Academic Affairs Committee

Academic Affairs Committee (AAC)

Southern Methodist University
Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development
Academic Affairs Committee (AAC)

Purpose of the Academic Affairs Committee

The purpose of the Academic Affairs Committee in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development is to review curriculum, new program proposals, and academic policies and procedures in order to ensure that they are consistent with SMU’s strategic academic priorities.

Our specific goals are to do the following:

  • Monitor and align Simmons’ academic programs to SMU’s academic mission and strategic plans.
  • Consider and approve proposals for new courses and programs.
  • Consider and approve whether academic programs are appropriately responding to student needs, interests, and professional workforce demands.
  • Assess and monitor the educational quality of Simmons’ programs to continuously improve our academic standards.

We also focus our attention on the following academic matters:

  • Revision of course offerings
  • Elimination of programs
  • Modification of courses
  • Modification of programs
  • Creation of new certificates
  • Review of other substantive educational changes

Committee Membership

  • The committee is composed of faculty that have been appointed by the chairs of their departments. The Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of Simmons serves as the chair of the committee. 2016-17 Committee members include:

Meeting Schedule and deadlines

The AAC requires that all course and program proposals be submitted one month prior to the meeting date on which the proposal is to be reviewed. For example, to be added to the November agenda, all proposals are due on October 18th; to be added to the December agenda, all proposals are due November 7th.

Meeting dates

September 6th, October 4th, November 1st, December 6th, January 3rd, February 6th, March 6th, April 3rd, May 1st, June 5th

The following course proposal template should be used for all new course proposals:

Simmons School New Course Proposal Form

The following program proposal template should be used for all new programs:

Simmons School Proposal for a New Degree, Major, or Certificate Program

Useful tips when submitting course and program proposals:

  1. All new course proposals and course modifications require syllabi as part of the submission.
  2. The title should be concise and descriptive, and it should conform to the existing style of the department from which it originates.
  3. Proposals should clearly demonstrate that assessments are tied to student learning outcomes.
  4. Assessment tools-- such as rubrics, checklists, etc. – should be included in the course proposal.
  5. Faculty are encouraged to attend meetings when their proposal is being discussed.
  6. Early development of proposal is encouraged– the AAC chair is willing to review proposal before it goes to the committee.
  7. Approval by program and department, and requisite signatures, are required before proposals are submitted to the AAC.