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Program Decision Rules

Academic Programs

A flow/stock approach is applied. Students move through degree programs given majors, minors, etc., otherwise denoted as academic plans (flow). In a sense, academic plans are dynamic, as the student can change majors/minors throughout their enrollment, and have multiple majors/minors. However, ultimately a successful outcome from the student’s academic plan enrollment is that of a degree (stock). Generally, academic plans roll up to a degree program. As such, academic programs typically roll up to our IBHE-defined degree programs. Where applicable, B.A./B.S. degree program pairings are considered one academic program.

One type of academic plan, majors, can exhibit multiple emphases and specializations. Student cohorts, like post-baccalaureates and students seeking two degree programs across two distinct programs of study, can also have separable, distinct academic plans.

Given these academic plan types, all multiple majors, emphases and specializations that role up to a distinct degree program are categorized as one academic program.

Special cases do exist. For example, undergraduate students working towards an undergraduate certificate still need to work toward the conferment of an undergraduate degree program. This is not the case for graduate/other students working toward a graduate certificate. Given this, both undergraduate and graduate certificates are treated as a flow, similar to academic plans. Consequently, while some certificates can roll up to a parallel degree program’s defined academic program, other certificates will stand alone as distinct academic programs.

Another special case, specific to an academic plan, is that of minors. If minors have a parent major, the minor is treated as a subset of that major, and is subsequently categorized under the corresponding academic program. However, some minors have no parent major and stand alone. “Stand alone” minors are treated distinct academic programs.

Administrative Programs

Following from the definition of programs, the Program Prioritization Data Subgroup (Reynolds, Leis, Robinson, Subramony) has been meeting with all divisions/areas, including the President’s Office, to help review and identify discrete activities/functions that ultimately define administrative programs.

Examples of administrative programs within Academic Affairs include college dean’s offices and central advising areas (Academic Advising Center, college advising offices). The Data Subgroup will follow up with a draft inventory; discovery meetings with college contacts will be useful.

Academic and Administrative Programs

Examples of academic programs within Academic Affairs that are not linked directly to a degree program, a “stand alone” distinct minor, or a distinct certificate, include the discrete activities/functions of some centers/areas. Since effort within the center can be categorized as conducting the university mission (core teaching mission, research, etc.), a center or area can be defined as an academic program, an administrative program, or even a combination of both.

A case where an area holds both academic and administrative programs is First- and Second-Year Experience. While UNIV 101/201 does not have a CIP code (per a degree program), the instructional effort is significant enough to categorize UNIV 101/201 as an academic program. But there is also an administrative component to First- and Second-Year Experience. As such, the unit will likely have one academic program and one administrative program. Centers/areas will undergo a case by case basis review for program classification. The Data Subgroup will follow up with a draft inventory; discovery meetings with respective college/center contacts will be useful.