Catalog Editing & Style Guide

Catalog Editor: Brooke Basta
Phone: 410-704-3269 /

What is the Academic Catalog?

The Academic Catalog is Towson University's official document that is published once a year in August that includes academic policies, procedures, and program requirements. 

The Towson University website and the catalog are not the same publication. The website can be updated at any time; however, the catalog has a final due date. Both are edited in entirely different platforms. We use CourseLeaf’s CAT software to update the catalog and CIM (Course Information Management System) to update both course and program information, which is pulled into CAT.  

Academic departments are responsible for updating and submitting their catalog content, four-year plans, learning outcomes, faculty, etc. The TU catalog editor will send out an email around August / September with a list of catalog pages and their owners. Please review this carefully and if there are any changes in Page Editors, contact the catalog editor as soon as you can to ensure the right people are being contacted in regards to the pages. It is important to confirm that we are providing the correct information to current and potential students as well as advisers.  

This guide will assist you with editing your catalog pages as well as understanding the catalog process. Please contact if you need help or if you have questions about the process. There is also a more extensive help guide for Users / Editors if you click on Help from the editing toolbar. 

Important Links 
This is where edits / updates will take place for the Next Catalog year. 
This is the Current and Live Catalog. No edits can be made once we go live in August. 
This is where all program requirements are stored and updated. 
This is where all courses are stored and updated.

Catalog Timeline

Please see below for important deadlines for the 2019-2020 Catalog:

  • March 18, 2020: First round of edits are due! (Submit your pages to workflow)
  • June 17, 2020: Final round of edits are due! (Submit your pages to workflow)
  • July 15, 2020: All curriculum updates are due!
  • July 22, 2020: Soft-Publishing date – We go live! (Only Faculty changes and small minor typos can be adjusted at this time)
  • August 1, 2020: All faculty updates are due! Please send them to directly to me.
  • August 5, 2020: Hard / official publishing date! PDF will start to be generated by the vendor. No more changes will be made.

Faculty Updates 

The TU Catalog Editor is the only one who can make updates to the faculty database within CIM. That being said, it is the responsibility of the department to provide any changes to the Catalog Editor. If anyone retires, changes faculty ranks, leaves the university – please inform the Catalog Editor. If any new faculty join TU, you need to provide the following information the Catalog Editor in order for her to add them to the CIM database: 

  • TU ID # 

  • Year of Hire 

  • Highest Degree 

  • Degree School

Editing Catalog Pages

If you do not know which page belongs to you, feel free to contact the Catalog Editor at and they can provide you with a list of your pages.  

  • If you know your page, go to the catalog page in and click on Edit Page in upper left corner. 

  • This will prompt you to log in with your TU credentials and password. 

Page Body

The "Page Body" tends to be the center of activity for a page. It’s here where most of the text, images, and structured content can be added or edited. The "Page Body" tool works like a standard word processor tool.

How to Access and Edit the Page Body

  1. Click Edit Page on the top left corner of the screen to reveal the CourseLeaf toolbar (
  2. Select the "Page Body" tab from the CourseLeaf toolbar located across the top of the screen. This will prompt an editing environment to open where a user can edit the content on a specified page.

Note: There may be additional tabs in the CourseLeaf toolbar with an icon, for example Four-Year Plan, Learning Outcomes, representing different areas of the page that can be edited. Any item in the CourseLeaf toolbar with an icon is a Page Body editor for a different part of the page.

  1. Begin typing text  and making your edits. (Note: DO NOT copy content from a word document and paste it within the page body edit box. This messes with the software and is known to create issues for us behind the scenes. If you need to use copy and paste, please paste the content as “plain text”. In order to do this, copy (Ctrl+c) the text from the desired document then position the cursor in the "Page Body". Click the Paste button or paste (Ctrl+V) the text into the new window provided. Choose paste as plain text. Use the Word processing toolbar to reformat as necessary.)
  2. Click Ok to save your work.
  3. If everything appears to be acceptable - Click Start Workflow to send your page edits for approval and to make them live. You may start workflow as many times as you want, but you may want to wait to click Start Workflow until you (and anyone else editing the page) are done with your edits for the round.

Body Copy Style Guide 

The catalog uses AP Style (Associated Press Stylebook). Here is a link that explains the specifics for the style: 

  • Use Admission - not admissions 

  • Term- not semester 

  • Unit - not credit / hour; the exception is students who transfer credit to TU.  

