate knowledge derived from core/required coursework

Third paragraph

                                               i.    Indicate experiential learning opportunities that will be required

                                             ii.     Knowledge/skills the opportunities will provide to students

Curriculum Appendices

Sample plan of study for full-time (and, if applicable, part-time students)
Course descriptions for new and existing required common core courses and restricted elective courses.
If curriculum is designed to address accrediting body standards, an abbreviated version of standards or requirements should be placed in the appendix.
If sites for practicum/internship are needed, include site name and full address.

Student Assessment

Learning Outcomes
Employment Skills/Workplace Competencies
Program Assessment

2. Catalog Maintenance

The University Catalog undergoes a review process each academic year prior to publication. Deadlines for catalog revisions are set every summer by the Office of the Registrar.

Colleges have from the first week of August to the first week of March to update their content. The Office of the University Registrar then reviews all changes, deletions, and additions for policy compliance.  The catalog is published each year in the first week of April.

All proposals must be fully-approved in CIM by each year’s catalog revision deadline in order to qualify for inclusion in the following academic year’s catalog.

Courses and Programs

Courses

Adding, modifying, or inactivating courses may be requested in CIM year-round. If the proposal is fully approved after the catalog revision deadline, it will not be published until the following academic year’s catalog.

Programs

If the program is fully approved in CIM after the catalog revision deadline, it will not be published until the following academic year’s catalog.

Catalog Production Timeline

General Production Timeline

  • Catalog Production Timeline: August 1-Early-April
  • Units Submit Proposals via CIM Courses/Programs: July 1 – Late-February
  • Office of the Registrar and Units Review/Edit Catalog Content: August 1-Late-February
  • CAT/CIM Training Workshops: September-February
  • Office of the Registrar Conducts Final Review of Catalog Content: First two weeks in March
  • Courseleaf makes preview site available: Third week of March
  • All Campus Review of University Catalog: Last week of March
  • Courseleaf Publishes University catalog: April 1-2

Role of College Catalog Author

The CHHS Senior Academic Affairs Coordinator is the Catalog Author for the College.  This person is responsible for soliciting and collecting feedback from the academic units and other college stakeholders. The College Catalog Author will then input the information into the working catalog in CIM.

3.    Academic Schedule

The Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) is responsible for coordinating with academic units in the College to generate the Schedule of Classes for the fall, spring, and summer semesters for the University’s Academic Scheduling Office (ASO).  The OAA is responsible for communicating and finalizing all course schedules with the ASO.   

Academic units are responsible for determining course offerings each semester and submitting changes to the Senior Academic Affairs Coordinator no later than the specified deadline. To facilitate the development and modifications to the Schedule of Classes, academic units are responsible for designating a Unit Academic Scheduler to work with the Office of Academic Affairs.

Official university policies regarding classroom scheduling, contact hour calculation, scheduling standards, cross-listing courses, and Department of Education regulations can be found the Academic Scheduling Handbook managed through the Office of the Registrar.

4.    Course Enrollment Standards

Maintaining and complying with minimum course enrollment standards is important for balancing fair faculty workload practices, and conserving space and fiscal resources.  Moreover, meeting minimum threshold expectations is essential for monitoring curricula and faculty staffing demands.  Unit administrators are responsible for monitoring and complying with these standards.  

Undergraduate courses should have no fewer than 18 students and graduate courses no fewer than 12.  Doctoral courses and seminars should have no few than 6 students.  Courses with smaller enrollments are subject to cancellation.  Exceptions to these minimums should be rare.  Yet the College recognizes that there are legitimate reasons for not cancelling courses that fall below these thresholds.  Some reasons include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The course is required for an academic major and its cancellation would impeded the timely progression of many students toward completion.
  • The course is required to fulfill a strategic initiative.
  • The department has good reason to expect course enrollment to increase before classes begin.
  • The course is cross-listed across two or more academic units.

Exemptions to the standards must receive approval by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at least three weeks before the start of the semester, term, or class.

5.    CHHS Academic Space Management

College-controlled rooms (spaces) are managed by the academic unit associated with the space. Facilitation of space sharing is managed by the Office of Academic Affairs through the Senior Academic Affairs Coordinator in consultation with the department chair/director. This table lists the rooms controlled by CHHS.

6.    Academic Program Review

In accordance with the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President, “Programs without specialized accreditation to assess student learning outcomes go through a comprehensive academic program review (APR) every seven years.  The multi-semester evaluation is required for continuing accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.”  While APR assessment and reporting processes are the responsibility of the local academic unit administrator, OAA oversees the APR process.  Academic units in the College of responsible for keeping the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs well-informed of all APR activities in a timely manner.  Moreover, they are required to submit all reports and official affirmation documents to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for filing purposes.

7.    Accreditation

Accreditation denotes that an institution, program, or a degree has successfully demonstrated compliance with the criteria of an accrediting body.  Accreditation is a voluntary and continuous process of reflection, assessment, review, and planning to ensure instructional effectiveness and the delivery of highest quality programs as evidenced by measurable outcomes.  Academic programs in CHHS accredited by national accrediting bodies includes:

  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information
  • Association of University Programs in Health Administration
  • Virginia State Board of Nursing
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council on Social Work Education

While degree and program accreditation and assessment processes are managed and academic unit level, OAA is responsible for College oversite.  The Office of Academic Affairs oversight includes reviewing, monitoring, and supervising all accreditation and assessment activities.  Academic units in the College of responsible for keeping the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs well-informed of all accreditation and assessment activities in a timely manner.  Moreover, they are required to submit all reports and official affirmation documents to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for filing purposes. The Office of Academic Affairs provides additional logistical support for all State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and serves as primarily liaison with the Office of the Provost.

8.    Academic Policies and Procedures

The College of Health and Human Services strives to maintain academic policies and procedures that are consistent with those of the University, as well as in the best interest of our students.  All University academic policies are described in the University Catalog, and most academic action forms are posted on the Office of the University Registrar’s website.  All academic policies and procedures established by the University supersede the CHHS academic policies, procedures herein, and those established by the local administrative units within the College.   

9.  Instructional Design Support

The College’s instructional design team provides faculty and staff with instructional design support on a one-on-one basis as well as conducts workshops and trainings at both the College and unit level.  The range of one-on-one services include assisting with the design and development of online, hybrid, and face to face courses and course activities to helping faculty develop learning strategies and materials that improve the delivery of instruction.  As a rule, the top priority of the design team is to help faculty with developing and delivering high quality online and hybrid academic credit-bearing courses and with designing innovative learning strategies for face-to-face instruction.   As time permits, the team is also available to work on non-academic/instructional projects (e.g., continuing education, department workshops, research and contract projects that includes training, etc.).

Instructional design support often overlaps with information technology services.  It is important to distinguish between the two.  If you need assistance with instruction, then team is ready to help.  If it is not, then ITS or another unit might be able to address your needs.

To request instruction design assistance, please email HLTHLRN@gmu.edu.  For project inquiries contact, Terri Ann Guingab at tguingab@gmu.edu.