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CWUP 5-50-070 HECB Program Approval Process

5-50-070(1)Approval of New Location or via Distance Delivery of an Existing Program
5-50-070(2)Approval to Plan a New Degree Program
5-50-070(3)New Degree Proposal

 

(1) Approval of New Location or via Distance Delivery of an Existing Program. The HECB approves the extension of existing degree programs to new locations or via distance delivery.

(A) An institution will submit to the associate vice president for undergraduate studies a Location Notification of Intent (Location NOI) for an existing program to be offered at an off-campus location, via distance learning, or a combination of delivery methods. The Location NOI must be submitted at least 90 days prior to the proposed start date of the program. The Location NOI form is available at www.cwu.edu/~senate.

(B) The Location NOI will include the following information:

1. Institution name
2. Degree title
3. CIP number
4. Delivery mechanisms (face-to-face, online, two-way video, one-way video, hybrid, other)
5. Location
6. Implementation date
7. Substantive statement of need
8. Source of funding
9. Year one and full enrollment targets (FTE and headcount)

(C) HECB staff will post the institution's Location NOI on its Web site within five business days of receipt and notify the other public four-year institutions. The other public four-year institutions and HECB staff will have 30 days to review and comment on the Location NOI. The Location NOI will be removed from the Web site after 30 days. The HECB will notify the campus of its decision, following a review of comments received and staff analysis. Evaluation criteria will be consistent with those outlined under new degree proposal.

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(2) Approval to Plan a New Degree Program. The HECB approves initial plans for new baccalaureate and graduate degree programs. Planning authority expires two years from approval.

(A) An institution will submit a Planning Notification of Intent (Planning NOI) to develop a new degree program at the beginning of the program development process. The Planning NOI will be submitted to the associate vice president for undergraduate studies at least nine months prior to the proposed start date of the program.

(B) The Planning NOI will be available electronically at: www.cwu.edu/~senate and will include the following information:

1. Institution name
2. Degree title
3. CIP number
4. Delivery mechanism
5. Location
6. Implementation date
7. Substantive statement of need. The statement of need must reference the most recent revision of the regional and statewide needs assessment conducted by the HECB every two years. The institution may also reference its own assessment of student, employer, and community needs.
8. Source of funding
9. Year one enrollment and full enrollment targets (FTE and headcount)

(C) After appropriate signatures are acquired, the Planning NOI will be submitted to the office of the associate vice president for undergraduate studies for review and processing.

(D) The HECB review of a proposed new program plan will focus on the degree to which the proposed program would support the unique role and mission of the institution(s); meet state and/or regional student, employer, and community needs; and be free from unnecessary program duplication.

(E) Following review and comment, the HECB will make one of the following determinations: 1) grant the institution permission to develop a full proposal; 2) return the program to the institution for further development; or 3) disapprove the program.

(F) An institution must prepare and submit a program proposal to the HECB for review within two years of receiving permission to develop a proposal status. If this does not occur, program approval will sunset and a new Planning NOI will be required prior to future program development.

(G) At any point in the two-year period, the institution may notify the office of undergraduate studies that it wishes to withdraw permission to plan the new degree program. Following notification, the HECB will remove the degree program from the planning list in the academic program Inventory.

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(3) New Degree Proposal. Once institutional planning is complete, a new degree proposal must be sent to the HECB for review and approval.

(A) Proposals are submitted to the associate vice president for undergraduate studies no less than six months prior to the start date of the program.

(B) Approved programs must begin to enroll students within three years unless extended by the HECB. If this does not occur, program approval will sunset.

(C) The following forms must be submitted with the program proposal (these forms are available at www.cwu.edu/~senate):

1. Cover Sheet
2. Required Course Work
3. Enrollment and Graduation Targets
4. Program Personnel
5. Summary of Program Costs and Revenue

(D) The following groups will complete an external review of each program proposal:

1. Two external experts selected by the institution, with at least one recognized expert from outside Washington State. The institution will select reviewers in keeping with the following guidelines:
a. Reviewer currently works (or has previously worked) at a higher education institution that awards degrees at the level of the proposed program or higher.
b. Reviewer holds a degree at the level of the proposed program or higher in the same or closely related field of study. 
c. Reviewer has substantial experience in the field, either professional or academic, that is appropriate for the proposal. 
d. At least one reviewer has prior experience reviewing new programs and/or preparing for either national or regional accreditation reviews. 
e. There is no apparent conflict of interest. The following are examples of common conflicts of interest: candidate has a joint, adjunct or affiliate position with the unit; candidate was a mentor for or mentee of a faculty member in the unit; candidate was considered for a position in the unit within the last five years; candidate previously chaired a review committee in this unit; candidate served on a visiting committee in this unit; candidate has engaged in collaborative research with a member of the unit; candidate has been involved with a publication venture with unit faculty; candidate has a significant personal or professional relationship with a unit member; candidate received his/her academic degree(s) from this institution.

