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OSC Office

Office location: Administration 301

Telephone: (323) 343-5054

Office Of Semester Conversion Publications and Media
Semester Course Unit Conversion Tool
Enter a number of units in either box then click outside the text box.

Quarter Units:

Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty

FAQ Categorizes
Faculty Workload Student Advisement SharePoint
Transfer Model Curriculum Curriculum Forms Course Numbering
General Education Requirements Program Policy Double Counting

Answers

Faculty Workload Answers

FWLD#1. What will be the maximum number of units that Teaching Assistants (TAs) can teach under the semester system?
TAs normally teach up to 20 hours per week (0.5 FTE, or 7.5 units). Under unusual circumstances TAs may teach a higher load. This will not change under semesters. Return to the top
FWLD#2. What will be the maximum number of units that part-time instructors can teach under the semester system?
Part-time instructors in the CSU are limited to a maximum of a 15 unit assignment per campus. The Cal State LA campus has a separate understanding with CFA that faculty may teach up to 16 units and be paid for the 16th unit. There are no current plans to change this under the semester calendar. Return to the top
FWLD#3. Will there be any flexibility for teaching assistant (TAs) and part-time instructors groups, as with tenure-track faculty, to teach a few extra units one semester and fewer in the next semester?
TAs may teach beyond 0.5 FTE under unusual circumstances, but in no case may they exceed full time employment in a given semester. Part-time instructors may not exceed the 16 unit limit in a given semester. Return to the top
FWLD#4. What will my workload as a faculty member be like under the semester system?
All work assignments will be in accord with the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Current campus practice with regard to the use of Weighted Teaching Units (WTUs) to guide the appropriateness of instructional assignments, and compensation of temporary faculty, will continue, including assignment of additional WTUs for large lecture classes consistent with current University practice.

The Provost's Message on Semester Conversion (October 21, 2013) addressed the number of courses to be taught by permanent faculty under the semester calendar. In short, it is expected that after conversion, tenured and tenure-track faculty will see a reduction in the number of courses they teach in a given year. While the expectation is a 4-4 teaching load, the Provost is committed to working with the Deans to support reassigned time for faculty who are active in basic and applied research, scholarship, and creative activities (RSCA), and those requiring significant engagement with community-based projects.

In addition, the Deans and Provost will seek ways to support (up to 3 WTUs per semester per faculty member), typically low enrollment courses that enhance student success and involve significant engagement with students (for example, supervision courses such as cooperative education, directed study, and thesis/project classes).

It may be necessary to take a phased approach to this initiative, based on available resources and other considerations. For the complete text of the Provost's Memo, see Semester Conversion (October 21, 2013) Return to the top

Student Advisement Answers

ADV#1. What is a student's catalog year? Will it change due to semester conversion?
A student's catalog year determines the degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate.  This so-called "contract year" between student and university governs all requirements-major, general education, university-for a student's graduation.  To find your catalog year, check your CAAR Report or consult with your academic advisor.  Your catalog year will not change due to semester conversion.  However, a student’s department may need to offer semester course substitutions for some former quarter courses as a result of conversion.Return to the top
ADV#2. Will the Transition to Cal State LA (the 301 courses) be required courses for academic credit and if so, how many semester units will they be?
Given that Cal State LA does not have current policy on the Transition to Cal State LA course and given that faculty governance is considering a policy that would move away from offering the transition tools through classes for academic credit, departments should plan for not requiring a 301 course. We will need input from the Executive Committee before stating anything more definitiveReturn to the top
ADV#3. Since the 2-year schedules will be uploaded directly into CMS, do we need to send a copy to the Q2S Office?
All that is needed is an email confirming that each department has completed this task. Please send this email to either Katherine Chim or Richard ValenzuelaReturn to the top

