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Academic Advising

Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to frequently asked questions surrounding the Carolina Core, curricular actions, and more using the searchable table below. Filter results by searching the table using key words related to your question. 

Question Answer Keywords
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What is an integrative course?

An Integrative course is a course in the major, in which selected Carolina Core learning outcomes are integrated into the chosen major.  Each undergraduate program must have an approved integrative course and require it as part of the major to ensure that all undergraduate students have had an integrative course in their major.  It cannot just be an option in the major. Learn more on integrative courses

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How do Carolina Core Overlay courses work? 

Carolina Core overlay courses meet two Carolina Core learning outcomes in one course.  Students may apply a maximum of two overlay courses to their Carolina Core hours.  All students must have a minimum of 31 hours of Carolina Core.  For a list of overlay-eligible courses, visit the Carolina Core website and sort by the Overlay column in the table.

Learn more with the Carolina Core Overlay Training Module

 
Can I choose specific (prescribed) courses as part of the Carolina Core for my program?  Yes. Certain programs may require courses that are approved as Carolina Core foundational courses.  It makes sense that those programs would “prescribe” those courses as required for the particular Carolina Core component that they fulfill.   
When should I submit my proposal in order to be effective for the next Bulletin year? All proposals must reach the Committee on Curricula and Courses 10 days prior to the November meeting in order to make the December Faculty Senate cutoff for curriculum changes.  It depends on the type of proposal submitted how long it will take to reach the Committee on Curricula and Courses and if there are any external approvals required.  Program actions may take between 6 months and 2 years for full review (ACAF 2.00).  Review the various levels of approval needed for various types of curricular actions.   effective year, bulletin year, catalog year, propsoal, deadline
When is the content in my proposal effective? New courses, programs, and concentrations can be effective for the next term after all approvals and notifications.  Course, program, and concentration changes or deletions will be effective for the next bulletin year if all approvals are received 10 days prior to the November Curricula and Courses Committee meeting and approved by Faculty Senate.   effective year, bulletin year, catalog year, propsoal, deadline
What are the requirements for a cross-listed course?

“A cross-listed course is a course that is offered under more than one course subject and is not appropriate for courses with the same course subject. Once a cross-listed course is approved, the courses are viewed as equivalent and identical and should ideally be able to be taken interchangeably within degree programs which require the course.” (ACAF 2.03)

Cross-listed courses must have the exact same criteria as listed below:

  • Course Number (if possible; at minimum the course numbers for the cross-listed courses must have be at the same level, i.e., lower division, upper division, mixed, graduate)
  • Title
  • Course Description
  • Pre-requisites and Co-requisites
  • Catalog Restrictions (e.g., by student level or program)
  • Carolina Core or GLD designations (if applicable)
  • Grade Mode (i.e., letter grade or pass/fail)
  • Schedule Type (e.g., lecture, lab, seminar) a. Cross-listed courses may have different course delivery and location.
 
 
What are the requirements for a syllabus?

All undergraduate and graduate courses must have a course syllabus that includes the following:

  1. Course title (including course subject designator and number)
  2. Instructor name and relevant contact information
  3. Final Exam day and time, as appropriate (from Office of the Registrar’s website)
  4. Class meeting days, times, and location, or equivalent
  5. Undergraduate or Graduate Bulletin course description
  6. Course learning outcomes
  7. Required text(s) and/or suggested readings, as appropriate
  8. Course requirements and grading
    • Assignments, projects, quizzes, and/or exams with brief descriptions of expectations with points/weights assigned to each activity.
    • Courses at the Mixed/Advanced Undergraduate/Entry Level Graduate Courses (500/600--level) must include separate grading schemes for undergraduate and graduate credit and one or more assignments for graduate credit that are clearly differentiated from undergraduate assignments
    • Grading scheme and weights including what a student must do to receive a grade of A through F for a letter grade-based course, or an S or U, or a T or U, as appropriate for a non-letter grade course
  9. Topical outline of content to be covered, including a time allocation framework (e.g., week 1, week 2, etc. to include 14 weeks for a standard academic year course 6 session). The time allocation framework will be adjusted for other term lengths accordingly, consistent with course credit hours as defined in section III D.
  10. For Distributed Learning Courses, the syllabus is expected to articulate estimated time commitments of instructional time and course activity time consistent with course credit hours as defined above. The Committee on Instructional Development shall maintain and administer guidelines for such courses.
  11. Statement regarding academic integrity, honorable behavior and/or the Carolinian Creed (or excerpt thereof). Additional information may be found through the Office of Academic Integrity. Sample syllabi are also available through the Center for Teaching Excellence.
  12. Course attendance policy consistent with the expectations stated in the respective Academic Bulletin.

