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Changes to Courses Numbered 39A-Z

Effective spring 2017 there is a change to the way Freshman and Sophomore Seminars, specifically the courses currently numbered 39A-Z in every department, are approved. These changes are occasioned by the advent of the new Student Information Systems, a fully integrated system that will work only if we are not maintaining separate shadow systems outside of the Course Management System (CMS) and the Campus Solutions (CS) system.

Here is a quick summary of the two changes:

1) If you wish to teach or offer a 1.5- or 2-unit Freshman and Sophomore Seminar, you will be asked to use a simple 39 course number, without a suffix, for this course. Courses bearing fewer than three units no longer count for breadth, so there is no reason to track the topics in a centralized system. If your department does not have a simple, generic 39 course approved for 1.5, 2 or a range of 1.5-2 units, we ask that your departmental staff please submit one to the Committee on Courses of Instruction, entering the information at the end of this page into CMS. This should be done in advance of spring 2017, so the course number is ready whenever anyone in your department wishes to teach such a course.

2) For the 3- or 4- unit Freshman and Sophomore Seminars, we will continue to assign suffixes to these seminars, starting with the next suffix for your department. (For instance, if your department offered a 39J in fall 2016, your spring seminar would be a 39K.) If the seminar has been offered before, please use the same suffix it has had in the past. The big difference is that each 3- or 4-unit seminar needs to be reviewed and approved by COCI. Some of the implications of this change: you will need to plan ahead to meet the COCI deadlines; and each seminar will have its own title, description, unit value and syllabus approved, so you need to prepare all of these items to submit.

This means that every 3- or 4-unit seminar offered from spring 2017 forward will need to be submitted to COCI, whether it has been offered before or not. Please use the seminar’s specific title, description, and unit value when submitting these through CMS, as opposed to the generic title and description and variable unit value.

After the course has been approved by COCI please submit it to the Executive Committee for breadth credit review.

These changes will make it possible for your seminars to appear with their own title, descriptions and accurate unit values in the Berkeley Academic Guide and the Schedule of Classes. Additionally, it will be easier to both track and award breadth credit for them.

The seminars numbered 24 and 84, none of which count for breadth, are not affected by this change.

Questions? Ask Alix Schwartz, alix@berkeley.edu or 642-8378.


Information to enter into CMS when submitting a proposal to create a generic 39 course (without suffixes):

Course number: 39
Course title: Freshman and Sophomore Seminar
Unit Value: [Here you can choose 1.5, 2, or 1.5-2.]
Instructional format: seminar
Work hours: [Select as appropriate for the course’s unit value]
Prerequisites: none
Course description: Freshman and sophomore seminars offer lower-division students the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member and a group of peers in a small-seminar setting. These seminars are offered in all campus departments; topics vary from department to department and from semester to semester. 

Freshman and Sophomore Seminars are co-sponsored by the Undergraduate Divisionof the College of Letters & Science and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.
For further information about the program,
contact Alix Schwartz (alix@berkeley.edu / 642-8378).

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