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Administrative Policy: Academic

University Approval of New Credit‐Bearing Educational Program

Policy Number: 3349-AC-202
Effective Date: 03/20/2017
Responsible Department: Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
Applies To: All University Employees
Approval Authority: Office of the VPAA

A. Purpose

This policy establishes an institutional process for the approval of new credit‐bearing educational programs; makes explicit the criteria by which proposals are evaluated; fosters consultation for planning across academic and service units representing shared resources of the University; lays out the procedures to be used for the preparation of materials and steps for approvals; and ensures thorough and timely review of proposals.

B. Scope

This policy applies to all new academic degrees, credit‐bearing certificates and tracks.

C. Definitions

  1. “Blended/Hybrid Degree Program” refers to a program that blends online and traditional modes of course content delivery; a substantial portion of the degree requirements (but no more than 49%) are available online and there are a reduced number of face‐to‐face meetings.
  2. “Credit‐bearing Certificates” refers to a formal physical award certifying the satisfactory completion of a postsecondary education program. Certificate programs may be stand‐alone or be embedded within a degree program (see “Incorporated Certificates”).
  3. “Program” refers to the purposes of this policy, a set of academic courses and educational experiences leading to an academic degree, credit‐bearing certificate or track.
  4. “Program Director” refers to a member of the faculty charged by his/her College Dean to oversee the preparation of the proposal for the program under development.
  5. “Stakeholders” refers to individuals, organizational units or agencies who will affect or be affected by a new educational program. Stakeholders include program faculty, department chairs, college units, college deans, University shared resources, academic administrative leadership, the NEOMED Board of Trustees, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and associated program and university accrediting agencies.
  6. “Technical Certificate” refers to a certificate designed for an occupation or specific employment opportunity.
  7. “Vice President for Academic Affairs” refers to a Chief Academic Officer of the University (VPAA).

D. Body of the Policy

  1. New educational programs develop from the expertise and authority of the faculty and are contingent upon final authority of the respective College Dean, the University Administration and the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Proposals for new educational programs must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate University authorities in accordance with this policy and the New Credit‐Bearing Educational Program documents set forth in Appendices A‐D.
  2. Every new educational program must have a home college. Before initiating any steps for University program approval, the Dean of the College in which the new program will be proposed must appoint a “Program Director” who will guide the development of a Program Proposal (hereafter “Proposal”) and submit it through the University approval process.
  3. Colleges must have a set of standards and internal procedures for developing, reviewing, and approving new or modified educational programs that are consistent with this policy. Prior to initiating the University approval process, the Dean of the College in which a new program will be housed may, in consultation with the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and the VPAA, send a new Program Development Plan to the State of Ohio Chancellor’s Committee on Graduate Studies for feedback in order to strengthen a Program Proposal.
  4. Colleges may not advertise, recruit or admit students to new or modified programs prior to formal approval by the University administration and the Ohio Department of Higher Education.
  5. Proposal Preparation
    1. The Dean of the College in which the new program will be established must appoint a Program Director to oversee the development of the Proposal and guide it through the approval process.
    2. Proposals must include a Proposal Cover Page, a Program Development Plan, and a Pro Forma (requisite templates are provided in the appendices), as well as any additional supporting materials deemed necessary.
    3. Stakeholders must be consulted to provide input for the development of Proposals. At a minimum, Stakeholder consultations must include:
      1. The Department Chair of faculty who will serve as Program Director; chairpersons must be supportive of the role of Program Director.
      2. The Department Chair(s) of faculty who will contribute to the curriculum of a new program; such faculty must receive permission from their corresponding chairperson(s) to participate.
      3. The Department Chair(s) of any department(s) that may contribute resources, or that should be aware of new program development or changes for any reason, should be informed and invited to participate in developing and reviewing Proposals.
      4. The Dean of the College in which the new program will be proposed, prior to initiating any steps of the approval process.
      5. The Dean of any College on which the Proposal may have an impact.
      6. The Executive Directors (or equivalent position) of University Shared Resource units that will contribute to the program or may expend resources or incur costs to implement or support the program, as indicated in the Pro Forma.
    4. The Program Director must consult the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs for clarification on applicable requirements and regulations if a Blended/Hybrid Degree or Distance Learning Program is being prepared.
  6. Criteria for Program Approval
    1. All new Proposals will be evaluated by collegiate faculty, the Dean(s) and the Vice President for Academic Affairs using the following criteria:
      1. The collegiate Faculty and Dean(s) will evaluate Proposals based on:
        1. minimum program requirements and appropriate number of credit hours;
        2. duplication or possible negative impact on existing program offerings;
        3. alignment with the mission and strategic plan of the College in which the new program will be based; and
        4. demonstration of faculty and other Stakeholder engagement in the development of the Proposal.
      2. The collegiate Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs will evaluate Proposals based on the relative competitive need for the program regionally and clear budgetary/financial models detailing program development and/or expansion costs (i.e., monetary and human capital investment).
      3. In addition, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will evaluate the Proposal based on:
        1. alignment with the University mission and strategic plan;
        2. the ability to enhance existing program offerings, such as integration with priorities in the Colleges of the University;
        3. contributions to diversity; the potential for new revenue generation; and
        4. the ability to demonstrate institutional resources to sustain the program.
    2. Others factors may be considered in the evaluation of Proposals.
  7. Proposal Review and Approval
    1. The Program Director is responsible to submit and guide the Proposal through the following approval process: Sequence for Proposal Review and Approval
      1. Faculty of the College;
      2. College Dean;
      3. Graduate Faculty Council; Vice President for Academic Affairs;
      4. President’s Leadership Team; and
      5. University President
    2. If additional approvals external to the University are required before a new program may be implemented, the VPAA will engage the College Dean and Program Director for the program approvals required by the State of Ohio and/or University accrediting agencies. External Approvals may include the following:
      1. NEOMED Approvals;
      2. Professional boards;
      3. Ohio Department of Higher Education; and
      4. Accrediting Agencies

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