Review of Substantive Changes
Most changes in degree or certificate programs do not need any approvals beyond the level of the school. These include changes in the content and organization of individual courses, the addition of new courses to the program or the substitution of one course for another as meeting a specific program requirement. Some, however, are significant enough to require the approval of the Vice Provost for Academic Administration and, in the case of those at the post-baccalaureate level, the University Senate. They also may require the University to ask the New York State Education Department to modify the program's registration and to seek the approval of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Examples of such changes include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The number of credits needed to complete a degree or certificate program is significantly increased or decreased;
- The curriculum of a program is substantially revised;
- A new track is created within a program that requires students to take a substantially different curriculum;
- The program adopts a new method of delivering its curricular content and, in particular, begins to rely upon forms of distance learning to reach its students; and
- With dual degree programs involving more than one school of the University or joint degree programs offered in collaboration with other institutions, the distribution of the courses between the partners materially changes or the total number of credits required of the students significantly increases or decreases.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive.
Depending on their nature, other types of changes may also need University approvals beyond the program and school. They may also need to be registered with the New York State Education Department and may require the approval of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education if they involve a program modification that meets the Commission's definition of a "substantive change." Deans and directors of programs should contact the Vice Provost whenever they have questions about whether a change in their curriculum needs any approval outside of the school.