Share Point Answers

SP#1. What is the SharePoint file naming convention?
The Office of Undergraduate Studies has created a guide to the file namaing comvention. You have access it hereReturn to the top
SP#2. What happens if there is an active course for which the officially approved proposal cannot be found?
The semester calendar begins Fall 2016.
You can still submit a course conversion form with the existing number, title, and catalog description.  They are grandfathered in as long as you don’t change the course.Return to the top
SP#3. If the approved course proposal for a currently active course cannot be found, how are the course modifications form to be done?
  1. The approved information for minors, certificates, or programs is available through the University's e-catalog.
  2. If you want to modify an existing course and the original document is not available, the program needs to include all the required information in the course proposal with a note that the original course proposal is not available.
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SP#4. Many of the courses that are archived on SharePoint are not the most recent ones. What do we do about that?
UGS is aware of the numerous deficiencies in their archives. They scanned the most recent ones they have. However, course conversions are not based on the course proposals. They are based on the catalog information. The colleges should send UGS updated forms if they have them. Return to the top
SP#5. When do departments need to use Track Changes in the curriculum process?
Departments need only use Track Changes (i.e., strike-through for deletions and underline for additions) to indicate any proposed changes in the catalog language for that course modification. The rest of the course modification proposal (e.g., the justification, student learning outcomes, bibliography) does not have to use Track Changes.  As long as the course modification proposal provides all the required information, this information may simply be in traditional Word format.  Similarly, for program modification proposals, all catalog copy needs to be forwarded in the traditional single column, page-width Word format with program changes indicated by Track Changes, but the justifications and non-catalog language do not have to use Track Changes. Return to the top

Transfer Model Curriculum Answers

TMC#1. Would you please clarify exactly what flexibility there is in Conversion/Conversion Plus to alter and modify titles and content of the lower division core courses negotiated for a Transfer Model Curriculum (TMC)?
Cal State LA has articulation and TMC agreements with community colleges regarding how their courses meet our degree requirements and thus allow TMC students to complete their degree within 90 units after transferring to Cal State LA. Departments will need to comply with both the guidelines for course conversion and the guidelines for TMC programs. Return to the top
TMC#2. Has there been consideration in regards to SB 1440?
All degrees with a SB-1440 TMC (Transfer Model Curriculum) should keep in mind, as they design their new curriculum, that these transfer students must be able to complete their degree within 60 semester units.Return to the top

Program Policy Answers

PP#1. Are there minimum and maximum numbers of units for graduate programs?
Minimum: 30 semester units
Maximum: None Return to the top
PP#2. Are there minimum and maximum numbers of units for a thesis or project?
Minimum: 3 semester units
Maximum: 6 semester units Return to the top
PP#3.What is the policy on Program Suspension and Discontinuance during conversion?
As you recall one of the principles guiding Q2S is the following:
“No academic programs will be discontinued as a result of a conversion to semesters except through ordinary program discontinuation procedures, as prescribed in Chapter IV of the Faculty Handbook.”
However, we are learning that although departments have decided to suspend or discontinue programs and not convert them to semesters, they are often unwilling to do the paperwork necessary for the process to proceed.  Nonetheless the process needs to be followed for at least the following important reasons:
 
  1. The process protects faculty;
  2. The process protects students who need to be “taught out” of their programs;
  3. The process protects other academic programs that may be dependent on the program or elements of the program; and
  4. CSU Mentor needs to accurately reflect the programs that are open for application/admission at Cal State LA.
THEREFORE,
We in Academic Affairs will facilitate the paperwork necessary for the process and thus alleviate faculty of the sometimes onerous task.  HOWEVER, the process requires a vote by the contributing faculty to the program.  This you must hold.
If you have any questions, direct them to David Connors, Director of Academic Programs and Accreditation.

