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Lumen Policy: Guide Course List Principles for Inclusion/Display in the Guide


This is a summary of the policy detailing the Course List Principles for Inclusion/Display in the Guide. Click here to view the official policy in its entirety in the UW-Madison Policy Library. 


The UW-Madison Guide is intended to serve as the source of truth that represents governance-approved degree/major/certificate and related (plan and subplan) requirements and the curricular paths that students can pursue in fulfilling said requirements.  The content of the Guide will be published in such a way that the institution may demonstrate compliance with the Higher Learning Commission’s Accreditation Core Component 2.B. of presenting “itself clearly and completely to its students and to the public with regard to its programs, requirements, faculty and staff, costs to students, control and accreditation relationships.”

Given the need to present clear and complete information to students and to the public regarding degree/major/cert requirements, compliance with the foundational principle below is expected.

Degree/major/cert (i.e. plan and subplan) curriculum listings within the Guide must display any course that has:

  1. Received the appropriate level of formal governance-approval (e.g. department, school/college, university, etc.), recognizing it as fulfilling current degree/major/cert requirement(s) for any student pursuing said degree/major/cert based on date of declaration or matriculation in that program and;
  2. Is offered at and can be enrolled in by UW-Madison students seeking credit.  

While there is an expectation of transparency in presenting the approved curriculum, requirements and available student choices in the Guide, it is acceptable to not list a course as eligible to meet a program requirement in Guide if any of the following is true:

  1.  A student cannot enroll in the course because it is inactive during the publication period
  2.  A student cannot enroll in the course because it is used exclusively for posting credit to a student’s record.  (e.g., transfer course electives, study abroad topics courses in the STDY ABRD subject listing).
  3. The course is only temporarily acceptable to fill an unplanned gap in the curriculum
  4. The course is a more advanced offering of an acceptable course, and it is not typical that students would need the course to meet the requirement (e.g., MATH 222 can substitute for MATH 221 but it is not typical that a student would take MATH 222 without having passed MATH 221 first).

UW-Madison’s historical practice of allowing but not displaying alternative courses/course sequences that are not advised as the preferred path to fulfilling requirements but that have been approved by appropriate faculty as having acceptable, equivalent content to fulfill current degree/major/cert requirements will be  more fully explored to better understand needs and requirements and devise policy approaches that most fully serve all needs.  Until final determination of how these courses should be handled is reached, the 2018-19 Guide editors are encouraged to appropriately notate all alternative options available to students.  It is recognized that these options may only be available to students whose progress toward degree would be negatively impacted by having to take additional courses to fulfill the formal, governance approved degree/major requirements.

Approved at the October 2017 ACPRAC meeting

Revised, approved at the January 2018 ACPRAC meeting




Keywords:Hidden courses in DARS, UW-1073, policy   Doc ID:107152
Owner:Melissa S.Group: Lumen and Guide
Created:2020-11-12 17:07 CDTUpdated:2021-01-13 13:46 CDT
Sites: Lumen and Guide
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