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WCSU Faculty Handbook : Curriculum and Academic Standards

Approval of Programs at the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education[1]

Board of Regents Approval Processes

All of the processes of program approval, revision, and closure at the Board of Regents mirror those of WCSU.  You should anticipate a minimum of four months at the BOR and then another six weeks for approval to offer Title IV Funds for new programs. As a general rule, planning for BOR review will include:

 

  1. Development of documentation to conform with BOR guidelines. The Provost/VPAA will review prior to moving the proposal forward to the Academic Council.
  2. Academic Council will review first a Concept Paper, then a Proposal. Plan for a minimum of two visits as you incorporate feedback from the Concept Paper into the Proposal. If approved, it moves to Academic and Student Affairs.
  3. Academic and Student Affairs will review the Proposal approved by Academic Council. If approved, it moves to the full Board of Regents as part of the Consent Agenda votes.
  4. At each stage, representatives of the program must be available to answer questions.

 

If approved by the full board, WCSU will then need approval from the federal government to offer financial aid (Title 4 funds).  This frequently takes up to four months.  Some degrees also require review at the Office of Higher Education.

Appropriate forms for the BOR can be found here:  http://www.ct.edu/academics/approval

The Academic Council is composed of the Principal Academic Officers from all institutions under the BOR: the College Deans at CC System, the Provosts/AVPs at the CSUS and COSC. Meetings are planned and facilitated by BOR Academic and Student Affairs Staff.

Constituent Units of Higher Education are: the Connecticut Community College System, the Connecticut State University System, Charter Oak State College, and the University of Connecticut. Administrative processes within these units may require additional information and review beyond what is outlined or required in this document and related process forms. For example, any certificate program created at a CC System institution, even if below threshold for BOR approval, requires an administrative review and entry of such program and its courses in the of system-level operated programmatic database.

 

 

Board of Regents Summary of Required Approvals


CONNECTICUT BOARD OF REGENTS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION

Connecticut State Colleges & Universities

Academic Programs Requiring Action by Board of Regents

  1. New Programs:
    CSCU institutions must seek approval to establish an academic program that has not been previously approved by either the Board of Regents or one of its predecessor governing bodies.  New programs are:

    1. A new academic major
    2. A new degree program
    3. A new stand-alone certificate program that is Title IV eligible

    Institutions shall seek approval of new degree and/or certificate programs either as Licensure or simultaneous Licensure and Accreditation:

    1. Licensure, normally granted for a period of three years, authorizing the enrollment of students and their advancement toward the completion of degree requirements; or
    2. Licensure and Accreditation, simultaneously authorizing the enrollment and award of credentials to students. The accreditation action is considered renewed with each regional accreditation of the institution. Simultaneous licensure and accreditation is generally sought for new degree and certificate programs that are closely related to a set of already existing programs and aligned with institutional strengths.

    New degree programs are normally submitted for licensure only, to be accredited after three years.  Certificates normally are licensed and accredited simultaneously.

  2. Modification of Accredited Program:
    A program modification is the substantive change to an academic program previously approved by either the Board of Regents or a predecessor.  CSCU institutions must seek approval for the following instances as program modifications:

    1. Creation of a new undergraduate certificate program of more than 30 course credit hours belonging to a previously approved baccalaureate major;
    2. Creation of a new undergraduate certificate program of more than 30 course credit hours belonging to a previously approved associate degree program;
    3. Creation of a new baccalaureate minor of more than 18 course credit hours;
    4. Creation of a new undergraduate option or certificate program of more than 15 course credit hours not falling within a previously approved program;
    5. Creation of a new graduate option or certificate program of more than 12 course credit hours not falling within a previously approved program;
    6. Significant modifications in courses or course substitutions of more than 15 credits in a previously approved undergraduate degree program;
    7. Significant modifications in courses or course substitutions of more than 12 credits in a previously approved graduate degree program;
    8. Authorization for an approved program to be offered at an off-campus location or using an alternative modality (e.g. on ground to online); and
    9. A change in the title of a degree or title of program

    Modification below the thresholds of items a) through g) above may also require approval if the respective credential is required by existing state regulations for a licensed profession or work area.

  3. Accreditation of Licensed Program

    CSCU institutions must seek approval for the accreditation of a licensed program in a timely fashion – prior to the expiration of the initial three-year licensure period and/or the inaugural awarding of the program’s credential.

  4. Discontinuation of Existing Program
    CSCU institutions must seek approval to discontinue an existing academic program previously approved by either the Board of Regents or a predecessor.  Program discontinuation consists of a Phase Out period during which time students in the program graduate and a Termination Step in which the program is taken off the official list of existing academic programs maintained by the Office of Higher Education (OHE).  Program discontinuation should:

    1. Occur in the context of a related academic improvement (e.g., the merging of programs with declining enrollments/completions into a new program that effectively addresses relevant state needs and students’ interest);
    2. Emerge as a result of the periodic Academic Program Review process at the institution in compliance with existing Board of Regents policy and procedures;
    3. Other institutional considerations such as redirecting capacity, adoption of a new mission, strategic planning, etc.

    Program discontinuation should not impact state priorities for workforce preparation.

  5. Suspension of Existing Program
    CSCU institutions must seek approval to suspend an existing academic program previously approved by either the Board of Regents or a predecessor.  The application for a suspension requires a rationale for the suspension and follow-up plans.  Program suspension consists of a Phase Out/Teach Out period during which time the institution ensures that students currently enrolled will be provided opportunities to complete the program and a projection as to when the program is to be reinstated or deleted.

Academic Programs that are Information Item Only

The following non-substantive instances require that CSCU institutions submit a Below-Threshold New Academic Offering Information Report Form to the CSCU System Office of the Provost for inclusion in the agendas of the CSCU Academic Council, the Board of Regents’ Academic and Student Affairs Committee and the Board of Regents as an information item.  These instances do not require a Board resolution:

  1. New minors, concentrations, options, specializations or certificate programs not classified in the categories requiring Board of Regents action; i.e.:
    1. An undergraduate certificate or program of 30 course credit hours or fewer that falls within an approved program;
    2. A new baccalaureate minor of 18 or fewer course credit hours;
    3. A new undergraduate option or certificate program of 15 or fewer course credit hours;
    4. A new graduate option or certificate program of 12 or fewer course credit hours
    5. Programs that do not qualify students to become eligible for federal student financial aid.

 

[1] Sec. 253. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2011) Notwithstanding sections 10a-34 to 10a-35, inclusive, of the general statutes, as amended by this act, the Board of Regents for Higher Education shall have the authority, in accordance with the provisions of said sections 10a-34 to 10a-35, inclusive, as amended by this act, over academic degrees awarded by public institutions of higher education, including the (1) operation of public institutions of higher education and the programs offered by such public institutions of higher education, (2) licensure and accreditation of public institutions of higher education and programs offered by such public institutions of higher education, (3) evaluation and approval of applications to confer academic degrees made by public institutions of higher education, and (4) assessment of any violation by a public institution of higher education of the authority of said board as described in subdivisions (1) to (3), inclusive, of this section and the imposition of a penalty for such violation.