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Policy Issues for Academic Courses


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Separate Courses Versus Separate Sections for Different Student Audiences

Implementation Date: Course Planning for Summer/Fall 2000

The campus will encourage the creation of courses for different types of students:

Academic units will often establish separate sections of a course (with different course content) in order to meet the special needs of different student groups. The Senate Committee on Educational Policy and the Office of Programs and Academic Assessment subscribe to the concept of establishing separate courses rather than separate sections of the same course that have been adapted to the individual needs of different groups of students.

For example, if a computer programming course is offered with two sections, offering different computer programming languages for different student groups under each section, then separate courses should be considered.

Rationale: In 1982 the Senate Committee on Academic Programs adopted the following policy: ATo meet the special needs of distinctly different academic groups enrolled in the same degree program, the Committee subscribes to the basic concept of establishing separate courses (rather than separate sections of the same course), adapted to the individual needs of separate academic groups, to meet a specific program objective.

With separate courses instead of separate sections created to meet student needs, the course outline, including the catalog description, will very specifically identify the unique aspects of the given course and its targeted audience. Creating separate courses will eliminate the need for lengthy Timetable section notes under individual sections created for different purposes. A separate course with its own unique title will make it easier for anyone viewing a studentís transcript. Further, creating a separate course will eliminate registration errors when students register for the wrong section, not realizing that different sections are designed for different groups of students.

This policy will be used as a guideline but, for various reasons, may not fit all situations (e.g., when the content of course sections do not vary or when the situation is temporary).

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