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Program Proposals

Academic Program Proposals

This is WVU's process for proposing new or changing existing academic programs, majors, minors, and areas of emphasis. See the WVU Catalog for official academic definitions.

General Timeline Considerations for Review and Approval

All changes to academic programs (programs, majors, minors, and areas of emphasis) only become active at the start of the fall term.

In order for changes to academic programs to be active in the fall term, all changes must be approved through all levels of review (including the Board of Governors) by April 30th.

The workflow prior to Board of Governors approval generally includes:

  1. Department curriculum committee
  2. Department chair
  3. College curriculum committee
  4. College dean
  5. Relevant provost (academic programs)
  6. Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee (all courses and undergraduate programs) or Graduate Council (graduate programs)
  7. Faculty Senate Executive Committee
  8. Faculty Senate

See the program approval timeline for crucial dates in getting curriculum approved and make sure to include time for the process to go through your local (department and college) reviews.

Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee will review all elements of intents to plan, program proposals, and specific information about the proposed major, minor, or area of emphasis. The program proposal or change initiator is responsible for supplying complete and accurate information about all elements of intents to plan, program proposal, and specific information about the proposed major, minor, or area of emphasis.

The Course Inventory Management (CIM) fields detailed below will reference when department-level reviewers, college/school-level reviewers, and provost-level reviewers should also review those fields.

Proposing New Academic Programs

New degree programs, certificates, and majors must be approved by the Board of Governors after being passed by the faculty senate. Programs and colleges will work in consultation with the Office of the Registrar and the Provost's Office to determine what should qualify as a new program or a new major through review  of existing degree designations, titles, CIP codes, and other concerns.

See the program approval timeline for more information to assist you in planning when to submit new degree programs and/or majors.

Intent to Plan

Proposals for new degree programs, certificates, and new majors must be preceded by an Intent to Plan.

Note: Approved intent to plans expire after one full calendar year and will need to be updated and resubmitted before a program or major proceeds to a full proposal.

  1. Program student learning outcomes: these should be clear, measurable, appropriate in number, and appropriate to the degree level.
    1. For help writing strong learning outcomes, see the Curriculum Committee's guide as well as the Teaching and Learning Commons' site.
  2. Mission: Explain the relationship of the program to WVU's mission.
  3. Summary of content: There should also be a brief description of the program's or major's content.This does NOT need to be an exhaustive list for the intent to plan but, rather, an idea of the major content areas the program or major will cover.
  4. Commitment to assessment: this section should lay out the program's general anticipated assessment plan, including how it will gather and use direct assessment of the program's student learning outcomes for program improvement .
  5. Partnership agreements: indicate whether any other departments within WVU (either at Morgantown, Keyser, or Beckley) will deliver required coursework and include plans that secure partnership agreements and/or letters of support with those units and the relevant dean’s office(s). Contractual or consortial agreements should also be disclosed here, if they exist.  Ensure that the program is being delivered at a currently approved location – Morgantown, Keyser, Beckley.
  6. Disclose other institutions in West Virginia that offer similar programs.
  7. Program necessity: provide market analysis or other research that demonstrates a regional need for the program or major.  
    1. Programs must include the required information from JobsEQ. Contact Robynn Shannon or your academic units licensed JobsEQ user for assistance.
    2. Programs and majors that will be delivered online may request WVU Online to provide them with an additional feasibility study.
  8. Resources: address any and all additional resources (faculty, space, financial) needed. If there are transitional monies and/or donated start-up fund connected to the new program or major, indicate how those resources will be replaced once they are depleted.
  9. Modality: indicate what portion, if any, of the program will be delivered through distance learning. If the program is intended to be delivered more than 50% online, a letter of support from WVU Online must be included.

Program Proposals

Degree Programs

  1. Mission: Further develop the connection of the program to the institution's goals, objectives, strategic and/or master plan.
  2. Further development: Indicate what development has occurred since the intent to plan. What resources (e.g. personnel, financial, equipment) have already been invested in this program? Have there been any significant changes or improvements in the development process since the review of the intent to plan?
  3. Anticipated need: Expand upon the anticipated need by addressing the specific population(s) the program will serve and what the specific needs of that population are that the program will meet. Indicate interest on the part of industry, research, other academic institutions, governmental agencies, or other indicators to justify the need for the program. 
    1. Reference the JobsEQ data as well as other data sources that confirm the anticipated need. Contact Robynn Shannon or your academic units licensed JobsEQ user for assistance.
  4. Employment opportunities: Present an evidence-based projection of employment opportunities for program graduates. Include data and references to support this evaluation and indicate the types and number of jobs for which such a program is appropriate. 
    1. Reference the JobsEQ data as well as other data sources that confirm the anticipated need. Contact Robynn Shannon or your academic units licensed JobsEQ user for assistance.
  5. Internal impact: Describe the impact this program will have on other programs that it will support or that will support it. Provide letters of agreement when relevant, particularly when the program will be dependent upon another program(s) or other program(s) intend to be dependent upon it. This is true for those units providing prerequisite, required, or elective courses, undergraduate programs that will feed into graduate programs and graduate programs that will be fed by undergraduate programs.
  6. Cooperative arrangements: list the cooperative arrangements that have been explored, including clinical affiliations, internship opportunities, personnel exchanges, and equipment sharing. Provide letters of support or agreement for those arrangements that have already been finalized and/or for those which are essential for program delivery.
  7. Administrative organization: explain what changes, if any, will be required in departmental, divisional, school, college, or institutional organization. If the program will carry specialized accreditation, indicate what position(s) will be responsible for ensuring good standing.
  8. Projected enrollment:  project the enrollment for the program in the first five years. The program should address what other institutions in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia and Maryland offer similar programs and how that is likely to impact enrollment. If the program will not be fully developed within its first five years, indicate the size of the program in terms of anticipated enrollment upon maturity and the expected timeline to reach maturity.
    1. Reference the JobsEQ data as well as other data sources that confirm the anticipated need. Contact Robynn Shannon or your academic units licensed JobsEQ user for assistance.

