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2.7.4 Course Work for Degrees PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 04 September 2009 13:14

2.7.4 Course Work for Degrees

The institution provides instruction for all course work required for at least one degree program at each level at which it awards degrees. If the institution does not provide instruction for all such course work and (1) makes arrangements for some instruction to be provided by other accredited institutions or entities through contracts or consortia or (2) uses some other alternative approach to meeting this requirement, the alternative approach must be approved by the Commission on Colleges. In both cases, the institution demonstrates that it controls all aspects of its educational program.

Responsible Unit: Division of Academic Affairs

Compliance Judgment



North Carolina A&T State University (A&T) provides instruction for all coursework for at least one degree program at each level (bachelor’s [1], master’s [2], and doctoral [3]) and is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a doctoral/high research activity institution [4]. North Carolina A&T State University does participate in a range of educational contracts or consortia, but in all cases the institution controls all aspects of its educational program. Also, it is important to note that North Carolina A&T State University arranges these consortia agreements to provide options for its students; however, the same courses are offered at A&T. Students may choose to take all courses at A&T or elect to take select courses from consortium universities.

All new programs, whether delivered on campus with North Carolina A&T State University faculty or through contractual agreements with other institutions, undergo the same rigorous approval process as mandated from the University of North Carolina General Administration [5] [6] and administered by various levels of control at North Carolina A&T State University [7] [8]. See 2.7.2 for additional information about program content.

The hard copy and online versions of the Undergraduate Bulletin 2006–2008 contain minimum degree requirements for all students [9], however some programs have requirements above minimum standards. Those requirements are listed under the appropriate degree program. The following links show general program requirements for the School of Education [10] and requirements specific to the elementary education Bachelor of Science program [11]. The above documentation from our online and paper undergraduate bulletin [9] and graduate catalog [12] demonstrate compliance with SACS Principle 2.7.4, Course work for Degrees. Also, our response to SACS Principle 3.7.1, Faculty competence shows evidence that all faculty who teach classes in any established academic degree program for the university have been officially credentialed. As evidenced by SACS Principle 3.3.1, Institutional Effectiveness, every degree program undergoes periodic review and assessment to ensure uniform quality standards throughout the university [13].

Examples of Affiliation Agreements

Greater Greensboro Consortium: North Carolina A&T State University is a participating institution in the Piedmont Independent College Association’s Greater Greensboro Consortium (GGC), which is made up of a community college, and colleges and universities in the Greensboro, North Carolina area [14]. Participating institutions include Bennett College, Elon University, Greensboro College, Guilford College, Guilford Technical Community College, High Point University, North Carolina A & T State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNC-G). All participating institutions of the GGC are SACS accredited [15]. This GGC agreement is for the fall and spring semesters. In the summer, North Carolina A&T State University only has the agreement with UNC-G [16].

Through membership in the Greater Greensboro Consortium (GGC), North Carolina A&T State University gives degree-seeking students the option of taking classes on campus or they may take courses at participating institutions upon recommendation of their advisors and with the approval of the Dean of each School. It is important to note that all courses for all programs are available at A&T and that any consortium class is optional.

Students must be registered for at least half of their hours at North Carolina A&T State University the same semester in which they register through the GGC. Enrollment and payment of tuition and fees take place on the home campus. Application forms and information are available at The Graduate School and the Office of the University Registrar. Grades are recorded on the student's transcript and calculated into the student's overall GPA [17].

2+2 Programs: A number of 2 + 2 programs exist at A&T [18]. These programs allow students to study online toward an undergraduate degree. An example of this is the 128-credit Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural education [19]. It has been designed for individuals who have been awarded associate's degrees in a landscaping or horticultural discipline from the following community colleges: Brunswick, Caldwell, Catawba, Forsyth Technical, Johnston, Lenoir, Mayland, Sampson, Sandhills, and Surry.

All 2 + 2 programs have been designed for the maximum convenience of students. Participating students have to meet the normal admissions guidelines for North Carolina A&T State University and must possess an Associate Degree from an accredited Community College.

International Programs: North Carolina A&T State University coordinates its international programs through the Office of International Programs (OIP) [20]. The objectives of OIP encompass all disciplines in the University and includes: academic exchange programs for students and faculty; study abroad; managing agreements with overseas institutions; working with faculty to develop new international programs; Global Studies Certificate Program; and global awareness activities through various cultural and educational activities throughout the year to create a campus-wide global perspective [21].