  13. Statement regarding disability services. Additional information may be found through the Student Disability Services Center and in policy STAF 6.02 Support Services and Accommodations for Students with Diagnosed Disabilities. 

 
How long will it take for my proposal to receive all levels of approval?

It depends on the type of proposal submitted and if there are any external approvals required. Program actions may take between 6 months and 2 years for full review (ACAF 2.00).  Review the various levels of approval needed for various types of curricular actions. 

See the APPS Approval Flow Chart for program actions.

Also see the Academic Programs website for CHE Timelines and Bulletin Freeze Charts.

 
Will my proposal require any external approvals?

Only programs require external approvals (the President, Board of Trustees (BoT), SACS, and CHE notification or approval), as outline in ACAF 2.00: "All new academic programs and program name changes across the entire USC system must be approved by the president.  All new academic programs and program name changes across the entire USC system must be approved by the University Board of Trustees."

CHE approval is required in the following cases:

  • New degree programs;
  • New academic certificates of any length in a new CIP code;
  • New academic certificates of more than 18 credit hours in a current CIP code;
  • Program revisions of more than 18 credit hours including the addition of one or more program concentrations and CIP code changes;
  • Program revisions of delivery location to off-campus (50% or more of credit hours);
  • Extension of an approved health professions program to additional sites in-state, and
  • Center and institute proposals requesting new or additional state funding.

CHE notification is required in the following cases:

  • Program revisions of 18 credit hours or less (undergraduate) or 12 credit hours or less (graduate), including the addition of a single program concentration;
  • New academic certificates of 18 credit hours or less in a current CIP code;
  • Consolidation of concentrations within an existing program;
  • Program name changes;
  • Program four-letter designator changes;
  • Program terminations;
  • Program revisions of delivery method to distance education delivery (50% or more of credit hours); and
  • Center or institute proposals in which state funding is not required.

SACSCOC approval is required six months before implementation in the following cases:

  • New programs, including new dual or joint degree programs;
  • Program revisions that increase program length by 10%;
  • New academic certificates of any length in any CIP code;
  • Program terminations;
  • Program revisions of delivery location to off-campus (50% or more of credit hours); and
  • Program revisions of delivery method to distance education delivery (50% or more of credit hours)

SACSCOC notification is required six months before implementation in the following cases:

  • Program revisions of delivery location to off-campus (25% to 49% of credit hours);
  • Program name changes.

The program percentages must be based on the total number of credits required to earn the degree, not on the number of required credits in the major, minor or course, or the number of contact hours. SACSCOC may also request more information or additional materials such as a prospectus for any action.

 
Will my proposal require a letter of concurrence?

Under ACAF 2.00: 

Interdisciplinary or Interprofessional Programs: Each instance in which an interdisciplinary or interprofessional program is created, revised, or terminated requires letters of concurrence from all related academic units.

Dual, Joint and Other Collaborative Degree Programs: The proposal requires the approval of the faculty and leadership in both or all collaborating programs, and letters of concurrence from all university units in closely related disciplines.

Under ACAF 2.03:

Course Actions: If a course action has the potential to impact the curriculum offering of other units or campuses, then the proponent is responsible for procuring concurrence from such units or campuses.

