Program, Class Preparation and Syllabus


Dates

Key Dates and Deadlines

  • October 23, 2015 - registration closes for those student groups who had registration access for the 2015 Spring (201505) and Summer (201507) terms.
  • November 2, 2015 - draft proposals for new and revised programs to be included in the 2016-17 Course and Program Catalogue requiring University Council approval should be submitted to the Academic Programs Committee by this date.
  • November 9-14, 2015 - Fall Mid-Term Break - No classes for students in all colleges except for Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, fourth-year Nutrition, Physical Therapy, and Veterinary Medicine, and the University Language Centre.
  • November 15, 2015 - Withdrawal Deadline for Fall Term classes.
  • December 1, 2015
    • deadline to submit college-level course and program changes to SESD for inclusion in the 2016-17 Course and Program Catalogue.
    • deadline for colleges to submit department and college name changes for inclusion in the 2016-17 Course and Program Catalogue.
  • December 31, 2015 - All new programs and curricular changes with tuition adjustments must be approved by this date in order to be included in the 2016-17 Course and Program Catalogue.
  • January 12, 2016 - deadline for colleges to submit course and program changes that require University Course Challenge approval for inclusion in the 2016-17 Course and Program Catalogue.
  • January 29, 2016 - revisions to programs with no tuition implications, and all department and college name changes must be approved by this date by the appropriate approval body (college, University Course Challenge, Academic Programs Committee, or University Council) in order to be included in the 2016-17 Course and Program Catalogue and implemented for 2016-17.
  • February 4, 2016 - cut-off deadline for the production of the 2016-17 Course and Program Catalogue. Galley proof corrections must be submitted to Registrarial Services by this date.
  • February 15, 2016 - Withdrawal Deadline for six-credit unit classes (stretching over two terms).
  • February 17, 2016 - registration begins for Spring and Summer terms (201605 and 201607).
  • February 19, 2016 - roll (i.e., copy-forward) of 2016-17 Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer classes (201609, 201701, 201705, and 201707) in the SiRIUS student information system. (Please Note: Exact CRNs will not be rolled from 2015-16 to 2016-17 classes; each class will be assigned a new unique CRN to avoid running out of available CRNs for new classes).
  • March 1, 2016 - tentative release date for the 2016-17 Course and Program Catalogue online. The archive of the 2015-16 Course and Program Catalogue will be released simultaneously.
  • March 1, 2016 - departments and colleges can begin class build for the 2016-17 Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer terms (201609, 201701, 201705, and 201707). SESD does not webenable (i.e., make viewable to the students) any classes at this point.
  • March 1 - April 14, 2016 - departments and colleges complete their class build and run regular Class Error Identification reports (REG 054) in Publisher to fix and maintain their class build as necessary.
  • March 15, 2016 – Withdrawal Deadline for Winter Term classes.
  • April 22, 2016 - Room Scheduling begins to assign classrooms. Class builders are reminded that their class builds need to be 100% complete and accurately inputted in order for Room Scheduling’s software to run properly.
  • April 29, 2016 - Fall (201609) and Winter (201701) classes are made available to students for viewing only (i.e., web-enabled by SESD).
  • May 30 - June 2, 2016 - Convocation
  • June, 2016 - registration windows open for 2016-17 (dates to be determined in early 2016, in consultation with the colleges).

Courses and Classes

The University Nomenclature Report defines a course as “a unit of study in a subject area by a description of activities.” A class is an offering of a course to one or more students.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a new course approved?

New courses developed by University of Saskatchewan instructors and/or departments must be approved at the department, college and University Course Challenge levels. College-approved proposals should be submitted to seanine.warrington@usask.ca for University Course Challenge posting. Once approved, a Course Creation Form should be completed so that the course can be set up in the SiRIUS student information system for registration.

Course deletions, prerequisite changes and minor program changes are also approved through the University Course Challenge procedure. Larger curricular changes, such as new programs (including the courses developed for new programs) and program deletions require approval by both the Academic Programs Committee and the University Council. Consult the Office of the University Secretary website for more information.

