Graduate Council Manual

3.00 Graduate Curriculum Procedures

Review of all proposals for new courses, new programs, and program revisions is handled by the appropriate Curriculum Committee as designated in 1.63 above. Recommendations are sent by the Curriculum Committees to the Gradual Council for action. Requests for changes in policy related to curricular matters shall be considered by the Policies Committee, which will recommend policy changes to the full Graduate Council for approval.

3.10 Course Changes

3.11 Course Additions - The Course Inventory Request Form is used to request the addition of a new course to the course inventory.

3.12 Course Deletions - The Course Inventory Request Form is also used to delete a course from the course inventory. Check the "delete" box on the form.

3.13 Course Modifications - The Course Modification Request Form is used to change the attributes of a course such as title or catalog description.

3.100 Graduate Program Review - To improve quality and help graduate programs adjust to continually changing societal needs, the Graduate School shall conduct periodic reviews of all graduate programs. These reviews will be done in consultation with the faculty, chairs, and directors of the programs to examine a broad range of issues, including curriculum, resources, administration, and research. Improvement plans will be developed as part of the review process. When possible, these reviews will coincide with accreditation reviews, and will normally occur every 5-10 years.

3.20 Procedures for Course Changes

3.21 The department chair or program director completes the appropriate forms along with necessary attachments such as a syllabus (for a course addition). These are submitted to the college/school dean's office.

3.22 The College Curriculum Committee and Dean review the request. If approved, the requests are sent to the Graduate School.

3.23 The Graduate School sends requests for substantive course changes to the appropriate Graduate Council Curriculum Committee for consideration (see 1.63 above). Examples of substantive changes are catalog title, title variations, enrollment restrictions, catalog descriptions, credit hours, and “other changes”. The Curriculum Committee evaluates all requests, recommending them to the full Graduate Council for adoption or returning them to the originating unit for further revision.

If the request is for an administrative change, i.e. course number, title for student record, grading, or prerequisites, then the request will by-pass the curriculum committee and will be approved directly by the Dean of the Graduate School.

3.24 The Graduate Council will vote on final approval of all course changes and additions recommended to it by the Curriculum Committees. Once Graduate Council approval is secured for a course proposal, it is sent to the Registrar.

3.25 The Registrar will process approved course changes to amend the course inventory. The course inventory is used to draft the class schedule for each term and the graduate catalog.

3.30 Graduate Program Curricular Revisions

The revision of graduate program curricula is a necessary process of quality assurance and a means to continued program excellence. Graduate programs are encouraged to review offerings periodically in terms of relevance to changes in a field or discipline. However, curricular revision can also be an area of concern when its extent goes beyond that dictated by new knowledge in a field or discipline, i.e., when a new degree program is created under the auspices of "curricular revision." The Graduate School Dean is responsible for the determination of whether or not a new degree program is created when any graduate program undergoes a revision of its curriculum.

3.40 New Graduate Degree Programs

3.41 The Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) has been charged by the General Assembly to approve or disapprove all new graduate degree programs. As part of this process, the Chancellor has delegated the review of new graduate degree programs to the Regents' Advisory Committee on Graduate Study (RACGS). The Dean, Graduate School, is the institutional representative to RACGS. The current RACGS Guidelines for approval of new degree programs and related matters such as a degree name change or approval of off-campus programs are available from the Graduate School or the OBR website (http://www.regents.state.oh.us/progs/racgsprogs.pdf).

3.42 The first step in the approval process of a new graduate degree program is the preparation of a written Program Development Plan as described in the RACGS Guidelines. The internal review process consists of the following steps:

A. The Department/College reviews the Program Development Plan according to the procedures of the College and submits it to the Graduate Dean.

B. The Graduate Dean presents the Plan to the relevant Graduate Curriculum Committee of the Graduate Council for its review and recommendation.

