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Optional Enrichment Elective Overview

Proposal and Approval Process

Updated October 2019
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Optional Enrichment Electives (OEE) are elective courses offered in addition to the regular, required and elective/selective curriculum. They are unlike regular electives in that the student may or may not choose to take any of them.  OEEs are listed on a student’s transcript for participating. No formal credit is gained by completing them.

Please note

  1. OEEs are held during the "independent study" time in the
  2. Participation in these courses is mentioned in the dean's letter and appears on the transcript by name of course, with two hash marks (##) in the "grades" column and a notation on the transcript as: ## Optional Enrichment Course. The student has elected this course in addition to the regular curriculum requirements.
  3. The Elective Curriculum Committee (ECC) must approve an OEE in order to be so designated and appear on the transcript.
  4. Failure to complete course requirements results simply in the course not being listed on the student's transcript. It is not possible to "fail" such a course.

Please read the proposal approval process guidelines carefully and have a well completed proposal. We will only take four new OEE proposals each timeframe on a first come first serve basis.

Samples of new OEE proposals can be found on the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education OEE webpage: https://www.umassmed.edu/oume/curriculum/optional-enrichment-elective/.

The course faculty/student coordinator prepares a 2-3-page proposal which must contain:  

  1. Prepare Proposal
  2. Full course
  3. Brief course description of the OEE including goal statement (100 words or less).
  4. Name of faculty and department sponsoring/coordinating AND student leaders running the OEE with email contacts.
  5. Include three to five learning objectives.
  6. Full syllabus/outline including proposed schedule and faculty presenters, learning methodology. Note: Each OEE must include at least five sessions (include dates, times, faculty there should be no TBD’s). The first session must take place within one week of the OEE session start date for the semester in the academic calendar.
  7. A brief description of how the OEE builds upon what is currently being taught in the curriculum.
  8. The maximum and minimum number of students for participation.
  9. Proposed start and end dates (all dates should begin within one week of the OEE Fall and Spring semester dates) and fit within a single semester for ease of scheduling and State semester offered (Fall or Spring) and whether same session is available both Fall and Spring.
  10. The method of evaluation that will be used to determine if students have completed the course, warranting mention on the transcript and MSPE/Dean’s Letter (attendance, assignments, reflection)

Submit Proposal

  1. For Fall start (OEE Fall Session), you must submit new OEE proposals to the OUME Education Program Specialist, Karen Morrissey, at Karen.Morrissey@umassmed.edu by June 1st and must attend the June ECC meeting to propose your new OEE.
  2. For Spring start (OEE Spring Session) you must submit new OEE proposals to the OUME Education Program Specialist, Karen Morrissey, at Karen.Morrissey@umassmed.edu by October 1st and must attend the October ECC meeting to propose your new OEE.
  3. Send proposal to the OUME Education Program Specialist, Karen Morrissey, for first review. The Education Program Specialist, Karen Morrissey, will pass the proposal to the ECC for preliminary review. You will be notified if there are changes needed before you present to the whole Faculty/student coordinator for a newly proposed OEE must present to the ECC and be approved as an OEE before the start of the course. If the committee requests revisions, all revisions must be submitted to the OUME Education Program Specialist, Karen Morrissey, within 30 days and must be accepted and approved by ECC before course can begin.

Prepare to Initiate OEE

  1. Once approved, the OUME Education Program Specialist, Karen Morrissey, sends New Course Request Form to OEE faculty/student coordinator for
  2. Once form is returned to the OUME Education Program Specialist, Karen Morrissey, and verified by the Associate Dean for UME, Melissa Fischer, MD, it is submitted to Registrar for a course
  3. The OUME Education Program Specialist, Karen Morrissey, will send the OEE faculty/student coordinator their course
  4. Once the Registrar assigns an ID, the information is added to the OEE data collection table and shared with IREA to ensure a course evaluation is
  5. The OUME Education Program Specialist, Karen Morrissey, will send you an e-mail to verify your course information. Within one week of your first session, you will email a list of registered students to the OUME Education Program Specialist, Karen Morrissey, for students to be enrolled in the course by the


 Managing Optional Enrichment Elective

  1. Student/faculty coordinator is responsible for submitting to the OUME Education Program Specialist, Karen Morrissey, the following:
    • A finalized course syllabus, including course schedule, goals and objectives, and
    • The UMMS student enrollment list. (Submit student names as they are documented on their transcript – i.e. do not use shortened names or nicknames)
    • Any course-specific items for the IREA-distributed course evaluation in the format requested from the OUME. If none are submitted the OEE will be evaluated using standard
    • A written statement to the OUME Education Program Specialist, Karen Morrissey, (email is acceptable) indicating whether there will be a course component offered within the Learning Management System used by UMMS (Blackboard Learn). Blackboard presence is optional and is maintained by course faculty/student coordinator. OUME staff does not offer Blackboard support/maintenance.
  1. Student/faculty coordinator is responsible for reviewing the current policy for enrolling UMMS students as defined by the Registrar. For information on accommodating students who are not UMMS students, please contact the Registrar. 

Completing the OEE

  1. Student/faculty coordinator are responsible for:
  • Submitting a list of students who completed the course to the OUME Education Program Specialist, Karen Morrissey, stating: “The following students have satisfied the requirements for [name of optional enrichment course and course number] and should receive a notation on their transcript of having taken this course.” The OUME Education Program Specialist, Karen Morrissey, will pass a copy to the Office of the Registrar.
  • Ensuring that all enrolled students completed an OASIS electronic evaluation
  • Notifying the OUME Education Program Specialist, Karen Morrissey, if OEE will continue for next academic year and if so, identify new leadership information.

For more information, please contact:

Karen Morrissey, MBA/CAGS
Education Program Specialist
Undergraduate Medical Education, S1-160 Phone: (508) 856-5660
Fax: (508) 856-5536
E-mail: Karen.Morrissey@umassmed.edu