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With a focus on learning, we employ a range of strategies to support innovation, collaboration across centers, and university-wide discussion and decision-making


New Program Review at NSU

Nova Southeastern University encourages the development of new and innovative academic programs which advance its mission. The development of new programs is facilitated by the New Program Review Committee (NPRC) whose members provide support and counsel for academic units seeking approval of proposals. Part of this university-wide committee's goal is to ensure that future growth and development of the university occurs in an orderly manner. Additionally, the review process contributes to the quality of the proposed programs and increases their probability of success. It is the only process permitted by the Board of Trustees for the approval of substantially new academic programs.

  1. Program Request: The process by which a new program proposal is reviewed, evaluated, and approved is displayed in the Flow Chart in Appendix A. Requests to initiate a new program originate from the academic unit(s) with support from the respective dean(s). A concept paper may be developed for advance review by the University Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Chancellor of the Health Professions as appropriate. All new degree programs will be considered in the context of the university's mission, strategic plan, and current academic degree offerings. The initial proposal is submitted to the Office of Academic Review who will forward it to the chair of the NPRC. The chair of the NPRC will then assign a consultant from the NPRC to serve as a facilitator in the proposed program development and approval. After completion of the proposal and fully endorsed New Program Proposal Resources Form  (Appendix B), the chair of the NPRC forwards it to the New Program Review Committee for consideration and review. If the NPRC recommends approval, the new program proposal is forwarded to the Academic Council for review and approval. Recommendations for approval from the Academic Council are forwarded to the University Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, then to the President who brings a recommendation for approval of a new program to the Board of Trustees for action.
  2. New Program Resources Form: Along with the program proposal (as outlined in Section C), the program sponsor(s) must prepare and submit the New Program Resources Form (Appendix B) with signatures from representatives from several offices on campus who provide technical assistance and advice in specific related areas as shown in the table below:

    Office/Administrative Unit Function
    Institutional Effectiveness To assure that the program fits within the parameters of SACS
    Office of State Licensing To assure that the program fits within the state guidelines and laws
    Computing Services, Library To evaluate the impact of the program on learning resources
    Office(s) of Vice President for Finance To analyze the financial impact
    Facilities Management and Physical Plant To assess the impact on the facilities
    Office of Enrollment and Student Services To assure the necessary program curriculum is clearly articulated
    Office of Information Technology To evaluate the impact on technology
    Office of Legal Affairs To review contracts, if any exist
  3. Proposal Development The academic unit (or assigned program sponsor) is responsible for collecting all documentation for the new program. The new program proposal should follow the SACS guidelines for a new program (or substantive change) listed below. Online programs should also complete the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Electronic Campus Principles/Criteria (See Appendix C for the 2006 guideline). Please note: the proposal, not including appendices, should not exceed 20 pages, double –spaced, 12- point font. If the proposal is for a Ph.D. program, it must be in compliance with the University Guidelines for Ph.D. Programs (Appendix F).
    1. Executive Summary: Describe the proposed new program; its location; initial date of implementation; projected number of students, if applicable; description of primary target audience; projected life of the program (single cohort or ongoing); and instructional delivery methods.(Not to exceed one page).
    2. Background Information: Provide a clear statement of the nature and purpose of the new program in the context of the unit's mission and goals; evidence of the legal authority for the change (if authorization is required by the governing board or the state); and whether the proposed degree program or similar program is offered on the main campus, at other off-campus sites, or online.
    3. Comparable Programs: List three programs from other academic institutions comparable to the proposed new program. Information about these programs will be gathered by the Office of Academic Review.
    4. Assessment of Need and Program Planning/Approval: Discuss the rationale for the new program, including an assessment of need through such areas as market analysis of student demand, employer needs assessment, market position/potential, and competition; evidence of inclusion of the change in the institution's ongoing planning and evaluation processes; and documentation that faculty and other groups were involved in the review and approval of the new site or program.
    5. Description of New Program: Provide a description of the proposed new program; including the specific outcomes and learning objectives of the program, a schedule of proposed course offerings and description, explain all modalities and caps on enrollment and course size and for the first year a copy of the course syllabi. Please differentiate between existing and new courses that would need to be developed. In the case of changes involving the initiation of branch campuses or off-site programs, indicate the educational program to be offered. Describe any differences in admission, curriculum, or graduation requirements for students enrolled at the new site(s), or any special arrangements for grading, transcripts, or transfer policies. Describe administrative oversight to ensure the quality of the program or services to be offered.
    6. Budget: Provide a fiscal analysis using the New Program Proposal Budget Form (see Appendix G). A fillable PDF form is available on the New Program Review website.
    7. Faculty: Provide a complete roster (using the Roster of Instructional Staff form; see Appendix D) of those faculty who will teach in the program(s), including a description of those faculty member's academic qualifications, course load in the new program as well as course(s) work taught in other programs currently offered and the percentage of individual faculty member's time assigned to program; evidence that adequate faculty members are assigned to support the program; and the impact of the new initiative on faculty workload.
    8. Library and Learning Resources: Describe library and information resources—general as well as specific to the program—and staffing and services that are in place to support the initiative; if reliant upon other libraries, describe those collections and their relevance to the proposed program(s); include a copy of formal agreements in the appendix; relative to electronic resources, describe how students and faculty will access information, training for faculty and students in the use of online resources, and staffing and services available to students and faculty.
    9. Physical Resources: Provide a description of physical facilities and equipment to support this initiative. Assess the impact that the proposed change will have on existing programs and services.
    10. Evaluation and Assessment: Describe how the sponsoring academic unit assesses effectiveness and the means used to monitor and ensure the quality of the degree program. Summarize procedures for systematic evaluation of instructional results, including the process for monitoring and evaluating programs at off campus sites, as well as using the results of evaluation to improve the program's services, and operations. For distance learning instruction or compressed time frames, describe the methodology for determining that levels of knowledge and competencies comparable to those required in traditional formats have been achieved.
    11. Letters of Support/Cooperative agreements: Please provide letters of support from the Dean of all involved academic units/centers.
    12. Outside agency: Please note any agreements, contracts, etc with external agencies must be provided to the Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and University Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. At the discretion of the University Provost, these may be shared with the NPRC Chair.
    13. Special Requirements for Ph.D. Proposals: Based on the recommendations from the Ph.D. Guidelines Task Force (October, 2006), the guidelines in Appendix F apply to all new Ph.D. programs and must be specifically addressed in the proposal.
  4. Program Review: The new program proposal will be presented in person to the New Program Review Committee by the program sponsor and the academic unit dean or designee. Comments by the NPRC will typically relate to clarification and/or modification of specific sections of the proposal. The NPRC may recommend approval, approval with minor modifications, approval with substantive modification, or not to approve. When modifications are required, the NPRC will examine the changes before the proposal is approved and sent to the Academic Council for review.
  5. Program Approval: After the Academic Council reviews the program, recommendations will be forwarded to the University Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs and then to the President for consideration. If approved by the President, recommendations will be forwarded to the Board of Trustees for their approval. The Office of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs will notify the sponsoring college(s) and university offices of the program's approval. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness will send the appropriate documentation and notification to SACS.
  6. Evaluation of New Programs: The new program will be reviewed one year after it is initiated to verify whether it has met the expectations for enrollment, budget, resource demand, and educational quality. This initial program review may request a subsequent evaluation at the end of the second year if deemed necessary. If the evaluation is positive, the program will be evaluated on the regular five-year cycle for existing programs.

For more details about the academic review process, contact the Office of Academic Review or the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs or visit the website.

July 2013
NSU Office of Academic Affairs