A-to-Z Index

Program Proposals

Program proposals involve the creation, modification or deletion of

  • Majors
  • Minors
  • Concentrations
  • Certificates

Preview Process

Faculty members interested in developing new programs must consult with the Associate Vice Provost for Cross Disciplinary Studies and Planning early in their planning. As part of the preview process, faculty will receive assistance in developing their program proposal and receive early feedback from administrators.

Academic Unit Level

Program proposals must be approved at the academic level by all areas involved in their offering. For example, modifications to the accounting major which only involve ACTG courses must be approved within the School of Accounting. Modifications to the biotechnology major, which is jointly offered by the Department of Biology, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the Department of Integrated Science and Technology, require approval from all three academic units.

The Academic Unit C&I Chair and the Academic Unit Head must approve a course proposal before it can move to the college level review.

Some programs require the approval of additional departments at the academic unit level. If a program proposal involves the following areas, they must be notified and vote on the proposal before it can proceed:

  • General Education
  • Honors
  • IDLS
  • Teacher Education

College Level

Program proposals must be reviewed and voted on by the College Curriculum Committee of all involved areas. Program proposals that involve multiple academic units must be reviewed by all colleges with involved academic areas.

The College C&I Chair and the College Dean must approve a program proposal before it can move to university review.

University Level

After being approved at the academic unit and college levels, program proposals are available for a university-wide review. Any faculty member can review the proposal during this time.

Final Review

Graduate program proposals are reviewed by the Graduate Council.

All program proposals are reviewed by the Vice Provost. For most program proposals, this is the final step before program changes are entered into e-campus and the catalog.

New majors or significant changes to an existing program also require the review of the Committee on Academic Programs. New majors must also be reviewed by the JMU Board of Visitors. Some proposals, including new programs and substantive changes, require review beyond JMU, including the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and the SouSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Substantive Change

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), JMU's accrediting body, defines some curricular changes as substantive. These changes require the university notify SACS in advance of the change implementation in accordance with JMU Policy 2102.

Curricular substantive changes typically involve proposals which require approval beyond the university level. For example, the development of a new major or other significant action that requires review and approval by the Board of Visitors and/or the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) would also require SACSCOC notification. For a list of specific changes requiring notification, see the table below.

Types of Change

Procedure

Prior Notification Required

Time Frame for Contacting COC

Prior Approval Required

Documentation

Initiating coursework or programs at a different level than currently approved

1

Yes

12 months

Yes

Application for Level Change

Due dates: April 15 or October 1

Expanding at current degree level (significant departure from current programs)

1

Yes

6 months

Yes

Prospectus

Initiating a branch campus

1

Yes

6 months

Yes

Prospectus

Initiating a certificate program at employer's request and on short notice

...using existing approved courses

...at a new off-campus site (previously approved program)

...that is a significant departure from previously approved programs

 

 

NA

 

1

 

1

 

 

NA

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

NA

Approval required prior to implementation

Approval required prior to implementation

 

 

NA

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

 

None

 

Modified prospectus

 

Modified prospectus

Initiating other certificate programs

...using existing approved courses

...at a new off-campus site (previously approved program)

...that is a significant departure from previously approved programs

 

NA

 

1

 

1

 

NA

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

NA

 

6 months

 

6 months

 

NA

 

Yes

 

yes

 

None

 

Prospectus

 

Prospectus

Altering significantly the educational mission of the institution

1

Yes

6 months

Yes

Prospectus

Types of Change

Procedure

Prior Notification Required

Time Frame for Contacting COC

Prior Approval Required

Documentation

Initiating joint or dual degrees with another institution: (See: "Collaborative Academic Arrangements: Policy and Procedures")

Joint programs

- with another SACSCOC accredited institution

- with an institution not accredited by SACSCOC


Dual programs

 

 

 

2

 

1

2

 

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

Yes

 

 

 

Prior to implementation

6 months

Prior to implementation

 

 

 

No

 

Yes

No

 

 

