Handbook for the review and Approval of new academic Programs

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Handbook for the REview and Approval of NEw academic Programs


Office of Academic Affairs

May 2010



Contents i

New Program Review and Approval 1

Program Proposal Documents 1

Concept Proposal 1

Program Proposal 1

Program Announcement or Letter of Intent 2

Program Design Team Membership 2

Transmission from One Step to the Next 2

Substantive Changes to the Proposal 3

Posting for Comment 3

Initiator Participation in Governance Meetings 3

Review Processes and Timing 4

New Advanced (Graduate) Certificate Program 5

Advanced (graduate) Certificate Program Proposals 6

Concept Proposal 6

Program Proposal 6

New Undergraduate Certificate Programs 8

Undergraduate Certificate Program Proposals 9

Concept Proposal 9

Program Proposal 9

Program Announcment 10

New Undergraduate Degree Programs 11

Undergraduate Degree Program Proposals (includes new AOS) 12

Concept Proposal 12

Program Proposal 12

Program Announcment 13

External Review 13

New Graduate Degree Programs 14

Gradaute Degree Program Proposals 15

Concept Proposal 15

Program Proposal 15

Letter of Intent 16

External Review 16

Timelines 18

Timelines for Advanced Certificate Proposals 18

Timelines for New Undergraduate Certificate Proposals 19

Timelines for New Degree Proposals 21

Design Teams 21

If New Faculty and Staff Are Required for Program Development… 21

Concept Development 22

Program Planning 22

Program Development 22

Program Launch 22

If Existing Faculty and Staff Are Available for Program Development… 24

Concept Paper for a New Degree Program 25

Summary of Academic Program Proposal Actions 26

ESC Advanced Certificate Template 27

SUNY Requirements for Advanced Certificate Proposals 27

Advanced Certificate Template 28

New Program Review and Approval

The review and approval process for new programs is designed to encourage consultation within the college and to facilitate an orderly approval process. Within the college, it is a shared process that involves relevant parties at the program and center levels, in governance and in the administration, and it culminates with the Provost and the President. Once approved within the college, new program proposals are approved by the State University of New York (SUNY) and The New York State Education Department (SED). The college must wait until SED registers a program before it begins marketing or it enrolls students into that program.

Although there is an orderly and linear approach to approval, from the earliest planning phase, communication among the parties involved is essential.

Program Proposal Documents

To meet internal and external needs, the program proposal process requires three documents. The first is a concept paper that is used internally. Next is a program proposal that serves internal needs as well as the needs of SUNY and SED. The third is a program announcement or letter of intent that serves SUNY needs, much as the concept paper serves the college’s needs. SUNY’s processes and templates for graduate and undergraduate programs differ considerably. For advanced (graduate) certificates, the college will require more information than SUNY requests and has developed a separate template for the program proposal. For all other program proposals, the college uses SUNY templates. Programs leading to professional licensure or teaching certificate require additional information. For more information, please contact the Assistant Vice President for Academic Programs in the Office of Academic Affairs.

Concept Proposal

The concept proposal is an internal document that allows initiators of a new program to present their ideas and investigation of the need for the program without significant investment of time and resources. It provides sufficient description about the proposed program to allow academic affairs, in consultation with the relevant standing committee of the Senate, to make an informed judgment about whether the proposed program should move ahead. The outline for the concept proposal is included in the pages that follow.

Program Proposal

The program proposal is a fully detailed presentation of the proposed program and it uses the SUNY forms and adheres to the expectations outlined in relevant handbooks and guidelines, with one exception. SUNY requires minimal information for the review and approval of advanced (graduate) certificate programs and the college requires additional information for internal review. In this case, the proposals will use a college template rather than a SUNY template. That template is included in this document. The SUNY Campus Resource Center includes relevant forms and information about the SUNY academic program proposal process. The college’s Assistant Vice President for Academic Programs assists program initiators in navigating the resources and with proposal development.

Program Announcement or Letter of Intent

The program announcement for undergraduate programs and the letter of intent for graduate programs are documents that the college submits, to receive SUNY approval to move ahead with new program development. They are similar to the college’s concept paper and serve a similar purpose in that the college is proposing an idea to SUNY. SUNY posts the program announcements for 30 days and they are visible to academic affairs officers within SUNY institutions. The college must have SUNY approval to submit a program proposal. The approval is good for two years. Advanced (graduate) certificates normally do not require a letter of intent. The SUNY Campus Resource Center includes relevant forms.

The college has developed a practice of submitting program announcements and letters of intent once we have carefully developed a proposal and are sure about the market for the program and the curriculum. Generally, this comes at about the time of the standing committee recommendation to move ahead with the proposed program. However, in some cases, this document may come earlier in the process.

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