  • Articles in titles (a, an, the, in, of, etc.) should always be lower case 

  • Use lowercase x’s when inserting in a 100/200/300/400 level course requirement in a 4yr plan. 
    Ex. 2xx & 3xx 

  • Course work is two words. 

  • The university should be referred to either Towson University or TU – NOT just TOWSON. 

  • Use "Select" instead of "Choose" in degree requirements; Select one of the following: 


  • The page title (under Setup on your Editor screen) is defaulted to Header 1. The next level is Header 2, then 3 and so on.  

  • Page content should be "Normal" under "Format."  

  • Courses in course list should appear in alphanumeric order. The exception is major courses may be listed first, such as MBBB appearing before BIOL. Courses in four-year plans should be listed in alphanumeric order regardless of major.  

How to Create a Course List in Page Body 

  1. Open the toolbar and click Edit Page 

  2. Place cursor in page body where the course list is to be placed  

  3. Click Insert/Edit Formatted Table   
    Note: using Ctrl+T keyboard shortcut will also bring up the Insert/Edit Formatted Table interface 

  1. Select Course List from drop-down menu 

  2. Click OK 

  3. Insert courses (see below for options) 

Select College and Departmentfrom drop-down menus. Note: The left hand column will populate the Course Inventory, or a list of courses to choose from to add to a list based on the College and Department selected. The right hand column is the courses used to build the list. 

Option 1 

i. Select a course from Course Inventory in the left column 

ii. Click (>>) button to add a course to the list in the right column.

Option 2  

i. Double-click a course from Course Inventory. 

Option 3 

i. Enter a course code intoQuick Add. 

ii. Click Add Course. 

  1. Make sure that all of your courses are listed in alphanumeric order. 

  1. Click OK in the Course List editing screen to close the Course List screen and refresh the Page Body. 

  2. Click OK when finished to save any changes made. 

How to Remove a Course from a Course List 

  1. Open the toolbar and click Edit Page 
  2. Double click on the course list containing the course you want to remove 
  3. Select/click on once the course you want to remove
  4. Click (<<) button to remove a course from the list
  5. Click OK in the Course List editor to save your change back to the Page Body editor
  6. Click OKon the Page Body editor to save all of your changes

How to Reorder a Course in a Course List 

  1. Open the toolbar and click Edit Page 

  2. Double click on the course list containing the courses you want to reorder

  3. Select the course to move

  4. Click Move Up or Move Down to change the order of the course. Make sure courses are in alphanumeric order.

  5. ClickOK in the Course List editor to save your change back to the Page Body editor.

  6. Click OKon the Page Body editor to save all of your changes.

How to Add a Comment Entry 

A comment entry is anything in your Course List that is not a specific course. Comment entries are often used to create headers within your table or to relay instructions like "Select one of the following". 

  • You can also use Comment Entry to indicate an open-ended course option for students, such as ART 3xx. 

To make a comment entry that will mimic a course entry, such as any free elective with a course number that begins ART, add a comment and enter ART 3xx::Upper-level ART elective. The double colon (::) between the XXX and Free elective will force the part before the double colon to be entered in column 1 and the part after the double colon to be entered in column 2. 

  • A comment entry can also be turned into an Area Header. Highlight/click on once the comment entry in the righthand column of your course list editing screen, then click on the bubble for Area Header in the edit box. 

Course List Fields 

  • Comment- A comment will be displayed in parentheses after the course title 

  • Sequence- Sequence will display two courses with an ampersand (&) indicating that these two courses must be taken in conjunction with each other 

  • Cross Reference -  A cross reference course describes a course that is the same course content offered under different course numbers 

    • For instance, if credit is given at both the undergraduate and graduate level 

    • Another example is a course that is offered by different departments for credit  

  • Hours- The hours field is automatically populated with the credit hours assigned to the course in your student information systemYou can change these as necessary. 

  • Or Class - This will display two courses with the word "or" indicating that either course may be taken to meet the requirement 

  • Footnote- Only the footnote symbol is entered in the course list, then add a Footnote table after the course list in the Page Body


After you have completed your updates, you are required to submit your page(s) to workflow. Also - if you DO NOT have any changes to make on your catalog page(s), it is very important for you to remember to submit them to workflow. You can submit your page by clicking on “Edit Page” in the top left-hand corner of the screen and then go to the bottom right-hand corner. The “Start Workflow” button should be green.

