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Course Review and Approval

  • The Faculty Senate USP Committee meets nearly every week of the academic year to review courses submitted to the University Studies Program. That faculty governance group completed the review and approval of 257 Quest I, Quest II, and Explore courses in 2012-2013, and continues to meet to review new courses and update key USP policies to meet the changing needs of our students, staff, and faculty.
  • If you are interested in creating a new Quest course (I, II, or III), please contact the USP office directly for guidance. Since all courses approved for USP belong to your department, please also speak with your department chair to ensure that the course can be taught within your program and within your general education "checkbook." Limited funding exists for courses that are taught beyond the "checkbook;" contact your department chair and the COLS Dean's Office for more information.


Who Does What in the Course Approval Process?

  • DEPARTMENT: The department "owns" its courses approved for USP. Department chairs, in close consultation with the COLS Dean's Office, decide which and how many Quest courses to offer each semester. The department must approve all new Quest offerings, and must also decide which of its 100- and 200-level courses should be approved to count towards Explore.
  • COLS CURRICULUM COMMITTEE: This committee (and others like it in the professional colleges) is the first level of approval for all USP courses. A representative from the department bringing forth a USP-related change or new course must attend a Curriculum Committee meeting to explain the changes.
  • COLS DEAN'S OFFICE: The Dean's Office negotiates with each COLS department about how many seats to offer in the USP/general education. The Dean's Office also makes the formal request to departments for USP courses.
  • USP OFFICE: The USP office, in consultation with departments and the Dean's Office, pairs Quest I and II courses and constructs the schedule of USP courses. The USP Office also monitors Signature Question and Quest training, and offers training as necessary. When funding is available, the USP office also coordinates professional development related to Quest and Explore courses. The USP Office, in close consultation with the Provost's Office, also reviews courses before they reach the USP Faculty Senate Committee and will consult with departments and instructors to ensure courses meet general USP requirements.
  • PROVOST'S OFFICE: The Provost's Office inspects each change to the USP and all new courses to ensure they are consistent with the USP proposal, and also logs all the changes. The Provost's Office also keeps track of student learning outcomes and other elements of the USP related to assessment.
  • USP FACULTY SENATE COMMITTEE: This committee -- composed of faculty members who may or may not teach in the USP but who are well-versed in all aspects of the program --approves all new courses and all changes to courses in the USP. All program changes are also brought before this committee for debate and decision.
  • FACULTY SENATE: The Faculty Senate, on the recommendation of the USP Faculty Senate Committee, gives all USP courses final approval.


    What forms should be submitted?

    Note that all forms are found on the Provost's Office website. This is the ONLY location for the most updated forms.

    • USP Form ONLY : If an existing course is being submitted without changes or an existing course is being submitted with changes that are NOT listed on Form B, submit the USP form and a syllabus. These kinds of course modifications will be the most common for courses submitted to USP. [Example: Student learning outcomes, assignments, assessment, integration of the first-year experience process and integration of Signature Question content.]
    • Form A and USP Form: If the course is brand new, submit Form A and the USP Form (along with a syllabus).
    • Form B and USP Form: If an existing course is being modified in one of the following ways, submit Form B and the USP Form. Modifications requiring Form B include: title, number, description for Bulletin, prerequisites, number of credits, cross-listing status or grading basis (e.g. from pass/fail to letter grade).

    For all USP courses, the department needs to consult with the Registrar, Lisa Danielson, and obtain her signature on the form(s) before sending the form(s) to the Dean's Office for a signature.

      Accessing Approved Curricular Forms

      You can access your approved forms on the network following these instructions.

      Approval Process Flow Chart

      USP Form ProcessThis guide demonstrates the process flow of USP forms from origination to approval.


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