Chief Academic Officer
Monica H. Baloga, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Academics and Provost
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.
A completed proposal with appropriate academic unit approvals must be submitted to the CAO for review. A completed proposal includes:
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:
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.
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:
“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.
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
Working with the Institutional Effectiveness Analyst
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
Working with undergraduate and/or graduate admissions
Working with Student Financial Services’ office
(The template be as complete as possible. Any skipped questions may result in processing/approval delays.)
Department Head/Program Chair Date
Dean or Associate Dean Date
Chief Academic Officer Date