Curriculum Development

Curriculum Changes to Existing Programs and Courses

The information below will assist faculty when proposing changes to existing programs and/or courses. For information regarding new program proposals, please visit the Provost and Vice President, Academic and Research webpage.

Timeline and Submission Deadline for Curriculum Changes

The Academic Calendar year runs from May 1 to April 30 and begins with the Spring/Summer sessions. 

For the purposes of publishing the University's Academic Calendar, the Academic Curriculum Committee (ACC) may accept program changes for the upcoming academic year up until March 1. Any submissions to the ACC after that meeting date will not take effect until the following Academic Year. (Approved by Senate November, 2019)

When proposing changes to an existing program, the first step is to determine whether the change meets the minimum requirements for a Major Modification.

What is a Major Modification?

A major program modification to an existing program is one in which the requirements, learning outcomes, faculty complement or delivery mode differ significantly from those existing at the time of the previous Cyclical Program Review. Major modifications may include:

Types of Major Modifications

I.    Program Changes
1.    The merger of two or more programs;
2.    Changes to the fundamental nature, intent, and/or structure of the program;
3.    Requirements for substantial new resources;
4.    New bridging options for college graduates;
5.    Significant changes in the laboratory time of an undergraduate program;
6.    Introduction or deletion of an undergraduate thesis or capstone project;
7.    Introduction or deletion of work experience, co-op internship or practicum;
8.    At the graduate level, the introduction or deletion of a research project, research essay or thesis, course-only, internship or practicum option;
9.    Any changes to the requirements for a graduate program, candidacy examination, field of study or residency requirement;
10.    Changes to courses comprising more than 1/3 of the total program;
11.    A new minor, emphasis, specialization or study abroad opportunity in an undergraduate program.

II. Significant Changes to Learning Outcomes
1. Changes to program content that affect learning outcomes but do not meet the threshold for a new program.

III. Faculty & Program Delivery Changes
1. Significant changes to the faculty engaged in delivering the program and/or to essential resources as may occur, for example, when there are changes to the existing mode(s) of delivery (e.g., different campus, online delivery, interinstitutional collaboration);
2. Changes to the faculty delivering the program; for example, a large proportion of the faculty retires, or new hires alter the areas of research and teaching interest;
3. A change in the language of program delivery;
4. The establishment of an existing degree program at another institution or location;
5. The offering of an existing program substantially online where it had previously been offered in face-to-face mode, or vice versa;
6. Change to full- or part-time program options, or vice versa;
7. Changes to the essential resources, where these changes impair the delivery of the approved program.

I've determined the proposed change is not a Major Modification

Now that you've determined the proposed change does not meet the minimum requirements for the Major Modification protocol, please proceed to Step 2: Drafting the Proposal using the above tab.

I've determined the proposed change is a Major Modification

Now that you've determined the proposed change is a Major Modification, from this point forward you will follow the process outlined here: 

Guidelines for Major Modification of Existing Program

Please direct any questions regarding the Major Modification process to the Executive Assistant to the Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Research at pvpar@nipissingu.ca

I'm still not sure if the proposed change is a Major Modification

If you are still uncertain as to whether the proposed curriculum change meets the requirements of a Major Modification, please contact the Executive Assistant to the Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Research at pvpar@nipissingu.ca  for assistance and next steps.

For next steps, please select the type of curriculum change(s) you are proposing.

If you have any questions or require assistance with this step, please contact Sarah Tedesco, Associate Registrar, Academic Policy and Advising, saraht@nipissingu.ca

Substantive Changes
Proposals requiring changes to existing undergraduate degree or program requirements; or which involve adding new courses, deleting existing courses, or substantive changes to existing courses require the approval of the relevant Faculty Council(s), the Academic Curriculum Committee, and Senate.

Changing Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements are listed in the Academic Calendar.  There is also a section on degree requirements for Second Degree Programs.

When Nipissing University changes degree requirements, adds new requirements, or deletes previous requirements, the impact may be significant across disciplines. Therefore, changes should be discussed with all disciplines affected and students must have sufficient time to comply with any new regulations. 

If Senate approves the deletion of degree requirements, the new rules can be effective immediately. The implications of immediate application must be thoroughly addressed. If Senate approves the modification or addition of degree requirements, the new requirements will apply to students admitted the following year (Academic Regulation 3.90 Senate Changes to Degree Requirements). Therefore provisions must be made to either continue to provide the means whereby students may graduate under the previous rules (perhaps for many years), or if this is not feasible, Senate should permit students currently in programs to graduate without either the “old” or “new” requirements.

Any proposal must first make reference to the current Senate approved requirement. The rationale for the proposed change must include a discussion of how this matter is dealt with at other universities, how it will affect currently enrolled students as well as teaching resources, and how it will improve Nipissing University’s programs.

Changing Program Requirements

Please refer to the procedures listed above for changing degree requirements. The information provided should include all necessary approvals, sufficient time for implementation, current requirements, new requirements, a rationale for the change and a discussion of how this matter is dealt with at other universities and how it will improve Nipissing University’s programs.

