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

Compliance Judgment:  In compliance

Narrative

Shared governance in the academic program approval process is recognized and valued by both the University of North Carolina - General Administration (UNC-GA) and East Carolina University (ECU or the institution).  The UNC Policy Manual 400.1 clearly states that, “Campuses shall continue to have a lead role in identifying academic program needs and in formulating proposals to meet those needs.”  Specifically, UNC-GA policy 400.1.1.2(G), section B.3, states, 

"Each institution must have a clearly defined process for campus review and approval of proposals to plan and, once planning is completed, a process for approving requests to establish new academic degree programs. The appropriate campus committees and authorities must approve any notification or request to plan or establish a new degree program before submitting it to General Administration."


Degree Approval Process


ECU’s compliance with UNC policy is documented in the ECU Faculty Manual, Part VI, Section VII.  This section, Academic Program and Curriculum Development, begins with a clear recognition that “program and curriculum development is a faculty responsibility.”

Program and curriculum development are faculty responsibilities. Program and curriculum changes may be initiated, prepared, and presented for review to all relevant ECU campus bodies by voting faculty as defined in the ECU Faculty Manual (Description of "voting faculty"). Development of new academic degree programs and certificates is governed by the policies and procedures of the General Administration (GA). Consultation with the ECU Office of Academic Program Planning and Development is recommended before preparing program development requests.  Instructions on specific procedures and documents for program and curriculum development proposals are available on the Office of Academic Program Planning and Development’s Website.


The
ECU Faculty Manual, Part VI, Section VII continues with a step-by-step, on-campus procedure for program and curriculum approvals, all of which begin at the academic unit level. Degree approval check sheets for baccalaureate (Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III), master's (Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III), and doctoral/first professional (Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III) degree programs are used to ensure each step in the process is completed correctly.  

At East Carolina University, all educational programs and courses (present and future) follow a rigorous process of professional scrutiny prior to being incorporated into the institution’s inventory of programs or courses.  Current programs and courses followed a development, review, and approval process consistent with guidelines and sound educational practices at the time of their creation.  Proposed new programs and courses follow the institution’s processes described below.  The remainder of the response to Standard 3.4.1 is organized according to the process used by faculty degree plannersplacement on the academic program plan, intent to plan, curriculum approval, and request for authorization to establish.

Academic Program Plan

The degree approval process begins when the departmental curriculum committee and dean approve a Request for Inclusion. The Request for Inclusion proposal is undertaken by faculty to secure placement of the proposed degree on the ECU Academic Program Plan by the Academic Council.  The Academic Program Plan, updated biannually, is a five-year, long-range schedule for new degree programs.  All proposals for new degrees complete the Request for Inclusion template, an Assessing Readiness to Offer a New Degree Programs template, and a projected budget template.  In completing the three documents, faculty planners must address the five points published in the Criteria for Reviewing New Academic Degree Proposals, (6-17-10), and provided below:

Societal Need:  A recent needs assessment that identifies societal needs, which can be satisfied by meeting the educational objectives of the proposed program.   The applicant pool and enrollment projections should indicate sufficient interests in the program.

Current Teaching Mision Congruency:  Linkage to the strategic plan of the university, college, and unit, with clear indication of how the new program will meet the objectives of the strategic plans.   The document must describe how the proposed program will positively and/or negatively impact existing programs.

Faculty Research and Creative Productivity:  A sufficient number of senior faculty with an appropriate level of expertise in the proposed program discipline/area should be available in the unit.  For research-based graduate programs, the level of research productivity should be sufficient to mentor students and direct theses and dissertations, if required in the proposed program.  For professional graduate programs, a record of applied training and activity as well as professional certification, where appropriate, should be evident.

Service Activity:  When appropriate, service activities and collaborative endeavors with external agencies should be described, particularly in the area of economic development in the eastern region of the state.

Financial Resources:  The unit’s ability to support fiscally the proposed program must be addressed, including the availability of instructional/research facilities, personnel, student support, collaboration with other units, and the distribution of existing resources as well as options/opportunities for external funding.

Request for Authorization to Plan

  1. Departmental faculty review begins anew once the Academic Council has approved placement of the proposed degree on ECU’s Academic Program Plan. Faculty program planners develop a Request for Authorization to Plan a New Degree Program document and revise their initial assessing readiness and budget templates, which are approved by their departmental curriculum committees.
     
  2. Campus review begins with the Academic Program Development Collaborative Team (APDCT). The APDCT is comprised of faculty and administrators from the university’s academic divisions, i.e., Academic Affairs, Health Sciences, and Research and Graduate Studies. The APDCT reviews intent to plan documents for substantive change determination; this review also provides specific suggestions to strengthen submitted proposals to faculty planners. Subsequent reviews are conducted by the University Curriculum Committee, or Graduate Curriculum Committee, Graduate Council, the Educational Policies and Planning Committee, and the Faculty Senate.

