FAQ - Curricular Toolkit


General Questions

Q: I'm a new Curricular Representative - how do I get started?
A: As a new Curricular Representative, you'll be using the Student Information System (SIS) to enter your department course information and build your schedule of classes. There is a Building Your Schedule of Classes training session that you'll be required to attend to gain the access needed. There is an Authorization Form and Access and Compliance Form that you'll be required to submit as well. To begin the process, go to the SIS website and click on the 'Access' tab. Please also review the New User Information.

Q: What is Curricular Services?
A: Curricular Services is the sections within the Registrar's Office that coordinates term curricular builds and classroom scheduling, as well as other related curricular management.

Q: How do I contact Curricular Services?
A: The phone number 262-6345. They can also be contacted by email at curricularservices@em.wisc.edu.

Q: Who is my Curricular Services specialist?
A: Curricular Services assigns one of their 'Specialists' to each department. See the Curricular Services Staff list (PDF)

Q: What is SIS?
A: SIS is the acronym for the Student Information System; this is the computerized student information system that UW-Madison uses. SIS can be accessed through the SIS website

Q: Where can I find the Curricular Services forms that I need to fill out?
A: Curricular Services forms can be found here.

Q: What is the role of the University Curriculum Committee?
A: The University Curriculum Committee has the final decision on any course proposal changes (course title changes, new course proposals, course deletions, etc.). More information is available on the Academic Planning and Institutional Research website.   http://apir.wisc.edu/courses.htm

Q: What is the role of the Curriculum Committee?
A: All course proposals are created and approved in the online course proposal system (link to: https://courseproposals.wisc.edu.) Most Schools/Colleges have a Curriculum Committee that approves requests to add, change, or delete courses. Once the department has approved a proposal to change an existing course or to create a new one, proposals should be sent to the School/College Curriculum Committee. If the course proposal is approved by your School/College Curriculum Committee it is then sent to the University Curriculum Committee.


Q: What kind of time frame do I have for entering course offering information for any given term?
A: Curricular Services distributes a 'Planning Schedule' for 6 month periods.  Planning Schedules are available here.

Q: What are the deadlines for submitting course proposal changes to the University Curriculum Committee?
A: Course proposals must be submitted to the University Curriculum Committee at least two weeks prior to the UCC's monthly meeting.  Meeting dates and submission deadlines can be found at: http://apir.wisc.edu/uccmeetings.htm


Q: When can classes be offered?
A: There are guidelines and campus policies (PDF) that need to be adhered to when scheduling courses.

Q: Are there any guidelines to follow related to time/day offerings and hour spreading?
A: Yes, there are guidelines to follow when scheduling courses. Follow the Process Guidelines for Scheduling 75-minute Undergraduate Lecture Sections (PDF).

Q: If I want to offer a class three days a week for 1 hour each day, for how many credits should the class be available?
A: This information can be found through the 'When Offered' page under the Planning section of the Curricular Toolkit.

Q: How does the room assignment process work?
A: The room assignment process is very detailed and includes many factors (time/day offering, hour spreading, etc.). Refer to the Classroom Scheduling Policies (PDF), Timeline for assignment of General Assignment Rooms. Contact your Curricular Services Rep (PDF ) with specific questions.

Q: When requesting General Assignment classrooms, will I always be assigned into my 'home' building?
A: Curricular Services considers a number of factors when assigning classroom space, including but not limited to room characteristic requests, requested room capacity, the 'spread' of a department's class times throughout the day, and home building location. While not guaranteed, in almost all cases, if all other factors are equal, a 'home' building department will get a room in their 'home' building over a non-'home' building department.

Q: Can I request specific rooms based on teaching preferences of instructors?
A: Many instructors will give you room requests based on the characteristics of the room (i.e., seminar seating, video projection, etc). This information can be requested by indicating the specific general assignment room characteristic required when scheduling the course in SIS. See the room characteristic codes and descriptions and the Where Taught page for additional information.