Majors

  1. Admission standards: what are the standards for admission into the program and their relationship to the program objectives.
  2. Performance standards: what are the performance standards and their relationship to the program objective. These are the standards for students to continue in and complete the major.
  3. Is the proposed major or a similar major offered at another WVU location (Morgantown, Keyser, or Beckley) or are there plans to offer it at another location in the future?
    1. If yes, attach a letter of agreement or support with the relevant academic unit(s) and location(s).
  4. Assessment:  provide an assessment plan to assure quality of the program and improvement of student learning.
  5. Funding: Identify the resource needs and the source of funding for each of the following
    1. Be clear about how you are arriving at these numbers
      1. Faculty: Indicate number, probable rank, experience level, and cost of new faculty for the five year start up period. Indicate the effects on any existing faculty who will teach in the program and what effects this might have on those faculty's current programs.
      2. Library Resources: Evaluate existing library resources (eg. personnel, journals, research databases,etc.) and instructional materials and estimate the cost of any additional resources necessary.
      3. Support Services: Indicate the nature of any additional support services required (tutoring, advising, graduate assistants, laboratories, computer facilities, equipment, etc.)
      4. Facilities: Will the major require new space or facilities or the remodeling of existing space? If yes, provide details for such spaces and their estimated cost. 
      5. Operational Costs: Provide a summary of any additional operating costs not already disclosed by the type of expenditure.
  6. Does the proposed curriculum include course prerequisites or course requirements taught by another academic unit?
    1. If yes, include a letter of agreement or support with that unit(s).
  7. Describe the pattern of availability for all courses and prerequisites.
  8. Modality should indicate what portion, if any, of the program will be delivered through distance learning. 
    1. If the program is intended to be delivered more than 50% online, a letter of support from WVU Online must be included.
    1. Curriculum requirements and Catalog information:  this should include all course requirements, minimum grade and GPA requirements.
      1. A suggested plan of study is required for all undergraduate programs and majors.

    Minors

    1. Student learning outcomes: proposals for a new minor should include the minor’s student learning outcomes. These should be clear and measurable (though minors need not be assessed).
    2. Additional resources: address if any additional resources are needed and, if so, specify what those are.
    3. Evidence of need: address the anticipated internal audiences that would benefit from the proposed minor and the potential value-added to prospective employers.
    4. Review that no other similar minors are currently offered.
      1. If a similar minor does exist, how does the proposed minor differ in terms of content and/or student learning outcomes?
    5. Partnership agreements: indicate whether any other departments within WVU (either at Morgantown, Keyser, or Beckley) will deliver required coursework and include plans that secure partnership agreements and/or letters of support with those units and the relevant dean’s office(s).
    6. Describe the pattern of availability for all courses and prerequisites.
    7. Modality: indicate what portion, if any, of the program will be delivered through distance learning.
      1. If the program is intended to be delivered more than 50% online, a letter of support from WVU Online should be included.
    8. Curriculum requirements and Catalog information: include all course requirements, minimum grade and GPA requirements.

    Areas of Emphasis

    1. Student learning outcomes: proposals for a new area of emphasis should include the aoe’s intended student learning outcomes. These should be clear, measurable, appropriate in number, and appropriate to the degree level. They should also be distinct from but aligned with the program learning outcomes
    2. If any additional resources are needed, those should be specified.
    3. Evidence of need: address the anticipated internal audiences that would benefit from the proposed area of emphasis and the potential value-added to prospective employers.
    4. Partnership agreements: indicate whether any other departments within WVU (either at Morgantown, Keyser, or Beckley) will deliver required coursework and include plans that secure partnership agreements and/or letters of support with those units and the relevant dean’s office(s).
    5. Describe the pattern of availability for all courses and prerequisites.
    6. Modality: indicate what portion, if any, of the program will be delivered through distance learning.
      1. If the program is intended to be delivered more than 50% online, a letter of support from WVU Online should be included.
    7. Curriculum requirements and Catalog information: include all course requirements, minimum grade and GPA requirements.

    Program Changes and Deactivations

    Programs, majors, areas of emphasis, and minors may be changed or deactivated.  To do this,  login to CIM Programs.

    Program deactivations require a plan to teach-out the students who are currently enrolled in the program so that they can successfully complete the degree. Program deactivations also require BOG approval.

    Changes to Programs, Majors, Areas of Emphasis, and Minors typically involve changes to course requirements and/or sequencing and will be reviewed through the same workflow as new program and major proposals.