Premise. All student degree programs undergo faculty review and approval. For individualized degree programs, center assessment committees are the locus of program review and approval. A parallel process of timely faculty review should be put in place for programs designed to serve special groups of students through a pre-structured curriculum.
Development of center review procedures. Each center is to develop a review process for pre-structured curricula. Center procedures for review of pre-structured curricula should be proposed to the Office of Academic Affairs for approval by May 1 1996. The review body may be an existing committee, such as the academic review committee or assessment committee, a committee of the whole or a committee created specifically for this purpose. The review must include consultation with at least one faculty member from outside the center who has academic expertise relevant to the proposed program. Changes to center or regional procedures should be reported in the annual center/regional planning and budget document.
If a program involves more than one center, but is confined to a single region, a regional review and approval is called for and the region should designate or create a review body for this purpose. When the College’s regional structure does not fit a proposed program, group of similar programs, student clientele, or sponsor, the Office of Academic Affairs will create a review team, similar to those created for generic evaluations, that will include representatives of the relevant area(s) of study.
Elements of program proposals. Program proposals should resemble individual degree program plans. The proposal should contain a degree program outline that conforms to College policy. A rationale must indicate the target audience, relate the program to the College’s mission and describe how the program meets applicable area of study guidelines. The rationale should explain how the degree program provides for breadth of learning within the concentration and within general learning. It should also explain how the pre-structured program enables students to develop capacities that are central to ESC’s educational philosophy: ability to articulate and pursue educational goals, ability to engage in self-assessment of skills and learning ability to engage in self-directed learning, ability to use a broad range of learning resources, including those that are technology-based.
The proposal should give particular attention to the nature of educational planning in the program. Pre-structured programs present a degree program design that may obviate the need for certain aspects of the conventional educational planning contract. While there are other academic objectives commonly called "educational planning," these may also be addressed outside the context of program design and prior learning assessment. Such objectives include: orientation to college study, liberal studies and/or professional issues and perspectives; assessment and enhancement of skills; reflection on educational and professional goals; and clarification of College and program expectations. The proposal should indicate whether the program’s educational planning tasks are sufficient to warrant academic credit. If the proposal includes a request for an exception to the requirement of a course/contract labeled "educational planning," it should describe what credit and non credit activities will assure proper advisement and orientation of students.
The proposal should describe standard components of the program, e.g., group studies, courses, and any special CBE features. Ideally, the proposal would also state the expected outcomes of the program and indicate how entry level skills and exit-level performance will be assessed at individual and programmatic levels.
When the program has elements not within the expertise of center faculty, appropriately qualified experts from elsewhere within or outside the College should be involved in program development. The proposal should explicitly address how individuals with appropriate expertise, as academics and/or as practitioners, have been involved. Instructional design expertise appropriate to the delivery model should be represented in the development process, e.g., CDL faculty or staff for distance delivery, faculty with expertise in field-based education for practicum components, etc.
The center director or other program developer must consult the Office of Academic Affairs at the beginning of the program development process. For programs within a single center/region, program development and review should then proceed according to local procedures, with preliminary reporting and consultation outside the center as appropriate. When a center/region approves a new pre-structured program, the proposal should then be forwarded to the Office of Academic Affairs for final review and approval. Approvals of new programs will be reported to APLPC and the appropriate area of study.
For programs that cut across regional divisions, the program developer will work with the Office of Academic Affairs to arrange appropriate consultation and review.
Outline for Proposals for Pre-Structured Curricula
Policy: Advanced Standing: Policies and Procedures That Govern the Assessment of Prior Learning Procedure: Considerations for the Review of Credit Bearing Programs