    Faculty planners of proposed doctoral degrees must complete a Request for Authorization to Plan document, which must be vetted through the APDCT, the Graduate Curriculum Committee, the Graduate Council, the Educational Policies and Planning Committee, and the Faculty Senate.  If a positive decision is received from all parts of the campus review process, the proposal is submitted for the chancellor’s signature.
     
  3. The UNC-GA Policy Manual also provides expectations for the General Administration in section 400.1.1(R), by stating, “. . . General Administration will be responsible for managing the review process for new degree proposals and, after consultation with disciplinary experts and campuses at various stages, for making a recommendation to the BOG [Board of Governors]. The review process will involve disciplinary experts both from within and from outside the state.”

    Proposed doctoral/first professional degrees also are scrutinized by the UNC Graduate Council. After UNC-GA review, a recommendation is made to the UNC Committee on Educational Planning, Policies, and Programs. The Committee on Educational Planning, Policies, and Programs reviews all documents and recommendations before the Committee submits a recommendation about the Request for Authorization to Plan a new doctoral program to the UNC Board of Governors. The Request for Authorization to Plan must be approved by the UNC Board of Governors (BOG)before ECU departmental faculty planners can proceed with plans to establish the new degree. The UNC Policy Manual 400.1 cites criteria for new program review at the campus and system levels:

    . . . In these processes, faculty expertise is essential for sound academic decision making at the campus and system levels. At the campus, disciplinary, cross-disciplinary, University, and Board levels, analysis and recommendation of the need for a new academic program, the place for its establishment, and the method of its delivery shall be based on: 

    • number, location, and mode of delivery of existing programs,
    • the relation of the program to the distinctiveness of the campus and the mission of the campus,
    • the demand for the program in the locality, region, or State as a whole,
    • whether the program would create unnecessary duplication,
    • employment opportunities for program graduates,
    • faculty quality and number for offering the program,
    • the availability of campus resources (library, space, labs, equipment, external funding, and the like) to support the program
    • the number and quality of lower-level and cognate programs for supporting the new program,
    • impact of program decision on access and affordability,
    • the expected quality of the proposed degree program
    • feasibility of a joint or collaborative program by two or more campuses, and
    • any other consideration relevant to the need for the program


Request for Authorization to Establish
 

A.                           Departmental curriculum committees review and approve the Request for Authorization to Establish (RAE) documents which consist of the Request for Authorization to Establish a New Degree Program template, Assessing Readiness to Offer New Degree Programs document, the budget template, support letters, and space planning documentation. Instructions for completion of the three above-mentioned documents can be found in the Curriculum and Program Development Manual (Undergraduate version, Graduate version).  Letters of support and space planning documentation are explained in the ECU Program Development FAQ.

B.                          The same campus review mentioned in the Request for Authorization to Plan section above is repeated during this final approval process:

• Academic Program Development Collaborative Team (APDCT)

• University Curriculum Committee (UCC)

• Educational Policies and Planning Committee (EPPC) and

• Faculty Senate

Proposed graduate degrees are reviewed by the:

• Academic Program Development Collaborative Team (APDCT)

• Graduate Curriculum Committee (GCC)

• Graduate Council

• Educational Policies and Planning Committee (EPPC) and

• Faculty Senate 
 
      Final campus approval is given by the chancellor


The
Request for Authorization to Establish a New Degree Program document is submitted to UNC-GA. Upon the recommendation of the Committee on Educational Planning, Policies, and Programs, the establishment document is reviewed by the Board of Governors.  Approval of new degree programs is granted only by the UNC Board of Governors.

Curriculum Development 


Once the Request for Authorization to Plan a degree has been filed and approved by UNC-GA, departmental faculty planners may begin to develop the curriculum for their proposed degree.  The curriculum development process can also be completed after formal approval by the Board of Governors.  Initial approval of curriculum for a new degree must be secured from the faculty (curriculum committee) of the presenting department and/or college.  Subsequently, the curriculum must be approved by the University Curriculum Committee (UCC) and the Faculty Senate [for undergraduate curricula] or the Graduate Curriculum Committee (GCC) and the Graduate Council [for graduate curricula].

The processes outlined clearly indicate the expectation of serious on-campus institutional review of new academic initiatives and additional review at the system-wide university level.

Distance Education

Also clearly noted in the UNC Policy Manual, 400.1.1.2(G):

  1. The UNC General Administration (UNC-GA) is responsible for the authorization, coordination and monitoring of degree-related distance education activities in accordance with the governing policies, regulations, and guidelines, and procedures set forth in this statement. UNCGA must authorize degree programs and degree completion programs that are offered away from UNC campuses, regardless of the mode of instruction.
  2. The constituent institutions and the academic units offering the instruction are responsible for the development, delivery, regular assessment, and accreditation (general and specialized) of specific degree-related distance education courses and programs.
  3. Each institution must have a clearly defined process for the review and approval of proposals to plan and, once planning is completed, to establish distance education degree programs. The appropriate campus committees and authorities must approve any notification of planning or request to establish a distance education program before submitting it to General Administration.

