Source:   UIC Office of Programs and Academic Assessment Website

Establishing New Academic Degree Programs


New Undergraduate and Professional Program Proposals

From time to time, units will propose the establishment of a new undergraduate or professional degree program in keeping with the program development objectives of those units.

In order to prepare a proposal for a new undergraduate or professional degree program, the authors must follow a format prescribed by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. It is a rather lengthy and involved process calling upon the proposers to address specific issues and concerns of the IBHE, to provide information, and to complete tables with required data. Proposals are comprised of two documents which follow the IBHE format: (1) the Notice of Intent for a New Unit of Administration, Research or Public Service. and (2) Application for a new Administrative, Research or Public Service Unit.

A new program proposal must pass through the proposing unit and the college (e.g., executive committee, educational policy committee, faculty), and then it is forwarded on to the Office of Programs and Academic Assessment (OPAA). When OPAA is satisfied that the proposal is in the proper IBHE format and responds to all of the items required by the Board, OPAA will then submit it to the Senate Committee on Educational Policy. Nota bene: In almost every case involving a new degree program proposal, OPAA will work closely with the proposing unit to ensure that the document is complete in every aspect. What this usually means is that no proposal is forwarded to SCEP by OPAA on its first submission. There are always requests for clarification, additional information, and rewriting. The purpose of the closer scrutiny is to make certain that the proposal will be in the best form possible when it is ultimately sent to the IBHE.

When the Office of Programs and Academic Assessment is satisfied that the proposal is in good shape, it will be sent to the Senate Committee on Educational Policy, where it will be reviewed by the Subcommittee on Undergraduate Education or the Subcommittee on Graduate and Professional Education and the full SCEP. Once it has passed SCEP, the proposal goes on to the Senate for action. In the case of new degree programs, review by the University Senates Conference, the University Board of Trustees and the Illinois Board of Higher Education is required. Please refer to the section entitled Review Beyond the Campus for a detailed description of the higher level review process.