Please visit the Academic Programs Committee website to access a New Course Proposal Form if your college does not already have its own form.

What other changes may be approved through the University Course Challenge procedure?

Please refer to the Authority for Approval Chart on the Academic Programs Committee website for the levels of approval required for different types of curricular changes. For a list of associated deadlines, please refer to the Year At A Glance Memo.

What changes can be approved at the college level without University Course Challenge or University Council approval?

Any of the following changes may be approved at the college level:

  • course title
  • course label (in consultation with the Registrar)
  • course level (i.e., 200-level to 300-level)
  • course term
  • Catalogue description
  • change in course content
  • change in course hours (for lectures, labs, tutorials, etc.)
  • splitting or combining courses (i.e., splitting a 6-credit unit course into two 3-credit unit courses)
  • changes to methods of evaluation (Note: Changes only come into effect for classes without registration.)

Please refer to the Authority for Approval Chart on the Academic Programs Committee website for the levels of approval required for different types of curricular changes. For a list of associated deadlines, please refer to the Year At A Glance Memo.

When developing new and relabeled courses, please contact prereqsupport@usask.ca for numbers that have been unused for at least 10 years. For more information about course numbering, please refer to the University Nomenclature Report.

How is a class offering initiated for a given term?

What classes are offered in any given term is a decision of the department or college. Classes have to be built and activated in the SiRIUS student information system before they can be displayed on Class Search or registered in through PAWS. During Fall and Spring, departments and colleges decide what classes they want to offer during the next Spring and Summer terms and Fall and Winter terms respectively. At this point either departmental or college or unit staff begin to build and maintain the classes in SiRIUS. The classes for upcoming terms are displayed in Class Search soon after they are built so that students can see what will be offered in those terms. In February, Spring and Summer term classes are opened up to registration for all students; in June, Fall and Winter term classes are opened to registration on a priority basis based upon a student’s college and year in program.

Are there any deadlines that I should be aware of related to course creation?

Yes, there are a couple of University-level deadlines to be aware of. New courses tied to new program proposals require both Academic Programs Committee and University Council approval by the end of December, 2015. New courses which are not tied to program proposals and do not involve tuition adjustments require University Course Challenge approval by the end of January, 2016 in order to be included in the 2016-17 Course and Program Catalogue. January 12, 2016 is deadline for colleges to submit course and program changes that require University Course Challenge approval for inclusion in the 2016-17 Course and Program Catalogue.

You should also check the specific deadlines for new or changed courses (or programs) that your College may have.

Can a department restrict registration for a class?

Departments can place a total enrolment limit on any class; they can also restrict enrolment in their classes to students registered in certain colleges or programs, or can restrict enrolment only to students who have been granted permission to take the classes. These restrictions are placed on classes when they are built and are enforced by PAWS. As of the fall of 2009 PAWS checks for prerequisites and corequisites to ensure students meet the requirements of the classes they are registering for. Instructors and Department Heads can also issue prerequisites waivers for students in their classes.

Departments wishing to give permits/overrides to particular students do so by enabling the records for those students, whereupon the student can register themselves in PAWS (for colleges which do not use PAWS, the college office would register the student). Permits/overrides are placed on a student’s account at the department or college level and include the following: PERMISS (grants permission for departmental approval classes), LIMIT (overrides limits on classes that are full), RESTRICT (overrides all other restrictions), TIME (overrides time conflicts, granted by College only), DUPLICATE (overrides repeat conflicts within the same terms, such as two Special Topics classes with the same course number taken simultaneously), and REPEAT (overrides repeat rules, granted by the college-level only).

How and when are class spaces released to students in Open Studies?

The U of S no longer admits students to the Open Studies program.

What is a Special Topics course and how is it approved?

