GUIDELINES FOR THE ADOPTION OF A NEW ACADEMIC PROGRAM
(By Faculty Action, October 13, 1998)
Wittenberg University tries to strengthen its programs as it attempts to maintain a firm grounding in liberal education while also giving credence to emerging fields of inquiry, adjusting to change within existing disciplines, and, at the same time, attracting a sufficiently large and diverse student body. The range of possible initiatives is broad and may require the development of new academic programs. To assure uniformity, fairness, and accountability, the Faculty Committee on Educational Policies uses the following process for recommending the adoption of new majors, minors, and degree-granting programs and for their subsequent review.
The process is initiated by a proposal to the Faculty Committee on Educational Policies and may come from a group of faculty (department, task force, committee, etc.) or the Provost or Provost’s staff. The proposal should address the following issues.
ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED
Briefly state why the program is being proposed.
How does the program realize Wittenberg’s mission and its liberal education objectives?
1. How do the various elements of the program—its goals and objectives, curriculum and courses, and related experiences—exhibit intellectual and academic coherence?
2. How do the program’s curriculum, courses, and co-curricular events provide students with the educational experiences deemed essential for the field of study?
3. How does the program ensure that students will think in depth about the basic questions and issues raised by the field of study?
Standards of the Field
How does the program meet or exceed the generally recognized standards for programs of its type? (Generally recognized standards are those held by professional associations as applied by program consultants or by accrediting agencies.)
1. What students will the program serve? What evidence is there that this program might attract qualified students who otherwise would not likely attend Wittenberg?
2. What relation has the program to other academic programs at Wittenberg? What is the relation to the general education learning goals and curriculum?
3. Does the University have the human, financial, and other resources needed to sustain the program? These resources include:
a. Qualified faculty and support staff: Specifically, how will the program be staffed? Is the relevant department or combination of departments willing, able, and qualified to perform the tasks recognized as essential for the program?
b. Facilities and equipment: What are the specific equipment and space needs appropriate to the field for the foreseeable future?
c. Library and information technology: What are the specific library and information technology needs appropriate to the field for the foreseeable future?
d. Does the program involve local or distant partners in education?
e. Other initial or ongoing expenditures.
4. If the University does not have the necessary resources, how can the institution of the new program be justified?
Success of the Program
What conditions would constitute the success of the program and how should success be measured?
In a separate section of the proposal, the following information must be given.
1. A concise listing of the program’s learning goals;
2. A description of the principal elements of the program’s plan for the assessment of student academic achievement;
3. Information for the Academic Catalog:
a. A listing of faculty members directly involved with the program;
b. A listing of requirements for the completion of the program (see the relevant policy statements in the Faculty Manual);
c. Course numbers and descriptions for all course offerings in the program (see the relevant policy statements in the Faculty Manual);
d. Other salient features or policies of the program which the student needs to meet.
4. Syllabuses for new courses (see the relevant policy statement in the Faculty Manual). If the new program depends on a large number of new courses, the Educational Policies Committee may permit the consideration for approval of new courses in several phases. At a minimum, all new courses to be offered during the first year of the program should be available at the time the program is initially considered.
As a matter of practice, the Educational Policies Committee may forward selected matters to its satellite committees on assessment and, where applicable, on general education.
ACTIONS BY THE EDUCATIONAL POLICIES COMMITTEE AND BY THE FACULTY
1. The Educational Policies Committee is charged with evaluating the proposal according to the guidelines given above. As part of its deliberations, the committee may hold a forum for the discussion of the proposal.
2. Successful proposals will be recommended by the committee to the University faculty for further disposition. While the proposal’s rationales will be presented as matters of information, the committee will move approval of the requirements and related policies for the completion of the program, course numbers and descriptions for all course offerings in the program, and syllabuses for new courses. In the event that some of the syllabuses for new courses are not yet prepared, the committee will seek conditional approval of the program, delaying full approval until all syllabuses required by the program are evaluated by the committee and acted upon favorably by the faculty.
3. The Educational Policies Committee or its agent will review the program at the end of its second or third year. Subsequent review may also occur. Concurrent with its recommendation to the faculty, the committee will outline the review process it projects using for the new program. Factors composing a review typically include:
a. What is the experience in securing staff and resources, particularly new resources appropriate to the program’s needs?
b. What is the pattern of enrollment of traditional students and of new students attracted to this program? Does the program increase the diversity of the student body?
c. If appropriate, what is the record of alumni satisfaction with the program’s contribution to their post-baccalaureate activities?
d. Does the program achieve favorable reviews from external experts in the field?
COURSE REVISIONS AND NEW COURSES (For the EPC)
Any proposals for changes in courses (including additions, deletions, or adjustment in course number or change from topics to permanent status) and any new courses must be presented in writing (normally, 10 copies) to the Educational Policies Committee for review before presentation to the faculty. Any request for changes should use the following format:
1. Course number: Title and number of semester hours
2. Catalog description (including statement of prerequisites).
3. Syllabus (to be attached)
a. Course number and title
b. Outline of the course (if possible, a day-by-day, week-by-week outline indicating material to be treated)
c. Brief listing of resource materials and suggested textbooks
d. Indication of method of instruction; i.e., lecture, discussion, demonstration, lab, etc. (if possible).
e. Rationale for selection of level of course number (i.e., 100-level, 200-level, etc.)
Rationale for the course
a. How does the course contribute to the departmental program?
b. For what type of student is the course intended (major, non-major)
c. What relationship, if any, does the course bear to offerings of other departments?
5. Will the proposed course replace any other courses?
6. Does the department currently have sufficient faculty resources to staff the course? Full-time or part-time?
7. Will this course involve an additional preparation for the faculty member assigned to it, or does it replace a course for which the faculty member is currently responsible?
8. Does the department currently have sufficient facilities, library materials, equipment, etc., available to offer the proposed course?
9. When will the course first be offered? How often will the course be taught?
10. Was consultation with the total department conducted and was departmental approval given for the proposed course?
For course revisions (including number changes), please indicate the old and the new versions and the rationale for the changes.
APPROVAL FOR GENERAL EDUCATION OFFERINGS
(For the General Education Committee)
Course offerings for the General Education Program must be submitted for approval to the General Education Committee. Proposals should contain the following information and follow the outline below:
1. Identify the Arts and Sciences learning goal for which the course is being submitted. With the exception of courses that count toward the non-Western goal, or that are to be counted as mathematics or writing intensive courses, courses may be submitted for only one goal. Instructors seeking writing-intensive approval should submit documentation to the Writing and Speaking Committee. Otherwise, if instructors are seeking approval for two goals as provided for in the exceptions listed here, they must submit full documentation for each goal.
2. Explain how the course helps students achieve the learning goal.
3. Explain how the course takes the learning goal for “The Diversity of Human Experience” into account and helps students achieve that goal.
4. Discuss how you intend to assess student achievement of these learning goals (i.e., the goal for which the course is submitted and the diversity goal).
5. Submit at least a tentative syllabus for the course.
If you are offering a topics course for the General Education Program, you must also follow the guidelines listed above and should submit the proposal directly to the General Education Advisory Committee. If, however, you are developing a new course to be offered regularly, please submit all materials--i.e., the new course proposal and the general education proposal--directly to the Educational Policies Committee.