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Guidelines for the Standardization of Catalog Course Descriptions - 1N4

  1. Each teaching unit will have the primary responsibility for the recomposition of its catalog descriptions.

  2. Each catalog course description shall be limited to twenty-five (25) words. Exceptions to this may be allowed by the Curriculum Council or Graduate Council, as appropriate.

  3. The guidelines for writing catalog descriptions are as follows:

    1. The course number and title will not count toward the twenty-five (25) word limit.

    2. Essential supplemental information, e.g., prerequisites, obligatory concurrent enrollment, laboratory or field requirements, and phrases such as "Registration by Permit Only" and "Not for Graduate Credit" will not count toward the twenty-five word limit. If the prerequisite of a course is another course within the same program, the prerequisite will be expressed by the course number only; if the prerequisite is a course from another program or area, the program title will precede the number.

    3. Other facts--pedagogic methods, constraints upon course repetition, restrictions within course sequences, etc.--should be stated only if their absence would prove deceptive or bewildering. Statement of these facts will not count toward the twenty-five word limit.

    4. Phrases, not sentences, will constitute the internal form of the description.

    5. If present in the course title, expressions such as "Survey," "Introduction," "Fundamentals," "Principles," and the like will not be used in the body of the description.

    6. Articles, possessive references, most adjectives, and other non-essential words and phrases should be avoided.

  4. If an existing course description falls within the guidelines, a copy of the printed description should be pasted on the Catalog Course Description Change Form in the New Catalog Description section.

  5. Units offering courses that presently have no or scant descriptions will write adequate descriptions for them.

  6. Descriptions of all future courses will conform to the limit of twenty-five (25) words.

Approved by Chancellor effective 8/15/85
This policy was issued on February 1, 1996, replacing the October 1, 1992 version.
Document Reference: 1N4
Origin: CC 2-85/86