University Council has given blanket approval for Special Topics courses in all previously-approved subject areas. These courses are numbered x98 or x99, and can be offered at the 200-, 300-, 400-, 500-, or 800- level. Undergraduate special topics courses must be approved by the college of the department offering the class; graduate special topics must be approved by the College of Graduate Studies and Research using the GSR form 204. A special topics class on a given topic may only be offered twice; if a department wishes to offer it for a third time, the course must be submitted as a new course through the University Course Challenge procedure.

What if our department wants to offer a class that does not conform to the usual term start and end dates, or which is going to be offered abroad, or is a co-op/internship?

Department Heads should consult with the Registrar if they are considering setting up classes which do not conform to the usual teaching periods or which will be offered as a Study Abroad or co-op/internship class. There may be implications for student loans, income tax, insurance, refund schedules, and other considerations in which we will need to be involved.

Class Build

Contact classbuild@usask.ca with general or configuration questions related to the class build, and sis_support@usask.ca with technical questions related to the class build.

Important Documents Related To Class Build

Class Build for 201605 and 201607 can begin November 2, 2015 with the bulk of the build to be completed by December 18, 2015. Room Scheduling will begin assigning rooms in early in January.

Class Build Reports

The pdf Class Verification – Master Long report lists all of the classes that are in the system for your selected terms.

Print this report and use it to track your changes for the class build as well as to determine which sections need inactivating.

Please be reminded that under no circumstances should the tuition category attribute, the credit units (CUs) and billing hours (BHs) be changed or the tuition waiver flag checked off without first checking with Registrarial Services.

The pdf Class-Error Identification Report (REG054) lists errors in the class build along with instructions on how to correct them. Colleges/departments are responsible for running this report on a regular basis and correcting all errors prior to students registering in classes.

In order to have space allocated to your department/college, the class build needs to be error-free. If there are errors in a class record, the class may not load into the room scheduling software correctly and space will not be assigned. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Room Scheduling at 966-4875, room.scheduling@usask.ca.

Departments and colleges are also reminded to attach the syllabus to their classes. If the syllabus is not attached to a class record, important information (such as prerequisites and corequisites) will not display on Course Offerings.

Release of Unused Seats

The release of unused seats in sections where blocks of seats have been held for students in a particular college, program or major using registration restrictions is done at the departmental/college level at a time decided on by the College.

The following are the steps used to release seats held by registration restrictions:

  • Locate the class to be updated on SSASECT.
  • Select the Course Section Restriction  form (SSARRES) from the Options menu.
  • Select the appropriate tab (e.g. College, Program, Field of Study).
  • Click on the restriction to be removed to highlight the record and use record – remove to remove the registration restriction.
  • Save the record.

Syllabi and Scheduling

Course syllabus (outlines) & scheduling



How important is the course syllabus (class outline)?

Very! Your syllabus is a contract with the students which cannot be changed without notice. The Academic Courses Policy require that at the beginning of each class, the must indicate:

  • the type and schedule of term assignments with due dates, as well as the type and schedule of mid-term examinations (if any);
  • learning objectives of the class and of the assignments and examinations
  • relative marking weight of all assignments and examinations
  • whether any or all of the work assigned in a class, which may include any assignment or examination including the final examination, is mandatory for passing the class (as per College policy)
  • attendance and participation expectations, the consequences of not meeting said expectations, and their contribution to the evaluation process
  • the evaluation procedures and their application to the literal descriptors (see section on grades below)
  • procedures for dealing with missed or late assignments or examinations
  • location of rules and guidelines for both academic misconduct and appeal procedures

In general, err on the side of caution and provide your students with as much information as you can about the class in your course outline.

Note: After distribution of the syllabus, no changes to the grade mode and no major graded assignment, quiz or examination are to be changed or newly assigned without 100% approval by registered students. Please contact Jason Doell (Assistant Registrar) if you have any questions.

How do I access information about my class through PAWS?

First, your Department or College needs to make sure that your name is associated with the class you are teaching in the SiRIUS student information system. Once that is done, you can log into PAWS using your Network Services ID (NSID) and password (for assistance with NSIDs and passwords, contact the ITS Service Desk, (966-4817). Within the Academic Services tab in PAWS, you will have access to Instructor Services channel, where you can enter grades, and the My Courses channel and where you can manage your course tools.

