Common Questions

Below are some common questions that faculty ask about Ways. If your question is not addressed here, please contact for assistance. 


There are many nuances to the different type of Ways. Please review the Ways Guidelines to help identify the best Ways category that fits your course.


Typically, it's because you are a post doc, fellow, or grad student and do not have access to the Ways submittal system. If this is the case, please enlist the help of your department's student services officer, course administrator, or a faculty member to submit the course for you.  Faculty, lecturers and staff have access to the Ways portal and can submit courses.  Another possible reason you are unable to submit a course is that the system requires web authorization, so a new instructor who does not have a SUNet ID yet will be unable to submit a course. S/he will require assistance, too.


Typically, this is due to the course having not been created in Axess/PeopleSoft yet. Your department's student services officer or course administrator can help create the course for you.  Once created, there is a 1-2 business day delay before the course is exported to the Ways system and accessible to submit your course. Also, graduate courses are ineligible for Ways, so they will not appear in the drop-down menu. If desired, an undergraduate cross-listing course number can be created for a graduate course.


A full syllabus is not necessary, but we need sufficient information about the course to make a determination if it fits the rationale and spirit of the Way.  A short preliminary syllabus may be submitted,  along with additional supporting documentation that addresses the Ways Guidelines.


Email notifications are sent out 3-4 weeks after a quarterly deadline date.  You can also check Explore Courses to see if it reflects the Ways designation prior to receiving a decision notificaiton.


Each Way must have a minimum of one learning outcome from the list of examples provided in the Ways Guidelines under each Way category.   Or, you can print out the Learning Outcomes Samples (PDF) for reference.


Courses that have been certified for Ways will appear in Explore Courses approximately one week after approval. If after two weeks it does not appear in Explore Courses, please email for assistance.  Ways only applies to undergraduate courses, so if a course is cross-listed with a graduate course it will not appear on that graduate course listing.


No, Ways is an opt-in program, so instructors and/or departments decide whether to submit a course for Ways certification.  However, undergraduate students must take 11 Ways courses to fulfill the Ways general education requirement, so they are motivated to enroll in courses that are Ways-certified.  Many instructors see increased enrollment in Ways-certified courses.


No, all Ways courses must be taken for a letter grade with the exception of Creative Expression (CE) where a rare exception has been granted for a few courses. Offering a Ways course for S/NC must also be approved by the Breadth Governance Board who oversees the Ways program. Please contact if you have any questions. 



A course is Ways-certified based on the syllabus or course content, not by who teaches it.  If the course meets the rationale and spirit of the Way for which it is designated, changes in instructor or details of the syllabus are acceptable. However, a course that is substantially different from offering to offering, then the department will need to resubmit the course.