Q: Is there a procedure for requesting an exception to the 75-minute M/W/F class scheduling policy for undergraduate courses?
A: Instructions for requesting an exception are included in Process Guidelines for Scheduling 75-minute Undergraduate Lecture Sections.

Q: Can I request specific rooms based on teaching preferences of instructors?
A: Many instructors will give you room requests based on the characteristics of the room (i.e., seminar seating, video projection, etc). This information can be requested by indicating the specific general assignment room characteristic required when scheduling the course in SIS.

Q: How do I receive information related to offering courses for honors?
A: Each School/College that has an Honors Program will be given information from that office regarding offering courses for honors.

Q: How do I know whether I'm the 'Primary' department on combined section courses?
A: To find out who the Primary deparment is for a section, click on the "Combined Section" link that can be found in the Schedule of Classes (either on the Meetings page or the Enrollment Control page) or in Class Sections (on the Class Enrollment Limits page). After the Combined Sections ID is the name of the Primary Department.

If you have any further questions, or if there is no "Combined Section" link, you should contact your Curricular Services Staff Contact.

Q: What does being 'Primary' on a combined section entail?
A: When Departments are part of a combined section course (cross-listed, meets-with, etc.), one Department is designated as the 'Primary' Department'. It is the Primary Department's responsibility to communicate to all secondary members course offering information, enrollment requirements, enrollment limits, etc.

Q: What is the process for making changes to existing course information (i.e., title, credits, etc.)
A: These types of requests must be approved at the catalog level and need approval through your department and school/college Curriculum Committee; they are then sent on to the University Curriculum Committee for final approval. Curricular Services updates the course information after receiving the approved course proposal form from the University Curriculum Committee.

Q: Are there specific guidelines for placement of class notes and what are considered appropriate class notes?

The placement of class notes is important because this is the Department's avenue for communicating more information to students about the course.

The class notes are displayed for students when enrolling. Appropriate class notes would be informing students as to why a course is being offered as a variable credit.  Class notes informing students of any enrollment restrictions that may be enforced by the department are also appropriate.

Guideline: Any information that the Department wants the student to be aware of regarding a course should be placed in a Class Note.

Q: Who in my department has the authority to make changes to a class after the schedule of classes has been published?
A: This may vary by department. Some departments require authorization from the chair for course changes. Some departments allow the instructor of a course to make changes. Check with your department chair to determine the policy within your department.

Q: If we're offering modular courses, where can I find the session codes and dates?
A: Through the 'Schedules and Calendars' link on this website - select 'Session Code Lists.' In SIS you can also view these dates on the Term/Sessions page.

Q: How can I add an instructor into name to a course if their name is not appearing in SIS?
A: New instructors must be entered into IADS before their names can be added to the course in the SIS database. Contact the human resource person in your department to initiate the process of adding them into IADS.


Q: How do I know what courses are available for my department to consider offering?
A: You can request an 'All Course List' from your Curricular Services rep, or by viewing your Course Catalog in SIS.

Q: Who in my department is responsible for giving me the class schedule?
A: This will vary by department. In some departments, the chair and/or other departmental administrators are responsible for providing this information. While in other departments, individual instructors will provide the information.

Q: Who else in my department should be involved in creating our schedule of classes?
A: There are many facets to finalizing course offerings. Check with your supervisor or department chair to determine who is involved within your department.


Q: Is there training available on how to update curricular information through SIS?
A: Curricular update training is provided for all curricular representatives. The training schedule can be found through the SIS Website at http://www.sis.wisc.edu/ by selecting 'Training' at the top of the page.

Q: Are there any Curricular Services training manuals or quick guides available?
A: The complete training manual and Quick Guides can be located through the SIS Web site at http://sis.wisc.edu/learn.htm, Support Materials'.

Q: Are there web sites available that might help me answer general questions?
A: For L & S departments, the L & S Handbook is an excellent source of information