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Program Development

New Degree Development Process

As a general rule, proposals for new degrees must be submitted to the Chancellor’s Office for approval.  The following is an outline of the new degree development process:

Stage 1: Academic Plan

  • Prepare the New Degree Summary Statement (template sent to colleges every fall quarter)
  • The New Degree Summary Statement is reviewed by the Academic Plan Consultative Committee.  If approved, the new degree is added to the Academic Plan.
  • The Campus Academic Plan and New Degree Summary Statements are submitted to the Chancellor's Office for approval by the Board of Trustees.  If approved, there is a five-year window to implement the new program.

Stage 2: Degree Program Proposal

  • Using the template provided by the Chancellor's Office, a program proposal is developed.
  • The completed proposal is submitted to the appropriate Associate Dean and to Academic Programs & Planning for feedback and review.

Stage 3: Campus Curriculum Review

  • New course proposals and the finalized program proposal are submitted for review to the Department Curriculum Committee, College Curriculum Committee, and Academic Senate Curriculum Committee. (New course proposals can be submitted for approval prior to submitting the program proposal or along with the program proposal).
  • Approvals must occur at all campus levels, including the President, before submitting to the Chancellor's Office.

Stage 4: Chancellor’s Office Review

  • Academic Programs & Planning will submit program proposals, including all campus approvals, to the Chancellor's Office 18 to 24 months prior to proposed implementation.

Stage 5: Notifications

  • Once final approval is received from the Chancellor's Office, Academic Programs & Planning will notify critical campus stakeholders (e.g., Admissions, Financial Aid, etc.).
  • Once the program is implemented, Academic Programs & Planning will notify WASC.
  • All new programs must complete program review within five years of implementation.

This is an outline of the typical process for new degrees only. Other program proposals have their own processes and requirements. Whatever the program that is being proposed, the development process begins with a consultation in Academic Programs & Planning. Please contact Amy Robbins (acrobbin@calpoly.edu) to schedule a meeting or to request further information.

Please note: The university's accrediting agency, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), requires a Substantive Change Proposal for new online or off-campus degrees.


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