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Curricular Changes

Linked degree audit systems like ATLAS will shine a bright light on our transfer credit practices. Institutional course equivalencies are becoming increasingly visible to anyone with internet access. Will users see accurate equivalencies that serve prospective students or misinformation that only leads to problems down the road? Sharing curricular changes will help each institution maintain accurate course articulation tables and, therefore, serve students better.

Why Is Timely Sharing of Changes Important?
Sharing of curricular changes facilitates accurate articulation before courses arrive on incoming transcripts. Curricular changes are like “the needle without the haystack” . . . no need to examine hundreds of catalog pages to find what changed from last year!

Timely access to curricular changes provides lead time to update articulation tables and webpages. It streamlines credential evaluation. Linked degree audit systems like ATLAS will produce more accurate results for prospective transfer students.

What Are Curricular Changes?
Curricular changes are New, Modified, and Deleted courses in your curriculum. Changes typically take effect with each new catalog, or quarterly at some institutions. (Please see the note at the bottom of this page.)

How Do I Post Changes?
Compile your curricular changes into the standard template provided for this purpose. Post the completed template on your institution’s website in a location accessible to the public. Then send the URL to the OrACRAO secreatary at secretary@oracrao.org to update on your Institutional Member webpage.

Each year, simply complete your new template to the existing URL which will make it accessible to other institutions. Please update your templates as soon as possible following the next year’s catalog approval.

Tips and Tricks for Using the Template
  • For detailed template instructions, open the template and drag your mouse over the comments (little red triangles) . . . or select the “Template Instructions” tab at the bottom.
  • Get your curricular changes from your curriculum office. You probably already get them to update your catalog and database.
  • Label your spreadsheets based on when changes take effect, not when they were approved. If changes take effect with your 2007-08 catalog, label it “Changes Effective Fall 2007.”
  • Flag courses as New, Modified, and Deleted, using letters “N, M, or D,” respectively.
  • Indicate what changed . . . credit hours, course prefix/number, course description, etc.
  • Include course descriptions on the spreadsheet.
  • Don’t list “program changes.” Only list “new, deleted & modified courses.” Generally, program changes are not relevant to individual course articulations.
NOTE:
Though it may affect current institutional policy and practice, we highly recommend that each institution avoid “recycling” course numbers. Doing so has a significant effect on transfer equivalencies at other institutions. Changes to a course description alone (but not the course number) should reflect only minor changes to course content or it may dramatically alter existing equivalencies. If a course changes “substantially,” please change the number as well. E.g., if Cultural Geography becomes Physical Geography, but the course is not renumbered, all existing equivalencies at other institutions are invalidated.