C. The Plan, along with the recommendation of the relevant Graduate Curriculum Committee, is submitted to Graduate Council. The Council reviews the relevant Graduate Curriculum Committee recommendation and votes on the Plan. The status of the Plan is included in the Graduate Council report to the Faculty Senate.

D. If approved by Graduate Council, the Plan is submitted to the Provost in regard to administrative concerns and consistency with the University mission. The Provost may choose to inform the Academic Affairs Committee of the Wright State University Board of Trustees.

3.43 After final internal approval, the Graduate Dean will submit the Program Development Plan to OBR/RACGS for review. Each RACGS member will provide a written evaluation to OBR staff and all RACGS members. These will be summarized by the Vice Chancellor along with a recommendation to the University.

3.44 The next step will be the development of a Full Proposal for the new degree program according to the RACGS Guidelines. This can proceed in parallel with the review of the Program Development Plan by OBR/RACGS. The procedure for internal review and approval will be as follows:

A. The Department/College reviews the Full Proposal according to the procedures of the College and submits it to the Graduate Dean.

B. The Graduate Dean selects an ad hoc Reading Committee representing key faculty constituencies to be chaired by a member of the relevant Graduate Curriculum Committee. The Reading Committee reviews the Full Proposal and provides a recommendation to the relevant Graduate Curriculum Committee of the Graduate Council.

C. The Graduate Curriculum Committee considers the Reading Committee’s report and provides its recommendation to the Graduate Council. The Council reviews the Graduate Curriculum Committee recommendation and votes on the Plan.

D. If the Graduate Council approves the Full Proposal, it is sent to the Faculty Senate for consideration as new business and, subsequently, will be voted on under old business. Decisions of the Senate are subject to review by the University Faculty at a scheduled meeting.

E. If approved by the Faculty Senate, the Full Proposal is sent to the Provost for review. If the Provost approves, it is sent to the Board of Trustees for their review and approval.

F. After the internal approval process is complete, the Graduate Dean submits the Full Proposal to OBR/RACGS. Normally, this will be at least six months after submission of the Program Development Plan.

3.45 After the Full Proposal has been submitted to OBR, it will again be distributed to RACGS for review. After written evaluations have been provided, the proposers will prepare a Response Statement for distribution back to RACGS and the OBR staff. Final consideration of the new degree program will be taken at a formal meeting of RACGS. The possible RACGS decisions are outlined in the RACGS Guidelines.

3.50 Graduate Program Concentrations and Changes to Graduate Program Degree Requirements

Requests for new graduate program concentrations, changes of the titles of current program concentrations, or changes to graduate program degree requirements are originated and approved within the graduate program and then submitted in writing to the Graduate School. The Graduate School refers the requests to the appropriate Curriculum Committee (see section 1.63 above) of the Graduate Council for review. The Curriculum Committee then sends its recommendation to the Graduate Council for action. The Dean, Graduate School, determines whether state level review is required for the requested action. After approval of a new concentration, and if deemed appropriate, the Graduate School will request the Registrar to assign a major number to the concentration.

3.60 Certificate Programs

3.61 Graduate certificate are courses of study in specified areas consisting of not less than 9 and not more than 20 semester hours of graduate coursework.  Two classes of graduate certificates can be distinguished:

A. A certificate awarded with a master's or doctoral degree, indicating that a specific program of coursework has been followed within the regular program options.

B. A certificate awarded for completing a specified program of post-baccalaureate or post-master's work, not constituting a regular graduate degree program, and awarded independently of a regular graduate degree.

3.62 Certificate Awarded with a Graduate Degree

As all new graduate degree programs are subject to review by other procedures, certificates of this type, descriptive of a concentration within a degree program only, not requiring any additional credits beyond those for the degree, and awarded with the degree, do not require further review.

