Section IV: COC Programs
3.4.12 The institution places primary responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of its curriculum with its faculty.
JUDGMENT OF COMPLIANCE
NARRATIVE/JUSTIFICATION FOR JUDGMENT OF COMPLIANCE
The University places primary responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of its curriculum with its faculty. The Faculty Constitution Preamble as stated in the Faculty Handbook reads as follows:
The Faculty Handbook also states, "It is the responsibility of every faculty member to remain current in his/her area of expertise. If in their expert opinion, a program should be added, revised, or dropped, the faculty member has a responsibility to share their opinion with the appropriate curriculum committee or to bring their opinion to the Academic Affairs Oversight Committee of the Faculty Senate." (Faculty Handbook, 3.4 Program Evaluation Policies)
Curriculum development, review, and approval processes at the University are informed by long-standing academic practice that places ownership of the "curricular requirements and the structure of the University with reference to academic matters" with the faculty. (Faculty Handbook, Article II, Authority of the Faculty, 1 c). These processes are practiced within the context of system and state policies that ensure that all academic programs are initiated in response to demonstrated student interest and need, that they support the Institutional Mission, that they meet exacting standards of academic quality, and that they are subject to ongoing review for the purpose of improvement. (The Texas A&M University System Policy Manual)
The University has three levels of curriculum review—departmental, college, and University. At the departmental level, faculty members propose both new courses and programs for their disciplines or modifications to already approved courses and programs.(Course and Program Development Procedures) Each of the three colleges (Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, and Education) and the Canseco School of Nursing have curriculum committees to determine the effects of proposals on their curriculum. After approval at the college/school level, all proposals are reviewed and approved by the University Curriculum Committee.(Curriculum Committee Minutes) The Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the University President must then approve all proposals for inclusion in degree plans and the University Catalog.
Because many professional programs have criteria established by accrediting bodies, external reviewers periodically visit the campus to evaluate and assess the activities of those programs. Principally, these include: Nursing, Social Work, and Business (AACSB). Some programs such as Criminal Justice and Social Work require internships with local agencies. Most recently, the University changed its status to a doctoral-granting institution. In Fall 2004, the University implemented its first stand-alone doctoral program, the Ph.D. in International Business. The Southern Association for Colleges and Schools (SACS) has reviewed all relevant proposals and approved this change. (Doctoral Program Approval)
The institution also places primary responsibility for evaluating the effectiveness of academic programs with its faculty. In keeping with the University Assessment Reports, each semester faculty review the learning outcomes for all academic programs, assess them according to identified means of assessment, evaluate the results, and then make recommendations for any changes to the programs. Thus, faculty members participate in a process of continuous program assessment.