Procedures for creating and submitting an American Cultures course
While there is no template for an American Cultures course, there are specific syllabus and course elements that are important to create a successfully integrative and comparative course. The Subcommittee’s expectations may be summed up by the three questions posed within the AC Course Approval Guidelines.
- Does the course take substantial account of groups drawn "from at least three of the following: African Americans, indigenous peoples of the United States, Asian Americans, Chicanos/Latinos, and European Americans"?
- Does the course "address theoretical and analytical issues relevant to understanding race, culture, and ethnicity"?
- Does the course emphasize "integrative and comparative" approaches to questions of race, culture, and ethnicity with the larger context of American society and history"?
The Subcommittee is committed to ensuring depth and breadth of course content and applies the highest standards of college-level reading and workload.
When instructors have questions about how to best develop a course and address the expectations of the Subcommittee, they should contact American Cultures Center Director Victoria Robinson. The Subcommittee strongly suggests that instructors consult with Dr. Robinson prior to submitting their materials and course proposal in the Course Management System (CMS).
In order for the Subcommittee to make a decision, instructors must submit the following:
- A cover letter answering, in detail, the three questions from the guidelines. Cover letters should also offer details regarding the actual materials used in the classroom. For example:
How do the course readings relate to the major issues surrounding the different cultures the course covers?
- A fully developed syllabus for the course. Syllabi must include a complete list of assignments, a breakdown of grading requirements (percentage or points), details regarding weekly lecture/discussion topics, a reading list, and information about any final assessments.
The Subcommittee meets once a month on Fridays. Submissions must be received by 5pm on the FRIDAY BEFORE A MEETING. See the review schedule for submission deadlines. Department course contacts with access to the Course Management System (CMS) must submit new course proposals on behalf of the department via CMS. New course proposals will no longer be accepted via email or hard copy.
Tips for CMS Submissions
The submission of a new AC course is very similar to the submission of any other new course proposal to the Academic Senate. There are a few differences to be aware of:
- In CMS, on the Requirements page, select the American Cultures checkbox.
- Also in CMS, on the Finishing Up page, attach supporting materials such as the syllabus and cover letter from instructor describing how the course meets the AC requirement (see above).
- The American Cultures Subcommittee reviews new AC course proposals before they are reviewed by the Committee on Courses of Instruction (COCI).
Instructors will receive a response within one week of the AMCULT meeting at which their syllabi were reviewed. In some cases, the Subcommittee may provide suggestions or comments and may request follow-up from the instructor before making a final decision. After the Subcommittee approves the course to meet the AC requirement, ultimate approval for the course rests with COCI. No action is required by the department in CMS to move the course from AMCULT to COCI.
For inquiries regarding the status of a submission, contact the Subcommittee directly, c/o Senate Analyst Rachel Marias Dezendorf.