Academic Affairs

Curricular Responsibilities

Coordinate Departmental Curriculum

Coordinate course offerings Check and update Catalogue copy
Course scheduling Coordinate outside speakers
Major and minor requirements Coordinate student advising
Coordinating honors program Coordinate and organize student meetings
International Baccalaureate / Advanced Placement Department prizes
Off-Campus Study and transfer of credit

Coordinate course offerings

  • Plan for course offerings
    • How does Department/Program decide who will teach which courses?
    • What kinds of courses need to be offered?
    • Who teaches required or service courses?
    • Ensure adequate access to courses required for the major/minor
    • Ensure adequate course offerings to enable students to complete the major/minor
    • How will upcoming leaves or retirements affect course offerings?
  • Approve new courses and changes to existing courses
    • Chair (or instructor with Chair’s written approval) submits webform to begin Curruculum Implementation Committee (CIC) and Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee (CEP) approval process
    • FAQ about approval process
  • Approve cross-listed courses
    • Proposals must be approved by each chair/director and the Registrar
  • Obtain distribution designation for a course
    • Course instructors submit webform

Course scheduling

Issues to consider:

  • How are courses scheduled in your Department/Program?
  • How will you ensure fairness among colleagues for desired time slots? Consult with the Dean for Academic Affair’s office for advice on negotiating among or dealing with recalcitrant colleagues
  • How does the Department ensure that college policies with respect to number of special time slots and number of courses per time slot are met? See Cover Memo & Instructions for more information.
  • How does Department/Program manage course time-conflicts within and between Departments and Programs?
  • FAQ about course scheduling

Fall timeline (See Registrar's Calendar for exact deadlines)

Spring timeline (See Registrar's Calendar for exact deadlines)

Major and minor requirements

  • Review/update statement of student-learning goals for major/minor.
  • How do major/minor requirements map onto student-learning goals?
  • Coordinate/review/update assessment plan to determine whether and how learning goals are being met.
  • Implement changes to major/minor requirements as needed. Changes to major/minor requirements require approval of CIC.
  • Do course offerings allow students to meet requirements?
  • Review information about numbers of majors and minors (declared and graduated) each year, and numbers and types of double majors sent to you by Institutional Research.
  • Keep an eye out for problems and issues.

Coordinating honors program

  • Who can pursue honors? Is there an application process? How is this information conveyed to students?
  • What is the year-long honors process? What is the role of chair in this process? How is this process conveyed to students?
  • What is the policy for awarding honors?

College timeline (See Registrar's Calendar for exact deadlines) 

December graduates

  • Mid-October Registrar requests names of candidates for Honors
  • Late October submit names to Registrar
  • Early November library sends Honors thesis guidelines and Honors Titles due to Registrar
  • Mid-December student honors theses due at the Library and levels of honors due to Registrar

May graduates

  • Early February Registrar requests names of candidates for Honors
  • Mid-February submit names of Registrar
  • Early March library sends Honors thesis guidelines
  • Early April Honor Titles due to Registrar
  • Mid-May student honors theses due at the Library and levels of honors due in Registrar 
  • Last May faculty meeting: Chair must attend meeting to read Honors candidates for faculty vote to award honors

International Baccalaureate / Advanced Placement credit

  • Review/update existing policy for IB and AP credit as needed

College deadlines (See Registrar's Calendar for exact deadlines)

  • Late February: AP/IB guidelines sent to departments for revisions by Registrar
  • Late March: Updated AP/IB guidelines due to Registrar

Off-Campus Study and transfer of credit

  • With whom do students meet to discuss plans? How is this communicated to students?
  • Who signs and approves off-campus study preliminary and full applications?
  • Who reviews and approves off-campus programs?
  • What are the departmental/program policies and practices regarding kind of courses, number of courses, and programs approved for the major?
  • College timeline (See OCS Summary for Faculty for exact deadlines)
    • Early November: Preliminary off-campus study application due for first-semester sophomores
    • Late February: Full off-campus study application due for second-semester sophomores
  • Approve requests for transfer of credit for general college credit and for major credit. Remember to consult with colleagues if student wishes to use transferred course as a prerequisite for another course. There is more information about transfer of credit on the registrar's FAQ page. On that page, under Course Information and Course Registration, there are two questions about transfering credit as well as a link to the Application for Transfer of Credit form.

