• Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Every few months, incoming and existing Sinclair students log on to the Registration Portal to schedule their classes for the following semester. They may also look at Sinclair’s catalogue and notice new courses, certificates, or degrees. This can be exciting, but just how does it happen?

The Clarion spoke to Janeil Bernheisel, Manager of Curriculum, Transfer and Articulation at Sinclair, about the process of making additions to the cataloge. 

Bernheisel stated that adding new items to Sinclair’s curriculum usually takes about three months and involves a number of people. Depending on whether the addition is a course or a degree program (or just a revision), the timeline may vary. There is a December 31 deadline for proposals to be submitted, and any changes made will not be applied until the following fall semester. This ensures that students can plan their time at Sinclair more smoothly. 

The bell tower overlooking a snowy campus. (Flickr/Sinclair Community College)

If a student is impacted by a change in that they would need to take less credit hours, the college is willing to allow them to “move to a different academic year” to prevent any unnecessary charges or extra time being spent. 

The entire process is based around a database that the college uses called the Curriculum Management Tool (CMT). Bernheisel explained that the CMT “feeds into” everything else on the website, including the Registration Portal.

It all begins when the chair of a department (or a faculty member) makes a “proposal” for an addition and enters it into the CMT. They may take input from local businesses and advisory committees on what may best benefit students. If they have received questions or feedback from students themselves, there is a section for that, too. 

The proposal then goes on to the division’s dean, and then to Bernheisel. They must check that the proposed addition meets certain requirements – some of which are defined by the state. Bernheisel added that the Ohio Department of Higher Education must approve of new programs.

The last few “stops” of this process include the Curriculum Review Committee and the Provost Council, which is composed of all the deans. Again, they discuss the benefits (and possible drawbacks) of the proposed addition. If everything looks good, it’s ready to go!

Yearly reviews are conducted to see how students are doing with courses. If they are not doing well or are frequently not completing the course, deactivation is considered. According to Bernheisel, deactivation is a much quicker process than making an addition. The CMT is used for this as well and can remove items from Sinclair’s inventory.

Sinclair may not offer courses and programs that other institutions in the state do, but this is so they can do well with what is in fact offered. 

To view current course offerings and programs, visit the catalog portion of Sinclair website: https://catalog.sinclair.edu/

The Fall 2022 semester begins August 22 – register today!

Carly Webster

Staff Writer