Student presentation

Curriculum Committee

The Curriculum Committee is a standing committee of the University, and receives its charge from language contained in Article VII, Appendix A, Sections D(1)a(i), D(1)b, and D(1)c(i) of the BHE/MSCA Agreement. The Curriculum Committee reviews, evaluates, and makes recommendations on almost all college matters related to curriculum, including those involving courses, programs of study, and curriculum-related policy.

All documents relating to course action requests, agendas, and minutes are now accessible via Curriculog (use your WSU campus login).

The Curriculum Committee reviews and makes recommendations on proposals that new courses be placed in the WSU Bulletin or that courses no longer offered be removed from it, and on whether courses should be included in the University’s general education curriculum. It also considers requests to modify courses already in the Bulletin - e.g., by changing course titles or descriptions; increasing or decreasing the number of credit hours a course counts for; adding, changing or deleting prerequisites for taking the course; altering the level of the course or its number.

The Curriculum Committee also reviews and makes recommendations on proposals for new academic programs or for changes to existing ones. Included within this area are actions involving concentrations, minors, and majors, and the general education (i.e. core) component, as well as the general coordination of the college's academic programs. Also, with regard to program policy, the current BHE/MSCA Faculty Agreement specifies that the President shall inform the Curriculum Committee of such intended or pending decision, "prior to making any decision to establish or disestablish any academic or library department or academic or library program area at the College, and the Curriculum Committee may thereafter make any such recommendation in respect thereof as it may deem appropriate."

Additionally, the Committee is often called upon to develop or react to proposed policy that would affect curriculum. For example, in addition to evaluating courses for possible inclusion in the common core, both the structure of and the standards for the core were developed within the Curriculum Committee.

All recommendations and reports of the Curriculum Committee are provided to the All-University Committee, which then transmits them to the University President, with or without AUC’s own recommendations as AUC sees fit. In addition, by May 15 of each year, the chair of Curriculum submits a final report on the year’s activities to not only AUC but also the President of the University, the MSUA Chapter President, and the President of the Student Government Association.

The BHE/MSCA Agreement requires the Curriculum Committee to have 22 members - 16 faculty/librarians, 3 administrators, and 3 students. All members are appointed to serve for a full calendar year (September 1st through August 31st). Representatives of the faculty/librarian group are "selected under the auspices of the Association," the student representatives are "selected under the auspices of the Executive Committee of the Student Government Association," and the administrative representatives "are appointed by the President and serve at his/her discretion." In the case of the faculty/librarian members, this has traditionally meant all 16 members being voted onto the Committee via election conducted by the BHE/MSCA Chapter. In the case of the administrator members, this has traditionally meant two of the three administrator members being voted onto the Committee via an election conducted by the APA Chapter, and the third member being appointed discretionarily by the President.

The Committee is convened by a representative of the President, usually early in the fall semester, and serves to August 31st of the following year. However, since the conclusion of the faculty work year (again according to the BHE/MSCA Faculty Agreement) falls on May 31st, the Committee is typically discharged at the end of the academic year with no assumption of continuity over the summer time frame (unless an Executive Board has been established by the Committee for such purpose).

A Chair and Secretary are elected within the Committee and serve as the Committee's officers.

CORE CRITERIA - APPRECIATION OF THE ARTS
The intent of Appreciation of the Arts core area courses is to equip students with the analytical skills and knowledge to raise aesthetic questions, and to recognize and appreciate creative expression in art, music, and drama as modes of communication and intellectual activity in various historical and cultural contexts. Courses should awaken students to the life-enriching potential of the arts.