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Curriculum Forms Answers

CF#1. During the Q-2-S conversion, if the only change to a course is just adding or removing prerequisites, could we use the simple conversion form or should the course modification form be used?
The problem with changing prerequisites is that UGS needs to check to make sure they exist. Prerequisites can also add hidden units to a program, so that other departments that might use that course would need to be consulted. Therefore, any changes in prerequisites needs to be submitted on a course modification form, not on a simple course conversion.Return to the top
CF#2. Since there is now a new form for the "unit only" conversion courses, do we have to use that one, even though we already did the work using the Course Modification Form?
As long as the course modification form includes all the pertinent information, such as the SLOs, the bibliography, and the course content in outline form, then it can be processed as a course modification proposal. If any of the information is missing from that form or is incomplete because the existing course proposal is incomplete, the department should use the shorter simplified conversion form. Return to the top
CF#3. When may I use the Simple course Conversion form
If a department converts only the quarter units to semester units in accordance with the conversion table (available on the Semester Conversion website at the following link Quarter Units to Semester Units Conversion Table) and keeps the same title, and catalog description as the existing course, it may use the Simple Course Conversion Form. Departments may also elect to delete prerequisites or co-requisites using the simple course conversion form. Return to the top
CF#4. When must I use the Course Modification or New Course Proposal Form?
  1. To modify the title, catalog description, content or unit value (if not authorized by the conversion table of the Q2S website), prerequisites or co-requisites (excluding the deletion of existing prerequisites or co-requisites) of any existing course as part of the conversion to a semester course.
  2. To propose a new course.
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CF#5. Can we use the Simple Course Conversion Form if pre-requisite courses have changed numbers?
Yes. Simple Course Form Form may be used even if the pre-requisite course(s) are changing their course numbers; as long as you follow the restrictions on the use of the Simple Course Conversion Form and the Guidelines for Course Numbering and Abbreviations, Suffixes, and Restricted Course Numbers. Return to the top
CF#6. Some departments have already completed the old version of the Simple Course Conversion Form. Do they have to go back and re-enter that data on the new Simple Course Conversion Form?
No, as long as the simple course conversion requests from each department are combined in a single file, Undergraduate Studies (UGS) will accept multiple proposals in each department's course conversion file. UGS would prefer that departments transfer the information to the new single form, but they understand the reluctance to ask departments to do so if they have already completed separate proposals for each converted course. UGS just needs to have each department's converted courses combined in some fashion in a single file so that they can upload it to the SharePoint Curriculum Archive once they are approved. Return to the top
CF#7. Which conversion form should departments use when dealing with prerequisites?
Departments may use the simple Course Conversion Form to indicate the prerequisites for semester courses that are being converted from existing quarter courses, as long as the department is simply changing the course number of a prerequisite course to a new four digit semester number, but the prerequisite course is the same as was previously required. Furthermore, if departments wish to delete a prerequisite, they can reflect that using the simple Course Conversion Form, on the logic that instructors and departments can waive prerequisites at their discretion.  However, any new prerequisites will need to be approved using a course modification proposal and the consultation process.Return to the top
CF#8. Which conversion form should departments use when a prerequisite course is being replaced by an "Upper Division Standing" prerequisite?
It requires a Course Modification or New Course Proposal Form.Return to the top
CF#9. May we use the Simple Course Conversion Form when replacing ENGL 102 with "Completion of Block A" as a prerequisite?
Deleting a prerequisite or replacing a prerequisite with an equivalent course is allowed on the simple course conversion form. In this case, replacing ENGL 102 with "Completion of Block A" is an equivalent substitution, since ENGL 102 is being replaced by the A3 course, and would be allowed under the guidelines for simple course conversion. Alternatively, departments could replace the ENGL 102 prerequisite with just "Completion of GE A3".Return to the top
CF#10. Can a department use the Simple Course Conversion Form if it wants its SLOs changed in the approved course proposal.
No.  If a department wants its SLOs changed in the approved course proposal, they will need to submit a Course Modification or New Course Proposal Form with all the sections completed.  UGS will not process incomplete course modification proposals. However, if a department only wants to use the Simple Course Conversion Form, it can do so IF it keeps the existing SLOs.Return to the top
CF#11. Do we need to provide an abbreviated title for proposed courses and if so, what are its parameters?
Departments need to provide an abbreviated title for full course titles that exceed 30 characters (including spaces). Transcripts and the Schedule of Classes has a 30 character limit. If a department does not provide an abbreviated title, then they will have to accept the abbreviation created by the Registrar's Office.Return to the top