Programs coordinated by the OIP seek to provide students academically challenging work within or about international cultures thus encouraging students to have a global perspective. Students who study abroad and take additional global studies courses may earn a Global Studies Certificate [22].

A&T is a member of the University of North Carolina Exchange Program (UNCEP) [23] [24]. The UNCEP program is the official system-wide student exchange program of the University of North Carolina offering students opportunities to participate in affordable, high-quality programs [25]. A&T is a member of the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE), which offers study abroad opportunities at its 60 CIEE Study Center programs in 29 countries around the world. Students also may participate in study aboard through the American Institute of Foreign Study (AIFS) which is a study abroad organization offering summer, semester and academic year programs in 12 countries. Internship and travel opportunities are also available in several locations. Programs are available in: Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, England, France, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Russia, South Africa and Spain [20].

In addition to summer or semester study-abroad programs in several countries (see above), A&T has developed exchange relationships with institutions in, Kumasi, Ghana at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology; Omsk, Russia at Omsk State University; and in Bulgaria at the American University of Bulgaria [22].

Moreover, international students and faculty on our campus play a major role in helping the campus to develop an international perspective.

Distance Education Courses: All courses taught online, or by other distance teaching technology, are offered through the A&T Center for Distance Learning (CDL) [26]. In order to develop courses for CDL, faculty must request permission and receive recommendations from both his/her Chairperson and Dean. Written approval also must be obtained from the CDL prior to course development [27].

Providing high quality instruction is a top priority in the eLearning and extension programs at A&T. CDL staff members work closely with three faculty cohorts (fall, spring, and summer) to develop new online courses and enhance several existing courses during the academic year. An online course template [28], online course development reminders [29], copyright information, and additional online course resources are disseminated by CDL to all faculty developers and enhancers to help improve quality and maintain consistency in all online courses [30]. Additionally, CDL provides Blackboard online course development and enhancement shells and professional development activities to further assist faculty members with development [31].

CDL requires all faculty developing online courses to attend consultation sessions and at least two Blackboard training sessions with the Coordinator for Distance Learning [32] [33]. Furthermore, CDL utilizes, an in-house created, online faculty development course, (OFAC 101) [34], to provide resources and assist faculty in course development. Members of the CDL conduct preliminary reviews of courses during the development process and feedback is given to the faculty developer. At the completion of developmental activities, course developers are required to present their online courses to a review committee, which includes members of CDL and the department chair, to ensure that courses are prepared to meet quality standards. CDL received permission from the University of Maryland University College to use their assessment instrument to evaluate online courses after development. This checklist is adapted from the Quality Matters™ Rubric FY 05/06. The Quality Matters™ program [35] is sponsored by Maryland Online, and was supported in part by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), U.S. Department of Education.

To enhance quality of instruction and services received by distance learning students, CDL administers a confidential student opinion survey [36], which students complete at the end of the semester. Distance Learning students utilize this online survey tool to provide feedback regarding their experiences with the course, instructor, course management system and with selected University service units. CDL compiles student comments and concerns and distributes reports to all instructors, deans, chairpersons, and service units involved. These comments are used to identify specific student needs and concerns and make revisions, where possible, to increase retention in eLearning courses.

Program Support: A&T offers its faculty support through the Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL) [37]. The mission of this teaching and learning center is to promote continuing faculty development and enhanced student learning through the development of scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning. This mission is carried out through activities that:

• increase faculty knowledge of the factors that affect student learning.

• encourage innovative teaching pedagogies and effective uses of instructional technology grounded in research on student learning.

• promote faculty involvement in the scholarship of teaching and learning, including

classroom-based research, sponsored research, and scholarly activity such as presentations and journal articles.

• facilitate collaborative efforts to develop and promote models of interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

• facilitate the shared discussion of issues related to teaching and learning in both formal and informal ways.

• encourage the use of formative assessment processes linked to student learning outcomes to continually improve teaching pedagogy and student learning.

• increase recognition and faculty rewards for engaging in activities that enhance student learning, lead to scholarly work promoting the scholarship of teaching and learning, and encourage assessment processes that lead to improved learning.

