This handbook was developed based on existing curriculum change policies and practices. We expect that as the University shifts to a schools-based academic administrative structure, this handbook will be updated with new practices and policies. In that vein, this should be considered a living document that will strive to reflect the University’s current approach to enacting, managing, and implementing academic change.
This curriculum handbook is intended to be a resource for faculty and academic program staff in their work as they develop or change courses and programs. This resource provides both broad explanations and detailed workflows and timelines for moving curriculum initiatives through to approval and implementation.
This section provides a general outline and meaning of curriculum. Bolded terms in this section are defined in the glossary in Section Three.
A curriculum is a program and a collection of courses that lead to the completion of a program of study, often leading to a degree or certificate. Sometimes, in addition to courses, there are other “non-course” requirements for a program, such as a portfolio, competency, or hours of internship. The program of study may offer academic credit or continuing education (CE) credit. The courses may be required or elective, depending on the nature of the program.
A defined curriculum, or plan of study, is helpful for students to plan and achieve their educational goals. Some plans of study, or course sequences, are very prescriptive, requiring specific sets of courses taken in particular succession. Other programs have many elective credits, or optional concentrations or specializations, allowing students to tailor their study to their particular interests. In a few cases, programs use a student-driven curriculum, where the faculty and student together define an individualized set of courses. These courses are outlined in an adviser-approved program plan.
There are specific credit thresholds that programs must meet to qualify a plan of study as a degree or certificate. The degrees vary by academic level. Curriculum standards regarding degree programs are determined by the US Department of Education in conjunction with accreditors. Undergraduate degree standards require a minimum of 120 semester / 180 quarter credits. Graduate degrees standards are determined by the area of study, but must be a minimum of 30 semester / 45 quarter credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. Similarly, doctoral degrees must be a minimum of 30 semester / 45 quarter credits beyond the master’s degree. Certificates must be a minimum of 9 semester / 12 quarter credits in order to be eligible for Title IV aid. These may be “stand-alone” or “embedded” within a degree program.
Each academic year (summer through spring), programs offered are collected and represented in a university catalog. The catalog includes each program’s official name, description, courses, and program options, such as eligible concentration, specialization, or focus/emphasis. Program requirements should be reviewed annually for any updates to the upcoming catalog. Changes to academic programs should first be approved by the relevant curriculum committee and other approvals should be secured if necessary.
Section Two provides more details on the major curriculum elements: programs, courses, and degree audits.
Antioch University curriculum changes begin with an idea for a new or revised course, program, or change to a plan of study. The individual drafts a proposal, in consultation with the program chair and academic leadership. This draft goes to the curriculum committee for review and feedback.
As part of the curriculum committee process, the university registrar’s office serves as consultant to support design and development ideas. The marketing team can aid in market research and targeting prospective student audiences for new programs.
For a simple change, such as for course changes, the approval moves to the technical implementation with the university registrar’s office and university academic affairs. The university registrar’s office alerts faculty, program staff, and academic leadership when the changes have been implemented in the student information system.
More substantive curriculum change may require broader review, both internally and externally (see policy 5.207).
At the most complex level, such as a developing a new program, there are a series of internal and external collaborations and procedures to follow to ensure required approvals are in place along the development path. Once each relevant body and agency approves, the initiative moves to the technical implementation with the university registrar’s office and university academic affairs. This step includes program code creation, which initiates the process for the rest of enrollment management, including admissions applications. The registrar’s office alerts faculty, program staff, and academic leadership when the changes have been implemented in the student information system.
Curriculum changes vary in implementation time, depending on the type of change, from 2 days to 12 months. Implementation timelines may shift if multiple complex proposals are approved at the same time.
Please see the table in Section Two outlining types of curriculum changes and their typical timelines.
Curriculum changes follow a similar process, regardless of change level. The campus-based curriculum committees have forms to request and review changes. There is a recognized need for a dynamic curriculum management software system, which will also feed directly into the electronic catalog. This is a future proposal.
When writing a proposal, there are forms or templates faculty may use as guides, depending on the initiative begin proposed. The university registrar’s office or university academic affairs office can share exemplars if needed. Faculty may call upon university resources (registrar, marketing, admissions, or university academic affairs) for assistance in completing the proposal. See the Who to Contact for Help section (below) for details.
For more details on Proposals, see the Curriculum Details in Section Three.
For assistance or consultation on the Antioch University curriculum change process, please contact the University Curriculum Team. This includes representatives from the university registrar’s office, university academic affairs, university marketing team, and the university admissions team.
Leatrice Oram, PhD
Based in New Hampshire (Eastern Time)
- Contact Leatrice if your curriculum change requires any University-level or external (state, federal, accreditor) notification, review, or approval
- Leatrice also liaises with the Council of Chief Academic Officers on academic change
Maureen Heacock, PhD
Based in Ohio (Eastern Time)
- Contact Maureen if you have questions about policy or practice in curriculum initiatives
- Maureen can provide guidance on other registrarial areas related to new programs or course creation, such as narrative evaluation, registration, academic standing, or conferral.
Rachel Sowell Keil, PhD
Based in Seattle (Pacific Time)
- Contact Rachel if you want consultation about design or set up of a new program, course, or degree audit, or with changes to programs, courses, or degree audits
- Rachel also liaises with the curriculum committee bodies, and may assist with completion of proposal forms
Based in New Hampshire (Eastern Time)
- Contact Melinda if the academic change is going to impact the University website or print publications
- Melinda will inform you of any associated timelines and development needs from a Marketing perspective
Based in New Hampshire (Eastern Time)
- Contact Zephyr if you have questions on the applications process or admissions requirements for the program
- Zephyr will work with you to ensure the application pathways support a streamlined admissions process