Needs Survey and Documentation Cover Sheet and Instructions

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New Academic Program Proposal

Needs Survey and Documentation

Cover Sheet and Instructions

This survey is a required part of a new program proposal. Please attach this cover sheet to your responses to the following questions. Label all pages with the name of the proposed program and the date.

Proposed Program: Date:

School: Department:

Contact name: Contact phone number:


BA  BFA BMMA MFA MAM MAT

Major Minor Graduate Certificate 

Undergraduate Other _______________ Graduate Other __________________

Part One - Summary

  1. Briefly summarize the need for the proposed new academic program by addressing the following questions. Please limit your answer to two pages, single-spaced. (Later sections of this survey ask for detailed documentation.)

  1. How will the program enhance the College’s mission to provide a comprehensive educational opportunity in the arts and communication?

  2. How does the program respond to trends in one or more of the arts and communication disciplines?

  3. How will the program expand career options for graduates or, at the undergraduate level, graduate study options leading to careers in the arts and communication?

  4. What students will be interested in this program? Will the program attract students who probably would not enroll at Columbia College Chicago given the current program selections? What plans do you have for marketing this curriculum?

  5. Are there similar programs at other colleges and universities locally, regionally, or nationally? What are the enrollment trends for those programs?

  6. If there are similar programs, particularly in the Chicago area, why would students choose the proposed Columbia College Chicago program over programs at other institutions?

  7. In your judgment, how many students will enroll in the program in the first, second and third years? Enrollment is as of the Fall term in a given year.

Part Two – Curricular Purpose

  1. How does the proposed program fill a gap in the breadth of the College’s arts and communication curriculum? Is it an established or emerging area of study in the arts and communication disciplines?

Include in your response documentation from external sources of established or emerging areas of study. Examples of such documentation include: catalogs, college guidebooks, journal articles, and conference proceedings.

  1. How does the proposed program expand possible career options for students? Include in your response documentation from external sources of new career options. Examples of such documentation include:

  1. Reports from government agencies.

  2. Information from professional or industry organizations.

  3. Journal articles, books, conference proceedings.

  4. Supporting letters from employers, and/or department advisory boards.

  5. Examples of specific job openings.

  1. For undergraduate programs: How does the proposed program prepare students for graduate study that expands students’ career options in the arts and communication disciplines?

  1. For what areas of graduate study does the proposed program prepare students?

Include in your response documentation from external sources. Examples of such documentation include: catalogs, graduate study guidebooks, journal articles and information from professional associations.

  • Research Note: The College Library Reference Service can assist with literature searches and with identifying professional organizations. The Library has a large collection of college catalogs and guidebooks.

Part Three – Competition

  1. What are the similar programs at other institutions in: A) the Chicago metropolitan area, B) Illinois, C) the College’s Midwestern recruiting region (Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri) and D) nationally? How long have each of these programs been offered?

  2. Analyze and compare these programs to the proposed program in:

  1. Level of degree (i.e. undergraduate, masters, doctoral.)

  2. Type of degree/certificate (i.e. BA, BFA, MA, MFA, graduate certificate, etc.)

  3. Curriculum.

  4. Mission, purposes, and focus, e.g., at the undergraduate level a focus on preparation for graduate study as compared to a focus on career preparation, or a focus on a specific media as opposed to mass communication.

  5. Learning experience, e.g. class size, internships, co-curricular activities.

  6. Campus environment, e.g. location, diversity, residential experience.

  7. Cost and admissions criteria.

  • Research Note: These types of information are available in catalogs, college guidebooks (printed and on the internet) and institution web sites. The US Dept of Education web site includes information on levels and types of degrees, and on institutional diversity. The College Library has a large collection of college catalogs and guidebooks. Institutional Research can help you use the USDE data resources. You may need to contact the programs directly for some information.

  1. In your judgment, why would students choose the proposed program at Columbia over the existing programs at other institutions? If you have specific documentation to support your evaluation, please include that in your response.

  2. Will the proposed program be in competition with any of the College’s existing programs at the same level? Will the new program create new enrollment at the College, or will it shift enrollment from other Columbia College Chicago programs?

    1. Are there notable similarities in purpose, curriculum, or learning outcomes?

    2. Are there similarities in career opportunities?

    3. If the proposed curriculum includes existing courses, what are the majors of students now enrolling in those classes?

  • Research Note: To obtain the information for item D, provide Institutional Research with current course and/or concentration names and numbers. IR will produce standard format report of enrollment. Allow a minimum of four weeks to obtain this information

Part Four is optional. In some cases the Provost may arrange to conduct this research through his office in consultation with the department and the school.
Part Four – Enrollment

  1. In your judgment, what is the minimum enrollment the program must meet within three years to be viable? What is the optimal enrollment at the end of three years? In each case please explain your rationale. Enrollment is at the program level in the Fall term.

  2. What are the three to five year enrollment trends in courses or concentrations related to the proposed major?

  3. If there are similar programs in the area, region, or nationally, what are the three to five year application and/or enrollment trends at those programs?

