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3.4.1 Academic Program Approval PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 September 2009 13:27

3.4.1 Academic Program Approval

The institution demonstrates that each educational program for which academic credit is awarded is approved by the faculty and the administration.

Responsible Unit: Division of Academic Affairs/Faculty Senate

Compliance Judgment

Compliance

Narrative

The University of North Carolina (UNC) system [1] requires that all new academic programs be approved before a university can establish the degree. North Carolina A&T State University follows the procedures set forth by the UNC system for planning and establishing a new degree program and establishment of new certificate programs. [2] [3] [4] A new degree program must be approved for planning in order to proceed for approval to establish. A new degree program can be suggested by any faculty member or group of faculty. Considering the University's vision, mission and goals established by the Futures planning process [5], any new program, in general, should be interdisciplinary in nature. The process outlined below must be followed in order for the Provost to officially request planning for a new degree.

  1. Idea or concept for a new degree begins with a faculty member or group of faculty with discussions about the need and appropriateness. The group requests support from a Dean or group of Deans to formally request that the Provost establish a committee to begin the process. In some cases the faculty group can request that the Provost establish the committee without specific support of a Dean.
  2. The Provost appoints the Planning Committee with appropriate consultation with the Deans. Faculty representatives from appropriate schools, colleges and faculty groups are selected to be on the Committee. A chair and other officers are elected by the Committee. The Provost is notified of the election and informs all Deans and others who may be interested.
  3. The Planning Committee studies the UNC process [6] and begins its planning of the new degree through regular and called meetings. Every attempt must be made to include all interested Schools/Colleges in the discussion. Minutes and draft proposals will be posted on an appropriate web site as necessary.
  4. The Planning Committee prepares the North Carolina A&T State University Request for a New Degree Program form. [7]
  5. After the form is properly completed and reviewed by the Provost's Office a meeting will be called to discuss the proposal. The meeting will be open to all faculty, staff, and administrators. The Committee will present the proposal and answer questions concerning the proposal.
  6. The Committee meets to review comments and makes any necessary changes to improve the proposal. The results of this review will be posted on the web for comments for ten business days following an announcement that it has been posted. Any comments must be emailed to the Committee by the end of the posting period.
  7. At the end of the first posting period, the Committee will meet and resolve any comments. Editorial comments of style and grammar will be handled by the Committee. Comments concerning content will be addressed by the Committee and posted on the web. Any changes in the proposal will be noted on the second posting. Anyone objecting to any changes will have ten business days to respond to the Committee.
  8. At the end of the second posting, the Committee will prepare a formal report to the Deans who will be given the opportunity to remove their school/college from the proposal. All Deans supporting the proposal will sign the proposal, which is then submitted to the Provost for approval.
  9. The Provost reviews the proposal submitted by the Committee and approved by the appropriate Deans. If the Provost does not approve the proposal he/she responds with the reasons for denial and suggests any further action. If the Provost approves the proposal, he/she will follow the required UNC-GA [8] procedures for proper notification or approval for the new degree.

Upon notification of proposal approval from the Provost, faculty members can proceed in obtaining approval to establish a new academic program. The University of North Carolina system requires that all new academic programs be approved before a university can establish the degree.

A new degree program can be suggested by any faculty member or group of faculty. Considering the University's vision, mission and goals established by our Futures planning process, any new program, in general, should be interdisciplinary in nature. The process outlined below begins when the UNC-GA has been notified that the university is planning a new bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree. The following are the procedures for the Provost to officially request establishment of a new degree.

  1. The Provost appoints the Establishment Committee with appropriate consultation with the Deans. Faculty representatives from appropriate schools, colleges and faculty groups are selected to be on the Committee. Special consideration will be given to members of the Planning Committee. A chair and other officers are elected by the Committee. The Provost is notified of the election and informs all Deans and others who may be interested.
  2. The Establishment Committee studies the UNC process and the planning proposal and begins its planning of the establishment of a new degree through regular and called meetings. Every attempt must be made to include all interested Schools/Colleges in the discussion. Minutes and draft proposals will be posted on an appropriate web site as necessary.
  3. The Establishment Committee prepares the appropriate form from the UNC web site.
  4. After the form is properly completed and reviewed by the Provost's Office, a meeting will be called to discuss the proposal. The meeting will be open to all faculty, staff, and administrators. The Committee will present the proposal and answer questions concerning the proposal.
  5. The Committee meets to review comments and makes any necessary changes to improve the proposal. The results of this review will be posted on the web for comments for ten business days following an announcement that it has been posted. Any comments must be emailed to the Committee by the end of the posting period.
  6. At the end of the first posting period, the Committee will meet and resolve any comments. Editorial comments of style and grammar will be handled by the Committee. Comments concerning content will be addressed by the Committee and posted on the web. Any changes in the proposal will be noted on the second posting. Anyone objecting to any changes will have ten business days to respond to the Committee.
  7. At the end of the second posting, the Committee will prepare a formal report to the Deans who will be given the opportunity to remove their school/college from the proposal. All Deans supporting the proposal will sign the proposal, which is then submitted to the Provost for approval.
  8. The Provost reviews the proposal submitted by the Committee and approved by the appropriate Deans. If the Provost does not approve the proposal he/she responds with the reasons for denial and suggests further action. If the Provost approves the proposal, he/she will follow the required UNC-GA procedures for proper approval for the new degree.