Copy of signed agreement and contact information for each institution

Prospectus

Copy of signed agreement and contact information for each institution

Initiating off-campus sites (including Early College High School programs offered at the high school)

...Student can obtain 50 percent or more credits toward program

...Student can obtain 25-49 percent of credit

...Student can obtain 24 percent or less

 

 

 

1

 

2

NA

 

 

 

Yes

 

Yes

NA

 

 

 

6 months

 

Prior to implementation

NA

 

 

 

Yes

 

No

NA

 

 

 

Prospectus

 

Letter of notification

none

Expanding program offerings at previously approved off-campus sites

...Adding programs that are significantly different from current programs at the site

...Adding programs that are NOT significantly different from current programs at the site

 

 

2

 

 

NA

 

 

Yes

 

 

NA

 

 

Prior to implementation



NA

 

 

No

 

 

NA

 

 

Letter of notification

 

 

NA

Types of Change

Procedure

Prior Notification Required

Time Frame for Contacting COC

Prior Approval Required

Documentation

Altering significantly the length of a program

1

Yes

6 months

Yes

Prospectus

Initiating distance learning…

...Offering 50 percent or more of a program for the first time (Adding subsequent programs requires advance notification only for programs that are significant departures from the originally approved programs)

...Offering 25-49%

...Offering 24% or less

 

1

 

 

 


2

NA

 

Yes

 

 

 


Yes

NA

 

6 months

 

 

 

Prior to implementation

NA

 

Yes

 

 

 


No

NA

 

Prospectus

 

 

 


Letter of notification

None

Initiating programs or courses offered through contractual agreement or consortium

2

Yes

Prior to implementation

No

Letter of notification and copy of signed agreement

Entering into a contract with an entity not certified to participate in USDOE Title IV programs

...if the entity provides 25% or more of an educational program offered by the COC accredited institution

... if the entity provides less than 25% of an educational program offered by the accredited institution

 

 

1

 

 

2

 

 

Yes

 

 

Yes

 

 

6 months

 

 

6 months

 

 

Yes

 

 

No

 

 

Prospectus

 

 

Copy of the signed agreement

Initiating a merger/consolidation with another institution

See SACSCOC policy "Mergers, Consolidations and Change of Ownership"

Yes

6 months

Yes

Prospectus
Due dates: April 15 or October 1

Types of Change

Procedure

Prior Notification Required

Time Frame for Contacting COC

Prior Approval Required

Documentation

Changing governance, ownership, control, or legal status of an institution

See SACSCOC policy "Mergers, Consolidations and Change of Ownership"

Yes

6 months

Yes

Prospectus
Due dates: April 15 or October 1

Relocating a main or branch campus

1

Yes

6 months

Yes

Prospectus

Moving an off-campus instructional site (serving the same geographic area)

2

Yes

Prior to implementation

No

Letter of notification and copy of signed agreement

Changing from clock hours to credit hours

1

Yes

6 months

Yes

Prospectus
Copy of the signed agreement

Altering significantly the length of a program

1

Yes

6 months

Yes

Prospectus
Due dates: April 15 or October 1

Initiating degree completion programs

1

Yes

6 months

Yes

Prospectus

 

Closing a program, approved off-campus site, branch campus, or institution
- Institution to teach out its own students

3

Yes

Immediately following decision to close

Yes

Description of teach-out plan included with letter of notification

- Institution contracts with another institution to teach-out students (Teach-out Agreement)

3

Yes

Immediately following decision to close

Yes

Description of teach-out plan, copy of signed teach-out agreement detailing terms included with notification

Acquiring any program or site from another institution

See SACSCOC policy "Mergers, Consolidations and Change of Ownership"

Yes

6 months

Yes

Prospectus

Adding a permanent location at a site where the institution is conducting a teach-out for students from another institution that is closing

See SACSCOC policy "Mergers, Consolidations and Change of Ownership"

Yes

6 months

Yes

Prospectus

The Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs will notify SACSCOC of the proposed change by letter.   

[Back to top]