  • Research Note: Required federal enrollment reporting does not include information at the program level. You must contact individual institutions and programs to get this information. Not all programs will provide the information. Enrollment information is usually easier to obtain than application information. The value of application information is that it can indicate unmet demand.

  1. Have you surveyed currently enrolled and/or prospective students to gauge interest in the program? What are the results? Research Note: Contact Institutional Research for guidelines and assistance in conducting a survey. Please note that conducting a survey may take several months.

  • Research Note: To obtain this information, provide Institutional Research with current course and/or concentration names and numbers. IR will produce standard format report of enrollment. Allow a minimum of four weeks to obtain this information.

  1. Do you have other documentation of enrollment demand for the proposed program? Examples include:

  1. Survey or focus group results from high school or community college counselors and instructors.

  2. Enrollment trend information from professional organizations and/or specialized accreditation agencies.

  3. Journal articles and other published reports.

  • Research Note: The College Library Reference Service can assist with literature searches and with identifying professional organizations. Institutional Research can advise on conducting surveys or focus groups.

Review for Proposed Major leading to a

Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Music Degree

Definition – Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts degree focuses on an artistic discipline in the context of a broad program of liberal education. It is designed for students with potential for majoring in an arts discipline but who may or may not have career intentions in that discipline. Bachelor of Arts programs place a greater emphasis on a breadth of academic studies and less emphasis on studio and design studies than are found in professional degree programs. There should be a broad coverage of the major rather than a heavy concentration on any single segment of that field. Bachelor of Arts degrees usually contain 30 % to 45% of the course work in the major area.

Definition – Bachelor of Fine Arts

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is a professional degree that is intended to provide intensive training in the intellectual, technical, and physical skills necessary for arts professionals. This degree is for students majoring in an arts discipline with definite career intentions. The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree usually includes at least 65% of the coursework in the major field, and no less than 25% in the specialization, all supported by a program of liberal education.

Note the following guidelines when proposing a BFA/BMus. degree program:

1. Departments that offer a BFA/BMus. program must also offer a BA. Departments may offer both degree options in the same concentration/specialization, or may offer a BA with the general subject matter area, and offer the BFA/BMus. degrees in the concentrations.

2. The LAS Core requirements are 36 hours.

3. Students must declare which degree option they wish to pursue, BFA/BMus. or BA, by the time they have completed 60 credit hours.

4. At least 20 credit hours must be in advanced level (3000 or 4000) courses.

5. All BFA/BMus. candidates should participate in a senior capstone requirement.

The following information is needed for the review of a proposed new major leading toward either a BFA or a BMus.

  1. Name of the degree program:

Bachelor of Fine Arts in _____________

Bachelor of Music in ________________

  1. A list all of the major course requirements for this degree plan, including course number, title and credit hours. Identify which classes make up the core requirements, which classes provide the concentration/specialization, and which classes are suggested departmental electives. Give the total number of credit hours required for the major, and what percentage of the total credit hour requirement (128 total for the BFA/BMus.) are accounted for by the major requirements. Also give the percentages of required courses in each area, i.e., core courses, the concentration/specialization, departmental electives, etc.

  2. Give the curricular rationale for the balance between the courses in each area.

  3. A list of the learning outcomes for both the core and concentration/specializations (if applicable) of the proposed major. For each learning outcome listed, explain how and in what course(s) it will be assessed.

  4. A projected four-year plan and a projected five-year plan of study which includes major, recommended general education courses, and electives. (Students must complete 24 credit hours of general education program requirements by the time they complete 77 cumulative credit hours.)

In addition to providing the information above, address the following questions.

    1. What opportunities are available for internships or fieldwork in this major?

    2. What are the faculty requirements for this new major. Can your present departmental faculty teach and administer this major, or are additional faculty needed?

    3. Do the areas of expertise of the present faculty relate to the projected curriculum or do present faculty need to be re-trained?

    4. Describe the resources required for this major. (This includes space, equipment, and staff support.) Are these resources already available or will there be additional expenses for the major?

    5. Identify any professional organization/association or curricular source you consulted while preparing this proposal. How does your degree plan compare to or follow suggested guidelines from these various sources?

Additional information needed for BFA/BMus. Programs:

  1. Which course(s) provides the students with the senior or capstone experience?

  2. Programs should allow students to demonstrate competency by developing a body of work for evaluation. What courses within the degree plan require students to evaluate their progress in the specialization? What senior-level courses prepare students to enter the job market, e.g. portfolio development, audition preparation, interview techniques, etc…?

  3. How does your department plan to advise or direct students in selecting the BA or BFA/BMus. option?

a) What advice will be given to incoming freshmen?

b) How will you advise transfer students?

c) What advice will be given to the student at 60 accumulative hours?

5. Admission into a BFA/BMus. program should be based upon at least two criteria, neither of which is absolute. Sample criteria are: grade point average, portfolio review, auditions, and interviews. (Students without the appropriate grade point average could elect to have a portfolio review as an alternative measure of evaluation.) What criteria will be used in the selection of BFA/BMus. candidates?

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