2. The HECB retains the option to request its own additional external review in circumstances that it deems unusual; (e.g., when an institution proposes a degree program outside the scope of its historical mission, or when the institution and HECB staff have unresolved disagreement about quality aspects of a proposed program). 
a. The institution will pay all costs associated with the review. 
b. The external review will be attached as an appendix to the program proposal, along with contact information and a short bio of the reviewer.

(E) A proposal to establish a new degree program will include the following:

1. Relationship to Institutional Role, Mission, Program Priorities. Describe how the proposed program reflects and supports the role and mission of the institution, and reflects program priorities.
2. Documentation of Need for Program. Describe the relationship of the program to the regional and statewide needs assessment for higher education, including student, employer, and community demand for the program. An institution may also provide objective data, studies, or the results of institutional needs assessments conducted to document a special need that is not identified in the regional and statewide needs assessment.
3. Support of the Statewide Strategic Master Plan for Higher Education. Describe how the program will support HECB policies and goals for higher education as articulated in the Strategic Master Plan for Higher Education.
4. Relationship to Other Institutions. Reference the HECB Academic Degree Program and Facility Inventory and identify similar programs offered by public or independent institutions in the region. Describe unique aspects of the proposed program that differentiate it from similar programs and/or describe why expansion of an existing program would be desirable or necessary. Describe options for collaboration with other institutions, businesses, and/or community organizations considered in the development of the proposal.
5. Curriculum. Describe credit-hour requirements for the program, requirements for admission and degree completion, including prerequisite coursework and other special requirements. Describe the program plan for articulation with two-year college degree programs, including identification of major-ready pathways, if applicable (for bachelor's degree programs). Indicate when the program would be offered (day/evening/weekend), where the program would be offered (campus location(s) and/or distance learning), and the delivery mechanism (in-person classroom, online, other distance).
6. Infrastructure Requirements - Describe required infrastructure improvements, including the need for additional library or technology resources, special space requirements (laboratory space or special classrooms), and equipment needs. Costs and sources of funding associated with these improvements should be outlined in the budget section of the proposal.
7. Faculty - Provide a profile of the anticipated faculty (e.g., full-time, part-time, regular, continuing, adjunct) that will support the program and the total FTE allocated to the program. There should be a sufficient number of qualified faculty dedicated to a new program. This number will vary depending on the discipline, nature of the program, and anticipated number of students.
8. Administration - Describe the staffing plan for administrative and support services for the program.
9. Students - Describe the student population to be served. Provide projected enrollments for five years or until full enrollment is reached (whichever is longer). Detail efforts planned to recruit and retain a diverse student body.
10. Accreditation - Indicate whether the institution will seek specialized program accreditation. If so, discuss plans for accreditation and identify the appropriate accrediting body.
11. Program Assessment - Describe the institution's plan for assessing how well program objectives will be met. Describe how the assessment information will be gathered and used.
12. Student Assessment - Describe expected student learning outcomes of the program and how student learning outcomes will be measured and results used.
13. Budget - Describe program cost and impact on other programs or departments within the institution. Include information on headcount FTE; FTE funding from state or self-support; other funds requested/needed; if reallocation, impact on other programs (especially if moving FTE); and contingency, if FTE funding is not provided. Identify the amounts and sources of all program funding for year one of the program and the year it is expected to reach full enrollment. For programs that will rely on non-state funding, describe the sources of funding and minimum enrollment threshold to offer the program. For self-support programs, indicate any current plans to migrate to future state funding.
14. External Evaluation of Proposal - In an appendix to the proposal, provide copies of the external evaluators' reports or letters to the institution. Summarize the institution's responses and subsequent modifications to the proposal based on evaluators' recommendations. Attach a short bio of the evaluators.

[7/09]

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