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Course & Program Reviews

Program Actions

Program Actions refers to the initiation or the modification of a graduate program. Program actions are initiated through one of the following Course Inventory Management form databases: Course Inventory Management for Programs (CIM Programs) and Miscellaneous Request Management.

ABGS Review of Program Actions

Prior to the ABGS Meeting, program actions are sent out to three ABGS Reviewers for a preliminary review that will be documented by The Graduate School. However, all ABGS Members are expected to review programs prior to the meeting they will be presented. ABGS Members should review the programs for the following:

  • Justification for initiation / modifications
  • Sufficient degree requirements
  • Sufficient documentation of resources
  • Overlap with existing programs, including recommendation(s) for consultations that have not already been completed

Course Actions

Course actions refer to all new course initiations and the changes and revisions to current courses approved to be taught in a graduate curriculum. These actions are typically initiated by faculty or program directors. These course action types include: New Course Proposals, Major Course Revisions, and Minor Actions.

ABGS Review of Course Actions

As of Spring 2021, ABGS members are expected to review ALL course actions prior to each meeting. The table below shows the request types and guidelines for ABGS members to follow in their reviews –

Course Action TypeABGS Review Guidelines
New Course ProposalDoes the justification for a new course make sense?
Does it seem like there could potentially be any content overlap with any other courses across all colleges/programs? Do you recommend consultations that are not already included?
Do the course objectives/goals align closely with the Student Learning Outcomes?
Does the syllabus seem reasonable and up to date?
Major RevisionDo the updates to the existing course make sense?
Are there any issues with these major revisions in terms of the programs they are associated with?
Does the revision of the course content show potential of course overlap with any other courses across all colleges/programs? Do you recommend that consultations that are not already included?
Do the new course objectives/goals align closely with the Student Learning Outcomes?
Does the syllabus seem reasonable and up-to-date?
Minor RevisionAre the intended course updates justified?
Are there any issues with these minor course actions in terms of programs they are associated with?

Consultation Guidelines

Course and program actions sometimes result in unanticipated ripple effects across the university. Consultations are the process by which these effects are anticipated and analyzed, sometimes leading to changes in the original course action.

The initiating program or unit should seek consultation with other programs, units, and colleges when it is suspected that these other units might be affected through:

  • duplication or significant overlap with existing courses in their curricula,
  • the considered course being part of these units’ curricula, and/or
  • the pre-requisites for the considered course having the potential to significantly impact enrollment in other units.

Consultations are a professional courtesy making it possible for academic programs to rely, when appropriate, on courses or programs from different units and colleges. No program, unit or college has veto right on curricular activities in other parts of the university; should conflict arise (for instance regarding duplication or overlap), the Administrative Board of the Graduate School (ABGS) would serve as arbiter. Experience shows that the vast majority of consultations either result in neutral or supportive statements from the consulted units or sometimes play a synergistic role between the initiating and consulted units.

Consultations within the Initiating College

Academic programs, units and graduate curriculum committees are encouraged to seek input from other departments and colleges during curricular development. It is the responsibility of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (ADAA) responsible for graduate programs in the initiating college to make sure that

  1. appropriate consultations within the college took place, and
  2. all consultations initiated by that point are properly documented in CIM.

Consultations Initiated at the ABGS Level

Additional consultations may be requested once a course/program action reaches the ABGS meeting level and/or when a course or program is discussed by the ABGS. In either case, the ABGS coordinator will initiate the process through email to the ADAA of the college with which consultation was deemed desirable.

An ADAA or their designee has 3 weeks to respond to a request for consult; the response should be in the form of an email message summarizing the outcomes of the consultation process within the college. Upon receipt, the response will be attached to the CIM course/program action form. If no response is received or alternate arrangement made by the end of the third week, the ABGS coordinators will document the attempt to contact the college in the CIM form and move the action forward for consideration by the ABGS.