Cross-listed course: If one course is new, and the other already exists, the unit introducing the new course shall include a statement of concurrence from the unit with the existing course.  If all courses in a cross-listing are existing courses, one of the units shall submit the course action, indicating all other courses with which the course is cross-listed. All other units shall provide to the initiating unit statements of concurrence, indicating all other courses with which the initiated course is cross-listed.

Common Reasons Proposals are Returned from the Curricula and Courses Committee:

Pre-/Co-Requisites: Changes to Pre-/Co-requisites (either their addition or removal) require a letter of concurrence for the department offering the pre-/co-requisite course unless the impacted courses are in the same department as the subject course.

 

 
When do cross-listed courses require additional proposals, and not just letters of concurrence? 

Common Reasons Proposals are Returned from the Curricula and Courses Committee:

  • Anytime a course is being deleted. If multiple cross-listed courses are being deleted, separate proposals are needed.
  • Anytime a new course is being created. If a new course is to be cross listed with another new course, two proposals are needed (one for each course).
  • If a new course is going to be cross listed with an existing course, only one proposal is needed. The proposal that creates the new course can also create the cross list, but does need a letter of concurrency.
 
Do all changes to a cross-listed course affect any cross-listed course(s) as well?

Common Reasons Proposals are Returned from the Curricula and Courses Committee:

Getting approval for distributed learning for one cross-listed course does not automatically approve cross listed courses for distributed learning delivery. Separate submissions are required for each course.

 
When is a syllabus required for a proposal?

Common Reasons Proposals are Returned from the Curricula and Courses Committee:

A syllabus should only be included in a proposal when necessary. When a syllabus is included, it will be reviewed by the Committee on Curricula and Courses.

 Proposals that require a syllabus:

  • New course
  • Significant change in the course description, and/or title
  • When required by other committees (i.e., Carolina Core and Instructional Development -INDEV)

 Proposals that do not require a syllabus:

  • Minor revisions to the course description or course title (e.g., slight rephrasing to replace
  • terms as dictated by professional organizations often related to accreditation)
  • Change in co-requisites or pre-requisites
  • Change in course level, as long as not changing to/from 500 or 600.
  • Change in Catalog Restrictions
  • Change in Carolina Core or GLD designations
  • Change in Grade Mode (not needed for removing pass/fail; needed if adding pass/fail)
  • Change in Schedule Type (e.g., adding/changing lecture/lab/practicum format]
  • Deleting a course

 

 
How do I change my program learning outcomes?

Learning Outcomes are placed in the Academic Assessment Plan Composer. Please contact La Trice Ratcliff-Small in OIRAA with any questions regarding learning outcomes.

 
What is included in progression requirements?

Progression requirements should inform students and advisors of any deadlines and minimum performance standards to continue in a program.  They may include deadlines for course or application completion, minimum GPA requirements, minimum grade requirements, minimum number of credits earned, etc.

Learn more with the Progression Requirements training module.

 
What is a concentration?

"A Concentration is a series of courses that display a distinct curricular pattern within the major. They are often called options, emphases, tracks, areas, fields, or specializations. These are different from minors or cognates which are typically outside of the major. Concentrations are subject to faculty governance review, and appear on the transcripts but not the diplomas." (ACAF 2.00)

 
Can a program include more than one concentration?

Yes, programs may have multiple concentrations within the major.

 
If my program has multiple concentrations, will a change to the program affect all of the concentrations?

Concentrations are specific areas of study within the major.  Anything outside of a concentration is part of the base program.  If the change is to the Carolina Core, College Requirements, Program Requirements, or Major requirements (outside of the concentration), then the change will affect all concentrations.  If the change is within a specific concentration itself, then it will not affect other concentrations in the program.

 
What is a cognate?