Creating a New Course

Please use the following template when developing a new course: 
 

Statement of Need:
Please indicate whether this is a required course for a specific degree(s), who is and how many are expected to enroll and a rationale about why this course is appropriate to Nipissing’s offerings. This information is required by the Deans and is critical for consideration of new courses by the Academic Curriculum Committee (ACC).

Comparative Data:
Comparative Data is strongly recommended but not required as part of the submission. This information will assist the Office of the Registrar to assess transfer credit for students transferring to Nipissing University.  Please use the Comparative Data template.

Course Codes:
Course codes must be obtained from the Office of the Registrar BEFORE you submit your proposal for consideration. Please e-mail coursecodes@nipissingu.ca with your request and include the course title, course level, and credit value of the course. If you wish to request a desired course number (numbers that are helpful to students and faculty in locating the course in a program of study) please include this in your request and you will be advised if the number is available to be used and whether they meet the course coding rubric which can be found in the Academic Calendar​

Changing Program or Course Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes must be 6-8 points, visible, measurable and in active voice. 

For detailed information and support on Learning Outcomes, please consult the Resources section of this website.

For cross-coded courses please complete the Departmental Curriculum Approval Form.

Deleting an Existing Course

Please indicate the course code and title of the course to be deleted and provide the rationale for deleting the course. Please indicate: whether the course is a prerequisite for another course; is required for a degree program; is cross-listed with another discipline.

If the course is required for a degree program(s), please indicate the changes to the program requirements, once this course has been deleted.​

If a course is not offered in a period of ten calendar years, it will be automatically deleted and therefore can not be returned to the Academic Calendar at a any point in time.  To offer the course again it will need to follow the process for creating a new course. (Approved by Academic Senate, May 20, 2011)

Non-Substantive 
Undergraduate curriculum proposals which involve non-substantive changes to existing courses and which do not directly affect another Faculty require the approval of the relevant Faculty Council, with conveyance to the Academic Curriculum Committee and Senate for information.

Banking an Existing Course

Please indicate the course code and title of the course to be banked and provide the rationale for banking a course. Please indicate: whether the course is a prerequisite for another course; is required for a degree program; is cross-listed with another discipline.

If the course is required for a degree program(s), please indicate the changes to the program requirements, once this course has been banked.​

  • If a course is not offered in a period of five calendar years, it will be banked (removed from the academic calendar). A list of all courses not offered in the past five years will be provided to the department chairs/directors by the registrar in January of each year. If the department does not wish to bank a course(s), ARCC must be provided with a request not to bank the course. Banked courses will be returned to the calendar upon the request of the appropriate department to ARCC.
  • Banking a course simply means removing the course from the academic calendar. A banked course can be returned to the calendar and offered at any time as long as the course is offered as described.

Minor Change to Course Title

A minor change to a course title is a non-substantive change.  

If the course is cross-coded please complete the Departmental Curriculum Approval Form.

Please prepare a rationale for the change in title and continue to Tab 3: Prepare the Motion for next steps.

Changing Course Requisites

Current course requisites can be found under Course Listings in the Academic Calendar.  

When changing requisites of a cross-coded, please complete the Departmental Curriculum Approval Form.

Please prepare a rationale for the change and continue to Tab 3: Prepare the Motion for next steps.

Revising Course Description in Academic Calendar

Course descriptions appear in the Academic Calendar and are 50-75 words.  Course description are written in present tense and active voice. 

When revising the course description of a cross-coded course, please complete the Departmental Curriculum Approval Form.

A few examples are listed below:  

Students are introduced to the profession of Social Work, including the historical development of the profession from its inception to its current state. Students learn about the role and responsibilities of social work practitioners, with an emphasis on the significance that policy and legislation has on practice. A core component of the course is conceptualizing the ways in which broader structural forces impact the experiences of individuals, groups, and communities.

* * * *

Students examine contemporary issues in community-based corrections. Emphasis is placed on the role of community corrections as an alternative to incarceration and as an approach to rehabilitation and community integration. Topics may include; probation; intermediate sanctions; conditional release programs; community corrections models; extensive overview of existing programs and sanctions, and; challenges posed by working with offenders in community settings.

Where there is disagreement or uncertainty as to whether a proposed undergraduate curriculum change is significant or minor or substantive/non-substantive, the more rigorous standard shall be applied.

All substantive and non substantive changes require approval by the relevant Academic Regulations and Curriculum Committee (ARCC) and Faculty Executive prior to Faculty Council, therefore you are asked to prepare a motion for the relevant ARCC agenda using the language below.

When more than one curriculum change is being proposed for an existing course:  Changes that are non-substantive in nature may be combined into one motion (e.g. changing the course title and course description).  Curriculum changes that are substantive in nature should not be combined with other substantive changes.  Likewise, substantive and non-substantive changes should not be combined as they follow different approval processes.  

