Academic Operational Policies

Subject: Program of Study Development, Renewal and Change Policy Number:  AOP 212
Issued by: Sr. Vice-President Academic and Chief Learning Officer Date Issued: October 2007
Supersedes: N/A Page:  1 of 6
Links:

New Program Development, Review and Renewal Process

Processing Timelines

Concept Paper for New Programs of Study

Business Plan for New Programs of Study

Revised
Date:
 October 2017

Program of Study Development, Renewal and Change Policy

Purpose

Loyalist College is committed to offering a mix of relevant programs of study that meet student and workforce needs that are supported by a rigorous quality assurance process. 

Scope

This policy applies to all programs of study offered by Loyalist College.

Definitions

Academic Year: The period from September 1st to August 31st.

  • Current academic year refers to the start date of the academic year.
  • Upcoming academic year refers to the academic year subsequent to the current academic year.
  • Prior academic year refers to the academic year previous to the current academic year.

Course: A discrete teaching and learning framework containing content that has been approved by a subject matter expert.

Curriculum: A plan for learning that is coordinated and articulated in a manner designed to result in students achieving a specified set of learning outcomes.

  • Changes may include changes made to course titles, hours of delivery, credit value, pre-requisites, co-requisites, course sequence or semester.

Program of Study: A coordinated selection of courses delivered to a student body leading to a credential or other certification or document awarded by the Board of Governors.

  • Changes may include changes made to the program’s title, number of semesters, number of program hours, number of program credits, revisions to program outcomes and/or focus, and new or amended field placement or practicum requirements.

Concept Paper: A concept paper will include:

  • Program title, type, delivery mode and credential
  • Intended date of fist intake
  • Institutional fit
  • Student and employment demand
  • Resource requriements
  • Consultation

Concept papers that are supported by a school dean will be developed into a business plan that will be presented to the Enrolment Management Team for review and approval.

Business Plan: The business plan requires:

  • Articulation of the program learning outcomes
  • Required and elective courses
  • Draft program of study including total program house
  • Curriculum map
  • Identification of any unique curriculum
  • Evidence of student demand and community needs for the program
  • Evidence of internal consultation
  • Evidence of capacity for sustainable delivery of the program
  • Admission requirements
  • Target enrolments

Policy

  1. Loyalist College’s approved programs of study will sustain currency while remaining compliant with the requirements of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development’s (MAESD) Binding Policy Directive as well as all other applicable Ministry requirements, including those prescribed by Ontario College Quality Assurance Services (OCQAS), related to the delivery and funding of programs.
    1. Program of study changes must be supported and approved by the school dean or designate and the Academic Leadership Team (ALT).
    2. Program changes may require additional approval of the Board of Governors and re-submission to MAESD and/or OCQAS, as described in the Standard Terms and Conditions of College Program Funding Approval under the College of Applied Arts and Technology Act, 2002.
    3. Proposed program and course changes should be submitted for approval by the deadlines outlined in the Program of Study Development, REnewal and Change Process in order to:
      1. Advise students on course registrations and graduation requirements;
      2. Accurately promote programs of study online and in print advertising; and,
      3. Support College-wide planning and budgeting processes.
    4. In some instances, immediate changes to programs and/or courses are needed and will be implemented upon approval by the Academic Leadership Team.
    5. Typically, approved curriculum changes will take effect for students entering into the first semester of a program and the existing curriculum will be followed for students already enrolled in the program.
  2. Suggestions for new programs of study may originate with College staff, members of the Board of Governors, Advisory Committees, or any individual associated with Loyalist College. All ideas will be initially collated by Institutional Research for exploration.
    1. Consideration of external accrediting body requirements will be included in discussions related to the development of curriculum, where necessary.
    2. Provincial program standards or descriptions inform program development and curriculum review.
  3. Program delivery methods will be appropriate to content and design and are supported by College systems, services and resources.
  4. To ensure quality, effectiveness and currency, programs are reviewed on an annual basis. Additionally, comprehensive program reviews occur every five (5) years as prescribed by the College’s Program Quality Assurance (PQA) process unless circumstances identified in the annual reflection indicate the need for a comprehensive review outside of the PQA cycle.
  5. Program of study renewal may be initiated for many reasons (quality assurance, changes to a program standard, external accreditation requirements, etc.) and will be facilitated within the College’s PQA standards.

Responsibility

  1. Faculty will collaboratively review their programs of study and course(s) with their program teams annually to ensure efficiency and currency and will participate in a comprehensive review every five (5) years as per the prescribed PQA schedule.
  2. School deans will review and support concept papers for new programs of study and will review and support proposed change(s) to existing programs of study and courses, as appropriate.
  3. The Enrolment Management Team will review and approve new program of study concept papers and business plans, as appropriate.
  4. The Academic Leadership Team will review and approved proposed change(s) to existing programs of study, as appropriate.
  5. The College Executive Team (CET) and the Board of Governors will review and approve new program of study business plans, as appropriate.

