1. What is the difference between a special topics and a permanent course? When should I use them?

A special topics course is typically only taught once before being proposed as a permanent addition to the curriculum. If a department plans to offer the course again for a limited time period (e.g. courses taught by a visiting professor not returning), then the course may be proposed again as a special topics course. CPC must approve a special topics course each time it is taught unless special dispensation is given at the time of approval. Often courses are taught as special topics prior to submission for permanent adoption; however, it is not required. Special Topics courses must carry the number _91 for either semester (e.g. HIST 291). Because the course catalog will contain only courses adopted to the permanent curriculum, special topics will not be listed. 

2. How do I notify CPC and the registrar that I will be teaching a one time special topics course?  

To propose a special topics course, use the appropriate Etrieve form linked on the Registrar's website under Faculty Forms. Requests are submitted by the faculty instructor of the course and should include the department, course level (100, 200, 300, 400), the title and a course description. After the faculty instructor submits the proposal, the department chair/program director will be prompted to complete their approval form in Etrieve. CPC does not receive and will not consider a proposal until both forms are submitted.

3. What is the deadline for approval of a one time special topics course?

See Course Proposal Deadlines. A faculty member proposing a course should allow sufficient time for the department chair or program director to complete their portion of the proposal prior to the deadline.

4. What policies or resources does CPC recommend faculty consult when working on a proposal?

CPC recommends that faculty review the policies in the Course Catalog.  Faculty should give special attention to the “Conduct of Courses” and “Credit Hour Policy” sections of the catalog.  The committee also offers guidance through the documents “Anatomy of a Syllabus” and  “Anatomy of a Course Description.”