Motion for Substantive Change

Motion to Add/Create New Course

Motion: That the Academic Regulations and Curriculum Committee recommend to Faculty Executive the creation of [insert new course code and title] as outlined in the template below. 

Include the completed New Course Template below the motion.  Since the New Course Template includes all required information (course description, learning outcomes, requisites, restrictions, impact on program requirements) there are no other motions required. 

Rationale:  Please include a brief rationale for the proposed change. 

Motion for Learning Outcomes

Motion for courses/programs that do not currently have learning outcomes: That the Academic Regulations and Curriculum Committee recommend to Faculty Executive the learning outcomes for [insert course code and title OR program name].

Rationale:  Please include a brief rationale for the proposed change. 

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Motion for revision(s) to existing learning outcomes for a course or program: That the Academic Regulations and Curriculum Committee recommend to Faculty Executive the learning outcomes for [insert course code and title or program name] be revised as outlined below:

New Learning Outcomes:

[List proposed learning outcomes]

Old Learning Outcomes:

[List current learning outcomes.  If you do not have a copy of current learning outcomes please contact Sarah Tedesco, Associate Registrar, saraht@nipissingu.ca 

Rationale:  Please include a brief rationale for the proposed change. 

Motion to Delete a Course

Motion: That the Academic Regulations and Curriculum Committee recommend to Faculty Executive the deletion of [insert course code and title].

Rationale:  Please include a brief rationale for the proposed change. 

Motion to Change Existing Degree or Program Requirements

Motion to remove degree or program requirement: That the Academic Regulations and Curriculum Committee recommend to Faculty Executive that [insert course code(s) and title(s)] be removed as a degree requirement for [insert program or degree name]

Rationale:  Please include a brief rationale for the proposed change. 

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Motion to add to degree or program requirement:  That the Academic Regulations and Curriculum Committee recommend to Faculty Executive that [insert course code(s) and title(s)] be added as a degree requirement for [insert program or degree name]

Rationale:  Please include a brief rationale for the proposed change. 

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Motion to add and remove degree or program requirements:  That the Academic Regulations and Curriculum Committee recommend to Faculty Executive the program requirements for the [insert degree or program name] be changed as outline below:  

New Requirements: 

List all proposed requirements here including course codes, course titles, credit value

Old Requirements:

List all requirements as currently outlined in the Academic Calendar

Rationale:  Please include a brief rationale for the proposed change. 

Motion for Non Substantive Change

Motion to Change Course Title

Motion: That the Academic Regulations and Curriculum Committee recommend to Faculty Executive that the course title for [insert course code] be changed from [current title] to [proposed title]. 

Rationale:  Please include a brief rationale for the proposed change. 

Motion to Change Requistes

Motion to change prerequisites: That the Academic Regulations and Curriculum Committee recommend to Faculty Executive the prerequisite(s) for [insert course code and title] be changed as outline below:  

New Prerequisites:

List all proposed course prerequisites

Old Prerequisites: 

List all course prerequisites currently listed in the Academic Calendar

Rationale:  Please include a brief rationale for the proposed change. 

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Motion to change antirequisites: That the Academic Regulations and Curriculum Committee recommend to Faculty Executive the antirequisite(s) for [insert course code and title] be changed as outline below:  

New Antirequisites:

List all proposed course antirequisites

Old Antirequisites: 

List all course antirequisites currently listed in the Academic Calendar

Rationale:  Please include a brief rationale for the proposed change. 

 

Motion to Revise Course Description

Motion: That the Academic Regulations and Curriculum Committee recommend to Faculty Executive the revision of the course description for [insert course code and title]

New Description: 

Insert proposed course description (50-75 words, active voice, present tense)

Old Description: 

Insert course description that is currently in the Academic Calendar

Rationale:  Please include a brief rationale for the proposed change. 

Motion to Bank a Course

Motion: That the Academic Regulations and Curriculum Committee recommend to Faculty Executive that [insert course code and title] be banked.

Rationale:  Please include a brief rationale for the proposed change. 

Now that you've drafted the proposed curriculum change and motion please email your submission to Sarah Tedesco, Associate Registrar, Academic Policy and Advising for review.  The Associate Registrar will assist you in ensuring your submission aligns with current curriculum and academic policy as well as provide edits and suggestions for your consideration.  

Once reviewed by the Associate Registrar, you are prepared to email the submission to the relevant Dean's Office for the Academic Regulations and Curriculum Committee (ARCC) Agenda.  Please direct your submission to:   

Faculty of Arts and Science
Diane Sheldon, dianes@nipissingu.ca
Secretary, Dean of Arts and Science Office

Faculty of Education and Professional Studies
Submissions for Business, Criminal Justice, or Nursing:
Margarida Shail, margaridas@nipissingu.ca
Manager, Education and Professional Studies

Submissions for Education or Social Work:
Jessica McMillan, jessicam@nipissingu.ca
Manager, Education and Professional Studies

School of Graduate Studies
Amber McCarthy, amberm@nipissingu.ca
Graduate Studies Coordinator