• promote faculty development that supports the successful implementation of both the FUTURES [38] and University Studies [39] (general education revision) initiatives, in particular teaching pedagogies, assessment strategies, and curricular/course reform that promotes intentional and interdisciplinary learning.

The Academy for Teaching and Learning is currently playing an important role in the development and implementation of the University’s FUTURES and University Studies initiatives. The ATL is helping faculty develop new tools and a new vision of teaching focusing on student learning outcomes through:

• hands-on workshops related to the development of innovative teaching strategies, effective use of instructional technology, development of formative classroom-based assessment processes, and teaching/learning-related research;

• a year-long new faculty lunch series;

• faculty development grants supporting travel to conferences and workshops related to teaching/learning;

• communication about resources available to improve teaching and learning;

• support for sponsored research focusing on teaching/learning and faculty development; and a variety of other activities and initiatives [40].

The information and documentation presented above demonstrate that North Carolina A&T State University provides instruction for and maintains control of all course work required for at least one degree program at the University.

Graduate: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (A&T) provides instruction for all course work for all programs for which the university awards degrees, and in all cases, A&T controls all aspects of its degree-granting programs. The Graduate Catalog contains complete degree plans and degree requirements that demonstrate that A&T is in compliance with Principle 2.7.4, Course Work for Degrees. A&T’s response to Principle 3.7.1, Faculty Competency, demonstrates that all faculty who teach classes in any established academic degree program for the university have been officially credentialed. As evidenced in Principle, Assessment of Educational Programs, every degree program undergoes rigorous reviews.

Consortial Relationships: A&T participates in several consortia with the approval of the Commission on Colleges, including the Piedmont Independent College Association’s Greater Greensboro Consortium (GGC) previously described [41]. GGC promotes inter-institutional cooperation and cooperative educational activities among the seven institutions. The cross-registration agreement of the GGC allows a student to enroll at another institution for a course or courses not offered at the student’s home institution. A&T, UNCG, High Point University, and Greensboro College are currently the members of the consortium that offer graduate courses.

In addition to the regular/in-class Master of Science in Agricultural Education Program, the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences offers a distance education master’s degree program in collaboration with North Carolina State University [42]. The Collaborative Master of Science in Agricultural Education (CMSAE) is a thirty-six credit hour, non-thesis program in which all course work is taken online. Students select either A&T or North Carolina State University as their home university and apply for admission to the CMSAE program through the graduate school of the home university. Accepted students are admitted to the selected home university and upon completion of all program requirements receive the degree from that university. The non-selected university is termed the “cooperating university.’ Students applying for admission to the program must meet the regular admission requirements of the university selected as their home university [43]. Students in the program complete a minimum of six credit hours of course work at the cooperating university. The two universities share a number of online courses that are dual listed. Each university also offers several courses unique to its institution.

Joint Program: A&T and UNCG jointly administer the Master of Social Work Program [44]. Both A&T and UNCG are members of the sixteen-university University of North Carolina system. The admissions and course registration processes for the JMSW program rotates between the two universities every four years. Students apply to and are admitted to the Joint Master of Social (JMSW) Program by the School of Graduate Studies at A&T for a four-year period. After the four-year period elapses, the admissions process for the JMSW Program transfers to the UNCG Graduate School for a four-year period. For the academic years 2003-2004 through 2006-2007, JMSW admissions and course registration were administered by A&T. For the academic years 2007-2008 through 2010-2011, JMSW admissions and course registration are administered by UNCG. Students in the JMSW program complete all required course work and receive their degrees from the university to which they are admitted. The JMSW Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education [45].

Program Controls: At the graduate level, A&T maintains complete control of both master’s and doctoral degrees. Faculty members control all aspects of the degree-granting process for all graduate degrees [46]. Admission committees within the academic units determine and manage the review of graduate program applicants [47], the awarding of assistantships [48] and the supervision of independent research. The university supervises student evaluations of each course [49].

