2.1 Initial Institutional Process
Each institution’s IQAP will identify the steps required for the university to develop and approve new undergraduate and graduate programs. This process must include, but is not limited to, the components described throughout the remainder of this Protocol. In recognition of the diversity in institutional strategies, universities may add to the following components for their new program approval process, including for example, consideration of equity, diversity and inclusion, special missions and mandates, and student populations that are being encouraged by governments, institutions, and others.
2.1.1 Program Proposal
Universities are strongly encouraged to use the Quality Council’s New Program Proposal template to ensure alignment with the required evaluation criteria detailed below. Use of this template will also facilitate ease of review by the members of the Appraisal Committee, who themselves use this template for their assessment (see template). The Proposal will minimally address the evaluation criteria detailed in 2.1.2 and meet the requirements of this Quality Assurance Framework together with any further institutional requirements that the university chooses to apply. Where appropriate, the Proposal should also include the identification of unique curriculum or program innovations, creative components, or significant high impact practices.
2.1.2 Evaluation Criteria
Prior to submitting a Proposal to the Quality Council for appraisal, institutions will evaluate any new graduate or undergraduate programs against the following criteria (and any additional criteria added by the university):
22.214.171.124 Program objectives
- Clarity of the program’s objectives;
- Appropriateness of degree nomenclature given the program’s objectives; and
- Consistency of the program’s objectives with the institution’s mission and academic plans.
126.96.36.199 Program requirements
- Appropriateness of the program’s structure and the requirements to meet its objectives and program-level learning outcomes;
- Appropriateness of the program’s structure, requirements and program-level learning outcomes in meeting the institution’s undergraduate or graduate Degree Level Expectations;
- Appropriateness of the proposed mode(s) of delivery (see Definitions) to facilitate students’ successful completion of the program-level learning outcomes; and
- Ways in which the curriculum addresses the current state of the discipline or area of study.
188.8.131.52 Program requirements for graduate programs only
- Clear rationale for program length that ensures that students can complete the program-level learning outcomes and requirements within the proposed time;
- Evidence that each graduate student in the program is required to take a minimum of two-thirds of the course requirements from among graduate-level courses (see Guidance); and
- For research-focused graduate programs, clear indication of the nature and suitability of the major research requirements for degree completion.
184.108.40.206 Assessment of teaching and learning (see Guidance)
- Appropriateness of the methods for assessing student achievement of the program-level learning outcomes and degree level expectations; and
- Appropriateness of the plans to monitor and assess:
- The overall quality of the program;
- Whether the program is achieving in practice its proposed objectives;
- Whether its students are achieving the program-level learning outcomes; and
- How the resulting information will be documented and subsequently used to inform continuous program improvement.
220.127.116.11 Admission requirements
- Appropriateness of the program’s admission requirements given the program’s objectives and program-level learning outcomes; and
- Sufficient explanation of alternative requirements, if applicable, for admission into a graduate, second-entry or undergraduate program, e.g., minimum grade point average, additional languages or portfolios, and how the program recognizes prior work or learning experience.
Given the program’s planned /anticipated class sizes and cohorts as well as its program-level learning outcomes:
- Participation of a sufficient number and quality of core faculty who are competent to teach and/or supervise in and achieve the goals of the program and foster the appropriate academic environment;
- If applicable, discussion/explanation of the role and approximate percentage of adjunct and part-time faculty/limited term appointments used in the delivery of the program and the associated plans to ensure the sustainability of the program and quality of the student experience (see Guidance);
- If required, provision of supervision of experiential learning opportunities;
- Adequacy of the administrative unit’s planned utilization of existing human, physical and financial resources, including implications for the impact on other existing programs at the university;
- Evidence that there are adequate resources to sustain the quality of scholarship and research activities produced by students, including library support, information technology support, and laboratory access; and
- If necessary, additional institutional resource commitments to support the program in step with its ongoing implementation.
18.104.22.168 Resources for graduate programs only
Given the program’s planned/anticipated class sizes and cohorts as well as its program-level learning outcomes:
- Evidence that faculty have the recent research or professional/clinical expertise needed to sustain the program, promote innovation, and foster an appropriate intellectual climate;
- Where appropriate to the program, evidence that financial assistance for students will be sufficient to ensure adequate quality and numbers of students; and
- Evidence of how supervisory loads will be distributed, in light of qualifications and appointment status of the faculty.
22.214.171.124 Quality and other indicators
- Evidence of the quality of the faculty (e.g., qualifications, funding, honours, awards, research, innovation and scholarly record; appropriateness of collective faculty expertise to contribute substantively to the program and commitment to student mentoring); and
- Any other evidence that the program and faculty will ensure the intellectual quality of the student experience.