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Creating, Revising, Suspending, or Eliminating an Academic Program Heading link
Creating, revising, and eliminating academic programs, as well as other administrative changes to programs, centers, instructional units, etc. follow the same, multi-step governance pathway from the department to college and beyond. Not all proposals are required to go through every step; it varies depending on the type and scope of the request. The campus Office of Academic Programs outlines the process and links to required forms on their website. (NOTE: OAP is working with the Senate Committee on Educational Policy to revise forms. Check back in late Fall 2022 for updated versions.)
When is a program revision needed?
The UIC Academic Catalog is, for all intents and purposes, the official rule book of program requirements. Students can only be held to program requirements spelled out in the catalog. The curriculum belongs to the faculty of the university, so changing those requirements in any way requires a formal review process governed by faculty. This includes adding or removing a course option from a selective course requirement. Departments (DUS/DGS) have the authority to grant students individual exceptions to an existing requirement; however, these should truly be exceptional situations. If the department is regularly granting exceptions, it may be that either the requirements or the department’s course rotation need a closer look.
Proposal form. Outlines and justifies the department’s proposition. Most proposals use the Format for Academic Program Changes form, but a few require specialized forms, including proposals for new degrees and new certificates. The UIC Office of Academic Programs (OAP) website provides links to the necessary forms, sample proposals, and outlines the curricular governance process required for each kind of administrative or academic proposal. NOTE: OAP is working with the Senate Committee on Educational Policy to revise forms. Check back in late Fall 2022 for updated versions.
Catalog statement. In proposals for program revisions, this involves a side-by-side comparison chart of the old and revised catalog statements. This is done in the proposal document, following the completed form.
Proposals for new minors and certificates should also include a prepared catalog statement at the end of the form. For new degrees, it may be a separate document. Not required for proposals to eliminate a program.
CRS forms & Course information. If the proposal adds a required course to the program, the CRS form for the newly-required course is submitted to the LAS EPC along with the proposal. More frequently, the proposal form itself will include an “Impacted Courses” section, where information on relevant courses is taken from the catalog for the reviewers’ convenience. Relevant courses must be updated in CRS before the LAS EPC reviews the proposal so that they receive the latest information.
Department approvals. If a department wishes to add to their academic program a course housed in another academic unit, written approval from said unit must be appended to the proposal. Email exchanges are sufficient as documentation. This also applies in any case where another unit is impacted by the proposal (ex. heavily interdisciplinary programs proposed by only one unit, making interdepartmental graduate concentrations open to additional grad programs, etc.)
Budgetary forms. Typically required for proposals related to the creation of an academic program, instructional unit, research center, etc. The kind of budgetary documentation required may vary depending on the kind of proposal. (In cases where a proposed academic program is comprised entirely of existing courses, this requirement may be deemed unnecessary.)
Updating the Catalog
Once the proposal has worked its way through the governance process, the Office of Academic Programs will alert the catalog and other relevant offices. The catalog office will revise the program page based on the updated catalog entry submitted in the proposal. This is done on a rolling basis as proposals are approved for inclusion.
The undergraduate and graduate catalogs are updated in alternating years. As part of this process, the department will be asked to review their program page(s). At that time, the department may update program contacts and revise descriptive language about the program, but absolutely no changes can be made to the program itself or its requirements without going through the formal review process.
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Academic Program Rules & Requirements Heading link
Program Review and Assessment Heading link
The UIC Office of Academic Program Review and Assessment (APRA) works with academic units to evaluate student learning and to use the findings to identify ways of improving future learning. They coordinate two main kinds of program evaluation: 1) degree program assessments and 2) program reviews, and also oversee regular assessment of general education coursework. Of these, Directors of Undergraduate Study tend to be most involved in the two-year degree program assessment cycle.
Degree Program Assessment
APRA communicates with the program director (DUS/DGS) regarding the two-year assessment cycle:
- Year One: Assess a program-level learning objective. Submit the Degree Program Assessment Results Report via Qualtrics.
- Year Two: Implement recommendations for improvements that came out of the results report. Submit the Implementation Report via Qualtrics.
The goal of assessment is to answer key questions such as: What are students expected to know and be able to do at the end of the program? How do we know that students have achieved this? In what ways do we use the assessment results for improvement of student learning? To gain the most benefit from this process, develop a strategic plan for assessment.