Procedure

  1. Program of Study Development
    1. The new program of study development process can be initiated by anyone in the College community. Ideas are sent to Institutional Research for further exploration through preparation of a concept paper and will seek a dean who would champion and own the program. Upon acceptance by a dean, Institutional Research will prepare a business plan that will be reviewed and supported by the dean that will then be reviewed, supported and approved by the Enrolment Management Team.
    2. The implications of the introduction of the proposed new program of study will be discussed with all academic and support areas of the College that will be impacted through discussion with the Enrolment Management Team, the composition of which includes all required stakeholders for consultation. If the business plan is approved by the Enrolment Management Team, it will then go to the College Executive Team for approval and the Credentials Validation Service (CVS) submission and curriculum can then be prepared collaboratively by the Office of Teaching and Learning and the subject matter expert(s).
    3. Upon approval by the College Executive Team, the business plan will be taken to the Academic, Student Affairs and Advocacy (ASAA) sub-committee of the Board of Governors for consideration and approval. Upon approval from ASAA, the business plan will then be taken to the Board of Governors for final approval.
    4. For provincial credential programs, the Office of the Senior Vice-President, Academic and Chief Learning Officer will facilitate the required funding approval from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD).
    5. Upon approval by MAESD, the Office of the Senior Vice-President, Academic and Chief Learning Officer will:
      1. Share the appropriate approval documents with all appropriate stakeholders; 
      2. Determine the program launch strategy in collaboration with the dean; and,
      3. Add the program to the PQA schedule.
    6. Upon approval by MAESD, the dean’s office will make all necessary arrangements for hiring, scheduling, facilities, and any other required resources in preparation of start-up.
    7. Upon approval by MAESD, the Registrar will arrange the required set-up with financial aid and admissions.
    8. Upon approval by MAESD, Marketing and Communications will work collaboratively with the dean and program team on the promotional strategy.
  2. A post-implementation update will be required in the form of an annual report following the completion of the third academic year. The dean will submit this report to the Senior Vice-President, Academic and Chief Learning Officer who will present it to the Board of Governors.
  3. Program of Study Renewal
    1. Program of study renewal can be initiated in a number of ways including program quality assurance requirements, changes to, or development of provincial standards, changes to industry requirements, standards or regulations, or application for external program accreditation from a professional body.
    2. Depending on the type of review required, program teams or deans may request data from Institutional Research to help inform the review.
    3. The Office of Teaching and Learning will work with program teams on curriculum review as well as various mapping exercises as needed to suit the review or renewal requirements. In instances of significant change to a program, it may be necessary for the Office of Teaching and Learning to re-submit a program to the Credential Validation Service (CVS) for re-validation. Likewise, significant change to a program of study may also require a re-submission of the application for funding to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, which will be facilitated by the Office of the Senior Vice-President, Academic and Chief Learning Officer.
  4. Program of Study Change(s)
    1. Program of study changes and rationale are provided by the faculty team requesting the change(s) to the dean’s office. The office coordinator inputs the change(s) into the College’s system and sends it to the Academic Leadership Team for review and approval.
    2. Consideration of the implications of the proposed change(s) and consultation with any other affected school or support unit must occur in advance of this submission.
    3. The Academic Leadership Team reviews proposed changes based on the following criteria:
      1. The change(s) is requested within the appropriate timeframe.
      2. The curriculum and course change(s) meet the requirements of the Ministry’s Framework for Programs of Instruction (also known as the Credentials Framework).
      3. Course names are consistent and identify courses that appear to be similar to other courses.
      4. Identify substantial changes (more than 25%) that may require review by either OCQAS or MAESD.
    4. If the criteria have been met, the Academic Leadership Team will approve the program change(s) in the College’s system via a designate from the Office of the Senior Vice-President, Academic and Chief Learning Officer.
    5. If the criteria have not been met, the Academic Leadership Team will send their recommendations to the dean’s office through the College’s system via a designate from the Office of the Senior Vice-President, Academic and Chief Learning Officer. Further changes can then be submitted by the dean’s office to the Academic Leadership Team for consideration.
  5. Course Changes
    1. Change(s) to a course’s delivery method, credit value, pre-requisites, co-requisites and equivalencies are provided by the faculty team requesting the change(s) to the dean’s office. The office coordinator inputs the change(s) into the College’s system and sends it to the dean for approval.
    2. The dean will either approve the course change(s) in the College’s system or they will send their recommendations for further amendments via the College’s system. A designate from the dean’s office will communicate this feedback to the faculty team as necessary. Further changes can be submitted to the dean’s office for consideration.
  6. Communication of Approved Changes
    1. Approved changes are automatically updated in the student information system for the purposes of registration and graduation requirements, as well as on the College’s website for marketing purposes.