Published: Sept. 14, 2022

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of campus updates on CU Boulder’s efforts to build a common student-centered approach to teaching and learning. This series will continue throughout the academic year.

The Buff Undergraduate Success (BUS) Leadership Implementation Team, whose working groups are focused on removing barriers to student success at CU Boulder, is entering its second year. In addition to its achievements cited from last spring, the BUS team’s summer work focused on reviewing its charge and priorities, supporting the ongoing priorities of its working groups, and identifying a list of potential commitments for the coming academic year.

This fall, the BUS team will continue to use five primary working groups to address student success priorities specific to the following areas:

  • Alternative College Option (ACO) and Program in Exploratory Studies (PES) student needs
  • Student services and support
  • Academic support
  • Academic and social community
  • Academic complexity

In addition to priority work within the above groups, the BUS team is currently reviewing priorities connected to advising, degree audit, common curriculum, financial aid and campus traditions, with a goal to set and share a new set of firm BUS commitments for the academic year by mid-fall semester. 

One example of the BUS team’s current efforts comes from the student services and support working group, which is piloting a method to streamline digital communications for first-year students. The goal is to provide more opportunities and education for students to curate their digital communication experience, while reducing the volume of messages students receive. This is in effort to help students more easily find the information they need, when they need it.

Co-led by Erin Harrell, assistant vice chancellor for Student Affairs, and Jennifer Schufer, assistant vice chancellor for Strategic Relations and Communications, the working group is creating a model that expands the student-focused, centralized communication approach currently used during a student’s first six weeks at CU Boulder and applies it to the full first year. Academic, safety, support and retention-based information is at the center of the model to ensure students get the information they need to be successful. Students will then have more opportunities to opt in to student life, campus news and specialty interest information in order to access the sources of engagement most meaningful to them.

The student services and support working group is also creating a student feedback system to gain direct student input on digital communications and insights for continuous improvement.

Common curriculum committee finalizes draft proposal; faculty approval process to be determined

The Common Curriculum Planning Committee, led by Senior Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Planning and Assessment Katherine Eggert and Dean and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Daryl Maeda, will reconvene later this month to review comments and suggestions from the campus community and finalize the draft proposal for the common curriculum’s learning goals and outcomes, before submitting it to the provost.

The Executive Committee of the Boulder Faculty Assembly has ratified a faculty approval process for the proposal that will involve faculty governance groups across the schools and colleges, along with the BFA. Throughout this semester, Eggert and Maeda will meet with these groups to answer questions about the common curriculum before voting on the proposal occurs. Later in the fall, the provost will appoint an implementation team.

The Common Curriculum Planning Committee was established to create a common learning experience and a common set of intended learning outcomes for CU Boulder undergraduates. Comments on the draft proposal will be accepted until Sept. 16 and can be submitted to

New and revised campus policies affecting teaching and advising 

Several policy changes that aim to simplify processes and increase consistency across colleges, schools and programs are in effect for this academic year.

The revised grade replacement policy omits the application process. In most cases, students can register again for a course in which they previously earned a C- or lower (C+ or lower for graduate students), and grade replacement will be automatically applied if the student performs the same or better in the latest attempt. If a lower grade is earned in the latest attempt, grade replacement is not applied and the grades from both attempts will be used in computing cumulative and major grade point averages, total credits and academic standing. 

Common campus-level academic standing terminology and standards have been published in the 2022–23 university catalog. Significant changes include adoption of a 2.0 good standing threshold for all undergraduate colleges, schools and programs and campuswide adoption of the term “academic warning” to replace both “academic recovery” and “academic probation.”

A common fall, spring and summer on-track intra-university transfer application deadline has been established for all undergraduate programs. Students who have met program-specific prerequisite standards can apply by Oct. 1 (for spring admission), March 1 (for summer or fall admission) or June 1 (for fall admission) and be allowed to register for a future term in the new program during their enrollment window. 

Deans have agreed to adopt a common approach to petitions for course withdrawal after the semester’s withdrawal deadline, using unified guiding principles and terminology. Changes will go into effect after implementation details and business processes are developed.