HIGH SCHOOL COURSE PROPOSAL FORMAT/SAMPLE
Riverside Unified School District
Secondary Education Department
I. Course Purpose: Briefly (in a short paragraph) explain the rationale for this course
offering (why this course is being developed). Include how this course will benefit
II. Course Description: Briefly (in a short paragraph) describe the course, focusing on
content rather than instructional strategies, assessments, or rationale. Additional
paragraphs should be added for Honors, SDAIE, and Special Education. This section
will be included in the district course catalog.
III. Course Goals and/or Major Student Outcomes: List 3-5 broad educational goals,
similar to the “Expected School-wide Learning Results” (ESLRs) required by the WASC
Focus on Learning process.
Example: Demonstrate ability to solve problems and think critically by effectively
completing challenging group and individual projects and assignments.
Example: Acquire artistic knowledge, perception and technical skills to express and
communicate ideas graphically.
IV. Course Objectives: List several subject-specific learning objectives. Different from
“course goals”, objectives should be more detailed and specific to the subject matter. If
the course covers California Content Standards, links to the standards may be included
(see example 3).
Example 1: Students will prepare written research reports showing his/her ability to
apply the scientific method to solutions of problems.
Example 2: Students will use the color wheel and demonstrate an understanding of
Objectives Standards (optional)
1. Students will Language Arts Gr. 11/12,
prepare written Writing 1.3, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8
research reports 199 Science Draft Standards
showing his/her ability Gr. 9-12, Investigation &
to apply the scientific Experimentation 1d, 1f, 1k, 1l
method to solutions of
V. Course Outline: Include a traditional course outline listing all topics and sub-topics,
indicating both breadth and depth of coverage. This is the most important part of the
course description. Be sure to provide substantial detail. For standard courses, (i.e.
Algebra, World History, Spanish 2, etc.) a page or two is generally adequate. For more
innovative courses (i.e. Biotechnology, Animation, etc.), more detail is advisable. Be
sure to include only the content knowledge. Course objectives, key assignments,
assessments, etc. should be listed in the appropriate sections of the course description, not
on the outline.
VI. Texts and Supplemental Materials: First, list district-adopted core textbooks and core
literature. Follow with other readings, articles, reports, etc., indicating if materials will
be used in part or in their entirety. Feel free to also list additional reference/resource
materials, including books, periodicals, web sites, etc.
VII. Key Assignments: List key assignments that students will complete in the course. For
English courses, be specific about the number, type and length of writing assignments,
and include a complete reading list. In the reading list, indicate whether books are read in
their entirety or in part, and whether they are required or optional. For lab science
courses, provide specific information on lab work performed by students.
Feel free to use any format that you believe is appropriate. For example, you may want
to correlate key assignments with the course outline, following the format below.
Topics/Units/Themes Key Activities/Assignments
Kinetic theory of matter Egg in bottle laboratory and write-up
The Ideal Gas Law The diameter of a molecule laboratory and
Charles’ Law Airplane contest
VIII. Instructional Methods and/or Strategies: List instructional methods used, including
lecture, group work, readings, lab work, project-based learning, service-learning, library
research, internet research, interviewing, videos, audiotapes, CD ROM, etc. Firs, list
primary instructional methods/strategies, followed by other strategies. A brief bulleted
list is adequate.
IX. Assessment Methods and/or Tools: List the assessment methods used, including
exams, quizzes, papers, homework assignments, projects, participation, attendance., etc.
Include information on final exams/projects. Indicate the approximate percentage for
which each type of assessment will count. A brief bulleted list is adequate.
X. Pacing Guide: Include a chart indicating the instructional time in days that are allotted
for each course topic or set of standards. (If available, use the California STAR Blueprint
as a guide to calculating the instructional time for course topics.) Also include the
units/chapters, pages, etc. from the textbook and any additional resources that will be
used in instruction.
California Number of Topic(s) to be Unit/Chapter/Pages
Earth Science Teaching Days Covered from Text
1 a-f 16 Solar System Chap. 28; pgs. 44-773
*g Chap. 29; pgs. 744-803
2 a-d 12 Stars, Galaxies Chap. 30; pgs. 804-831
*c Universe Chap. 31; pgs. 832-857
3 a-e 21 Plate Tectonics Chap. 17; pgs. 442-469
*f Rocks Chap. 18; pgs. 470-493
Earthquakes Chap. 19; pgs. 494-521
Volcanoes Chap 20; pgs. 522-535
Chaps. 4; pgs. 76-97
Chaps. 5; pgs. 98-119
4 a-c 12 Atmosphere Chap. 11; pgs. 270-297