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SPSU New Degree Proposals

September 19, 2013

Section 2.3.2 in the Board of Regents (BoR) Academic Handbook deals with new degree programs.  The section of the BoR policy that deals with new programs is here. 

Guidelines and forms that institutions must use are here.

Follow this link to the SPSU policy on new degree programs. It is now under review and will likely be changed this year to reflect the two-step process that the BoR now follows.

There are two phases in the voyage of a degree program from initial proposal to actual offering of courses populated by students who expect to complete the degree program for graduation from SPSU.

The initial phase begins with a prospectus. This is a brief document which should be composed according to BoR guidelines.  In addition, the prospectus should provide sufficient detail to suggest affirmative answers to the following questions:

1)  Is there a demonstrated student interest in this new program?  
2)  Is there a reasonable expectation that graduates of this program will find jobs in their field (i.e., is there good evidence of employer demand for graduates)?
3)  Does the faculty expertise exist to offer the program?

Current practice in the prospectus phase is as follows:

1) the originator brings the prospectus before the Deans Council for informational purposes;

2) the originator brings the prospectus to the senate, asking that the senate recommend to the faculty endorsement of the prospectus;

3) the prospectus goes before the faculty, which recommends or does not recommend the prospectus to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA);

4) if the faculty recommends the prospectus, the VPAA reviews it and decides whether to recommend it to the president;

5) if the president approves the prospectus, she informs the VPAA who brings it before the Board of Regents.

If the Board approves the prospectus, it comes back to campus for the formal proposal phase, which is currently practiced as follows:

1) the originator details the program courses and brings it before the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC) or the Graduate Programs Committee (GPC), which recommends or does not recommend that the faculty agree to offer the degree program as written;

2) the faculty takes up the recommendation of the UCC or GPC and votes to recommend or not recommend to the VPAA that SPSU offer the program as written;

3) the formal proposal is completed and submitted to the VPAA who reviews it and forwards his recommendation to the president; 

4)  the president approves or does not approve the formal proposal as written;

5)  if the president approves the formal proposal, the VPAA submits it to the Board of Regents for approval;

6)  if the Board of Regents approves the formal proposal, the program may be offered.

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