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Policy Issues for Academic Courses

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Double Scheduling and Cross-listing

With the rise of interdisciplinary instruction across colleges, units are requesting to have a course listed under several colleges and departments and, because of the different instructional programs and goals of each college, at different levels. The new course approval system requires that rules be set regarding these types of arrangements.

Permanent Cross-Listing

The definition of a permanently cross-listed course is a course offered under different rubrics by two or more departments where the course titles and content are the same and instruction is given simultaneously to students from each department. Campus policy requires that cross-listed courses be identical in every way. The only exception made to the policy in the past has been to the course rubric and number (e.g. AAST 100 cross-lists with ENGL 110). According to campus policy, all cross-lists must be established at the same level because the level of a course reflects the complexity of a course.

With the rise of interdisciplinary instruction, units claim that the course numbering system designed to categorize different groups (e.g., the 300-level for dentistry and pharmacy professional students, 400/500 level for graduate students, 600 level for professional students with a degree, and 100-400 level for undergraduates, with the 400-level requiring some graduate-level enrollment) hinders rather than helps the offering of a single course appropriate to several audiences.

The following policy for cross-listed courses has been adopted:

  • All requests for permanent cross-listing will be arranged in the Course Request Sytem.

  • All requests for cross-listing will require course numbers at the same level. To help units and students identify permanently cross-listed courses, we prefer that the course number chosen for cross-listed courses be the same across all units. Currently, this is the case for two-thirds of all permanent cross-lists.

  • In all cases, a controlling rubric (department) will be identified and ultimately responsible for course content, regardless of who staffs the course

Temporary Cross-Listing/Double Scheduling

Temporary cross-listing is a cross-list arrangement that takes place on a temporary basis. Often, temporary cross-listing is sought to list topics sections under different courses across departments. (For example, a topic section "History of Latin American Women" offered by the History Department may be temporarily cross-listed under Latin American Studies and Women's Studies as well.) In the past, these arrangements have been approved by the Office of Programs and Academic Assessment, and this Office assists in correctly scheduling these sections across all units. For more information on how to create a temporary cross-list, please click here

"Double scheduling," occurs when a unit combines two existing non-cross-listed courses at the same or different course levels, either topical or similar in content, either within the same department or involving more than one department. These "double-scheduled" courses meet on the same day, hour, and room. For various reasons, combining students in "double-scheduled" courses is inappropriate.

Some examples of "double-scheduling" include the following:

  • scheduling a topics section under two different topics courses at two different levels within a single department, e.g., as 494 and 594 topics courses. The justification often given is that graduate students need 500-level courses and must take 594 rather than 494, but that the 400-level is more appropriate for undergraduate students

  • scheduling a 400-level course with similar content along with a regularly scheduled 500-level course. The unit may not have the faculty resources to offer two separate courses, yet students in graduate programs need 500-level rather than 400-level courses in order to meet degree requirements. Units usually indicate that this is a temporary situation and that graduate students will be expected to do more work or will have different performance expectations

  • scheduling a course at two or more levels because of the different levels of degree programs. For example, a shared course may be deemed a graduate level course by one academic unit while another may consider the same course as an upper division undergraduate one.

  • double-scheduling courses as a result of the course numbering system. A course required for both Doctor of Medicine students and graduate students may be double-scheduled at different levels because the graduate courses are numbered at the 400/500 levels and the Doctor of Medicine courses are numbered at the 600-level. The content, however, of the course is designed for both types of students.

The following policy concerning "double-scheduling" has been adopted:

  • All temporary cross-listing/double scheduling arrangements must be approved by the Office of Programs and Academic Assessment. These requests will be handled in a manner similar to the Request for Temporary Cross-Listing, and will be done via paper form and referred to as "Temporary Cross-Listing."

  • All requests for temporary cross-listing should establish course numbers at the same level.

  • If units have compelling reasons for establishing cross-lists at different levels (e.g., 300 and 400 levels), this will be considered as a "temporary cross-list" and not as a permanent cross-list. In all cases where double-scheduling crosses levels, a special justification must be submitted to and approved by the Office of Programs and Academic Assessment.

  • The establishment of a temporary cross-list involving more than one level (e.g., combining 300/500 levels or 100/400 levels) ordinarily would not be allowed unless the unit can justify, through special petition, that it cannot adhere to the course numbering system and that the course may be appropriate for students at different levels and in different degree programs.

  • In all cases, a controlling rubric (department) will be identified and ultimately responsible for course content, regardless of who staffs the course.

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