Institutional Quality Assurance Process. University of Ottawa

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1 Institutional Quality Assurance Process University of Ottawa June 27, 2011

2 Table of Contents 1. INTRODUCTION Authorities Contact person Definitions Evaluation of programs Audit process PROTOCOLS FOR THE EVALUATION AND APPROVAL OF NEW PROGRAMS Protocol for the Evaluation and Approval of New Graduate Programs PROTOCOLS FOR EXPEDITED APPROVALS Protocol for the Expedited Approval of Graduate Programs PROTOCOLS FOR THE EVALUATION AND APPROVAL OF MAJOR MODIFICATIONS TO EXISTING PROGRAMS Protocol for the Evaluation and Approval of Major Modifications to Existing Graduate Programs PROTOCOLS FOR THE EVALUATION AND APPROVAL OF MINOR MODIFICATIONS TO EXISTING PROGRAMS Protocol for the Evaluation and Approval of Minor Modifications to Existing Graduate Programs PROTOCOLS FOR THE CYCLICAL REVIEW OF PROGRAMS Protocol for the Cyclical Review of Existing Graduate Programs...34 APPENDICES...47 i

3 1. INTRODUCTION The policies and procedures for assessing existing and approving new undergraduate and graduate programs are a key mechanism in the University of Ottawa s ability to provide the best quality and the highest standards in these programs. At the University of Ottawa, undergraduate and graduate programs are reviewed separately, not concurrently Authorities At the University of Ottawa, the Senate is the final authority responsible for quality assurance of all university for-credit programs. The Vice-President Academic and Provost of the University has general oversight over the two arms of the quality assurance process the undergraduate and the graduate. At the undergraduate level, the Vice-President Academic and Provost is assisted in this process by the Associate Vice-President Academic, who is responsible for undergraduate programs and who chairs both the Senate Committee on the Evaluation of Undergraduate Programs/Comité du Sénat sur l évaluation des programmes de premier cycle (for cyclical reviews) and the Council on Undergraduate Studies/Conseil des études du premier cycle (for new programs and program modifications). At the graduate level, the Vice-President Academic and Provost is assisted in this process by the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, who is responsible for graduate programs and who chairs the Graduate Program Committee (for new programs and program modifications). The Vice-Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies chairs the Graduate Program Evaluation Committee (for cyclical reviews). 1.2 Contact person The Vice-President Academic and Provost is the contact person for the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance (Quality Council). 1.3 Definitions A program is a coherent whole composed of a set of articulated and integrated courses and/or other learning activities prescribed as the requirements for obtaining a particular degree. A new program is defined as any degree, degree program, or program of specialization (including cost-recovery programs and offsite programs), which has not been approved by the Ontario Council on Quality Assurance, its predecessors, or any intra-institutional 1

4 approval processes that previously applied. It has substantially different program requirements and substantially different learning outcomes from those of any existing approved programs offered by the institution. A change of name only does not constitute a new program. Major modifications to existing programs typically include one or more of the following program changes: requirements for the program that differ significantly from those existing at the time of the previous cyclical program review (e.g. a change in number and type of mandatory courses; a change in the language of program delivery), significant changes to the learning outcomes, or significant changes to the faculty engaged in delivering the program (e.g. a large proportion of professors retires; new hires alter the areas of research and teaching interests) and/or to the essential physical resources as may occur, for example, when there have been changes to the existing mode(s) of delivery. 1.4 Evaluation of programs All programs offered at the University of Ottawa for which a degree is conferred or a diploma awarded are subject to evaluation. This includes programs offered by federated or affiliated institutions, as well as those offered in collaboration or in partnership with community colleges, other universities or other institutions of higher learning. For complete listings of such programs please refer to the List of joint and other collaborative undergraduate programs provided in Appendix 1 Undergraduate Programs and to the List of joint and other collaborative graduate programs provided in Appendix 2 Graduate Programs. The list of evaluation criteria and the information required by the University of Ottawa for both new and existing undergraduate and graduate programs are available in the various protocols provided in this document. 1.5 Audit process Before implementing its IQAP, the University of Ottawa must first submit it to the Quality Council for ratification. The same process will apply whenever the university implements any substantive changes to its quality assurance processes. The Quality Council will conduct its subsequent audit of University of Ottawa s compliance with its ratified IQAP once every eight years. The current document contains all the relevant protocols for the evaluation and approval of undergraduate and graduate programs. All related templates have been included in a separate manual (procedures). The University of Ottawa IQAP is to be used in conjunction with the Quality Council Framework and Guidelines. 2

5 2. PROTOCOLS FOR THE EVALUATION AND APPROVAL OF NEW PROGRAMS 2.1 Protocol for the Evaluation and Approval of New Graduate Programs Evaluation and approval process for new graduate programs The initiative for the creation of a new program may come from the academic unit, an institute, faculty members, the central administration, the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, students, or an external agency (e.g. external reviewers of a program; employers). In most cases, it will be linked to one or more academic units and the latter will drive the creation of the program. A new program is brand-new: that is, the program has substantially different program requirements and substantially different learning outcomes from those of any existing approved graduate programs offered by the University. Each proposal for a new program must undergo a rigorous appraisal and approval process that involves a number of stages. These general stages are outlined below. At any stage, the proposal can be returned to the academic unit concerned, which must incorporate recommended modifications before moving on to the next approval stage Academic unit(s) The creation, evaluation and approval process is normally started by the academic unit or units offering the program. After receiving approval from the departmental assembly, program committee or equivalent, the academic unit completes a draft of the proposed program in the form of the Letter of Intent Template for the Creation of a New Program Home faculty The Letter of Intent is submitted for approval to all appropriate faculty authorities (Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies or equivalent, Dean of the faculty or faculties involved, Executive Committee of the Faculty Council or Councils) Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies The proposal (all documentation) is brought to the Council of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies FGPS) by the Dean of the FGPS. Once approved to go forward, it goes to the Graduate Program Committee which oversees the preparation of the three-volume brief (Volume One: Programs; Volume Two: Faculty CVs; Volume Three: Consultants CVs). Other committees are informed and their approval 3

6 is sought as appropriate (e.g. Administrative Committee for financial approval, Academic Planning Committee of Senate) External review and Internal response Two external reviewers (chosen by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies from a list prepared by the academic unit: Volume Three of the Proposal Brief) are invited to study the proposed program and make an on-site visit. An additional reviewer who is from a different academic unit within the University (and not in conflict of interest) or from outside the University (where appropriate), accompanies the external reviewers during their visit. Other external opinions may be solicited as appropriate (e.g. members of the business community, employers, alumni). The reviewers will normally be associate or full professors, or the equivalent, with program management experience, and will be at arm s length from the program under review. There is a conflict of interest when: there is an administrative or family link between the proposed external reviewer and a member of the academic program under review; or a proposed external examiner is a former research supervisor, graduate student, or postdoctoral trainee of one of the members of the academic unit under review; a proposed external reviewer has collaborated or published with a member or members of the academic program under review within the past six years; a proposed external reviewer is involved in a dispute with a member of the academic program under review. The external reviewers will receive a covering letter from the FGPS explaining the evaluation s objectives, the role and responsibilities of the reviewers and instructions for writing their joint report. The reviewers will appraise the standards and quality of the proposed program as set out in the Evaluation Criteria (see below). The reviewers will also be invited to acknowledge any clearly innovative aspects of the proposed program together with recommendations on any essential or otherwise desirable modifications to it. Normally, the external reviewers prepare a joint report. The internal reviewer will also submit a short written report. These are submitted to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, who sends a copy to the academic unit or units proposing the program, and to the Dean and Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies (or equivalent) of the faculty or faculties concerned within three weeks of having visited the academic unit. The academic unit(s) respond(s) in writing to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies within three weeks to any concerns and recommendations, and indicate means by which these will be addressed. 4

7 Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies The proposal and the calendar text and all the documentation (the Proposal Brief, the external reviewers Report, the internal responses to both) are reviewed by the Graduate Program Committee. It decides whether the proposal meets quality assurance standards and is thus acceptable or needs further modification Senate A final version of the project and the calendar text is prepared by the academic unit and is submitted by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to the Executive Committee of Senate, then to the Senate. A web version is posted and comments from the public are solicited. At the same time, the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies informs the Council of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies of the decision of the Graduate Program Committee. The calendar text is presented to the Council of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance The proposal as approved by the Senate is then submitted for approval to the Quality Council by the Vice-President, Academic and Provost. The submission template will include information on whether or not the proposed program will be cost-recovery. The same standards and protocols apply regardless of the source of funding Information to be included in the proposal for a new program Stage one: Letter of Intent New Graduate Programs for preliminary approval purposes: rationale for the creation of the new program (including program s aim, learning outcomes, degree level expectations, essential requirements, type of student it is expected to attract); program name and degree designation and their accuracy in reflecting the program; content and terminology used in the discipline; consistency with University s mission and academic plans; match with goals and research strengths of the academic unit(s); general admission requirements; general program structure and content; rationale for program length; comparison with similar programs in Ontario or elsewhere; brief evaluation of resources; cost recovery; site and method of delivery; faculty teaching expertise; 5

8 student interest; administrative structure. Stage two: Template for the Creation of New Graduate Programs and for the Cyclical Review of Existing Graduate Programs: See Template at Evaluation Criteria The policies and procedures for assessing and approving new graduate programs are a key mechanism in the University of Ottawa s ability to provide the best quality and the highest standards in these programs. (Note: The University of Ottawa has adopted OCAV s Guidelines on Degree Level Expectations and therefore the institution s guidelines on Degree Level Expectations are the same as OCAV s.) Prior to submitting a Proposal Brief for appraisal, new graduate programs will be internally evaluated against the following criteria: Objectives a) Consistency of the program with the University s mission and academic plans, particularly with respect to the Francophonie, the development of bilingualism, and the needs of Franco-Ontarians, and matches both the goals and the teaching and research strengths of the academic unit (or units) concerned; b) Clarity and appropriateness of the program s requirements and associated learning outcomes in addressing the Ontario Council of Associate Vice-Presidents and University of Ottawa s Degree Level Expectations; c) Appropriateness of degree nomenclature; d) High quality; e) Fit with other programs Admission requirements a) Appropriateness of the program s admission requirements for the learning activities and outcomes established for completion of the program; b) Sufficient explanation of all admission requirements (e.g. minimum grade point average, language proficiency, previous degrees). 6