Is there a rule that states I can’t schedule any class work for the week following the February break?

No, there is no University-level rule that says this. It is up to the instructor whether or not they want to schedule mid-term examinations, essay due dates, or any other work during the week after the break.

How long are classes scheduled to run?

There are four undergraduate terms: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Each term is divided into two quarters. 

Most classes follow standardized schedules. You can find out most standard start and end dates for each term or quarter by checking the registration deadlines. For classes with non-standard start and end dates, consult the non-standard formula or contact Student Central.

Can I change the class meeting time after registration opens for students?

No. Once registration opens for students, this cannot be easily accommodated. The students rely upon the meeting time and day(s) of the week scheduled for the class in order to register in other classes and ensure that time conflicts are not created. Once a class meets, you may poll the entire class to see if moving the class time and day of the week is agreeable. You must obtain 100% consent from all registered students. Contacting room scheduling as well, to see if a room is available, is also strongly advised. Changing the date range of the class is even more problematic as you will then need to contact classbuild@usask.ca once consent has been given and Registrarial Services will need to deregister all students, alter the class and then re-register all students into the newly configured class. This also would require 100% consent.

Registration

Class enrolment & registration


How do students register for classes?

Students in most Colleges register for classes through the University’s web portal, PAWS (Personal Access to Web Services). They do so through the Registration channel within the Academics tab. All class adds/drops in Colleges which use PAWS must be done by the student.

Students in the College of Law and second and third year students in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine are registered by their College. These students must obtain College authorization for adds/drops.

How do I know how many students have enrolled in my class and who they are?

Instructors access their class lists through the Instructor Services channel within the Academics tab in PAWS. Class lists can be viewed online, printed as a hard copy, or downloaded into a spreadsheet.

What should I do if a student is attending my class but is not on my class list, or wants to get into my class after the deadline for enrolling?

It is the instructor’s responsibility to ensure that unregistered students are not attending their classes. University regulations (and other considerations such as insurance) require students to be formally registered in any classes they attend. If you discover an unregistered student attending your class, you should advise them to register immediately; if they do not subsequently do so, the student should be asked to leave your class.

Up until the add/drop deadline in a given term, students who register using PAWS can add or drop classes themselves without financial penalty. After that deadline, there is a process for late enrolment. Students must complete a Late Enrolment form, available at Department and College offices, Student Central, or online. The form must be signed by the instructor and the Department Head. Once signed, it should be taken to Student Central for the registration to be manually entered into the system. There is a $35 fee (per class) for late enrolment.

Law and second and third year Veterinary Medicine students who do not register using PAWS must contact their College office for late enrolments; there is a flat $35 fee for late enrolment for such students.

What happens to a student who registers for my class but never shows up and submits no work?

Normally, this is a situation where a student has registered, decided not to take the class, and has forgotten to withdraw themselves. Such a student will receive a grade of 0% and a grade comment of Incomplete Failure (INF) for the class. They will also be liable for full tuition for the class. On appeal to the student’s College, and with a signed statement from the instructor to confirm that the student never attended, the College may change the grade to Withdrawal (W), a grade which has no academic standing. If the College agrees to change the grade to a W, the student can then appeal to Student Central to have the tuition charges reduced as per the University’s fee appeal procedure.

Note: A student who has never attended class, nor submitted any assignments or written any examinations, should never receive a final grade other than 0% for numerically graded classes.

What if my class is filled and a student wants to enrol?

Control of overriding class limits rests with Departments and Colleges. Students who register through PAWS and who wish to enrol in a class that is already full may obtain a Class Permit/Override form from their Department or College office, from Student Central, or online. Signed permission for an override must be given by both the instructor and Department Head. Once the completed form has been returned to the Department or College office, a staff member in the office will place the LIMIT permit/override on the student’s account, whereupon the student can register themselves through PAWS. The form is then retained by the Department or College as part of their normal records management process. Due to occupational Health and Safety regulations it is very important instructors do not allow more students than there are seats in a class.

