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Section 4: Courses and Curricula

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Course Syllabi and Standard Course Outlines

(Supersedes PS 04-05)

This policy statement was recommended by the Academic Senate on September 22, 2011 and approved by the President on September 27, 2011.


It is essential that all students have access to the basic information about the courses in which they are enrolled. Therefore, in every course, the instructor(s) must provide the students with a syllabus in at least 10-point type font and that meets the requirements for the Accessible Technologies Initiative and all other pertinent requirements for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This syllabus must include, but is not limited to, the information shown below.

The syllabus must either be provided in paper copy or be made available in electronic form. If the syllabus is only distributed electronically, the instructor must provide detailed instructions on how to access the syllabus. Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, the syllabus must be provided on or before the time of the second class meeting.

In the case of distance-learning classes that do not meet in person in the same physical setting, the enrolled students shall be provided with the electronic address, access instructions, and required information specified in the previous paragraph via either mail or e-mail.


Information that must be included in the course syllabus:

  • A. Instructor's name, office number, office telephone number and/or e-mail address, and office hours;
  • B. Class term, meeting times, and location;
  • C. Course goals and/or objectives and/or expected student learning outcomes;
  • D. Required text(s) and/or materials and information on any course fee;
  • E. Types and sequence of assignments and basis for assigning course grade;
  • F. How the instructor will interpret the University withdrawal policy in this class;
  • G. A statement of, or reference to where students may find attendance policies and provision for makeup of assignments when there is an excused absence;
  • H. A reminder that it is the student's responsibility to notify the instructor in advance of the need for accommodation of a university verified disability;
  • I. Other information essential to the course, for example safety information, information about accessing online resources, information about assignments that must be accomplished at off-campus locations (e. g., field trips or service learning). Instructors should also refer students to the "General Regulations and Procedures" in the Catalog and are encouraged to discuss their interpretation of these General Regulations and Procedures, especially with regard to cheating and plagiarism.
  • J. Any course that uses hybrid, local online, or distance education course delivery shall explain the following issues in the course syllabus:
    • 1) How the instructor will communicate with the students and how the students will communicate with each other;
    • 2) How online participation will be assessed and graded;
    • 3) How the instructor will monitor the online activities of the students;
    • 4) How the standards of appropriate online behavior will be maintained;
    • 5) The level of technical competence required of the students;
    • 6) What the minimum computer hardware and software requirements are for the class, and what department, college, or University facilities are available to support these requirements for students who cannot afford to buy the technology;
    • 7) The alternative procedures for submitting work in the event of technical breakdowns; the on-campus meeting requirements, if any; how academic honesty will be enforced. If some of the information is subject to change, that fact should be noted in the syllabus (e.g., due dates and exam dates).

Faculty members must submit copies of the syllabus for each course to the department office. Departments and programs will keep a copy of each syllabus for at least five (5) years. The department will submit copies of all course syllabi to the University Library in a format specified by the Library by the census date of the term.

A model syllabus has been prepared by the Faculty Center for Professional Development and is available on the Center's website.


Course syllabi must conform to the standard course outline (SCO) for the course.

Standard course outlines for all courses should be kept on file by the departments, programs, or colleges that offer them. Colleges may choose to develop standard course outline templates appropriate to their disciplines. A standard course outline template and sample are available in the curriculum handbook.

At a minimum all standard course outlines should contain the following:

  • A. The catalog description of the course;
  • B. A statement of course objectives and student learning outcomes, including those related to General Education,
    when applicable;
  • C. An outline of the subject matter to be covered. The outline may be thematic and/or sequential;
  • D. Any instructional requirements of all faculty teaching the course, including policies regarding textbooks, testing systems, grading systems, integration of laboratory or other non-lecture/discussion components of the course, and other "administrative" aspects of the course, such as repeatability and requirements for hybrid/blended, local online, or distance education courses.

A revised standard course outline for lower-division courses is required by the Curriculum Office if the change to the course changes the community college articulation agreement in any way or if an articulation agreement is being initiated.


Section 4: Courses and Curricula
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