2.4.1 Student-Facilitated Group Study Courses (98/198, including DeCal Courses)

(last updated 10/10/14)

Proposals for student-facilitated courses should be submitted by using the Special Studies Course Proposal Form available on the Special Studies website (http://vcue.berkeley.edu/specialstudies(link is external)). This website also contains checklists and detailed information for faculty and departments on sponsoring and approving student-facilitated courses. Both undergraduate and graduate student facilitators should use this form.

COCI reiterates that department chairs are responsible for monitoring the academic rigor of all courses in their departments, including student-facilitated courses. Before approving student-facilitated course proposals, department chairs should carefully review each syllabus and verify that the instructor of record will appropriately supervise the course.

Instructors of record for student-facilitated courses are governed by Senate Regulation 750, which states that “Only regularly appointed officers of instruction holding appropriate instructional titles may have substantial responsibility for the content and conduct of courses which are approved by the Academic Senate.” In short, if an individual has been approved to teach as an instructor of record for an academic unit, then he or she may “sponsor” a student-facilitated group study course as the instructor of record. This does not apply to graduate students who have been appointed as Acting Instructor-Graduate Students.

Berkeley Division Regulation A205.A states “An instructor may be in charge of no more than one such undergraduate course [graded passed/not passed] in any term, exclusive of individual study or research courses, except with the consent of the dean of the school or college in which the course is offered.”

A copy of the approved proposal (form, syllabus, unit value worksheet, and responses to the seven questions on the form) must be submitted for information to the Committee on Courses of Instruction (COCI), 320 Stephens Hall, # 5842, at least one month before the end of instruction in the preceding semester (or summer). Individual department deadlines may be earlier. Late submissions must be accompanied by a letter from the dean or department chair (or their designate) clearly laying out the reasons for the lateness (email is acceptable). Courses are considered approved once signed by the department chair; however, COCI may revoke the approval of courses not conducted according to Senate regulations.

Courses affiliated with the DeCal program are subject to the requirements outlined in BDR A230. DeCal is a program affiliated with the Associate Students of the University of California (ASUC) to help undergraduate students create and facilitate their own courses under faculty sponsorship. Departments are responsible for the content and conduct of special studies courses advertised through DeCal.

Proposals for group study courses not led by students should not be submitted on the Special Studies Course Proposal Form. Facilitators (e.g., faculty or staff) should instead submit to COCI a written proposal addressing the matters required by BDR A230. The department chair’s approval is required.

Please note that SR 760 states that students should do three hours of work per week per term for each unit of credit received (see section 2.3.1, Designation of Unit Value). This applies to all courses, including group study courses. The course syllabus must reflect this workload. Additionally, variable unit classes must specify how unit value will be assigned.