Course Groups serve three purposes:
- They define course requirements for your degrees and specializations.
- They let you define a group of courses as equivalent to one another for the purposes of course prerequisites.
- They let you create a group of courses to which you can attach a fee.
Creating a new course group
- Go to Academics > Course Groups.
- Click Add Course Group.
- Give the Course Group a name. Given the multiple uses for course groups, make the name as descriptive as possible. Some examples:
- If the group is for a Degree Audit, give it a simple name like Studio Art.
- If it's for a fee, maybe go with something like Studio Art Fee.
- If it's for a course prerequisite, use the course abbreviation: e.g. ART 301 Prereq.
- Select a year. This refers to the first academic/catalog year for which this particular group will be available for degree course requirements.
- This particular course group definition will "stick" from year to year until you redefine it for a future year. For example, if you define it for 2023-2024, and then redefine it for 2025-2026, the '23-'24 definition applies up until the '25-'26 Academic Year commences.
- To start adding courses to the group, select a department to show its courses under Available Courses. (You can chooose to show active or retired courses to include in the group.)
- Click course name to move it to Selected Courses. (Likewise, remove a course from Selected by clicking its name.)
- To select courses from multiple departments, choose a different department from the drop-down. Available Courses will update but Selected won't be affected.
- Click Save to finish.
The course group page
On the course group page you'll find:
- Actions to export, edit, retire, or delete the course group
- An academic year selector showing how the group is defined among your different years
- Degrees and specializations that require the group in their course requirements
To modify a course group:
- Use the year selector to pick the course group's year definition that you want to modify.
- For years in which the course group was not manually defined, you'll see the following note: This course group definition has been carried forward from the yyyy-yyyy definition.
- When updating a group because of a change in degree requirements, make sure you select the correct year (so everyone's degree audits stay straight!).
You can also delete the definition for that particular year.
These instructions work whether you're modifying a course group that has already been defined for a particular year or updating a group for a different academic year.
Course groups for degree requirements
Degree course requirements students to pass a certain number of courses or earn a certain number of units from certain courses in order to get the Degree. Say you offer a Bachelor of Arts and two majors—Literature and Classics...
- To get the B.A., every student has to pass your core classes (English, Math, Science, History, Electives).
- For the Classics major, you require Ancient Literature, Classical Languages, and some advanced History Seminars.
- Literature requires some Ancient Literature, Modern Literature, Poetry, and Criticism courses, together with a Thesis Seminar.
In this scenario you might...
- Create a Core course group and apply it to the B.A.
- For the Classics major, you'd create Ancient Lit, Latin, Greek, and Ancient History Course Groups.
- For Literature, you'd create groups for Modern Lit, Poetry, Advanced English, Criticism, and the Thesis Seminar. You'd also incorporate the same Ancient Lit group you used in the Classics major.
As you can see, course groups aren't limited to any one degree—if your degrees' requirements overlap at all, just use course groups to reflect that.
For course prerequisites
When included in course prerequisites, course groups let you define two or more courses as equivalent to each other for the purposes of the prerequisite. That is, a student must pass any one of the group's courses to satisfy the prereq.
Let's say you offer LIT361: Contemporary American Literature and you want students in this course to have a grasp of American history or literature.
- Create a course group called LIT361 Prereqs
- You might include the following courses in it...
- HIS355: American History 1945-1980
- HIS360: The Vietnam War
- CIV320: Modern American Politics
- LIT351: American Literature in the 20th Century
- LIT355: The Southern Agrarians
Now a student need only pass one of these courses to qualify for LIT361.
Course groups for fees
You can set up fee rules that are triggered when a student enrolls in any course included in a course group. Let's say you have several Lab Science courses that incur the same Laboratory Access & Materials Fee...
- Create a Lab Access course group
- You might include the following courses in it...
- BIO151: Molds & Fungi Lab
- CHEM281: Dissolving Stuff with Sulfuric Acid
- OCHM111: Organic Chemistry Experiments
- FURN288: Shoving Feathers Back Inside Pillows
- BUGS329: Dissecting Gross Things That Scream
- PHARM488: Grinding Powders for Potions, Medicines, and Spells
Now, when a student is enrolled in one of these courses, the Laboratory Access & Materials Fee will be added to his account.