Source:   UIC Office of Programs and Academic Assessment Website

Policy Issues for Academic Courses

Sign-Off for Information or Overlap - "Approval Mechanism" Via 14-Day Routing Procedure

When an academic unit submits a new course proposal request, the submitting unit will be asked to identify any and all courses of other academic units with which the new course may overlap in content. The submitting unit will be asked also to identify other units that may be significantly affected by the new course request in some manner, including the following:

  1. when the content of the new course relates to the mission of the affected unit;

  2. when a course of an affected unit is a prerequisite or corequisite of the proposed course;

  3. when the affected unit provides the instructional staff for the new course;

  4. when students in affected unit(s) may be interested in taking the course.

The affected department(s) will be given an opportunity to review the course and will have a period of 14 days to sign off on the new course proposal. The affected unit may record a "sign-off approval," "no sign-off approval," or "no response." The affected unit may also record a comment. If the sign-off is not recorded within 14 days, the course proposal proceeds to the next level of review with "no response" from the affected unit. The review and sign-off action does not affect the approval of the course but is informational to anyone who views the proposal.

The 14-day sign-off/approval process will be beneficial for the following reasons: a) it provides a quick, efficient way for units to route course proposals to check for overlap; and b) in general, it increases and fosters communication between units.

It is extremely important to note that the 14-day review can be implemented only if there is an automatic email notification function in the new course approval system that notifies units that courses are pending their review. We cannot adopt a system that requires users to access a special menu on a regular basis in order to check for pending course requests and to give only them 14 days to review and sign off. The reality is that users from affected units will not check the menu every two weeks, thus courses will not be reviewed within the 14-day period because the time limit will have expired.

Endorsed by the Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP) on April 13, 1999.