Submitting your page to workflow is an indication to our office that you have reviewed and approve the content that is being advertised within the catalog.

How to Check Page Status?

In order to check the status of a specific page, click on the ‘edit’ button in the top left-hand corner and sign-in. A toolbar will appear on the top and bottom of the page. In the bottom right-hand corner, you will see the page status. There are four different types of statuses:  

  1. Not Started  


  1. Editing  


  1. In Workflow  


  1. Done (This only shows if the page was within workflow and was reviewed by me and approved) 

Page Tabs 

Departments / Majors / Minors / Academic Pages typically have “tabs” (the black boxes typically located underneath the page’s header).  

Before submitting your page to workflow, review the remaining information within your page and the tabs. Tabs are part of a page, it is not a different page. 

Please keep in mind that if you wish to edit any of the other “tabs”, you can click on the tab and then click on the Edit “Page Body” as stated above OR you can go to the top toolbar and choose the tab you’d wish to update. There is a little pencil next to each of the tab titles. This indicates you can edit that content.  

“Courses” Tab 

The courses tab is pulling all of the department / program specific courses from PeopleSoft. I am unable to exclude specific courses. Each department page includes their department’s active courses. It’s more to inform the students of what is offered by the Department. This is different than the requirements. 

If you notice any mistakes within the description / course title (small typos), let the Registrar’s office know and we can make these changes administratively. However, if you have larger edits to complete (ex. Prerequisite changes / title changes / dropping consent / etc.), these changes must go through workflow. You can use to view and make updates to courses.  

Editing a Four-Year Plan of Study

I am in the process of moving / reformatting the four-year plans that exist within the Catalog into CIM (Curriculum Information Management System). We are making this transition in order to keep a more detailed history of the updates as well as confirming that the plans are being reviewed each year and updated when curriculum changes are approved. We have created an updated layout for each plan in order to create consistency for the four-year plans throughout the catalog.

When a department submits a Program proposal within CIM and it goes through the proper approval workflow and arrives within my queue (Catalog Editor), I will submit the four-year plan for that particular program into Workflow. The chairperson will receive a notification from CIM that the four-year plan is currently within their workflow and they will review the plan to determine if it needs to be changed to reflect the new requirements. 

As of right now, please hold onto your 4YP changes until I release the plans to the chairpersons in the next month (Nov 2018). Chairpersons will be receiving an email with more information about this. 

Editing Learning Outcomes

  1. Click on the Learning Outcomes tab.
  2. Click on Edit Page.
  3. Click on Edit “Learning Outcomes”
  4. Make your changes.
  5. Click Ok to save.
  6. Click Start Workflow to submit for approval. 

Making changes in CIM

Please keep in mind that CAT (the catalog) pulls course and program information from CIM (Curriculum Information Management System) and PeopleSoft. If you are on a program’s catalog page and information within the tab (typically the “Requirements” / “Four-Year Plan of Study” tabs) show within a grey box once the top / bottom toolbars are expanded, this is an indication that the requirements are within CIM.  

If you need to make adjustments to the Requirements or the Four-Year Plan, click on “Edit CIM Program Requirements” in the top right-hand corner of the grey box. This will send you to CIM. Follow the directions below and the style guide in order to make updates:  

Once you’re within CIM, click on the Edit Program button in the right-hand corner underneath the program listings 

To make changes to this content:

  1. Log in.
  2. Click on the Requirements tab of your program page. 
  3. Click on Edit Page in upper left corner.
  4. Click on Edit CIM Program Requirements. 
  5. Make changes in CIM. 
  6. Click Ok.
  7. Click Start Workflow. 

After you hit Start Workflow, your program changes will move to the next person in the approval chain. After the final required approval is obtained, the program changes will be reflected on the respective catalog page. 

Style notes for Program Requirements  

  • In degree requirements/course lists, put courses in alphanumeric order (ART 102, ENGL 102, MATH 250), not in the order in which the student takes the courses. The four-year plan of study provides indicates a suggested sequence of courses for students. 

  • Use lowercase x’s when denoting open-ended courses, such as ART 3xx/4xx to indicate an upper-level course. 3xx is correct; 3XX is incorrect.