Curriculum Committee

Curriculum Development Process


The curriculum of a college is the manifestation of its philosophy. Therefore, additions and changes to the curriculum must be carefully developed and considered by all involved in the curriculum process.

The Curriculum Committee is a joint committee of the Academic Senate with responsibility for the process of "mutual agreement" regarding curriculum matters as defined in Board of Trustees Policy. Policy and implementation recommendations prepared by the Curriculum Committee are forwarded to the Academic Senate for ratification. If ratified, the approved items are submitted to the SMC Board of Trustees for acceptance.

From Idea to Course Outline

Please read the entire outline and all of the links below.

Step 1: Develop a Tentative Course Outline or Proposal for New Course or Program

Step 2: Discuss with Department Chair, Curriculum Representative, and other Impacted Departments/Areas

Proposer(s) complete a working draft of course outline or program proposal that incorporates the ideas for a new course or program.

Proposer(s) talk with the department chair to see if the proposed course fits into the department's overall program and to determine if the department has the personnel and resources to support such a course. Faculty members who propose a course/program that affects several departments/areas meet with the chairs/leaders of all departments or areas that the course/program would impact.

Proposer(s) contacts the Librarian to determine if the college has the resources to support the course.

To assure that resources (computers, media, books, etc.) are available, proposer(s) meet with representatives of other areas whose support is necessary to the success of the course.

Who should teach the class? The state has identified minimum qualifications for faculty teaching in a discipline. Some disciplines require a Master's Degree, others do not. What disciplines should meet the minimum requirements to teach your course?

Minimum Qualifications for instructors teaching your class

Step 3: Consult with Curriculum Chair, Vice Chair, Articulation Officer, and Librarian as needed, in partnership with the Curriculum Representative for that area.

The Representative is a partner in this process from the very beginning.

If courses are intended for transfer, consult with the Articulation Officer during the development of the course.

Make the Library aware of your course proposal as early as possible to allow time to acquire materials to support the course. Students use the Library collection to help themselves succeed even when the course is conceived as not requiring additional materials. Resources may be requested for the Library collection using the online request form.

Sheila Cordova, Chair, x8941

Jason Beardsley, Vice-Chair, x8054

Estela Narrie, Articulation Officer, x8557

Brenda Antrim, Librarian, x3538

Step 4: Curriculum Committee Representative reviews the proposal

Minor revisions, such as typos or addition errors, are corrected.  Major revisions will be returned to the proposer(s) to complete.

If the course is intended for Distance Education, it is sent to the 508 Compliance Officer for review. If not, it is sent on to the Department Chair for departmental review and vote.

Step 5: Submit Formal Written Proposal to the Department for Approval

At this time, the Department Chair reviews the proposal sends it to the departmental faculty for review and holds a vote on the proposed course.  The outcome of this vote (total Yes, No, and Abstain votes) is input into CurricUNET. The course may be returned for major revisions if needed or sent on for Articulation and Librarian review and approval.

Step 6: Articulation Officer and Librarian review and sign off

The proposal is then sent on to the Curriculum Technical Panel for review, approval, and inclusion on the Curriculum agenda.

Step 7: Technical Review

The Chair, Vice Chair, Articulation Officer and Curriculum Specialist complete a final review of the proposal before creating the meeting agenda.  The proposal may be approved and sent on to Curriculum committee members for review and comment, returned to the proposer(s) for revision, or disapproved.

Step 8: Committee Members Pre-Meeting Review

The Curriculum Committee members review the proposal and, if needed, input comments for the proposer(s) consideration.

Step 9: Faculty Member(s) and Department Chair Present to Curriculum Committee

Curriculum Committee Approval

  1. The proposer(s) and the department chair or designee should attend the meeting at which the proposal is presented. Although the proposal should be complete and self-explanatory, the proposer(s) should be prepared to give a brief overview of the proposal justification and answer any questions about the proposed course or program in detail, including the need for such a course or program, materials used, objectives, and methods of instruction and assessment.

  2. Any relevant texts and supporting information may be presented to the committee to augment the details contained in the proposal.

  3. After the presentation of the proposal, the Curriculum Committee discusses the proposed course and votes to either (1) recommend approval of the course to the Academic Senate and Superintendent/President, (2) return the proposal to the department with recommendations for further development or revision, or (3) return it to the department with notification that the course proposal has not been approved. The Curriculum Committee Chair will notify the department chair verbally or by email within two days of the Committee's decision.

  4. If approved by the committee, the course will be presented to the Academic Senate for approval. If the course is returned to the department without approval, the proposer(s) may request a meeting with the committee chair to discuss the reason(s) for non-approval. The proposal may be resubmitted to the Curriculum Committee.

  5. Final Approval: The Curriculum Committee Chair recommends acceptance of any course the committee has approved to the Academic Senate.  If the Academic Senate ratifies the course, the course is presented to the Board of Trustees for inclusion in the Santa Monica College curriculum, possibly pending approval by the Chancellor's Office.