COURSE OBJECTIVES
A core course in this area should enable students to:

  1. Learn and apply the vocabulary, elements, and concepts associated with a particular form of artistic expression, whether it be art, music or drama;
  2. View artistic expression as reflective of its creator and of human experience, as understood and appreciated within a cultural and historical context;
  3. Understand the creative process in art, music or theater and characterize representational works by style or period;
  4. View artistic expression as a form of communication about the human condition.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS
In support of these objectives, courses in this area must:

  1. Introduce the vocabulary, elements, concepts, and styles associated with a particular form of artistic expression;
  2. Present a substantial body of artistic work in an evolutionary, cultural, and historical context, and/or present students with an applied experience which helps them understand the creative process and the elements of the medium in which they are working;
  3. Encourage an appreciation for the arts through appropriate use of resources and events in the college or community;
  4. Design writing assignments that evaluate students' understanding of the subject. These may include, for example, the use of essay examinations, reports and critiques of an exhibit or concert, a term paper, and/or a written narrative to accompany an applied project.

CORE CRITERIA - DIVERSITY
The intent of Diversity core area courses is to enable students to understand the social and conceptual foundations of differences between and among people, such as, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, class or gender.

COURSE OBJECTIVES
A core course in this area should enable students to understand one or more of the following:

  1. The language, culture, history, values, music, literature and/or art of one of more groups;
  2. How diversity has shaped academic disciplines;
  3. How academic disciplines approach diversity;
  4. Public policy issues related to national or international civil or human rights involving diversity;
  5. Multi-cultural issues affecting students' abilities to succeed in a profession or career.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS
In support of these objectives, courses in this area must require students to:

  1. Read primary and secondary sources;
  2. Discuss diversity issues including prejudice, discrimination, or oppression;
  3. Weigh and critically evaluate diversity issues in writing;
  4. Discuss what concrete and effective measures individuals can take to confront and remedy existing prejudice, discrimination and oppression, and to discourage future manifestations.

The above-stated Course Objectives and Course Requirements apply to both the Global and United States sub-areas of this core area.

CORE CRITERIA - ENGLISH COMPOSITION
The intent of English Composition core area courses is to improve students' abilities to write, read, and speak effectively.

COURSE OBJECTIVES
With respect to Writing, a course in this core area should enable students to:

  1. Construct sentences with correct grammar, usage, punctuation, and spelling;
  2. Structure paragraphs and compositions coherently;
  3. Reason soundly;
  4. Document research when appropriate;
  5. Exhibit engaging style;

With respect to Reading, to:

  1. Recognize styles, rhetorical strategies, and genres;
  2. Comprehend and evaluate expository and other writing;
  3. Recognize faulty logic;

With respect to Speaking, to:

  1. Speak well, using the above writing objectives.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS
In support of these objectives, courses in this area must require students to:

  1. Write and revise expository and other prose;
  2. Write a research paper using primary and secondary sources;
  3. Read and critique expository writing and/or literature;
  4. Speak in class.

CORE CRITERIA - LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS
The intent of Literary and Philosophical Analysis core area courses is to acquaint students with various literary and philosophical responses to fundamental questions of the human situation.

COURSE OBJECTIVES
A core course in this area should enable students to:

  1. Learn the vocabulary and methods used in identifying and understanding literary works or philosophic problems;
  2. Understand the historical context of literary or philosophical themes, problems, meanings, arguments, and world views;
  3. Develop an understanding of, and appreciation for fundamental issues of existence, meaning, value, taste, truth and freedom;
  4. Weigh and evaluate literary or philosophic issues critically and methodically;
  5. Argue effectively, orally, and in writing.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS
In support of these objectives, courses in this area must require students to:

  1. Read primary and secondary sources in literature or philosophy;
  2. Discuss literary or philosophic issues in class;
  3. Demonstrate mastery of texts and issues orally and in writing.

CORE CRITERIA - MATHEMATICS/APPLIED ANALYTICAL REASONING
The intent of Mathematics/Applied Analytical Reasoning core area courses is to provide students with opportunities to further develop their mathematical skills, understanding, and reasoning abilities.

