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. 2020-21 committee members include:

Meeting Schedule and Deadlines

The AAC requires that all course and program proposals be submitted two weeks prior to the meeting date on which the proposal is to be reviewed.

Meeting Dates

The Simmons AAC meets approximately once a month during the Fall and Spring terms.

FALL 2021

Meeting Date Proposal Deadline
 August 25 (11am)  August 9
 September 8 (11am)  August 25
 September 22 (11am)  September 8
 October 13 (11am)  September 29
 November 10 (11am)  October 27
 December 8 (11am)  November 24

Please refer to the EPC meeting schedule to make sure your proposal is submitted to the AAC in time for the EPC deadlines:

Documentation for New Course Proposals

Please submit the following 4 items for new on-campus course proposals:

  1. Simmons School New Course Proposal Form
  2. Syllabus - Please include information on total learning time expectations for class contact hours and homework assignment time outside of class in your Syllabus. For example, SMU requires that a three-credit hour course includes a minimum of 42 contact hours (50 minutes per hour), and at least TWICE as much time allocated for “out of class” time on homework. This should be clearly communicated in your Syllabus.
  3. Syllabus Checklist Form
  4. Rubrics/Assessments for the course

All Online or Hybrid course proposals must start with the approval of a Concept Form for New Digital or Continuing Education Programs or Courses before you can submit a New Course Proposal Form. Additional approval is required for online and hybrid courses so please refer to the details on the Technology Advisory Council (TAC) page.


  • New Online / Digital Program or Course Concept Form. Please complete the survey at the following link to let the Dean's Office and AAC know about ideas for new Simmons Digital or Continuing Education courses or programs prior to submitting proposals to the AAC or SMU GO.
    - Concept Form for New Digital or Continuing Education Programs or Courses.

  • New Program or Course Proposal Form. The following course proposal form should be used for all new course proposals:
    - Simmons School New Course Proposal Form (download document)
    - Please use the appropriate Simmons Syllabus Template (contact Jennifer Culver or Tony Cuevas for the latest version) and the Syllabus Checklist Form (download document) to verify that the Syllabus contains all the required information.

  • The most up-to-date program proposal can be found using the link below. Please note that the new program proposal is updated regularly, so please be sure that you’re using the most updated form.

If you are proposing an online or hybrid course, please note that additional approval is needed by Simmons’ Technology Advisory Council (TAC). The TAC supports the development and implementation of high-quality online and hybrid programming in Simmons.

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 a 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.

Recommendations for Remote Teaching

Simmons AAC/TAC recommendations for remote teaching.