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AA/PPS 02.01.10 - Academic Programs: Additions, Changes, and Deletions

Academic Programs: Additions, Changes, and Deletions

AA/PPS No. 02.01.10 (2.05)
Issue No. 1
Effective Date: 5/01/2015
Next Review Date: 9/01/2017 (ONY)
Sr. Reviewer: Curriculum Coordinator


    1. Texas State University is committed to maintaining a well-designed, effective process for developing academic programs. The faculty has primary responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of the curriculum. The route for curriculum approval at Texas State is through a process controlled by faculty, which begins at the department or program or school level followed by appropriate approvals within and external to the institution. This PPS summarizes the key elements of that process and provides guidance for the preparation of proposals for new programs and for changing or deleting existing programs.

    2. When considering the addition, change, or deletion of an academic program, faculty members should consult the Department Chairs/Program Directors/School Directors and College Deans in their academic administrative unit and in other related programs, and if necessary, with outside experts. The College Dean should then meet with the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate College (if applicable) for an informal discussion about the program and to ensure consideration of the proposed addition, change, or deletion in appropriate strategic plans. For each major in a degree program, a faculty program coordinator academically qualified in the field must be assigned for purposes of program coordination, curriculum development and review. If applicable, faculty should meet with the Director of the Office of Educator Preparation about the program and ensure consideration of the proposed addition, change, or deletion meets Texas Education Agency’s Requirements for Educator Preparation Programs, Title 19, Part 7, Chapter 228, Rule §228.35.

    3. This PPS conforms to the rules, regulations, and polices of the Board of Regents of The Texas State University System (BOR), the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).


    1. Academic Administrative Unit: A department, college, or school that has administrative authority over academic programs.

    2. Academic Program Coordinator: For each major within a degree program, the academically qualified faculty member responsible for ensuring that each program contains essential curricular components, has appropriate content and pedagogy, and maintains currency in the field.

    3. CIP Code: Each academic program is assigned a Classification of Instructional Program code that corresponds to the major and subject matter of the program. CIP codes are used nationally to classify instructional programs and to report educational data. National CIP codes are six digits in length. Texas CIP codes have an additional four-digit extension that can further define the subject matter and the formula funding code. CIP codes and definitions are available on the THECB website. For academic program coordinator designation and assessment purposes, programs are ordinarily defined by the first four digits of the CIP code.

    4. Concentration: A grouping of courses within a major that is also known as an emphasis, option, specialization or track.

    5. Core Faculty: Full-time tenured or tenure track faculty who teach 50 percent or more in the program. In a doctoral program, this also includes individuals integral to the doctoral program who can direct dissertation research. Some programs such as interdisciplinary degrees may have core faculty devoting less than 50 percent of their teaching time to the program. The background and education of each core faculty member shall be in the field of the program or in a closely related field.

    6. Credit Hour: A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency. THECB defines a credit hour as a unit of measure of instruction consisting of 60 minutes, of which 50 minutes must be direct instruction over a 15-week period in a semester system. Academic administrative units are responsible for ensuring that credit hours are awarded only for work that meets this requirement.

    7. Degree Program: Any grouping of subject matter courses that, when satisfactorily completed by a student, shall entitle the student to a degree from an institution of higher education. The number of semester credit hours (SCH) required for a proposed degree program shall be comparable to the number of SCHs required for similar degree programs in the state. Undergraduate degree programs shall require no more or less than 120 semester credit hours unless there is a compelling academic reason for the number of required hours, such as programmatic accreditation requirements, statutory requirements, or licensure/certification requirements that cannot be met without exceeding the 120-hour limit. Master’s level degree programs typically require between 30-36 hours.

    8. Free or Open Electives: Free or Open electives, if available in a program, are consistent with similar programs and are selected by the student, subject to advisor approval.

    9. Learning Outcomes: The knowledge and skills a student is expected to acquire or achieve upon completion of the program. Measurement may be quantitative or qualitative, depending upon the subject matter.

    10. Major: A grouping of courses by subject matter or academic discipline. Undergraduate majors typically consist of 30 semester credit hours and master’s are 18 hours.

    11. Minor: A grouping of courses for a single discipline or from interdisciplinary areas that a student pursues in addition to a major. An undergraduate minor is less in-depth than a major and typically consists of at least 18 semester credit hours, and a graduate minor is typically at least 6 semester credit hours.

    12. Prescribed Electives: Specific courses from which students must choose to meet curricular requirements of the program. Prescribed electives shall complement the required courses and are numerous enough to provide breadth and depth of study.

    13. Program Objectives: Statements specifying desired knowledge, skills, behaviors, or attitudes to be developed as a result of educational experiences. To the extent possible, objectives are expected to be behavioral (e.g., observable and measurable).