COURSE OBJECTIVES
A core course in this area should enable students to:

  1. Recognize, understand, utilize, integrate and communicate mathematical concepts, mathematical methods and logical reasoning; and/or
  2. Apply mathematical concepts, mathematical methods, and mathematical reasoning within an analytic framework; and/or
  3. Conceptualize and utilize formal mathematical and formal logical reasoning; and/or
  4. Conceptualize and utilize algorithms and formal mathematical structures.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS FOR TRADITIONAL MATHEMATICS
In support of these objectives, courses in this sub-area must:

  1. Introduce traditional mathematical concepts, constructs, systems, algorithms, and methods of inquiry and analysis;
  2. Provide an environment where students can construct, investigate, learn, and/or apply those attributes described in Course Requirement 1.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLIED ANALYTICAL REASONING
In support of these objectives, courses in this sub-area must be characterized by the systematic

  1. Quantitative, probabilistic, or statistical analysis of a field, area or topic, and/or
  2. Investigation of formal logical reasoning, and/or
  3. Investigation of algorithms and formal structures.

CORE CRITERIA - SOCIAL UNDERSTANDING
The intent of Social Understanding core area courses is to provide students with an understanding of themselves in relationship to society as well as an understanding of their own and others' cultures, institutions and social organizations. Courses should develop an appreciation and knowledge of the types of questions social scientists ask and how they acquire knowledge.

COURSE OBJECTIVES
A core course in this area should enable students to:

  1. Learn the vocabulary, concepts, theories and methodologies relevant to an area of social inquiry;
  2. Understand how selected factors influence individual and group behavior and/or to understand why people form societies and/or the role of institutions in society;
  3. Become knowledgeable about contemporary social issues and possible solutions;
  4. Become aware of differing viewpoints regarding current and historical issues within an area of social inquiry.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS
In support of these objectives, courses in this area must:

  1. Introduce materials and procedures that expose the student to the vocabulary, concepts, theories, histories, and research techniques in a context that requires the student to use the information appropriately;
  2. Introduce materials and procedures that require the student to utilize relevant concepts and methodologies and to read from primary and secondary sources;
  3. Introduce materials and procedures that highlight factors contributing to individual and group differences;
  4. Design writing and/or oral assignments to evaluate students' understanding of the subject. These may include tasks requiring reading/writing research papers, use of observational techniques, library skills or other discipline-appropriate vehicles.

CORE CRITERIA - TRADITIONAL LAB SCIENCE/ALLIED SCIENCES
The intent of Traditional Lab Science/Allied Sciences core area courses is to provide students with opportunities to further develop their understanding and appreciation of physical and natural processes, as well as the scientific theories and methodologies used to describe them.

COURSE OBJECTIVES
A core course in this area should enable students to:

  1. Identify and understand the scientific theories and processes of the physical environment and the natural world;
  2. Employ scientific methodology;
  3. Recognize, understand and appreciate the ethical issues and societal impact of scientific endeavors;
  4. Recognize and understand the relationships of scientific theories and concepts to human behavior and development.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS FOR TRADITIONAL LAB SCIENCE
In support of these objectives, courses in this sub-area must:

  1. Introduce and reinforce the vocabulary, elements and concepts of science;
  2. Introduce and demonstrate how to utilize the tools and techniques for scientific methodology;
  3. Provide a laboratory experience, in which students are required to formulate questions, develop hypotheses, design and conduct experiments, analyze and interpret data, and prepare scientific reports;
  4. Promote and develop an understanding of the implications of scientific results upon society.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS FOR ALLIED SCIENCES
In support of these objectives, courses in this sub-area must:

  1. Develop techniques to apply the tools and methods of scientific inquiry; and/or
  2. Promote analytical reasoning by devising scientifically sound, logical approaches to test Hypotheses; and/or
  3. Reinforce scientific procedures that enable students to identify the impacts of scientific endeavors on society.

CORE CRITERIA - UNITED STATES HISTORY AND GOVERNMENT
The intent of United States History and Government core area courses is to provide students with a basic understanding of United States history, government and democratic citizenship. A course in this area may design activities to encourage students to explore ways that they can participate in government and in political activities. These courses are designed in part to fulfill the state requirement that students be taught the state and federal constitutions.

COURSE OBJECTIVES
A core course in this area should enable students to:

  1. Explain the historical events leading to the establishment of the state and federal constitutions;
  2. Understand the basic principles of the United States and state constitutions;
  3. Learn the history of the United States political institutions and gain an appreciation for how the state and federal governments currently operate;
  4. Acquire a number of interpretive perspectives on United States history and government in order to critically analyze political events past and present;
  5. Emerge from the course with a better sense of how government affects them and how they may be able to affect it.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS
In support of these objectives, courses in this area must:

  1. Present students with primary and secondary texts relevant to the origin of the state and United States constitutions;
  2. Require course work which asks students to analyze important aspects of the United States constitutional/governmental system;
  3. Present students with varying points of view on the Constitution, United States history, and government;
  4. Design activities to have the student become aware of the available sources of information on United States and state government and history;
  5. Use writing assignments to evaluate the student's level of comprehension of the constitutions, and of United States history and government.

CORE CRITERIA - UPPER-LEVEL *
The intent of Upper-Level core area courses is to provide students with the opportunity to extend their understanding of a subject beyond the introductory level and to utilize skills developed in earlier courses. In addition, courses should develop an appreciation for the value of multi-disciplinary approaches in the study of a subject.

COURSE OBJECTIVES
A core course in this area should enable students to:

  1. Study an academic area at an intermediate or advanced level;
  2. Be exposed to current perspectives, controversies, and scholarship in a particular subject;
  3. Make connections, where appropriate, to other disciplines.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS
In support of these objectives, courses in this area must:

  1. Require students to read or otherwise examine primary and secondary sources;
  2. Require students to complete a significant project;
  3. Have limited prerequisites, if any, beyond the introductory level in a subject area;
  4. Be suitable for both majors and non-majors in the discipline(s).

* This area of the core has not yet been implemented.

Please also refer to the Time Frame Guidelines for Submission of Curriculum Proposals to Governance so as to have a reasonable expectation of completed governance action by the end of an Academic Year.

Note: All Westfield State University curriculum submissions are now handled through the online Curriculog system.  The documents below are here for broader informational purpose.

Course Action Request Form [DOC]

Course Action Request Form [PDF]

CORE Course Proposal Form for UNITED STATES HISTORY AND GOVERNMENT [DOC]

CORE Course Proposal Form for UNITED STATES HISTORY AND GOVERNMENT [PDF]

CORE Course Proposal Form for SOCIAL UNDERSTANDING [DOC]

CORE Course Proposal Form for SOCIAL UNDERSTANDING [PDF]

CORE Course Proposal Form for TRADITIONAL LAB SCIENCE/ALLIED SCIENCES [DOC]

CORE Course Proposal Form for TRADITIONAL LAB SCIENCE/ALLIED SCIENCES [PDF]

CORE Course Proposal Form for MATHEMATICS/APPLIED ANALYTICAL REASONING [DOC]
CORE Course Proposal Form for MATHEMATICS/APPLIED ANALYTICAL REASONING [PDF]

CORE Course Proposal Form for UPPER LEVEL [DOC]

CORE Course Proposal Form for UPPER LEVEL [PDF]

CORE Course Proposal Form for LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS [DOC]

CORE Course Proposal Form for LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS [PDF]

CORE Course Proposal Form for ENGLISH COMPOSITION [DOC]

CORE Course Proposal Form for ENGLISH COMPOSITION [PDF]

CORE Course Proposal Form for DIVERSITY [DOC]

CORE Course Proposal Form for DIVERSITY [PDF]

CORE Course Proposal Form for APPRECIATION OF THE ARTS [DOC]

CORE Course Proposal Form for APPRECIATION OF THE ARTS [PDF]

All the forms are in both Microsoft Word Document [DOC] and Adobe Portable Document Format [PDF]. A  Portable Document Format viewer can be downloaded Here.

Most of the PDF forms have been created as interactive electronic forms. These forms may be filled out electronically using Adobe Acrobat Pro (WSU has a site license).