Program and Learning Outcomes (See SACS 3.3.1.1, Institutional Effectiveness): Currently, North Carolina A&T State University offers 117 undergraduate majors [9], 58 master majors, and 5 doctoral majors totally 180 degree programs. The University is comprised of eight schools/colleges and each program has its own mission and vision statement in keeping with the overall mission and strategic plan of the University. Additionally, there are over 500 distance education courses [10] developed and offered in all colleges and schools at NC A&T State University with more courses under development. These courses are distributed in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Economics, School of Education, College of Engineering, School of Nursing, and School of Technology. In addition, there are numerous distance learning extension courses offered at four sites throughout North Carolina. There are four Bachelor of Science online degree programs: (1) Agricultural Education, (2) Business Education, (3) Electronics Technology, and (4) Occupational Safety and Heath. There are three Master of Science degree programs: (1) Agricultural Education, (2) Instructional Technology and (3) Vocational Education. In addition, there is one graduate degree program offered through extension programs: Adult Education (M.S. - Charlotte, NC) North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State.

The learning objectives of each degree program state the learning outcomes that student should attain upon completion of a degree program. For an example see the Human Development and Services Human Resources Rehabilitation Counseling program's learning objectives. [11] All four year degree programs at the University require a minimum of 124 semester hours and a maximum of 128 semester hours, excluding deficiency courses and remedial work for the bachelor's degree. Semester hour requirements beyond 128 must be approved by the Board of Governors. The University Faculty Senate [12] is the legislative body of the faculty who recommend requirements for admission, courses of study/curricula and requirements for undergraduate and graduate degrees; recommend academic policies that impact respective educational programs of study; and recommend and/or endorse the establishment or discontinuance of undergraduate and/or graduate degree programs.

One segment of the university mission[13] encompasses the teaching and learning process which involves not only a commitment to knowledge and research, but also appreciates the influences of diverse thoughts, values, processes, resources, and structures as it seeks to organize and plan lifelong learning experiences. High expectations are supported by an infrastructure that facilitates the opportunity for constituents within the University to achieve and excel individually and collectively. Opportunities for learning are enhanced by varied methods of instruction, 24-hour availability which includes distance education learning, and through partnerships that are collaborative and cooperative.

The teaching role of faculty members reflects their centrality in addressing the primary educational mission of the university. As faculty members teach, they disseminate and impart basic or applied knowledge to students and assist students with the learning process and applying the knowledge. Faculty governing principles and guidelines are outlined in the faculty handbook. [14].

Assessment Activities (See SACS 2.5, Institutional Effectiveness for a detailed explanation of assessment process): The planning and evaluation of the educational activities of the University include a strategic planning progress which creates a framework for determining the direction a department/program/unit should take to achieve its desired future. Faculty are engaged in the strategic planning process for the academic unit. The department chairpersons are responsible for the leadership and administration of the academic departments. Each department holds faculty meetings to provide faculty a venue for open discussion on various departmental communications e.g. curriculum changes, policy implementation or revisions. [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21]

The annual assessment report provides the foundation for each administrative support unit to assess institutional effectiveness and include the following:

  • Vision and Mission
  • Goals and Objectives
  • Outcomes Achieved/Results
  • Assessment Measurements
  • Assessment Procedures
  • Administration of Assessment Procedures
  • Program Improvements

Each unit employs multiple assessment instruments to determine if goals are met. Under each goal, an objective is identified, followed by the outcome achieved, assessment measurements, assessment procedures, the administrative of assessment procedures, and how findings from the assessment data were used to improve the unit. As an example of an academic unit assessment goal, the Human Development and Services Human Resources Rehabilitation Counseling [22] department was to present theoretical and practical experiences which prepare graduates to function effectively as counselors or administrators of counseling programs. Their outcomes achieved were successful completion of related courses; successful matriculation through the program; passing the departmental comprehensive examination; and passing the rehabilitation counseling program comprehensive examination. From the analysis of the end of the year assessment, the Rehabilitation Counseling department implemented the following program improvements: bi-annual faculty retreat; consistency among syllabi regarding course requirements and discussions concerning an on-line review course for departmental comps.

Supporting Documents

[1] UNC System, Introduction

[2] Procedures, Request Planning for a New Academic Program

[3] Procedures, Request Establishment of a New Academic Program

[4] Procedures, Request Establishment of a New Certificate Program

[5] FUTURES, Planning and Resource Council, Vision

[6] UNC-GA, 400.1.1 Regulations for Academic Program Planning and Evaluation

[7] Academic Affairs, Notification of Intent to Plan a New Degree Program form

[8] UNC-GA, 400.1, Academic Program Planning

[9] Academic Affairs, Undergraduate Academic Degree Programs

[10] Courses Offered

[11] Strategic Plan, Rehabilitation Counseling 2007-2008

[12] Faculty Senate, Purpose

[13] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2008-2010, p. 3

[14] Faculty Handbook, 2007

[15] Faculty Minutes, College of Engineering, March 29, 2005

[16] Faculty Minutes, College of Arts & Sciences, November 19, 2008

[17] Faculty Minutes, School of Agriculture, Family & Consumer Science, October 23, 2008

[18] Faculty Minutes, School of Technology, March 27, 2008

[19] Faculty Minutes, School of Nursing, April 2, 2009

[20] Faculty Minutes. UNST Faculty Roundtable, February 26, 2009

[21] Faculty Minutes, University Studies Faculty Roundtable, September 26, 2008

[22] Strategic Plan, Rehabilitation Counseling 2007-2008

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 February 2010 14:27 )
 

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