Course Numbering Answers

CN#1. We have a problem with our 100ABC courses. We want to get rid of the ABCs because students get confused and think it's just one course. So we would make them two semester courses - 1001 and 1002. The problem is that the 100ABCs were originally just one course proposal. So should we just change the 100ABC to 1001 and write a new course proposal for 1002, or should we fit 1001 and 1002 into the same course modification?
The University and the Registrar switched to requiring all ABC courses to be treated as stand-alone courses that require separate course modification proposals. Accordingly, you can convert 100A to 1001 and 100C to 1002, since all content of 100C will be in 1002, along with the addition of half the content of 100B. You should also delete 100B. Return to the top
CN#2. Are there specific course numbers reserved for Special Topics courses?
It is highly recommended that departments continue with the following, which traditionally have been used for that purpose: 0540, 1540, 2540, 3540, and 4540. (NOTE: Other course numbers are and may continue to be used for variable topic seminars.] Return to the top
CN#3. When we renumber our courses for conversion, does the fourth digit have to be a zero?
The fourth digit could, and in some cases should, be a number other than zero, so that departments can group or sequence courses effectively. The option of the fourth digit provides additional flexibility to course numbering and organization. Return to the top
CN#4. Can course numbers be changed when one uses the Simple Course Conversion Form?
Yes, as long as you follow the restrictions on the use of the Simple Course Conversion Form and theGuidelines for Course Numbering and Abbreviations, Suffixes, and Restricted Course Numbers. This applies whether one simply adds a zero to the end of an existing course number (e.g., COM 321 becomes COM 3210), or if one changes the existing course number completely (e.g., COM 321 becomes COM 3432). Return to the top
CN#5. Can semester courses have four digits and a letter? For example: COMD 4000A and COMD 4000B?
Possible but definitely NOT preferred. Preferred is to have only numbers; therefore, this sequence might be 4000, 4001.

General Education Requirement Answers

GE#1. What is the procedure for getting a major course to double count as also meeting a General Education (GE) requirement?
The department submits to the Office of Undergraduate Studies (UGS) a packet that includes, (1) the proposed course that claims to fulfill both the General Education (GE) learning outcomes and the major program learning outcomes, (2) the major program' s learning outcomes, and (3) a written justification of the double counting request that demonstrates that the GE outcomes in question are being met by the proposed course. UGS forwards the packet to the General Education Subcommittee (GES) for their review and recommendation to the Educational Policy Committee (EPC), which makes the final decision.Return to the top
GE#2. Are there specific guidelines to reflect civic engagement components in courses?
Mike Willard, Director of Community Engagement, is preparing a soon-to-be-released Service Learning Handbook that will contain a detailed response to this question and others. However, find his helpful short-version response below.
   There are at least two key components that should be part of a civic learning/service learning course: reflection and local content. Most of what is written in the GE policy relates to those two aspects of civic and service learning. I've excerpted those parts of the GE Policy below. Equally important is that civic and service learning should not be "add ons." They should be thoroughly integrated into the academic content of a course. After that, the course really should be redesigned so that it includes civic/service learning outcomes for knowledge, skills, attitudes/values, and actions practices. That is the intent of the service learning summer institute that will be offered June 18-21.
   Until the Service Learning Handbook is released, the only thing we have that comes close to the kind of guidelines we need is the GE policy itself and the Faculty Handbook. Beyond that there will be a civic learning and service learning handbook.
   In the interim, find attached a one page explanation of civic learning in General Education that has been approved by UGS, GES, and Senate Exec. Click Here for the language from the Academic Senate Handbook.Return to the top