SUBJECT: Curriculum Changes and New Degree Programs or Majors
Purpose: To provide faculty and administrators with instructions for preparation of proposals for curriculum changes and new degree programs or majors that include approvals required by the University, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Procedure for Proposing Any Curriculum Changes and New Degree Programs or Majors.
Proposals for curriculum changes and new degree programs or majors should originate within the academic department or college proposing the change. All changes must be approved at the department and college levels. Changes requiring Faculty Senate approval should be prepared using the appropriate curriculum change request form. Copies of the undergraduate and graduate forms and instructions for completing the forms are available from the Office of Graduate Studies.
- The Commission on Colleges defines substantive change as "a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution" (SACS, Policies, Procedures, Guideline , 1998-2000 Edition, p. 1). Prior to initiating any curriculum change proposals, the type of change should be reviewed in relation to the standards for substantive change to determine whether the change must be reported to Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
- All substantive changes that must be reported require either prior notification or prior approval. The timeline for contacting the Commission on Colleges (COC) before initiating the changes is established as either (a) prior to implementation, (b) six months before implementation, or (c) twelve months before implementation.
- Substantive changes may require submission of a prospectus and in some cases a site visit.
- Specific information related to procedures to follow in preparing reports of substantive change may be obtained from the Office of the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies (AVCAA and DGS).
Curriculum and Catalog Changes
- Curriculum changes include addition or deletion of courses, degree programs, majors, minors, or concentrations or revisions to any of these curriculum components. Types of revisions include changes in the course number, title, credit hours, descriptions, prerequisites or corequisites, or cross-listing as well as changes in degree titles or requirements.
- Curriculum changes must originate and be approved at the department level and then submitted to the college for approval. Proposal forms must be submitted to the Undergraduate or Graduate Councils according to the schedule printed in the university's academic calendar.
New Degree Programs or Majors
- Departments proposing new degree programs or majors should contact the AVCAA & DGS to obtain guidelines for preparation of these proposals. The department should also allow adequate time to complete the approval process through the UT Board of Trustees, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), other state agencies (such as the Department of Education or a health-related board), and any accrediting agencies including the SACS COC.
- Proposals for new majors and new degrees must follow the Format for Proposing New Academic Programs available from the AVCAA & DGS and require approval of both the UT Board of Trustees and THEC. In some cases those proposals will also need approval from SACS (see above).
- New minors and concentrations only require approval through the level of Chancellor.
Communication of the Policy
- A copy of this policy shall be
- Provided to all college deans, department chairs, college and departmental curriculum committee chairs, and the chairs of the Undergraduate and Graduate Council, and
- Placed on the Academic Affairs Policy website.
- Discussion of this policy shall be included as a part of the orientations of new academic administrators.
- All changes submitted to the Undergraduate and Graduate Councils shall be reviewed by the AVCAA & DGS to determine compliance with procedures for reporting changes beyond the campus level.
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