JavaScript is required for basic dynamic and interactive browsing.
  • Up to

Academic Planning Manual

The Academic Planning Manual describes the major university processes for addition of new programs, review of existing programs, and other programmatic changes that result in resource and curricular decisions. Careful planning is indispensable in any environment but especially in the current climate of fiscal austerity and increased accountability. It is important that our strategic plans be reflections of our shared vision and mission, be informed by regular evaluation, and be utilized in the campus decision-making apparatus. The following resources can be useful in this process.

Review of Existing Programs

The program review process (see schedule and procedures) strives to inform program decisions based upon evidence-based assessment. Assessment results, in turn, lead to a foundation for informed budget and curricular decisions. This dynamic interplay, which is at the heart of the program review, is primarily a faculty-driven process. Program review establishes intermediate benchmarks and follow-up plans that track progress toward achieving and ensuring alignment of student, programmatic, and university-wide academic goals and objectives. These benchmarks are assessed and reviewed in the annual reports. Program review and annual reports form the basis for reporting the program's continuous improvement strategies and success. Program review provides an evidence-based determination of whether students are accomplishing the program's learning objectives through outcomes-based assessment of student learning and development. The results of program review provide the evidentiary basis for informed, transparent and accountable decisions about program, faculty and student needs, curricular planning, and resource allocation and management. The campus systematically integrates program reviews into planning and budgeting processes.

Modifications to Existing Programs

Simple modifications to existing programs are handled by the school curriculum committees (or the Academic Affairs Committee for interschool programs). Offering 50% or more of the major requirements through distance education (e.g., online) will require prior approval by WASC. Please contact the office of Academic Programs ASAP if you are interested in offering an online degree (>50%).

School curriculum committee website's:

When changes affect programs outside the school, those programs should be consulted and any objections should be considered by the school curriculum committee. Any irreconcilable differences may be sent by the Provost to the Academic Senate for final resolution. Changes that have broad inter-school implications require Senate approval.

Proposals involving new coursework or changes to existing courses (for GST courses, see these Guidelines) should be accompanied by a Course Approval Form which, after approval, is submitted to the Director of Academic Operations. Visit Academic Scheduling for room reservation, schedule deadlines, and catalog deadlines.

General Education and Other University-wide Requirements

The Committee on Academic Requirements and Standards (CARS) oversees all university-wide academic requirements other than those of majors or minors and reports to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Academic Senate. Sub-committees of CARS are responsible for setting the learning goals, overseeing assessment efforts, reviewing syllabus standards, new course approval, and decertification. Those seeking new course approval should apply directly to the subcommittee and may appeal the decision to CARS.

Programmatic substitutions are possible when the intended learning outcomes are met through an alternate means. Approved standing substitutions of this nature are not advertised to the general student audience but satisfy the graduation requirement. Procedures call for CARS to decide on the substitution after the petitioner requests a review by the relevant subcommittee. The decision may be appealed to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Senate.

Programmatic waivers may only be granted by the Chancellor after Campus approval.

Substitutions and waivers for individuals are also available. Substitution requests can be made directly to the relevant department chair or dean's office.

Proposing New Degrees

Proposing a new degree is normally a two-stage process: (1) a very brief rationale for the degree is placed on the Academic Master Plan, and if approved by the CSU Board of Trustees, (2) the full degree proposal is developed and approved at the campus and system level.


Stage 1: Placing the Program on the Academic Master Plan (AMP)

Proposals should be made in early spring at least 2.5 years prior to intended implementation. The AMP is approved on campus each fall for submission in January and consideration by the Board of Trustees in March. When proposing new degree program projections on the academic master plan please include a very brief summary. Summaries should include the following elements, which are the criteria by which proposed changes to the Academic Master Plan are evaluated:

  • Is this an online program?
  • A brief summary of the purpose and characteristics of the proposed degree program.
    (New bachelor's degrees should be as enduring as possible in content and title.
    Breadth is the hallmark of bachelor's degrees, and more narrow specialization occurs
    at the graduate level.)
  • How the program fits into the campus mission and strategic plan
  • Whether the program is offered through state support or special sessions
  • Anticipated student demand
  • Workforce demands and employment opportunities for graduates
  • Other relevant societal needs
  • An assessment of the required resources and a campus commitment to allocating
    those resources
  • And, as applicable:
    • If the projection is a pilot program, also list the academic years during which the
      program will operate in pilot status.
    • If the projected program is now offered as an option, concentration, or emphasis,
      provide a brief rationale for elevation to a full degree program.
    • For new degree programs that are not already offered in the CSU, please
      provide a compelling rationale explaining how the proposed subject area
      constitutes a coherent, integrated degree program that has potential value to
      students and meets CSU requirements for an academic program at the
      undergraduate or graduate level.