Students who do not register using PAWS must contact their College office to register in filled classes.

Some Departments and Colleges opt to maintain waiting lists for filled classes; be sure you know the policy of your Department and College on waiting lists.

What happens if my class is cancelled?

Classes can be cancelled for insufficient enrolment. Most class cancellations will occur at least three weeks prior to the class start date. Any students registered in the class need to be notified by the Department of the cancellation and no fees or tuition will be assessed to the student for this class.

What if I want to teach on a different day or time or in a different room from the one that has been assigned?

Class schedules are made far in advance by Departments and Colleges. Students make their registration decisions based upon the posted schedules. Therefore, changing the scheduled day of the week or time of a class after registration has opened is not normally possible without repercussions for the students. Changes to the day or time of a class require 100% permission from the students in the class. The deadline for any day or time changes is one week prior to the first day of classes. 

If changes are required, the department of academic authority must contact all students registered in the class to inform them of the change. If all registered students agree to this change, then the change can occur. Once agreement is reached, The department must contact classbuild@usask.ca with the term and CRN of the class. Registrarial Services will then remove all registered students, the department will make all necessary meeting time changes and Registrarial Services will then re-register the students into the class. This is to ensure that no time conflict is created within the student's schedule.

Remember that additional registrations may occur while you are waiting for the initial confirmation. These students will also need to be contacted and informed so it may be better to suspend all additional registrations until agreement is reached and the new times made available for students wishing to register. This may have a negative impact upon registration so only make changes when necessary.

As for changing the assigned room, given space constraints this is often not easily accomplished. To ask about changing a room location, contact Room Scheduling.

How does a student get permission to register in a class that requires departmental approval or is restricted to students in a certain college or program?

The student simply goes to the Departmental or College office. If they meet the criteria established to take the class, a staff member in the office will place either a PERMISS (departmental approval) or RESTRICT (college or program restrictions) permit/override on the student’s account, whereupon the student can register themselves through PAWS. In some cases, both permits/overrides may have to be placed on the student’s account (and perhaps even a LIMIT override too if the class is full).

What should I do if a student wishes to audit my class?

Students may audit classes in which there is space as of the first day of classes, but they often need the consent of both the instructor and the Department Head. Departments who have given blanket authorization for students to audit their classes will not have the "Audit Allowed With Permission" nor "Audit not allowed" attribute attached to the class in the class search results website.

Registering to audit a class must be done in person at Student Central. If a student contacts Student Central to audit a class, Student Central first checks to see whether permission is required to audit the class, and if it is not required the student is registered. Otherwise, the student must take a Permission to Audit and/or Change of Audit/Credit Status form to the instructor and Department Head to obtain signed permission. The completed form should then be returned to Student Central, whereupon the student is registered in the class and assessed the appropriate fee (50% of total tuition).

You have the right as an instructor to limit registrations in your class to students taking the class for credit. If you do allow a student to audit, you should know that you are not required to grade assignments or examinations for auditing students, and you may choose to limit their participation in class discussions. Students may (with permission) change from credit to audit or audit to credit, but must do so before the withdrawal deadline. Audited classes do appear on a student’s official transcript, though they receive no credit for the class; the grade for the class will be AU (Audit).

What do I do if a student approaches me with a problem of a non-academic nature?

Many students face personal and financial problems, challenges, and crises while attending University. An important part of our retention strategy is having people who are willing to listen and who can help students in their time of need, whatever the nature of their problem.

There are several SESD offices which can offer advice and assistance to students: the Aboriginal Students’ Centre, Disability Services for Students; the International Students’ Office, Student Counselling Services, Student Health Centre, and the Student Employment and Career Centre. The Current Students website is also a useful source of information. Student Central is often a good starting point for a student who is not quite sure as to where to go or who to talk to on campus. You should feel free to contact any one of these offices or to direct students to them.

Advising

For the most up-to-date course and program information, please consult the 2015-2016 Course and Program Catalogue.