UIC: Programs and Academic Assessment
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Revising Academic Degree Programs


Processing Program Revisions

Proposals to revise existing degree programs (e.g., changes in requirements, introduction of new required courses, elimination of existing required courses) usually originate within a department, program area, school, or a similarly organized unit. The format for this kind of proposal is in the document Format for Academic Program Changes.

A proposal is prepared, (following the established campus format as indicated above), reviewed, and acted upon at the department level in a manner that has been established by the unit. This may be accomplished by a departmental committee (educational policy committee or departmental executive committee), a department head/chair, and/or the faculty as a whole. (Note: If the proposed change affects more than one unit, then the proposal must be approved by all units involved or so affected.) Once the proposal has received department/school/program approval, the proposal is submitted to the unit to which the department/school/program reports. In most cases, this will be the college or school office.

The college/school has the right and obligation to review the proposal in terms of programmatic strength, availability and use of resources, number and quality of faculty involved, and compatibility with the mission of the college. Again, the mechanism for reviewing and acting upon the proposal is the purview of the college and may include review by college educational policy committees, executive committees, the faculty and/or other groups so designated by the dean or bylaws of the college.

Assuming that the proposal has gained the approval at the college level, it is then submitted to the Office of Programs and Academic Assessment (OPAA). OPAA will review the proposal for the proper format, the clarity of purpose, a complete description of the proposed changes, a sufficient rationale, and a new catalog statement (if needed). OPAA may work with the originating unit to clarify or revise the proposal. OPAA determines whether campus committee review is required, in accordance with campus guidelines. If campus review is necessary, the proposal is sent to the Graduate College (for programs sponsored by the Graduate College) and/or the Senate Committee on Educational Policy for review and possible action.

After Graduate College approval (if necessary), the Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP) will review and act upon the proposal. Generally, representatives from the unit sponsoring the proposal are invited to attend a SCEP meeting in order to answer questions of committee members. Occasionally, the Committee may ask for additional information or clarification of parts of the proposal.

Once the proposal has gained the approval of the Senate Committee on Educational Policy, it is forwarded to the Senate for action. At the Senate meeting, the Chair of SCEP presents to the Senate those proposals that have been approved by SCEP. Members of the Senate have the opportunity to raise questions or make comments about the proposals and, of course, have the authority to approve, reject, or table (for clarification or additional information) any proposal submitted for its review. Assuming that the proposal is approved by the UIC Senate, the proposal is classified by the Senates Conference. The next level of review depends largely on the type of programmatic change that is being made. Changes involving minor modifications to degree requirements, courses or other program-related components (e.g., honors, distinction) need go no further than the Senates Conference. Other more substantive changes (e.g., significant increase or decrease in required hours for the major, changing the title of a degree, reorganizing programs) may require the approval of or reporting to the Board of Trustees and, in some cases, the Illinois Board of Higher Education (see the section entitled Review Beyond the Campus). In all cases, the OPAA notifies the submitting units of the review process required and final approval and implementation date of the item.