University of California, Riverside

Student Engagement



Want to lead your own course?

R’Courses are 1 unit, S/NC offerings facilitated by UCR undergraduate students. Each course has a faculty instructor of record who provides mentoring and support behind the scenes. These courses are an opportunity to develop leadership skills, innovate the undergraduate curriculum, and promote democratic, experiential education on campus. Interested students submit a proposal 2 quarters before they offer the course, and complete a facilitator training course 1 quarter before. Check out the information below and go to the student site here for details!

Facilitating a Course

The next proposals will be due on November 14 for courses to be offered in Spring 2018. Here are the basic steps to get started on your R'Course (if you want more information, check out the full guide and checklist here).  

1. Complete this syllabus template, beginning by defining your objectives for the course.

2. Look through the UCR catalog to make sure that your course material isn't already offered through another course on campus.

3. Find a faculty mentor who can review your topic and objectives for your course idea and support you in the development of the course. You will need to plan to take a 190 course with this faculty mentor in their department during Winter 2018 (1 unit, either graded or S/NC).  You will also take a 1 unit course (ED 102) for your facilitator training workshop.  Give the faculty mentor this faculty guide for completing their part of the proposal.

4. Work with your faculty mentor to refine your syllabus (see for syllabus examples from other UC student-led courses).

5. Complete this proposal form  that includes a courseload worksheet and a place for the faculty mentor and department chair to sign and comment. Please remember that it can take some time to get the department chair signature, so turn it in to her or him well before the deadline.

6. Submit the completed forms via email (  Please send the syllabus as a word or google doc. 

Taking a Course

Click here to go to the student website with course descriptions, syllabi, and facilitator information. Each facilitator provides a way for you to sign up as interested in the course. However, to officially register you must go to the first day of class. Please remember that some classes fill up quickly, and those who complete the online registration forms first will be given priority.

Being a Faculty Mentor

  • Please note that the timeline below applies to R'Courses to be offered in Spring 2018.  
  • Click here for a one-page overview of the R'Courses program and a printable checklist for you and the department chair.
  • Each student applicant must identify a faculty mentor who will assist him/her with developing the course. The faculty mentor will sign a mentor agreement if they approve the concept and are willing to assist the facilitator by fulfilling the terms outlined in the agreement (see Faculty Checklist below). The student will register for 1 unit of Directed Study (190) credit with the faculty mentor the quarter before offering the R’Course (in this case, Winter 2018). This preparation course will consist of assignments/research with the faculty mentor as well as five mandatory facilitator training workshops provided by the R’Course governing board and Undergraduate Education. The mentor will also be the instructor of record for the R’Course offered by the facilitator in Spring 2018. This activity can be included in the faculty member’s merit and promotion file as an Undergraduate Mentorship experience.

Fall 2017

  • Review the student facilitator’s syllabus and proposal form and make suggestions for revisions or additions
  • Sign the mentor agreement and assist in facilitating departmental approval
  • Meet (in person or via phone/email) to outline expectations for the 190 directed study course for Winter 2018 (1 unit, either S/NC or letter grade—at your discretion)

Winter 2018

  • Assist the student in creating classroom assignments, resource/reading lists, guest speakers, etc. for the R’Course
  • Assign appropriate readings/assignments for the 190 directed study course with the student facilitator
  • Assign a grade to the facilitator for the work completed in the 190 course
  • Optional continuation of the 190 in Spring 2018—at the discretion of the faculty and student facilitator

Spring 2018

  • Serve as instructor of record for the R’Course (a 198 through your department)
  • Meet (in person or via phone/email) with the student periodically to discuss the progress of the course
  • Periodically attend class sessions
  • Assign a grade (S or NC) to each of the course participants in collaboration with the student facilitator

Faculty Checklist

  • The student has approached you the term before a class is to be offered to secure your approval and sponsorship.
  • The proposed course is in compliance with Academic Senate guidelines on unit values, is graded on a S/NC basis, and has regularly scheduled meeting times.
  • The proposed course has explicit academic content and requirements, beyond classroom attendance, for receiving credit. In particular:
    • Students read, as part of the course, articles, books, and/or primary source documents that place the topic of the course in an academic context.
    • Students are informed in writing about what they need to do to pass the course.
  • The content of the proposed course is within the scope of your department’s academic program and does not duplicate existing courses offered in the department or at the university.
  • You have clarified the respective roles and responsibilities of the student course facilitator and the instructor of record. In particular:
    • You have reviewed and approved the course syllabus prepared by the student course facilitator. The syllabus includes an outline of course content, the reading list, states the frequency of class meetings, and specifies clearly assignments and the requirements, beyond classroom attendance, for obtaining a passing grade.
    • You have developed a plan for supervising the student course facilitator and reviewed this plan with the student course facilitator. Supervision should take the form of in-class observations, review of course materials, and meetings with the student course facilitator, along with additional support as necessary.
    • The student course facilitator understands that you, as the instructor of record, are the one who has the responsibility for supervising the awarding of all final grades and for reporting the grades to the Registrar. You and the student course facilitator have established a mechanism for keeping accurate records and documentation to support the awarding of credit to enrolled students.
    • You, as the instructor of record, are aware that you are the appropriate person to respond to and resolve complaints, conflicts, and grievances brought by students taking the course.
  • You have checked to see that the resources needed for this course can be provided by the department or are otherwise available to the student.
  • You have worked with the department to assign a space and time for the course (either through the general assignment process or independently). You, as the instructor of record, are aware that you are ultimately responsible for the success of your R’Course. In particular,
  • You are aware that R’Courses must comply with the same university policies that apply to other courses taught for unit credit at UCR. You should pay particular attention to issues of course content, instructional standards, and academic integrity. It is your responsibility to ensure compliance with applicable policies.
  • You understand that if the student facilitator does not comply with recommendations made by you, the department, or the R’Courses Board after the course has begun, or if the student is unable to continue as the instructor, that you may be responsible for completing instruction of the course.

Student-led courses at other UCs

Past R’Courses

More Information

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