    14. Qualifications of Faculty for Baccalaureate Programs: To meet minimum SACSCOC standards, at least 25 percent of the course hours in each major at the baccalaureate level are taught by faculty members holding an appropriate terminal degree - usually the earned doctorate or the equivalent of the terminal degree. Beyond that minimum standard, the percentage of faculty with terminal degrees shall compare favorably to the percentage of faculty with terminal degrees at similar programs in the state and nation. With few exceptions, the master’s degree should be the minimum educational attainment for faculty teaching in baccalaureate programs.

    15. Qualifications of Faculty for Graduate Programs: In most disciplines, the doctorate should be the minimum educational attainment for faculty teaching in graduate programs. Faculty should meet the qualitative and quantitative criteria of SACSCOC, and the appropriate accrediting body, if a professional program.

    16. Required Courses: Required courses are taken by all students in the program. These courses shall meet all requirements for accreditation, licensure, or certification and shall be consistent with similar programs in the state and nation.

    17. Support Faculty: A support faculty member is a 1) tenured/tenure-track faculty from related disciplines, 2) adjunct faculty, and 3) a graduate teaching assistant or assistant instructor who serves as the instructor of record for a course (only if he or she meets minimum SACSCOC requirements). The program shall have a sufficient number of support faculty to teach the scope of the discipline, consistent with similar programs in the state and nation.

    18. Teach-out Plan: A written plan that provides for the equitable treatment of students who may be affected by a program closure or deletion.


    1. Program Request Forms: The Program Proposal Forms are available to faculty and are located on the Office of Curriculum Services website.

    2. Program Additions: Texas Education Code, Part 1, Chapter 5, Subchapter C, Rule 5.45 provides criteria for new baccalaureate and master’s programs. Criteria for New Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree Programs describes these criteria. Texas Education Code, Part 1, Chapter 5, Subchapter C, Rule 5.46 provides criteria for new doctoral programs. Criteria for New Doctoral Programs describes these new doctoral criteria. All new programs must comply with these criteria. Faculty developing program addition proposals should pay close attention to these criteria.

    3. Program Changes: Changes to existing programs may include major names, degree titles, admission requirements, credit hour requirements, CIP codes, administrative unit, resources, licensure and/or accreditation compliance, course requirements, etc. Program changes vary in review requirements, in that names of majors or degrees, CIP codes, administrative unit, and credit hour requirements must be submitted to the BOR and the THECB, while other changes like admissions, resources, licensure, accreditation, and courses necessitate only university level reviews.

    4. Program Deletions: SACSCOC Good Practices for Closing a Program, Site, Branch or Institution, states that “A decision to close an educational program, site, branch campus, or the entire institution requires thoughtful planning and careful consultation with all affected constituencies. Every effort should be devoted to informing each constituency as fully as possible about the conditions compelling consideration of a decision of such importance, and all available information should be shared. As much as possible, the determination to close a program, site, branch campus, or the institution should be made through a consultative process and only after alternatives have been considered, but responsibility for the final decision to close rests with the institution’s governing board. Because the immediate interests of current students and faculty are most directly affected, their present and future prospects require especially sensitive and timely attention and involvement.”


    1. Depending on the scope of the proposed addition, change, or deletion, program proposals require the following reviews:

      1. faculty;

      2. Office of Educator Preparation (for Educator Preparation Programs);

      3. department/school curriculum committee or department/school faculty;

      4. department chair/program director/school director;

      5. college curriculum committee;

      6. college council;

      7. college dean;

      8. Dean of The Graduate College (if applicable);

      9. Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs;

      10. University Curriculum Committee;

      11. Faculty Senate;

      12. Council of Academic Deans;

      13. Provost;

      14. President;

      15. Texas State University System Board of Regents;

      16. institutions within a 50 mile radius;

      17. Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; and

      18. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (if applicable)

    2. The review process for program additions, deletions and certain changes as discussed in paragraph 27 may take 9-12 months. Other change proposals may take 6 months, and proposals for new minors and concentrations may take up to 3 months.

    3. After a program proposal has been fully approved, the Curriculum Coordinator makes all necessary additions, changes, and deletions in the undergraduate catalog and Student Information System. The Graduate College staff make all necessary additions, changes, and deletions in the graduate catalog and Student Information System. The undergraduate academic advisors and the Graduate College staff work with the Degree Works Coordinator to make all necessary additions, changes and deletions in the Degree Works system for degree programs.

    4. In the event that a program proposal receives a negative vote or is denied at any level, the proposal will be returned to the originating faculty for review and possible revisions and can be resubmitted for future consideration.


    1. Reviewers of this PPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Curriculum Coordinator September 1 ONY

    This PPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State Academic Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Curriculum Coordinator; senior reviewer of this PPS

    Director, Curriculum Services

    Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs