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2.7.1 Program Length PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 September 2009 06:20

2.7.1 Program Length

The institution offers one or more degree programs based on at least 60 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the associate level; at least 120 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the baccalaureate level; or at least 30 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the post-baccalaureate, graduate, or professional level. If an institution uses a unit other than semester credit hours, it provides an explanation for the equivalency. The institution also provides a justification for all degrees that include fewer than the required number of semester credit hours or its equivalent unit.

Responsible Unit: Division of Academic Affairs

Compliance Judgment

Compliance

Narrative

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University includes the following colleges, schools, and divisions: School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts & Sciences, School of Business & Economics, School of Education, School of Technology, College of Engineering, School of Nursing, School of Graduate Studies, and the Division of Continuing Education and Summer School. Undergraduate Programs: All baccalaureate degree programs at A&T exceed 124 semester credit hours, but cannot be more than 128 credit hours without special approval from the University of North Carolina (UNC) Board of Governors [1]. All post-baccalaureate, graduate, or professional level degrees meet or exceed thirty semester credit hours [2] No associate degrees are offered at the university. Semester hours are the only unit of credit offered at the university. A&T is a medium-sized, state-funded, Carnegie doctoral/high research activity university offering a broad array of degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels [3]. Educational operations are organized into eight academic units: the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts & Sciences, School of Business & Economics, School of Education, College of Engineering, School of Graduate Studies, School of Nursing, and School of Technology [4].

Undergraduate and graduate degree requirements have been set by the faculties, which have curriculum committees that continually review and evaluate the requirements [documentation, i.e., Faculty Handbook][5]. The Undergraduate Bulletin sets out, school by school, the program of courses, distribution of general education credits, credits for a major, prerequisites for higher level courses, and any other degree requirements [6]. A&T requires all four-year degree program students to earn a minimum of 124 semester hours and a maximum of 128 semester hours for the bachelor’s degree at the university [1]. In all schools/colleges, completion requirements for undergraduate or graduate degrees are determined by the faculty, often based on recommendations of curriculum committees or other relevant faculty committees and the Faculty Senate [5].

The process for degree program planning and approval begins with the faculty in the department. Programs are planned and approved by faculty in the department, evaluated and approved by faculty in the schools/colleges, then evaluated and approved by the New Programs and Curricula Committee of the Faculty Senate, and presented for approval to the Faculty Senate. Degree programs approved at the university are then forwarded to the UNC-GA for evaluation and approval [5]. Many programs at A&T undergo periodic review by accrediting bodies for the purpose of professional accreditation [5].

A&T offers forty-seven Bachelor of Science, ten Bachelor of Arts, one Bachelor of Fine Arts, one Bachelor of Social Work, and one Bachelor of Nursing degrees [7]. The requirements for each degree are published by the school or college in the Undergraduate Bulletin [6]. However, all undergraduate degree programs require a minimum of 124 semester hours and a maximum of 128 semester hours for the bachelor’s degree [1]. Certain requirements for each degree program are specified under the section on general requirements for graduation in the Undergraduate Bulletin [8]. Requirements for maintaining academic good standing increase from the first through the final undergraduate year [9].

Graduate Programs: North Carolina A&T State University includes the following colleges, schools, and divisions: School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Economics, School of Education, School of Technology, College of Engineering, School of Nursing, School of Graduate Studies, and Division of Continuing Education and Summer School.

All graduate degrees at North Carolina A&T State University meet or exceed 30 semester credit hours. Semester credit hours are the only academic unit accepted at A&T. The “Number of Hours to Graduate” lists the credit hours required for all graduate degree programs at A&T [10] and the degree program descriptions in the Graduate Catalog detail the minimum hours required for graduation [11], [12]. The Graduate Catalog also lists degree program descriptions and a detail of the minimum hours required for graduation [13].

North Carolina A&T State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Twenty-four programs are accredited by professional agencies. Most (23) are accredited by academic organizations and associations. In addition, the NCAA requires an NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR) Improvement Plan. The accreditation schedule provides a list of the agencies and on-site visit dates with notes on the actions taken [14]. A list of the institutional memberships is listed in the Graduate Program Catalog [15].

The School of Graduate Studies offers programs leading to the master’s degree in 58 fields and the doctorate in eight. The following degrees are offered: Master of Science, Master of Arts degree, Master of Arts in Education, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Science in Industrial Technology, Master of School Administration, Master of Science in Management, Master of Social Work, and Doctor of Philosophy. The degree requirements for all graduate programs are detailed in the Graduate Catalog under the program descriptions [13]. The degree requirements for the Master of Science in Chemistry [16], the Master of Arts in History [17], the Master of Social Work [18], Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering [19], and Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies [20] demonstrate how the minimum hours are distributed.

There are specific procedures to plan and establish new degree programs. A new degree program can be recommended by any faculty member or group of faculty. Any new program, in general, must be consistent with the interdisciplinary nature of the university’s vision, mission and goals [21]. The provost officially requests planning or establishment of a new degree plan from the UNC-GA [22].

The new degree program must be rigorously critiqued at several levels before it is approved as a graduate degree program. To begin the process, the new program idea is presented to the department curriculum committee. Upon approval by this committee the graduate degree proposal is presented to the department’s faculty for a vote. If approved at this faculty level, the graduate degree proposal is forwarded to the school/college curriculum committee for consideration. Once accepted by the school/college curriculum committee, the proposal is forwarded to the Graduate Council for review and comments. From the Graduate Council the proposal goes to the Faculty Senate Committee on New Programs and Curricula [21]. Upon approval by the Faculty Senate committee, the new graduate degree proposal is submitted to the Faculty Senate for approval. Once approved by the Faculty Senate, the new graduate degree proposal is sent to the university provost, and from there on to the Chancellor, the A&T Board of Trustees and, finally, to the UNC System for approval [22].

Supporting Documents

[1] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2008-2010, Academic Requirements

[2] Graduate Catalog, Academic Requirements

[3] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2008-2010, Historical Statement

[4] Educational operations

[5] Faculty Handbook, 2007, Academic Review

[6] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2008-2010, Undergraduate programs

[7] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2008-2010, Degrees Offered

[8] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2008-2010, Graduation Requirements

[9] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2008-2010, Academic Good Standing

[10] Graduate Catalog, Number of Hours to Graduate

[11] Graduate Catalog, Minimum Credit Hours, p. 39

[12] Graduate Catalog, Course Credit Requirements

[13] Graduate Catalog, Major Fields of Study, p. 54

[14] Accreditation, On-Site Visits Schedule

[15] Graduate Catalog, Accreditation and Institutional Memberships, pps. 8-9

[16] Graduate Catalog, MS, Chemistry Degree Requirements, p. 86

[17] Graduate Catalog, MA, Art History Degree Requirements, p. 208

[18] Graduate Catalog, MSW, Degree Requirements, p. 303

[19] Graduate Catalog, PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Degree Requirements, p. 277

[20] Graduate Catalog, PhD, Leadership Studies, Degree Requirements, p. 330

[21] Polices, Procedures to Request Planning for a New Academic Program

[22] UNC-GA, Section 400.1.1, Appendix B, Academic Program Development Procedures

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 February 2010 11:53 )
 

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