Update and submit syllabi for CALS courses by Feb. 2

To fulfill the expectations of federal compliance on how we communicate to students, we ask all instructors to include specific information on their syllabus for group instruction courses. Instructors already provide students with thorough and informative syllabi so we anticipate that this will be a minor change.

Here is the information that needs to be on the syllabus for group instruction courses that may not be routinely included before now:

  1. Course learning outcomes
  2. Number of credits
  3. How the course meets the credit hour policy standards

The syllabus must be available in English.

More detailed information about what to include for each of these elements is available here:

  • An MS-Word syllabus template – this template can be downloaded and used as your syllabus outline.  The template has notations that indicate which information is required and which information is recommended to be included.
  • Detailed information about developing course learning outcomes, upcoming workshops on writing course learning outcomes and who to contact with questions.
  • Detailed information about the credit hour policy and standard statements to be used as-is or modified for your specific situation.
  • Detailed information about a Canvas-embedded syllabus template tool that will be pre-filled with data associated with the individual course (subject, title, course number, meeting times, number of credits, etc.) and with sections that can be filled with instructor-provided content to complete the syllabus.  A beta version is available and can be accessed by instructors through the Canvas course page.  We’ll keep you updated as those features evolve in 2018.

Why are we paying attention to the syllabus now?

In March 2019, UW–Madison will undergo a review of the credit hour policy in conjunction with our 2019 Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation review. Demonstration of compliance is important – it confirms to the public that we deliver a high-quality experience with attention to student learning. Syllabi from Spring 2018, Summer 2018, Fall 2018 will be scrutinized during 2019 HLC accreditation review for learning outcomes and information on credits and the credit hour. We will be expected to provide specific syllabi as requested by reviewers on just a few days’ notice. It is important that our HLC reviewers find the evidence they are looking for when they review our syllabi in the course of the HLC accreditation review in Spring 2019.

About the 2019 Accreditation Project:

In an effort to prepare for accreditation review, the CALS Office of Academic Affairs is coordinating the collection of syllabi for CALS courses taught in Spring 2018.

All instructors of CALS courses must send the syllabus for their course (.pdf or .doc) to by Friday, Feb. 2, 2018.


Please follow this naming convention for your file: Subject Listing, Course Number, Section Number, Semester/Year, Instructor Last Name

Example: Inter-Ag 155 001 Spring 2018 Klatt (.doc or .pdf)