Check and update Catalogue copy

  • Early spring remind faculty of the need to review their catalogue copy.
  • Coordinate with the Curriculum Implementation Committee to determine if approval is needed for anticipated changes to Catalogue copy.
  • Course listings (new courses, courses to be withdrawn, bracketing courses, cross-listing, timing of course offerings, etc.)
  • Faculty listings (new faculty, promotions for existing faculty, faculty whose appointments have ended, changes to teaching rotations)
  • Major/minor requirements
  • Grade requirements
  • IB/AP policy

College Timeline (See Registrar's Calendar for exact deadlines; typically posted in February)

  • Late April: first Catalogue pass sent to departments by Communications.
  • Mid-May: first Catalogue pass due (sent to Registrar's office)
  • Mid-June: Catalogue pass 2 sent to departments from Communications.
  • Mid-June: Catalogue pass 2 edits due to Communications.
  • Mid-June: final day for Catalogue edits from departments due to Communications.
  • Late June: Catalogue page proofs available in Communications
  • Early July: final minor Catalogue changes due in Communications.

For more information on the Catalogue process, contact Alison Bennie in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs at abennie@bowdoin.edu.

Coordinate outside speakers

  • Is there a Department speaker program?
  • Who is responsible for inviting, organizing, and coordinating speakers?
  • Is there a Department budget line for speakers?
  • Is there an honorarium for speakers? Is there a policy about levels of honoraria?
  • Consider applying to Lectures and Concerts for funding support for speakers as well as asking other Departments/Programs to be co-sponsors.

Coordinate student advising

  • Pre-major advising and first-year students
    • Send Suzanne Lovett or Janet Lohmann update to Tips for Pre-major Advisors
    • Send Suzanne Lovett or Janet Lohmann update to The Guide to Choosing Courses
    • Send Suzanne Lovett or Janet Lohmann update to placement exam or survey (mostly applies to Sciences, Languages, Math and Music)
    • Coordinate course placement recommendation process for first-year students (who’s responsible, who submits course placements, who fields questions, etc.)
    • Coordinate Department/Program representation at any Open Houses during fall Orientation (mostly applies to Languages, Music, and Math)
    • Ensure Department/Program faculty and student representation at Academic Fair during fall Orientation
  • Major/minor declaration
    • What is the process for your Department/Program?
      • Who can sign a student’s major declaration form?
      • Do students complete any departmental form? If so, does it need updating on an annual basis? Are there any charts or paths through the major that are provided? Does these need updating? See below for some examples of some forms used by different Departments/Programs:
    • What type of information is provided to majors/minors to aid in their navigation of your curriculum? Does this need updating on annual basis? Some examples for a variety of Departments/Programs are below
      • Off-line student handbooks:
      • On-line student handbooks
      • Some important deadlines regarding major declaration (and off-campus study)
        • Early November: Preliminary off-campus study application due for first-semester sophomores
        • Early March: Second-Semester Sophomores: Deadline to declare majors/minors
        • Late February: Full off-campus study application due for second-semester sophomores
      • Some important deadlines regarding graduating seniors (See Registrar's Calendar for exact deadlines)
        • Early August: Major/Minor Certification Lists for December completers mailed to departments by Registrar
        • Mid-August: Major/Minor Certification Lists for December completers due to Registrar.
        • Early December: Deadline for Seniors to declare a new major or minor.
        • Early January: Major/Minor certification lists for May graduates mailed to departments.
        • Late January, Thursday: Major/Minor certification lists due from departments for students graduating in May to Registrar.
      • Coordinate student advising
        • What are the roles and responsibilities for majors and faculty about major advising partnerships? How is this conveyed to student and advisors?
        • How do you ensure that all faculty are well-informed about the policies, practices, and requirements of the major/minor?
        • Are majors assigned to an advisor?
        • If so, what is the process and how is the process conveyed to majors? Can they change advisors? What is the process for changing?
        • If not, who can sign a student’s card?
        • Who receives comment cards for majors? If received by the Coordinator or Chair, does (s)he forward them to anyone else? Who follows-up with students who receive comment cards?

Coordinate and organize student meetings

  • Early Fall: Welcome back returning major/minors
  • Information meeting for sophomores interested in learning about the major, honors, study away, and so on
  • Informational meeting for majors about careers in the major, internship opportunities, graduate school, and so on

Department prizes

  • Are there any prizes? Are there monetary prizes?
  • How are they awarded?
  • Are they awarded at Honors Day?
  • The deadline for submitting student names for participation in Honors day and including prizes in commencement program is mid-April. These events are run by the Office of Events and Summer Programs.