Policies

Policies

New Programs Process, Guidelines & Template

Effective Date Dec 15, 2016
POC:
Chief Academic Officer
Effective Date:
December 2016
Approved by:
Monica H. Baloga, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Acaemics and Provost

New Program Process, Guidelines and Template

This document outlines the process and guidelines for the Florida Tech academic units to introduce new programs (options, minors, degree, for-credit certificate programs). When academic units are proposing new programs, information is needed by the chief academic officer (CAO), the Academic Program Assessment Committee (APAC), and either the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UGCC) or the Graduate Council, as appropriate. This document provides the necessary information to make a decision to approve, disapprove or ask for modification of the proposal. The information also provides a basis for evaluating an approved program over the next 5 years.

I. Proposal

A completed proposal with appropriate academic unit approvals must be submitted to the CAO for review. A completed proposal includes: 

  1. A completed New Program Case Statement
  2. A detailed business plan
  3. “Adding a New Major/Minor to the Curriculum” form

New Program Case Statement: Use the appended template. It is expected the proposal for a new degree program will address most if not all of the items in the template, while a proposal to create an option, minor or certificate program will only require responses to some of the items. If a new option, minor or certificate program requires no new resources and no new faculty or courses, most of the sections in the template will not apply. 

Detailed Business Plan: As part of the program proposal, a five-year financial model or five-year business plan must be submitted. The financial model will include enrollment projections for each year and the resultant revenue, as well as any other sources of income/funding. It will also list the anticipated incremental labor costs (salaries and fringe benefits) for additional faculty and staff who will be hired to support the program, and provide a forecast of the program’s operating expenses for each year. Finally, it will list the additional capital costs (office and lab space, building improvements, equipment, instructional technology, library resources) required each year to implement the program. 

The full new program proposal is submitted to the CAO for initial review. The complete proposal is then forwarded to the Office of Financial Affairs, which coordinates its review with Enrollment Management to complete a return on investment analysis to determine the program’s economic impact. When complete, the financial affairs office submits comments, questions or concerns to the CAO. 

A New Program 5-Year Financial Plan spreadsheet template has been created to guide academic units in building the proposed program’s financial model. 

  The planning template requires the following information: 

  • Enrollment estimates by term for each fiscal year
    • Summer / part-time
    • Fall and Spring semester (Full-time and Part-time)
  • Tuition (use current rates) and Fee revenues 
  • Salary expense estimates
    • Additional Faculty
      • Departmental expense (provide salary estimate)
      • Service course faculty (provide salary estimate)
    • Additional Support Staff
    • GSAs, Adjuncts
    • Summer faculty teaching
    • Fringe benefits
  • Operating expense estimates
    • Materials & Supplies, Travel, Services, Utilities, and Other expense
    • Depreciation (for new capital purchases – Financial Affairs will calculate based on projected capital spending)
    • Program recruiting *
  • Capital Investment / Start-up costs
    • Building / Building Improvements
    • Furniture
    • Equipment / Lab Equipment
    • Computers / Servers / Software
    • Library resources
    • Vehicles / Boats / Airplanes 

Note: Financial Affairs can provide assistance with forecasting capital investment spending, if needed

New programs often require additional resources and incur additional expenses for start-up costs during the first year, and consequently produce an operating loss. While this is generally unavoidable, the objective is for a new program to be generating positive returns as soon as possible. The program’s initial business plan/financial model review by the Office of Financial Affairs examines projected revenue, expense and capital spending components, and the cash flows they produce. Future period cash flows will be discounted by the university’s cost of capital and the present value will be calculated. Proposed programs are expected to demonstrate the ability to produce a positive return on investment and net present value. 

New programs will follow the University’s Budget Calendar, and Operating and Capital Budget Policy. 

“Adding a New Major/Minor to the Curriculum” form: The form can be found on the Florida Tech website at www.fit.edu/registrar/forms.html under the Faculty and Advisor tab. This form can be used for certificate programs as well as major or minor programs. Signatures are required before submitting to the CAO.

II. Chief Academic Officer Approval Process

The CAO reviews the proposed program for both its consistency with the Florida Tech mission and its financial viability. If the CAO agrees that the program is consistent with the mission of Florida Tech and is financially viable, the New Program Case Statement is submitted to APAC for review and approval of program-level assessment-based materials. The completed proposal is then submitted to the appropriate university curriculum committee for review. 

Before submission to UGCC or Graduate Council, other documents will need to be completed before course/curriculum approval is granted. These are:

  1. “Adding a New Major/Minor to the Curriculum” form;
  2. “Adding a New Course to the Curriculum” form (one for every new course to be developed and approved);
  3. Detailed syllabi for all new courses; and
  4. Course descriptions for all new courses. 

“Adding a New Major/Minor to the Curriculum” form: Complete form and get necessary signatures before submitting to UGCC or Graduate Council The form can be found on the Florida Tech website at www.fit.edu/registrar/forms.html under the Faculty and Advisor tab. A list of new and existing courses in the program, including electives, must accompany the form. The courses must be listed by order of the semester in which students are expected to take them.