Stage 2: Degree Proposal is prepared for approval at all campus and external levels.

The following steps are followed prior to final implementation:

  1. The general concept and requirements are discussed broadly by faculty impacted by the proposed degree. When changes affect programs outside the school, documentation of consultation should accompany proposals.
  2. CSU System's template for new degree proposal is used to prepare the formal proposal and CSUB's new degree routing sheet accompanies the proposal at all steps of the campus approval process. Consult with the AVP for Academic Programs throughout the process.
  3. Typically, department faculty will propose a new degree. Upon departmental approval, the routing sheet is signed by the department chair and the approving memo is attached.
  4. The Curriculum Committees typically require that all affected programs be consulted prior to submission. In the case of inter-school programs, the Academic Affairs Committee of the Senate serves as the curriculum committee. Approval is documented by the committee chair's signature on the routing sheet and attachment of the approving memo.
  5. The Dean considers the program and, upon approval, signs the routing sheet and attaches a memorandum indicating an analysis of the resource commitments that must be
    made to support the program and the origin(s) of those resources.
  6. An electronic copy of the final proposal is sent to the AVP for Academic Programs. The hard copy with routing sheet and accompanying documentation is delivered to the Academic Programs office, EDUC 242. The AVP for Academic Programs reviews the documentation to log the proposal and ensure that the proposal follows all campus, system, and legal requirements.
  7. If the Provost endorses the proposal, it is sent to the Academic Senate office for consideration by the campus.
  8. The Senate office will not accept a proposal without a complete routing sheet. The Chair of the Academic Senate forwards the proposal to the appropriate Subcommittees of the Academic Senate for consideration.
  9. Any changes to the proposal, in response to requests from the subcommittees should be sent to the Senate office with a copy to the AVP for Academic Programs. The Academic Senate sends its recommendation regarding the program to the President.
  10. If the President approves the recommendation of the Senate it can go forward to the Chancellor's office.
  11. The proposer is responsible to provide the Academic Programs office with four hard copies and an electronic copy of the final proposal. An electronic catalog copy is sent to the Director of Academic Operations and Support. At this point, all official documentation and advertising must be accompanied by the caveat that the program is pending approval by the CSU system.
  12. The Chancellor's office shepherds the proposal from this point forward (see this flowchart). They send the proposal to external reviewers, evaluate system-wide concerns, and submit to CPEC, if necessary. The Chancellor's office must communicate approval to the President and office of Academic Programs before the program is allowed to enroll students.

Alternative Processes

Three alternative processes allow for simpler approvals than those outlined above:

Fast Track proposals are those that are not required to be put on the Academic Master Plan prior to campus approval. Thus, they skip "stage 1," above. Fast Track proposals are limited, among other requirements, to those that can be offered at a high level of quality within the existing resource base and are not subject to specialized accreditation.

A limited number of Pilot Program proposals are allowed to operate for five years on a trial basis if, among other requirements, they can be offered at a high level of quality within the existing resource base and are not subject to specialized accreditation. Pilot programs are reviewed by the Chancellor's Office to ensure conformity to all system policies. In order to become permanent, the program must be formally reviewed by an external reviewer and the university program review committee (UPRC) before being forwarded to the Chancellor's office for final approval.

Elevating a Concentration or Emphasis to a full degree program is accomplished by forwarding to the Chancellor's office a well-supported rationale and evidence of a significantly greater campus commitment to the program than was required to establish it as a specialization area.

 

Proposing New Concentrations and Emphases

Degree pathways within a major are designated as concentrations or emphases, as determined by the size of the core requirements that they share with the remaining degree pathways (see table, below). The common core/electives are defined as common set of required coursework or common set of required electives taken by all students obtaining the degree.

Number of Units in Common Core/Electives
 
Concentration
Emphasis
BA
up to 36 units
> 36 units
BS
up to 55 units
> 55 units
Master's Degree
up to 50%
> 50%

Note: In contrast to these formal Concentrations and Emphases, some programs may use advising tracks for a set of recommended courses suited for a general purpose but do not constrain a student in meeting graduation requirements. The term option is used only to describe different ways of satisfying the same degree that do not rise to the level deserving a separate catalog description. These advising tracks and options do not carry any formal title or designation in the University Catalog, nor do they appear on the student's transcript or diploma. They are purely advisory in the choices of elective courses and requirement options.

