Facilitating DeCal Courses

Psychology Sponsored DeCal Classes (Democratic Education at Cal)
Interested in teaching a DeCal course next semester?


What is a DeCal?
DeCal courses offer students the opportunity to teach a topic which they have been trained in and feel passionate about. Students may propose a course, and if the proposal is approved, they will work with a faculty member to design, facilitate and manage a semester-long class.


When is the deadline?
To have your DeCal proposal reviewed for the Fall 2017 semester, please schedule a meeting with an Undergraduate Advisor by Friday, April 14th. Please allot 15-20 minutes. After the proposal review meeting, all required paperwork must be submitted in person to the Student Services Office (3305 Tolman Hall) by Friday, April 28th.


The deadline for Fall 2017 DeCal course proposals to be turned in to the Student Services Office is Friday, April 28th. Electronic, late, or incomplete submissions will not be considered.


Undergraduate Course Facilitator Training and Resources are listed here: http://slc.berkeley.edu/undergraduate-course-facilitator-training-resources-ucftr


What needs to be submitted? 

1. Course Proposal Form, signed by your faculty sponsor. The form may be found here: http://vcue.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/course_proposal_packet.pdf or at the "Psychology Majors" bCourses site.


2. Detailed course syllabus.

Generally, a syllabus should include the following information:

  • Course Description: A paragraph or two that describes the course objectives and content.
  • Course Schedule: Frequency and length of class meetings (e.g., TuTh 6-8pm, 3105 Tolman Hall).
  • Course Outline: Outline of each week's topic that includes reading(s) required for that week and/or planned activities and discussions.
  • Assignments: Clear Description of each assignment, including requirements, due date, and the percentage it will contribute to the final grade.
  • Performance Evaluation Guideline: How will student performance be evaluated; a grading rubic as applicable.
  • Key learning outcomes and methods of instruction
  • Reading List: If applicable.

More information may be included in the syllabus as appropriate.


For examples of a good syllabus, please consult syllabi for undergraduate courses you've taken or Guidlines for Creating a Syllabus


3. Responses to the five questions listed on the Course Proposal Form. If responses can be found in the syllabus, you should clearly indicate which section of the syllabus can an answer be found. If responses are not incorporated into the syllabus, they must be typed on a separate sheet of paper.


4. Unit Value Worksheet, click here to download.


5. Psychology DeCal Course Information Form also available on the "Psychology Major" bCourses site. Your application will be considered incomplete without this form.


6. DeCal Faculty Instructor of Record Responsibilities Form. Your application will be considered incomplete without this form. Please only use the most current version of these forms.



How do I obtain the Department Chair's Signature?

You are only responsible for obtaining the faculty sponsor signature. Once the Student Services Office reviews proposal packets for completeness, we will submit all proposals to the Department Chair for review. Please do not submit directly to the Department Chair.


How do I obtain Academic Senate approval, and when?

The department will forward proposals to Academic Senate on facilitators' behalf. 


How can I be sure the room I get is set-up with a projector or other technology or space needs?

When you fill out your Psychology DeCal Course Information Form be sure to include information such as, "need a room with a projector,"  or "chairs need to be moveable." Please note that the Psychology department cannot provide technical classroom support, so if you need a projector it is best to request a room that is supported by the campus Educational Technology Services (ETS).


How can I publish my DeCal course?

To publish your course on the DeCal website, please submit a copy of the approved proposal to the Program for Democratic Education at Cal located in Eshleman Hall, Compound 312C, Station 17.


How do I handle DeCal course enrollment and roster?

Course facilitators are responsible for ensuring accurate enrollment in consultation with the Department Scheduling Coordinator. Rosters may be obtained from the faculty sponsor. We strongly encourage you to finalize enrollment by the end of the 4th week of instruction.


Can I receive Psych 197 Internship units for facilitating a DeCal course?

Yes. If you would like to receive Psych 197 units for facilitating a DeCal course, you can submit a Psych 197 (Internship) Application along with your proposal, or separately by the Add/Drop deadline. Your DeCal faculty sponsor is also the sponsor for your Psych 197 units, and your application should be signed by him/her.


Psych 197 is offered for 1-3 units. Facilitators may sign up for up to the unit value of the DeCal course they facilitate.


You may not receive Psych 199 Independent Studies unit for facilitating a DeCal course. Psych 199 Applications submitted for this purpose will be denied.


How can I set up a bCourses course site?

Your faculty sponsor, who is the Instructor of Record for the course, will need to set up the bCourses site and delegate access to you.


Where can I get more information?



Lastly, a friendly word of reminder...

As a course facilitator, you will assume a lot of responsibilities resembling those of an instructor's to make it a positive experience for all participants. We strongly encourage you to review this webpage and links provided above, maintain close contact with your faculty sponsor to ensure clear communications, and seek help as needed. Happy DeCal facilitating!