“Adding a New Course to the Curriculum” form: The originating department must send the syllabus and requirements for every new course to be developed to the catalog office for an acceptable description and available course number. The catalog director will return a finished and signed “Adding a New Course to the Curriculum” form to the originator for further signatures and submission to UGCC or Graduate Council. 

Detailed syllabi: Contact the UGCC or Graduate Council chair for syllabi requirements. 

Once UGCC or Graduate Council makes a recommendation with appropriate comments, the proposal will be returned to the CAO for a final decision. 

III. Other Administrative Processes

Once the CAO approves the initial New Program Plan, as indicated by signature on the New Program Case Statement, additional administrative processes need to be completed.

Working with the Accreditation Liaison

    • If the new program (whether a full degree program or certificate) is a substantive change (i.e. a significant departure from previously approved programs), the Accreditation Liaison must be contacted in order to report it to our regional accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

Working with the Institutional Effectiveness Analyst

    • Submit program name to the Institutional Effectiveness Analyst, who will create an entity for it in WEAVE, the web-based assessment management software. 

Once the new program has been approved through either UGCC or Graduate Council and has received final approval from the CAO, the following administrative processes will need to be completed. Please follow the processes outlined below, as necessary: 

Working with the Registrar

    • All programs need a separate program code (not major code) for each campus/site where the program will be offered. It is up to the originating department to confirm this information with the Office of the Registrar so the program can be offered at the additional campus/site.
    • Once the new program has been approved and through its review, the catalog office sends the originating department head a proof of the program from the working catalog for the following academic year. 

Working with undergraduate and/or graduate admissions

    • Add program to student application.
    • Inquire about advertising and publications for the program.
    • Programs are only effective the following academic year and once they appear in the catalog.
    • To allow for early marketing, the catalog director, on request by Marketing, opens a tab in the university’s program manager, without including unpublished catalog information. 

Working with Student Financial Services’ office

    • Confirm billing times, if different from standard.
    • Confirm payment process, if different from standard. 

New Program Case Statement Template

(The template be as complete as possible. Any skipped questions may result in processing/approval delays.)

I. Program Relevance

  • How is this program consistent with the mission of Florida Tech?
  • How is this program consistent with the mission of the department/college?

II. Program Demand

  • Market
    • Are there current trends or forecasts for interest in this program?  If so, what are they and what are your sources of information.
    • What is the local market for this program?
    • What is the state/regional market for this program?
    • What is the national market?
    • What is the international market? 
  • Enrollment
    • How many new full-time/part-time students are expected to enroll in the first year?
    • What is the enrollment outlook five years from now?
    • What other universities offer this program? How large (enrollment) are those programs? 
  • Academic/Employment Opportunities:
    • What are the employment opportunities after graduation?
    • If this is an undergraduate program, what are the graduate program opportunities? 
  • Delivery Aspects
    • Will this program be offered to a “non-traditional” audience (part-time students, evening/weekend classes, distance learning, other)?  Please indicate all that apply.
    • Is internship part of the program? If so, will it be required?  Will the internship be paid or unpaid?
    • In the case of the Department of Extended Studies, will the program be site-specific or will it be available to all sites?

III. Academic Considerations

  • What are the admission requirements? For example, will the admission requirements be the same as those given in the university catalog for undergraduate and graduate applicants, or will there be additional requirements?
  • Is the proposed program a substantive change according to SACSCOC? (Please verify with the university’s Accreditation Liaison.)
  • Student-Learning Assessment (see the APAC Policies and Procedures document at www.fit.edu/apacfor the required number and type of assessment items. These must be approved by the APAC before the program is reviewed by any curriculum committees. Refer to the approval procedure flowchart at the end of this document.)
    • In what courses, or program deliverable (such as thesis, dissertation, final program examination, etc.), will the students be assessed for program-level student learning?
    • List the program-level student-learning Outcomes, Measures, and expected Targets for this program
  • Is programmatic accreditation required or proposed for the program? If so, what are the minimum requirements for accreditation? What is the timetable for achieving accreditation status? (Please verify with the departmental/college accreditation liaisons.)
  • What impact will the program have on existing programs within the academic unit, college, or university? For example, will it replace an existing program or complement/compete with another program? Which programs will be affected?
  • What impact will this program have on the resources of other academic units? Will other academic units have to offer new or more sections of existing courses to accommodate this program?

IV. Financial Resources/Uses

  • Can the program support itself financially? Provide a completed 5-year financial plan (use Excel template) to support your answer.
  • Will new courses (academic unit and/or service) be required? Explain.
  • Will new faculty (academic unit and/or service) be required? Explain.
  • Will new support staff be required? Explain.
  • Will new GSAs or adjuncts be required? Explain.
  • Will new equipment, labs, or other facilities be required? Explain.
  • Will new library resources be required? Explain.

Signature Page for initial approval of proposed program 

 

__________________________________________________                                ___________________

Department Head/Program Chair                                                                    Date

 

 

 

__________________________________________________                                ___________________

Dean or Associate Dean                                                                                               Date

 

 

__________________________________________________                                ___________________

Chief Academic Officer                                                                                               Date