In accordance with state requirements and guidelines from the University of North Carolina General Administration and requirements from select accrediting agencies such as Southern Association of Colleges and Schools [50], National Association of Industrial Technology [51], National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education [52], American Chemical Society [53], Council on Social Work Education [54], Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology [55] and Computer Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology [56], all degree programs undergo the same curricular and program review processes as outlined in the responses to Principles 2.7.2, Program Content, and 3.5.1, College-level competencies. Faculty members in each discipline periodically review all aspects of the curriculum including each course’s individual student learning objectives, which are published in the syllabi [57] [58]. The departmental curriculum committee meets to discuss and recommend changes in the curriculum as necessary. To ensure that department faculties continue to oversee the curricula design, implementation, and review process, the Faculty Senate provides oversight and guidelines for all proposed curricula changes [59]. New programs and proposed curricula changes require a signature of approval from the chairperson of the academic department, chairperson of the department curriculum committee, dean of the school/college, chairperson of the Faculty Senate New Programs and Curricula Committee, president of the Faculty Senate, and provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs [60].

The Graduate Council: The Graduate Council serves as an advisory body to the dean of the School of Graduate Studies on all aspects of graduate education at A&T [61]. The primary functions of the Graduate Council include the establishment, review, and approval of all policies and regulations affecting graduate students, graduate courses, and graduate curricula, consistent with the general academic policies and guidelines of the University of North Carolina General Administration and the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee. The Graduate Council comprises one faculty representative from each college/school with a graduate program, one graduate student representative from each college/school with a graduate program, one coordinator of graduate programs from each college/school with a graduate program, all department chairpersons, one dean representative of the colleges/schools with a graduate program, one representative from the Division of Research & Economic Development, one representative from financial aid, one representative from the library, and one representative from student affairs. The dean of the School of Graduate Studies serves as chairperson of the Graduate Council.

Supporting Document

[1] COE, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, Undergraduate Programs

[2] Graduate Catalog, 2006-2008, Computational Science and Engineering

[3] Graduate Catalog, 2006-2008, Energy and Environment PhD Programs

[4] DORED, News

[5] UNC System, Revised Procedures

[6] Faculty Handbook, 2007, p. 16

[7] Policies, Procedures to Request Planning

[8] Faculty Senate, Minutes, 02/24/06

[9] Undergraduate Bulletin, 2008-2010

[10] SOE, Program Requirements

[11] SOE, Curriculum and Instruction Program Requirements

[12] Graduate Catalog

[13] IPAR, Five-Year Cycle Annual Assessment

[14] Consortium, Greater Greensboro Agreement

[15] SACS, Accredited Universities

[16] Consortium, GGC Agreements

[17] Consortium, Grades

[18] Articulation Agreement, Agriculture

[19] Articulation, 2+2 spreadsheet

[20] OPI, Bulletin Info

[21] International Program, Homepage

[22] International Program Agreements


[24] UNC Exchange

[25] UNC Exchange Program

[26] CDL, Website

[27] CDL, Memo

[28] Online, Course Template

[29] Online, Course Development Reminders

[30] Online, Course Development Enhancement

[31] Standards, Online Teaching

[32] Online, Development Procedures

[33] Online, Development Procedures.2

[34] Faculty Training

[35] CDL, Quality Matters

[36] Assessment Survey, Online

[37] ATL

[38] FUTURES, Homepage

[39] UNST

[40] ATL, Annual Report, May 2005

[41] Consortium Agreement, Piedmont Independent College Asociation

[42] Notification to Plan, Distance Education, MS, Agricultural Education

[43] Admission Process, Collaborative MS, Agricultural Education

[44] MSW, Joint Governance and Administrative Organization

[45] MSW, Joint Mission Application for Reaffirmation of Accreditation, Volume I, September 15, 2003

[46] Policies, Procedures for Completing Graduate Degree

[47] Graduate Student Handbook, Admissions Committee information, Electrical and Computing Engineering, p. 3-4

[48] Graduate Student Handbook, Policies and Procedures, Awarding Assistantships Electrical and Computing Engineering, pp. 31-33

[49] Evaluation, On-line Course Instruction Process

[50] Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

[51] National Association of Industrial Technology

[52] National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

[53] American Chemical Society

[54] Council on Social Work Education

[55] Engineering Accreditation Commission, Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology

[56] Computer Accreditation Commission, Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology

[57] Syllabus, Leadership Studies Course

[58] Syllabus, School of Education Course

[59] Faculty Senate, Procedures for New Programs and Curricula Approval

[60] Faculty Senate, Signature for Approval of Changes Form

[61] Graduate Council, Bylaws, Feb. 2006

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 16 February 2010 08:54 )

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