Comprehensive Standards 3.5.3

The institution defines and publishes requirements for its undergraduate programs, including its general education components. These requirements conform to commonly accepted standards and practices for degree programs. (Undergraduate program requirements)   

Judgement: Compliant

Narrative:  

The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) defines and publishes general education and major requirements for all programs in the 2011-2012 Academic Catalog.  These requirements are explained to new students during mandatory orientation sessions.  In addition, students are informed about requirements by academic advisors who meet with them during registration periods.  Advisement worksheets are available for all programs of study and examples are available as follows:

To conform to commonly accepted standards and practices for program development or substantial modification, all South Carolina College and University programs require oversight approval from the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (SCCHE).  Following the SCCHE Guidelines, the academic program proposal procedure at USC Upstate consists of a two-step process: program planning summary and full program proposal.  Planning summaries, full program proposals, and program modifications are developed as follows:

STEPS FOR APPROVAL OF NEW PROGRAMS  

  1. Academic units discuss possibility of new program with Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
  2. If decision is to pursue a new program, a program summary using the SCCHE format is prepared by the unit and sent to the Senior Vice Chancellor for submission to SCCHE for approval.  Academic Affairs submits all program summaries and, as required, program proposals to SCCHE, the University of South Carolina Columbia (USC) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
  3. Once SCCHE has approved the program summary, the full program proposal is developed in collaboration with the Senior Vice Chancellor.
  4. The full program proposal is then submitted to the Academic Affairs Committee of the school or college proposing the new program.
  5. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to faculty of school or college submitting proposal.
  6. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to Academic Budget and Facilities Planning Committee.
  7. If approved, the undergraduate full program proposals are submitted to the Executive Academic Affairs Committee; the graduate full program proposals are submitted to the Graduate Committee.
  8. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to the Faculty Advisory Committee for inclusion on Faculty Senate agenda.
  9. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to Faculty Senate.
  10. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to Senior Vice Chancellor.
  11. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to Chancellor.
  12. Academic Affairs submits the full program proposal to the Office of the Provost at USC.
  13. If approved, the Office of the Provost submits the full program proposal to the President for review and approval (signature).
  14. If approved, Office of the Provost submits the full program proposal for the agenda of the Board of Trustees’ Academic Affairs and Faculty Liaison Committee.
  15. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to the Board of Trustees.
  16. If approved, Office of the Provost sends the full program proposal to SCCHE.
  17. SCCHE submits the full program proposal to the Advisory Committee on Academic Programs (ACAP)
  18. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to the SCCHE Academic Affairs and Licensing Committee (CAAL)
  19. If approved, the full program proposal is submitted to SCCHE.

Once approved, Academic Affairs submits the new program prospectus to SACS.

For each new program proposal or modification, faculty consider a well-designed structure that is related to stated student learning outcomes. Each baccalaureate degree program includes at least 120 semester credit hours of general education courses, courses in the major and free elective courses. Many degree programs also require a set of courses that constitute a minor or cognate. Faculty also consider standards from relevant accrediting agencies in developing programs. Programs such as the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology Management are accredited by their respective national accrediting agencies (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education, Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). All education degree programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Specialized accreditation ensures that degree programs are coherent and follow commonly accepted standards and practices in the relevant discipline.

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