March 17 – 18, 2005

 

ITEM 126-101-R0305                  Curriculum Proposals; Revisions

 

THAT:                                       The Board of Regents of Higher Education approves the following changes to Policy 303.1:

(1)     establishes review procedures for certificate programs; and

(2)           emphasizes the link between Policy 303.1 and the Level I and Level II review and approval procedures.

 

In addition, the Board of Regents of Higher Education

approves the following changes to the Level I and Level II process:

(1)           adds additional program approval scenarios that are not explicitly covered in the current language.

 

EXPLANATION:                        Regent review and approval of certificate programs is not clear under existing language in Policy 303.1.  The new language states that the Montana Board of Regents will only review and approve certificate programs of more than 30 credits.  Certificates of 30 credits or less will be approved by the individual campuses, but reported to the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education for inclusion in the official degree and program inventory of the System.

 

In proposing this change, the Chief Academic Officers have taken a “middle of the road” position.  The more common rule, in most states, is to leave the creation and approval of most certificate programs up to individual institutions.  Some states separate out technical certificates or graduate certificates, and some states require notice to other institutions.  A summary of the review and approval practices in other states is attached to this explanation.

 

The current language in Policy 303.1 does not refer to the Level I and Level II review and approval process, which is an integral part of the procedures adopted by the Board of Regents in evaluating new programs.  The proposed language emphasizes that connection.

 

The current language in the Level I and Level II procedures does not cover the following situations:

·               creation of a minor or certificate where there is an option in a major;

·               creation of a certificate where there is no major; and

·               creation of a minor or certificate where there is no option in a major.

 

Most of these changes are intended to clean up existing policy language so it gives more direction to the campuses and the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education.