"A cognate is series of courses that display a distinct curricular pattern in one or more disciplines different from the major. Undergraduate cognates require a minimum of 12 credit hours in advanced level courses related to, but outside the major. Graduate cognates range between 9 and 18 credit hours. Cognates are variable according to what is appropriate as determined by the student and the major advisor. Thus, cognates are not subject to faculty governance review, and do not appear on either the transcripts or the diplomas." (ACAF 2.00)

 
What are critical courses on the major maps?

Courses may be marked as critical if there is a deadline for completion or if they may cause a delay in graduation because they serve as a prerequisite in a series of courses, have prescribed sequencing, or have limited offerings.  There is a description of why courses are critical for a particular program in the first program note on the back of each major map.

Critical courses are explained with examples in the Major Maps Training Module.

 
When is the new Bulletin published for the upcoming academic year?

A new Bulletin is published each February 15th for the coming academic year.

 
How do I know if I need a curriculum change proposal to make a change in the Bulletin?

A curriculum change proposal is required when substantive changes are needed.  Changes that are non-substantive include typos, grammar errors, formatting changes, and other changes that do not affect the meaning or interpretation of curricular information.

 

Who should I contact if I have a correction for DegreeWorks?

Please visit the DegreeWorks Edit Request website.

 

Who should I contact if there is an issue in Banner?

Fill out the form on the Self Service Carolina Help website.

 

Who is the Academic Program Liaison (APL) for my college?

Current APL’s are listed on the Planning and Assessment, Academic Program Liaison’s page of the Provost’s website.

 

Who can I contact in my college for assistance with curriculum actions?

An Academic Program Liaison (APL) is designated for each college/school on the Columbia campus, for each comprehensive campus, and for the regional Palmetto College campuses. The APLs will serve as the main information resource on academic program actions and as the academic program liaison to the Provost’s Office for their respective units. The list of current Academic Program Liaisons can be found on the Planning and Assessment, Academic Program Liaison’s page of the Provost’s website.

 

How do I propose a course action?

Course actions include proposing new courses, modifying or changing courses, terminating courses, and adding distributed learning to a course.  Visit the Academic Programs website and scroll to the section for the action you’d like to take.

 

How do I propose a program action?

Program actions include proposing new, modifications to, or terminating degree programs, minors, concentrations, and academic certificates.  Visit the Academic Programs website and scroll to the section for the action you’d like to take.

 
What is the process for course actions? 

Internal Approvals:

  1. Academic Unit Head (Chair)
  2. Academic Unit Heads for departments affected by the action (only if needed)
  3. Distributed Learning (if new or change DL course)
  4. College/School Representative (usually the APL)
  5. Undergraduate Dean
  6. Instructional Development (if new DL course)
  7. Registrar (Banner Validation and Degree Audit)
  8. Carolina Core Specialty Team Chair –Carolina Core courses only
  9. Curricula and Courses Committee
  10. Faculty Senate
 
What is the process for program actions?

Internal Approvals:

  1. Academic Unit Head (Chair)
  2. Academic Unit Heads for departments affected by the action (only if needed)
  3. College/School Representative (usually the APL)
  4. Undergraduate Dean
  5. Registrar (Banner Validation and Degree Audit)
  6. Curricula and Courses Committee
  7. Faculty Senate

External Approvals: 

8. Board of Trustees (if needed)

9. CHE (if needed)

10. SACSCOC notification and/or substantive change (if needed)

See the APPS Approval Flow Chart for program actions.  

 

What is the format for an undergraduate degree program?

Program of Study: 

  1. Carolina Core (required)
  2. College Requirements (optional)
  3. Program Requirements (optional)
    1. Supporting Courses
    2. Cognate
    3. Minor
    4. Electives
  4. Major Requirements (required)
    1. Major Courses
    2. Major Electives
    3. Concentration

For training on the Program of Study format:

 
What is the Carolina Core? The Carolina Core provides the common core of knowledge, skill and academic experience for all Carolina undergraduate students.  It provides the foundation for subsequent specialized study and for lifelong learning.  Learn more about the Carolina Core.

Learn more with the Carolina Core training module. 