Each of East Carolina University’s distance education programs, as with face-to-face programs, begins in an academic department. Faculty members work with staff from the Office of Continuing Studies to begin the planning process. Each program has a coordinator that is a full-time faculty member.  Faculty members develop a program design that includes both the instructional requirements and the academic resources available to meet the needs of a widely dispersed group of students.

Faculty work to ensure that prospective students are made aware of the programs available to them and that the student services in support of these programs are incorporated into the planning process. The Office of Institutional Planning, Assessment and Research ensures that university surveys are made available to distance education students and that their participation is encouraged.

Both distance education and face-to-face degree proposals initially are reviewed the Academic Program Development Collaborative Team (APDCT), an advisory body to ECU’s Academic Council for supportive feedback and determination of the existence of “substantive change.” The APDCT includes representatives from the following:  The Office of Academic Program Planning and Development; Office of Institutional Planning, Assessment and Research;  Office of Continuing Studies; Division of Research and Graduate Studies;  Division of Health Sciences; Undergraduate and Graduate Curriculum Committees; Chair of the Faculty.  A unit proposing a new degree program begins the on-campus review process by presenting the appropriate planning and establishing documents to the APDCT, which will collaborate with the unit to strengthen the proposal. The APDCT advises the provost on all new academic program proposals (distance education and face-to-face) submitted as well as advises the Dean of the Graduate School on graduate programs under consideration. The Educational Policies and Planning Committee (EPPC) also is informed of those recommendations.

The distance education proposal is then reviewed by the Educational Policies and Planning Committee, a standing committee of the faculty senate, and the Academic Council. EPPC oversees the adequacy, balance, and excellence of ECU’s undergraduate and graduate programs; advises the chancellor on educational policies and organizations, goals, standards and procedures; and reviews requests for permission to plan and establish all new degree programs.

The Academic Council includes the provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, the vice chancellor for research and graduate studies, and the vice chancellor for health sciences. The Academic Council considers the APDCT’s recommendations on new academic degree program proposals and then makes recommendations to the chancellor.

In summary, from its inception to its establishment, each educational program at East Carolina University is approved by the faculty and the administration through long-standing processes of review and shared governance.

 
Documentation

Reference Title

Location

Academic Program Development Collaborative Team

Recommending-Bodies

Assessing Readiness to Offer New Degree Programs

Assessing-Readiness-Faculty-10-17-08

Baccalaureate New Check Sheets: Phase I

Bachelors_Degree_Approval_Process_Checklist_PhaseI

Baccalaureate New Check Sheets: Phase II

Bachelors_Degree_Approval_Process_Checklist_PhaseII

Baccalaureate New Check Sheets: Phase III

Bachelors_Degree_Approval_Process_Checklist_PhaseIII

Budget Template

Budget-Proposal-for-Proposed-Degree-Programs-v9

Criteria for Reviewing New Academic Degree Proposals

Criteria for APDCT Review of New Degree Proposals 06-17-10

Curriculum and Program Development Manual: Graduate Version

3.4.1 Graduate-Curric-Prog-Devt-Manual-2011-2012-Web-2

Curriculum and Program Development Manual: Undergraduate Version

Undergraduate Curriculum and Program Development Manual

Doctoral or First Professional New Check Sheets: Phase I

Doctoral_Degree_Approval_Process_Checklist_PhaseI

Doctoral or First Professional New Check Sheets: Phase II

Doctoral_Degree_Approval_Process_Checklist_PhaseII

Doctoral or First Professional New Check Sheets: Phase III

Doctoral_Degree_Approval_Process_Checklist_PhaseIII

ECU Academic Program Plan

2012-2017-ECU-APD-Plan-version-1

ECU Faculty Manual (Description of “voting faculty”)

Faculty Manual, Part XI Voting Faculty

ECU Faculty Manual, Part VI, Section VII

Part V - Curriculum Development

ECU Program Development FAQ

ECU Program Development FAQ

Master's New Check Sheets: Phase I

Masters_Degree_Approval_Process_Checklist_PhaseI

Master's New Check Sheets: Phase II

Masters_Degree_Approval_Process_Checklist_PhaseII

Master's New Check Sheets: Phase III

Masters_Degree_Approval_Process_Checklist_PhaseIII

Office of Academic Program Planning and Development’s Website

Office of Academic Program Development

Request for Authorization to Establish a New Degree Program

RAE400_1_1_5[G]

Request for Authorization to Plan a New Degree Program

Request for Authorization to Plan 400.1.1.3G

Request for Inclusion

2012-17 Request-for-Inclusion-Form

UNC Policy Manual, 400.1

UNC Policy Manual 400.1

UNC Policy Manual, 400.1.1(R)

 

3.4.1 Policy Manual 400.1.1R

UNC Policy Manual, 400.1.1.2(G)

3.4.1 Policy Manual 400.1.1.2G