Discovery Program Syllabus Checklist for Course Submissions

Adopted by the Discovery Committee of the Faculty Senate - May 19, 2021

Rationale: UNH is up for accreditation in 2023. During our last midterm review, NECHE (The New England Commission of Higher Education) indicated that our Discovery syllabi must conform to certain broadly accepted standards. These include clear indication of the Discovery category, Discovery attributes, (i.e. Inquiry and/or Writing Intensive) and “measurable” SLOs (Student Learning Outcomes) fulfilled by the course, the credit-hour work expectations of the class, and a mechanism for assessment of how well the course delivers the promised SLOs and fulfills the mission of the Discovery Program as a whole. (An Accreditation and Assessment sub-committee is currently working to develop such an assessment method.) We understand that for some colleagues this will feel like an unfamiliar innovation. Moving forward, however, new Discovery syllabi will need to conform to the NECHE expectations. The Discovery Office will work to support faculty as they navigate these new requirements and we are hopeful that, before long, they will become second nature. 

I.             Syllabus Heading:

  • Discovery Academic Requirements [category and/or attributes] such as HP, ETS, INQ, WI, Honors, etc.
  • Term Start and End Dates: (e.g. 8/30/21 - 12/13/21)
  • Day/Time/Location:
  • Instructor Name:
  • Instructor Email:
  • Instructor Office Hours & Zoom link: (if applicable)

II.           Course Overview or Description:

  • In broad strokes, explain the key topics of this course and the instructional methodology. Outline what is expected of students and how the learning will be accomplished.

III.          Text Books:

List the books or link to the Book List here.

IV.          Discovery Statement

Contextualize your class for students who wonder: “What is Discovery and why do I have to take this course?”

SAMPLE Language: The faculty aspires for students to contextualize their major fields of study within the broader contexts of the world’s challenges and opportunities.  The Discovery Program, UNH’s undergraduate core curriculum, supports that outcome by ensuring that as part of their bachelor’s degrees, all students understand and explore a breadth of disciplinary content areas.

V.           Discovery Category Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

Discovery SLOs are linked here. Find the Discovery category of your course and bullet the SLOs that will be achieved in your class.

Additional Course Learning Objectives:

Add your personalized learning objectives:

  • A. (e.g. Students will learn to analyze literary texts.)
  • B.
  • C.

VI.          Time Commitment & Credit Hour Policy

For suggested language, refer to Faculty Senate Motion #XXIV-M18, 5/4/20

VII.         Grade Breakdown:

  • Clearly indicate the % grade for each assignment, adding up to 100%.
  • Also indicate lateness, class participation, etiquette, cellphone, and other policies that may impact a student’s grade indirectly.

VIII.       Course Structure: Detailed course schedule or grid, for example a short list of what students really need to know such as due dates, reading assignments, expectations, etc. showing what is to be covered each class and specifying assignments students must complete. Below is an example grid but other similarly detailed formats are acceptable. SAS may request some modification to accommodate the needs of individual students.

Week or Module


Topics Covered

Assignment and Due Dates



June 21-June 28

Topic One

Topic Two

  • Review X lecture
  • Read X, Y, Z
  • Participate
  • Complete assignment due X































See sample syllabi linked here.

* Note: This syllabus is subject to change. Students will be promptly notified of any modifications.

IX.          University Standard “Boilerplate”:

The University requires the Disability Accommodations and Academic Honesty statements. Many faculty also choose to include additional statements and resources, such as those listed below:

  • University Disability Accommodations language: “The University is committed to providing students with documented disabilities equal access to all university programs and facilities. If you think you have a disability requiring accommodations, you must register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) You can reach SAS by phone at (603) 862-2607. Please follow up with me privately so that we can review those accommodations.”
  • Academic Honesty language: Sample: Students are required to abide by the UNH Academic Honesty policy located in the Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities Handbook. Incidents of cheating are reported to the school dean and may be grounds for further action.  If you have questions about proper citation refer to your department’s guidelines or contact me at any time on this issue.
  • Course Platform: myCourses (also known as Canvas) is the learning management tool we use for this course. You will need to access the course Canvas site on a regular basis throughout course in order to access important materials and announcements relevant to the course. Information on Canvas and helpful tips may be accessed through this webpage:
  • UNH Statement on Diversity:

X.           University Resources   Faculty may wish to include the following information:

  • Emotional or Mental Health: Your academic success in this course is very important to me. If, during the semester, you find emotional or mental health issues are affecting that success, please contact Psychological and Counseling Services (PACS) (3rd fl., Smith Hall; 603 862-2090/TTY: 7-1-1) which provides counseling appointments and other mental health services.