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CWUP 5-50-020 Definition of Curriculum Terms

(1) Certificate programs are courses of study that normally require less than 25% of the credits required for a degree program at the same level. Certificate programs may not exceed 44 credits. Certificate programs are specialized career programs, often geared for admission to licensing or career entrance tests, and results in a certificate. Certificate programs may also be noncredit.

(2) A cross-listed course is a course that may be offered by two or more programs or within the same program. Cross-listed courses must bear the identical course outcomes, description, credit, title, and numbering; only the prefix will be different. The following statement must be added to the course description: “(BUS XXX) and (ENG XXX) are cross-listed courses; a student may not receive credit for both.”  If one of a given cross-listed course is offered in a quarter, the other will also be offered.

(3) Curriculum refers to individual courses and academic degree programs offered by the university. An academic degree program is a combination of courses (major, minor) related to a common theme, all of which contribute to a common purpose and lead to a specific goal which results in receiving a degree.

(4) Degree means a title or rank awarded by a college or university to a student who has successfully completed a required course of study (e.g., bachelor’s or master’s or specialist).

(5) Degree program means a set of educational requirements, identified jointly by the department or other degree-granting unit and the college or university, which leads to a degree. Baccalaureate program requirements involve a combination of general education courses, courses in the major field of study, and elective courses. Graduate program requirements involve intensive study in the major field, preparation in the use and conduct of research, and/or a field or internship experience; professional programs generally prepare individuals for professional fields (e.g., law, medicine).

(6) Degree title means a full designation of the degree including level (e.g., bachelor, master), type (e.g., arts, applied science, science, education, fine arts), and major (e.g., mathematics, music, history). These distinctions are illustrated below. For the activities outlined in these guidelines, these definitions of a degree title will be used.

(7) A layered course is one that has different number designations for students at different levels taking the same course.

 A layered course may only be offered at the 4XX and 5XX levels.  The 5XX level course must have additional learner outcomes and may have different course requirements (e.g. pre-requisites, fingerprints, etc.).

(A) Graduate students in graduate/undergraduate layered courses, must take the course at the 500 level or higher. Such courses provide faculty the opportunity to augment course material with graduate-level content and outcomes in a way that meets the intellectual rigor graduate students need and enhances the teaching of upper-division undergraduates.

(B) In all cases, distinctions expected between these corresponding levels typically focus on differences in content and assessment stemming from each program’s specific education objectives. In general these distinctions require a greater depth of student involvement and increased demands on student intellectual or creative capacities than would be expected at the lower level.

The distinctions must be clearly identified in the content and assessment methods outlined in each course syllabus, as well as new course proposal forms. Examples of potential content differences include, but are not limited to: additional readings or additional writing expectations, additional laboratory, field, performance or studio work. Examples of assessment distinctions include, but are not limited to: different grading scales and assessment of additional work.

The following statement must be added to the course description: “(MUS4XX) and (MUS5XX) are layered courses; a student may not receive credit for both.”

Both layered courses do not have to be offered at the same time.

(8) The major forms the basis for granting of a baccalaureate degree. It is a coherent, in-depth program of study in a particular discipline or disciplines wherein the student will develop and demonstrate an increasing awareness of both the possibilities and the limits of the major program of study. Majors are designed to provide a mastery of the content, insights, skills and techniques appropriate to an undergraduate education in a particular body of knowledge. Majors will consist of courses that are often sequential, leading to advanced study in the discipline(s). A major will consist of a minimum of 45 credits. A 45 to 59 credit major requires completion of a minor and/or second major, in which case the total credits of the major and minor/2nd major must total at least 60 credits. (Refer to CWUP 5-50-010(5) for upper credit limit.)

(9) A minor is a coherent program of study in a particular discipline that provides an area that complements or supplements the student’s major. A minor will consist of a minimum of 20 credits and a maximum of 44 credits.

(10) New program is a proposed program which differs from any other offered by the proposing department or unit in one or more of the three degree title specifications (level, type, or major). A program leading to a new degree (as defined above), even if constituted entirely of existing courses, requires review and approval.

(11) Shared Core:  A shared core is defined as a group of courses shared by all specializations within a major or programs within a department/college. Shared cores consist of no fewer than 25 credits for an undergraduate program or 15 credits for a graduate program.  

 (12) A specialization is a coherent, focused subfield within a degree program. A specialization can be distinguished from a new degree in that the full designation of the degree title – including level, type and major – does not change when a new specialization is added. The courses constituting the specialization must consist of no fewer than 20 credits for an undergraduate program or 15 credits for a graduate program.

Programs may offer options in satisfying core course requirements as long as they provide evidence that the options have equivalent student learner outcomes.

(13) Variable prefix courses are identified by the CWU prefix and a single dedicated course number (e.g. CWU 184). Once a course is approved, the prefix may be replaced to represent the department/program offering the course. Only the prefix may change unless it is also a variable topic course.

(14) A variable topic course has a fixed prefix, number, title, description, number of credits, and learner outcomes and assessments (as approved). Discipline-specific content is overlaid, requiring a sub-title and sub-description.

FSCC will review sub-titles and sub-descriptions for General Education courses when proposed. All General Education course sub-titles and sub-descriptions will also be reviewed by the General Education Committee.

(15)  First Year Experience (CWU 184 General Education Program) is a variable prefix/variable topic course requiring sub-title and sub-description (up to 35 words) approvals. 184 course offerings may not be required in any degree program under any prefix.

(16) Student Learning Outcomes are statements of what a learner should be able to know or do, after the successful completion of a program and/or a course. Outcomes focus on the ends rather than means, describe product rather than process, and reflect terminal performance rather than course content. The outcomes are what the department wants each student to achieve each time the course is offered regardless of who the teacher may be. For assessment purposes, learning outcomes should be stated in observable or measurable terms.

(17) The FSCC and the CWUP manual recognize only the following types of programs:




Certificates (Types A-D)

(18) The terms option, emphasis, concentration, endorsement and track are not program distinctions recognized or defined by the CWUP manual and such designations do not appear on transcripts or diplomas.

[Responsibility: Faculty Senate; Authority: Provost/VP for Academic & Student Life; Reviewed/Endorsed by Provost’s Council 08/09/2016; 02/07/2018 06/05/2018; Cabinet/UPAC; Review/Effective Date: 10/21/2016; 04/18/2018; 06/13/2018; 11/04/2020; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]





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