Curriculum Proposals

Propose a new course or certificate for inclusion in UNIFI

The UNIFI committee continues to encourage innovation from faculty, inviting additional course and certificate proposals. To streamline the process, the committee has decided on the following process. The timeline for proposals will align with the university’s curriculum cycle. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis but will be reviewed in the fall semester each year for inclusion in the subsequent catalog. The committee will either accept proposals or offer feedback for revision and resubmission by October 15. Revisions will be due by November 1 and will be reviewed and either accepted or responded to by November 15, with final inclusion in the subsequent course catalog taking place by December 1. New courses should be added into the Leepfrog system beginning March 15. Contact the UNIFI Curriculum Coordinator with questions.

Course Proposals

Certificate Proposals

Information for Faculty

As the UNIFI committee reviews course and certificate proposals, they will keep the following principles and guidelines in mind:

  • All learning areas will potentially include courses from a wide range of departments and disciplinary perspectives. Faculty are encouraged to think creatively about where their courses belong and will most fruitfully contribute to the general education program.  
  • Proposals must demonstrate how a course meets all of the outcomes in its learning area. 
  • While many different learning outcomes might be covered, a course may only be included in one of the eight learning areas.  
  • Instructors must commit to including appropriate assignments in their course and submitting those artifacts for assessment.   
  • Courses may also count as major or minor courses. Departments must determine how many or how few of these courses they want to include. 
  • Courses cannot have prerequisites, but some prior preparation may be used for placement purposes.
  • Courses must be designed to include and be accessible for students in diverse majors, and not aimed at students in a particular major. 
  • Departments must be willing and able to offer the course regularly.
  • The committee will consider experimental courses with the understanding that the course will enter the curriculum cycle to become a permanent course in the catalog. 
  • The committee may ask faculty to resubmit a course or certificate proposal if revisions are deemed necessary.

Once a course is accepted into UNIFI, we encourage departments to do an honest assessment of their offerings to determine if they wish to continue having them included in the program. If a course cannot be offered at least once per year, departments may wish to reconsider its inclusion. Furthermore, if there is no participation or compliance with assessment processes, departments should reconsider their willingness to be part of UNIFI. If a certificate has little participation from students, the UNIFI committee will revisit and review ways to make it more attractive or effective.

Course Proposals

In its deliberations over course and certificate proposals, the UNIFI committee will ask itself the following questions as it makes its determination to accept or request a revision and resubmission:

  • Is the course appropriate for general education? The committee will determine if the course is intended and accessible for any student on campus regardless of major. Furthermore, the committee will ensure that no UNIFI course has a prerequisite, including previous coursework and/or minimum class standing. If courses are determined to be too specialized (e.g., technical, pre-professional, vocational, or disciplinary), the committee will offer feedback about how it might be revised to be more open and general.
  • Does the course require prior preparation for placement purposes? The committee will consider certain prior preparation in order to place students in courses they would otherwise not be positioned to be successful. UNIFI does not consider a handful of items to be “prerequisites” even if they appear in that space in the course catalog. These items include ALEKS score to determine mathematical preparation and non-English language proficiency to determine linguistic preparation. Where needed, prior preparation for other courses will be considered on an ad hoc basis.
  • Are the SLOs in the proposed learning area adequately addressed? The committee will evaluate if and how each of the SLOs is covered in the proposed course, ensuring that the material is covered thoroughly, that the assignments and activities are relevant, and that an appropriate assessment artifact can be provided. The committee will consult the UNIFI Student Learning Outcomes to help make their determination. This consultation is not only to align the general education courses with the rubrics but also to help shape and further revise the rubrics themselves. In some cases, if the committee believes a course is more appropriate for a different learning area, it will offer feedback to this effect and encourage revision and resubmission. In other cases, the committee might suggest that the coursework itself be revised.
  • How many seats will the course offer? Will the course be offered frequently enough?  The committee will review the number of students a course will be able to serve, knowing that some courses have necessary enrollment caps based on the kind of work students do, as well as limitations of classroom space itself. There is no single metric that the committee will use to decide if a course will be taught with enough frequency to be part of the general education program, but in principle UNIFI courses should be offered at least once annually. The committee will encourage departments to assess their own ability and willingness to teach their UNIFI courses regularly, making curricular revisions accordingly. 
  • How can this course be included in UNIFI? In all cases, the UNIFI committee’s goal is not to be a strict gatekeeper of general education at UNI. Rather, all deliberations are held in the spirit of finding a way to help courses find a home in UNIFI as appropriate. Holding true to specific principles of general education as developed over time and approved by the Faculty Senate, the committee will always offer feedback to unsuccessful course proposals that encourages revision and resubmission and spells out specific changes that can be made. Any faculty member can request a one-on-one consultation with the UNIFI Curriculum Coordinator and/or other members of the UNIFI committee for help when crafting or revising proposals. 

Certificate Proposals

UNIFI’s multidisciplinary certificates apply liberal arts approaches to topics, questions, ideas, or problems that don’t fall within a single discipline or domain. They are intended to convey to students that the world’s complexity cannot be understood solely from the perspective of any one discipline, and that different approaches can complement one another to build more holistic understanding. The strongest certificate proposals will combine significantly different disciplinary approaches.

By revisiting important Student Learning Outcomes, certificates also give students a chance to further develop key skills of critical thinking, writing, and oral communication. We expect that those skills will be applied in the context of the certificate’s theme, and we do not expect that the number of assignments need be as high as in the Discover tier. For example, if a philosophy class fulfills the writing SLO for a certificate, we expect that class to devote time to enabling students to write effectively (as opposed to merely assigning writing), but it might not require as many writing assignments as gold tier writing courses.

Certificate Requirements

  • Each certificate must address SLO 1 (critical thinking), SLO 2 (writing), and SLO 3 (oral communication).
  • Each certificate must also address at least two additional SLOs from the list of general education SLOs.
  • Each certificate must include courses from at least two substantively different disciplines. 
  • Certificates must include three to four courses (9-13 hours).
  • Instructors must be prepared to submit artifacts to be assessed on each of the outcomes covered in their courses. 
  • Departments must be willing and able to offer certificate courses regularly.
  • Each certificate must be able to schedule enough seats every semester within each category in order to meet student demand for the certificate and allow a timely path to graduation. Enrollments in classes and declarations of certificates will be monitored by the UNIFI committee. 
  • Certificate proposals must show which courses address which outcomes.

Certificate Options

  • Each course within the certificate need not address all the outcomes.
  • A course may be a “certificate-only” course if it does not fit within one of the eight learning areas. In this case, it will also count as a general education Connect Elective. 
  • Outcomes can be addressed by multiple courses within the certificate.
  • A certificate course may also appear in another learning area. 
  • If a course appears in another learning area, it may be assessed for a different outcome in the certificate.