3.63 Certificate Awarded Independent of a Graduate Degree

A. Certificates may be awarded to graduate students based upon the completion of a program of courses. Certificate programs requiring 31 quarter credit hours or 21 semester credit hours or greater are considered as degree equivalents and require the same approval process as new graduate degree programs. Certificate programs requiring fewer than 31 quarter credit hours or 21 semester credit hours are approved within the university according to the following procedures:

1. The academic unit sponsoring the certificate program prepares a proposal addressing objectives, relation to unit and university mission, population served, admission requirements, course requirements, cost, impact on degree programs, and start date.

2. The proposal is reviewed by the academic unit sponsoring the program. If approved, the proposal is endorsed and forwarded to the Graduate School. If the certificate program involves courses from two or more colleges, all college committees involved must review and endorse the certificate proposal.

3. The certificate program proposal will be referred to the appropriate Graduate Council Curriculum Committee, which may seek additional or related information if helpful for its review. If the Curriculum Committee approves the proposal, it will be referred to Graduate Council for approval. If the proposal is approved by the Graduate Council, it will be sent to the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association for final approval.  If the proposal is not approved, it will be returned to the sponsoring unit.

4. The Curriculum Committee may grant provisional approval, with conditions, for the implementation of a certificate program if it determines that, for strategic purposes, the certificate program needs to start prior to the next Graduate Council meeting.  In such cases, proposals must still be sent to the Graduate Council and the Higher Learning Commission for final approval, and earlier provisional approval may be overturned by either the Graduate Council or the HLC.

B. When a new certificate program is approved, the Dean(s) of the sponsoring college(s) will appoint a certificate program director who will be responsible for maintaining records of candidates and awardees of the certificate. The director will report to the Graduate School at least annually on certificates awarded and will submit a list of students completing the certificate program in writing to the Graduate School before the end of the semester in which students complete the program.

3.64 If a formal certificate is to be awarded to students completing the certificate program, then the design of the certificate must conform to university standards and be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.

3.70 Degree Designation Changes

3.71 Degree Name and/or Title Change
Degree name refers to the degree awarded (e.g. Master of Science). Degree title refers to the field or specialization (e.g. mathematics or applied statistics). Degree designation involves both the degree name and degree title. When considering a change in the degree name, degree title, or degree designation for an approved degree, consult the RACGS Guidelines to determine whether the change is considered to create a new degree and for the appropriate procedure.

3.72 Degree Designation for a Specialization
Consult the RACGS Guidelines for appropriate definitions and procedures.

3.80 Off-Campus Degree Programs

3.81 Definition
If more than one half the minimum number of credits required for a graduate degree program are to be offered off-campus, the program is considered an off-campus degree program.

3.82 If a graduate degree program is to be offered off-campus, approval by the OBR is required. Consult the RACGS Guidelines for appropriate policies and procedures. The internal review process may be the same as for a Program Development Plan.

3.90 Suspending a Graduate Program

3.91 When the university decides to suspend admissions to a graduate degree program, the university is required to inform the Ohio Board of Regents and the other members of RACGS. Colleges/Schools will suspend a degree program if it plans to reactivate the program at some time in the future. At any time within the seven years of the initial suspension, the program can be reactivated by simply informing OBR and the other members of RACGS that the program will again admit students. The Dean, Graduate School, will determine if changes in the field of study since the degree program was suspended warrant submitting a new degree program proposal to OBR and RACGS.

If a program is not reinstituted during the seven year period, the program will be declared discontinued. If at a subsequent date the college/school wishes to reinstate the program, the university must seek formal approval from OBR in the same way it would for a new degree program. The reason for this time limit is that RACGS feels that changes in an area of study during a seven-year period can be so significant that it is not simply a question of reinstituting a program, but a question of developing a new or significantly revised program.

When a college/school has no plans to reactivate a program, the Dean, Graduate School, should inform OBR and other members of RACGS that the degree program at this university has been discontinued. It is understood that if the college/school ever wishes to re-establish the degree program, the university will have to seek the full approval of OBR and RACGS for a new graduate degree program.