 

Do prerequisites have to be enforced in Banner?

Prerequisites do not have to be enforced in Banner.  However, it is recommended that they be enforced, as they are published in the Bulletin.  It creates inconsistency in University sources to list prerequisites on the Bulletin, but then not enforce them in Banner.

 
What is DegreeWorks? DegreeWorks is the University’s degree audit system.  DegreeWorks aids both students and advisors in monitoring students’ progress toward degree and assist students in choosing the most appropriate courses to fulfill degree requirements. Integrated with students’ academic records in Banner, DegreeWorks  matches student record data (courses, hours grades) with degree requirements categorically to identify which courses meet degree requirements and which courses need to be completed. Degree works also allows users to run “what if” and “look ahead” scenarios to both show how project courses will apply to a student’s major and apply a student’s course history to another program of study. (Office of the University Registrar)

Learn more with the DegreeWorks Overview training module.

 
Why do Faculty need to know about DegreeWorks? 

Every undergraduate student has access to his/her personal degree audit.  This in important because students monitor their own progress.  Degree audits are especially important for athletes, veterans, and OSP (Opportunity Scholars Program) students, who must have an accurate degree audit for compliance (NCAA, GI Bill, Federal Funding).  Faculty need to be aware of this because curricular decisions must be accurately reflected in DegreeWorks.

 
What are major maps? A major map is a layout of required courses in a given program of study, including critical courses and suggested course sequence to ensure a clear path to graduation. Major maps include universal terminology, a standard program of study, and a common 8-semester template.

Access the Major Map Repository

Learn more about major maps with the Major Map Training Module

 
What is CourseLeaf? CourseLeaf is the new curriculum management software that includes curriculum inventory management (curriculum change process) and catalog management (bulletin).  

What is EAB Navigate?

The EAB Advising Platform (known as Navigate on the Columbia campus), populated by a nightly feed of student data from Banner, provides a simple overview of key student information; success marker notifications; risk scoring for early intervention; a full transcript view and incoming student test and placement scores; easy list development based on hundreds of student attributes (GPA ranges; credit completion percentages; specific courses; participation in certain groups such as Honors, athletics, or sorority/fraternity; transfers; etc); a major matcher feature integrated with hiring and salary data provided by O-Net; easy referrals to support offices across campus who will reach out to the student and then close the loop with the advisor who made the referral.

Learn more with the EAB Navigate Overview training module.

 

What is Banner/Self-Service Carolina?

Self-Service Carolina allows students, faculty, and advisors to access student information via the web.

Students may use Self Service Carolina to:

  • View and update Financial Aid Status
  • Access Degreeworks
  • Check Registration Status and eligibility
  • Schedule classes using College Scheduler
  • Check grades and verify records
  • Pay tuition and fees

Faculty may use Self Service Carolina to:

  • Review class rosters
  • Assign grades
  • Obtain student contact information

Academic Advisors may use Self Service Carolina to:  

  • Access DegreeWorks
  • Check a student’s Registration Status and eligibility
  • Obtain student contact information
  • Review student Records  

Learn more with the Self Service Carolina Overview training module. For helpful tutorials and how to videos, visit the Self-Service Carolina Upgrade page. 

 

What is the difference between prerequisites and restrictions?

What is the difference between prerequisites and restrictions?

Prerequisites are courses (successfully completed with a minimum grade of D, unless otherwise defined) that identify the skills and knowledge needed before enrollment in certain courses.

Restrictions are conditions that limit the enrollment in certain courses to a select group of students.  Restrictions may include:

  • students of a certain academic standing
  • students of a certain class standing (junior, senior, etc.)
  • students admitted to a certain college, academic program, degree, minor, or certificate
  • students belonging to a specific student group (Honors, Trio Scholars, etc.)
  • students required to meet with an instructor, director, or obtain department permission.

Note: Restrictions referring to students who have completed a specific number of credit hours and students with a certain minimum GPA cannot be enforced in Banner.

 

 


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