Curriculum Review Policy (AA 20) - Nevada State College

Curriculum Review Policy (AA 20)

  • category:
    Academic Affairs/Faculty
  • Policy Id#:
    AA 20
  • Effective Date:
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This policy explains the curriculum review process at Nevada State College. Curriculum review occurs through a shared governance model that involves faculty and academic administrators at multiple levels.


Academic Year: A nine (9)-month faculty contract period beginning in August and ending in May.

Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee: A body consisting of academic faculty representatives from each School and the Library, a staff member from the Office of the Registrar, and other members as deemed necessary by the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee Chair.

Academic Faculty (as defined by NSHE B/R 1/03): Includes instructional, counseling, and library faculty.


I. Types of Proposals

The curriculum review process involves five types of curriculum proposals:

A. Prerequisite proposals: Adding, deleting, or changing the prerequisite(s) for a course.

B. Individual course proposals:

  1. Adding or deleting a course;
  2. Changing an existing course prefix, number, title, number of credits, grading method, or catalog description.

C. Core Curriculum proposals: Any change to the Core Curriculum, including:

  1. Adding or deleting courses from a category;
  2. Changing the categories that comprise the Core Curriculum;
  3. Changing the number of credits required in a category.

D. Minor curricular changes:

  1. Adding, deleting, or changing a course that is required for a degree program, or groups of courses students may choose among to fulfill a degree requirement, when those changes affect less than one-third (1/3) of the total major requirements for the program;
  2. Adding, deleting, or changing Concentrations or Tracks within an existing degree.

E. Substantive curricular changes:

  1. Adding or deleting programs;
  2. Changing a program’s title, mission statement, or learning objectives;
  3. Curricular changes that affect more than one-third (1/3) of the required credits within a program.

II. Levels and Types of Review

To ensure the integrity and quality of the NSC academic curriculum, proposals are developed by faculty in the related program(s) and proceed through multiple levels of review, beginning with the individual School in which a course or program is housed. The Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee and other reviewers will not consider proposals that have not been approved and forwarded by the appropriate School-level curriculum committee.

Proposal authors are responsible for ensuring that all levels of review are completed, including securing relevant external approvals by bodies such as the NSHE Common Course Numbering System or the NSHE Board of Regents. This may include working closely with the Office of the Registrar and the Office of the Provost to complete and submit all application materials.

Some levels of review are advisory; in this case, the reviewing body provides a recommendation to approve or deny the proposal and submits it to the next reviewing body for consideration. Other levels have denial authority; proposals do not move further in the review process if they are not approved at that level. The authority at each level of review varies by the type of proposal. Proposals must progress through each level in the order prescribed. As the chief academic officer for the college, the Provost has ultimate authority over curriculum decisions.

In the summary of stages of review provided below, all advisory levels are so noted; any level of review that is not noted as advisory must approve a proposal before it may move to the next level of review.

A. Prerequisite proposals:

    1. School-level Curriculum Committee
    2. Academic dean (advisory)
    3. Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee

B. Course proposals:

    1. School-level Curriculum Committee
    2. Academic dean (advisory)
    3. Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee
    4. NSHE Common Course Numbering System (external body)

C. Core Curriculum proposals:

    1. Proposals submitted by Schools other than Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) begin with the following levels of review:
      • LAS Dean (advisory)
      • Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee (advisory)
      • Faculty Senate (advisory)
      • Office of the Provost

D. Minor curricular changes:

    1. School-level Curriculum Committee
    2. Academic dean (advisory)
    3. Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee (advisory)
    4. Office of the Provost

E. Substantive curricular changes:

    1. Substantive changes to existing programs and new minors under 30 credits
      • School-level Curriculum Committee
      • Academic dean (advisory)
      • Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee (advisory)
      • Faculty Senate (advisory)
      • Office of the Provost
  1. Substantive changes leading to new programs or minors over 30 credits
      • School-level Curriculum Committee
      • Academic dean (advisory)
      • Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee (advisory)
      • Faculty Senate (advisory)
      • Office of the Provost
      • NSHE Academic Affairs Council (for program additions or deletions; external body)
      • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (for program    additions, deletions, and some changes; external body)

III. Curriculum Committees

A. School-level curriculum committees: The Dean of each School shall appoint a curriculum committee consisting of Academic Faculty. This committee is responsible for reviewing all curriculum proposals that fall under the School’s purview. The individual Schools may develop appropriate procedures and guidelines for School-level curriculum review processes.

B. Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee (FSCC): The FSCC is charged with reviewing all course, core curriculum, and degree program proposals, as well as proposals to change course prerequisites. Generally, the FSCC is an advisory body that reviews and makes recommendations on curriculum proposals; however, the FSCC has the authority to deny or move forward prerequisite and course proposals (i.e., these two categories of proposals cannot move forward without FSCC approval).

  1. Membership:
    • Chair: The FSCC Chair is a voting member of the committee. Annually, during the May meeting, the Faculty Senate elects the FSCC chair from among its members; the Chair serves a term of one academic year, beginning the following July 1. Per the Senate Bylaws, the FSCC will receive a stipend for the academic year. Chairs may serve more than one consecutive term. The Chair’s responsibilities include:
      • scheduling monthly meetings of the FSCC during the academic year;
      • informing proposal authors of the date and time of the meeting at which their proposal will be discussed;
      • updating FSCC records and minutes, including records of all proposals received and reviewed;
      • facilitating the Committee’s voting process;
      • providing Committee updates to the Faculty Senate;
      • updating authors as their proposals move through the review process;
      • indicating the FSCC’s decision and moving proposals to the next stage in the review process, as appropriate;
      • compiling a list at the end of each fall and spring semester of all prerequisite and course proposals approved during that term and submitting the list to the Provost.
    • Voting members: Each School and the Library have two representatives on the FSCC; the FSCC Chair serves as one of the representatives from their academic unit. With the exception of the FSCC Chair, Deans select the academic faculty representatives from their Schools; these representatives do not have to be members of the Faculty Senate. The Library Director will select the academic faculty representatives from the Library. The Library Director may serve as one voting member from the Library.
    • Non-voting members: The Registrar is a non-voting member of the FSCC. The FSCC Chair may invite additional non-voting members to serve on the Committee.
  1. Proposal approval: Proposals are approved by an affirmative vote of a simple majority of voting members.

IV. Review Criteria

Curriculum proposals are reviewed based on the following considerations:

A. Consistency with mission: The consistency between the proposal and the mission of the School and the College.

    1. The FSCC and other reviewers will consider the judgment and input of the relevant Dean, department chair (if applicable), and School-level curriculum committee. Reviewers beyond the level of the individual School will also exercise their independent judgment to evaluate whether a proposal is consistent with the mission of the School and the College.

B. Appropriate rigor: The extent to which the proposal reflects the academic content and rigor expected at a comprehensive state institution. Reviewers consider the following factors:

    1. Whether the proposal author demonstrates that similar courses or programs are offered at comparable comprehensive state institutions in the U.S.;
    2. Whether the content of courses and programs are consistent with course/program titles and descriptions;
    3. Whether the academic content appears commensurate with the level of the course or program (e.g., lower- or upper-division; undergraduate or graduate).

C. Sufficient evidence: Whether the proposal provides sufficient detail and evidence for reviewers to determine if the proposal is reasonable and appropriate given available resources and the College’s mission.

V. Timeline

The FSCC meets to consider proposals once per month from September through December and February through April of each Academic Year. Proposals are submitted online. All proposals must be received by the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee by the first day of each month to be considered at that month’s meeting. Incomplete proposals may be returned to submitters for revisions; this may delay the review process.

Proposals that require full Faculty Senate review will be introduced by the FSCC Chair as an information item at the next Senate meeting after review by the FSCC. At minimum, proposals will be on the Faculty Senate agenda item one month as an informational item and voted on as an action item at the next Senate meeting. However, Faculty Senate may delay a vote if Senators request additional information or via a majority vote by Faculty Senate.

All proposals must be fully approved at all levels and received by the Registrar’s Office by December 1st  of each year to be included in the next academic catalog.

The Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee establishes and disseminates guidelines with detailed information about timelines and the approval process; these guidelines are updated as needed.



Faculty Senate Executive Council


Curriculum Committee Procedure approved 2/24/2009.
Curriculum Committee Procedure revised 05/2019.


Approved by Dr. Serge Ballif, Faculty Senate Chair, October 4, 2019.
Approved by Dr. Vickie Shields, Provost, October 15, 2019.
Approved by Mr. Bart Patterson, Esq., President, December 19, 2019.

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