All new programs should conform to these guidelines and existing programs should do so prior to the 2013-15 catalog deadline.

Proposers should go through the following steps when proposing a new concentration or emphasis:

  1. The general concepts and requirements are discussed broadly by faculty impacted by the proposed concentration. Formal proposals need documentation of consultation with programs outside of the school.
  2. CSUB's template for new concentration/emphasis proposal is used to prepare the formal proposal and the concentration/emphasis routing sheet accompanies the proposal at all steps of the campus approval process. Consult with the AVP for Academic Programs throughout the process.
  3. Department faculty propose new concentrations and emphases. Upon departmental approval the routing sheet is signed by the department chair and the approving memo is attached.
  4. Curriculum Committees typically require that all affected programs be consulted prior to submission. In the case of inter-school programs, the Academic Affairs Committee of the Senate serves as the curriculum committee. Approval is documented by the committee chair's signature on the routing sheet and attachment of the approving memo.
  5. The Dean considers the program and, upon approval, signs the routing sheet and attaches a memorandum indicating an analysis of the resource commitments that must be
    made to support the program and the origin(s) of those resources.
  6. An electronic copy of the final proposal is sent to the AVP for Academic Programs. The hard copy with routing sheet and accompanying documentation is delivered to the Academic Programs office, EDUC 242. The AVP for Academic Programs reviews the documentation to log the proposal and ensure that the proposal follows all campus, system, and legal requirements.
  7. If the Provost endorses the proposal it is sent to the Academic Senate office for consideration by the campus.
  8. The Senate office will not accept a proposal without a complete routing sheet. The Chair of the Academic Senate forwards the proposal to the appropriate Subcommittees of the Academic Senate for consideration.
  9. Any changes to the proposal, in response to requests from the subcommittees should be sent to the Senate office with a copy to the AVP for Academic Programs. The Academic Senate sends its recommendation regarding the program to the President.
  10. The President's approval is the final approval but the Chancellor's office must recognize the concentration or emphasis prior to implementation.
  11. The proposer is responsible to provide the Academic Programs office with an electronic copy of the final proposal and a modified electronic catalog copy to the Director of Academic Operations and Support that incorporates all necessary catalog changes.

Proposing New Certificates

A certificate is any official, printed document, signed by an administrative officer and bearing the name or seal of the University, that testifies to academic achievements or experiences different from those recognized by the usual diplomas.

Academic Credit Certificate Programs are multi-course programs of study that do not substitute for majors, minors or credentials in established degree programs, are designated as professional or pre professional, and may be offered as either state funded or self-supporting through EUD. Proposals should conform to these guidelines and utilize this routing sheet.

  • Professional Certificate Programs require a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite or co-requisite and are comprised exclusively of upper-division or graduate level coursework.
  • Pre-professional Certificate Programs shall contain at least fifty percent upper-division
    level coursework. Pre-professional certificate programs require as a prerequisite an associate of arts degree or an equivalent number of units or appropriate experience and special needs.

Non-Academic Credit Certificate Programs are offered exclusively through the Extended University Division. Proposals should conform to these guidelines and utilize this routing sheet.

 

Academic Program Moratorium and Discontinuance

Degree program discontinuance is a permanent decision in which the campus determines that it no longer wishes to offer the degree and, after a teach-out period, is no longer authorized to offer the degree. A moratorium is a temporary program suspension. The policy and procedures for moratorium and discontinuance were established by the campus this document. In the spirit of open communication, the ASi President and Executive Director will be notified early in the discontinuance process.

Catalog Updates

It is important to make sure that the catalog is up to date and consistent with our other campus records (e.g., PeopleSoft and the web). Changes to the printed catalog only occur every two years and those changes are reflected in the printed catalog and the static digital catalog. This is the catalog that can be used by students for catalog rights. In order to allow inclusion in the printed catalog, approvals must be completed prior to these published catalog deadlines. Please consult the deadlines when planning new programs and changes to existing programs.

When new programs are added or discontinued; new courses are added; or existing course descriptions or pre-requisites are updated too late for inclusion in the printed catalog they are added to the "regularly updated" catalog.

The deans' offices are charged with assuring that the sections that they send forward are up to date, consistent with other campus records, and reflect changes approved by the appropriate campus authorities.

 

Other Policies and Procedures

The Formation and Modification of Academic Departments: Principles and Procedures