9 Program structure a) Appropriateness of the program's structure and regulations to meet specified program learning outcomes and Degree Level Expectations. (Note: The University of Ottawa has accepted the OCAV Degree Level Expectations); b) A clear rationale for program length that ensures that the program requirements can be reasonably completed within the proposed time period Program content a) Ways in which the curriculum addresses the current state of the discipline or area of study; b) Identification of any unique curriculum or program innovations or creative components; c) For research-focused graduate programs, clear indication of the nature and suitability of the major research requirements for degree completion; d) Evidence that each graduate student in the program is required (and will be able) to take a minimum of two-thirds of the course requirements from among graduate level courses; e) A clear list of essential requirements; f) Learning outcomes of the program Mode of delivery a) Appropriateness of the proposed mode(s) of delivery to meet the intended program s learning outcomes and Degree Level Expectations Language of delivery a) Evidence that, where appropriate, the University s mission concerning Ontario s Francophone Community and bilingualism is reflected in the course delivery; supervision offered in both of the official languages (where possible and appropriate); language in which the thesis is written; comprehensive examinations; and other activities offered in both languages. 7

10 Assessment of teaching and learning a) Appropriateness of the proposed methods for the assessment of student achievement of the intended program learning outcomes and Degree Level Expectations; b) Completeness of plans for documenting and demonstrating the level of performance of students, consistent with OCAV s statement of its Degree Level Expectations Resources a) Adequacy of the academic unit s planned utilization of existing human, physical and financial resources, and any institutional commitment to supplement those resources, to support the program; b) Participation of a sufficient number and quality of faculty who are competent to teach and/or supervise in the program; c) Evidence that there are adequate resources to sustain the quality of scholarship produced by graduate students scholarship and research activities, including library support, information technology support, laboratory access, and student office space; d) Evidence that faculty have the recent research or professional/clinical expertise needed to sustain the program, promote innovation, and foster an appropriate intellectual climate; e) Where appropriate, evidence that financial assistance for students will be sufficient to ensure adequate quality and numbers of students; and to ensure that students are able to complete their programs within the specified time; f) Evidence of the way supervisory loads will be distributed, and the qualifications and appointment status of faculty who will provide instruction and supervision Quality and other indicators a) Evidence of quality of the faculty (e.g. qualifications, research, innovation; scholarly record; teaching excellence; appropriateness of collective faculty expertise to contribute substantively to the proposed program). These details will be found in Volume Two (faculty CVs) and in the tables in the Template for the Cyclical Review of Graduate Programs (e.g. benchmark data, Graduate and Professional Student Survey results); b) Evidence of a program structure and faculty research that will ensure the intellectual quality of the student experience; 8

11 c) Evidence that the program has addressed the Tri-Council s guidelines statement concerning graduate students professional skills; d) Mentoring policies in place for junior professors; e) Mentoring policies and orientation days for new graduate students; f) Evidence of clear communication between students, faculty, and program administration (e.g. a handbook for students with program details, processes, important deadlines, etc.; a web site; listserv); g) Appropriate administrative structures (and including frequency of meetings) that ensures oversight of students progress; h) Evidence of student input into graduate program amelioration and development (e.g. exit surveys, student representation on committees, etc.); i) Postdoctoral fellows: number, length of appointment, and their contribution to the graduate program Announcement of new programs Once the Council has received all the documentation (the three volumes of the Brief, the external reviewers report, the response of the academic unit, an accompanying letter from the Vice-President Academic and Provost, and the final calendar text), the academic unit may advertise the proposed program with the following caveat: Conditional on approval by the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance. The academic unit must not solicit applications without the explicit authorization of the Vice-President, Academic and Provost Implementation window After a new program is approved to commence, the program must begin within 36 months of that date of approval; otherwise the approval will lapse Institutional follow-up The academic unit must submit a brief report at the end of the second and the end of the fourth academic years after the program has been approved to commence. These reports will be sent to the Vice-President Academic and Provost with a copy to the Dean and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and to the Dean and Vice- Dean, Graduate Studies of the faculty (faculties) concerned. The Dean of the Faculty of 9

12 Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is responsible for bringing the report to the council of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The report must provide the following information: a) number of applicants; b) number of offers extended; c) number of offers accepted; student retention; d) financial support awarded to students; e) courses offered; f) quality of the student experience as determined by focus groups or a survey; g) any changes in human resources (departures, additions); if new hires were made, then CVs must be provided; h) any other information deemed useful and pertinent by the academic unit. This report will be shared with the Graduate Program Committee. After this consultation, the academic unit may be required to make modifications to the program. The Vice President Academic and Provost is ultimately responsible for overseeing these changes; however, this task is usually delegated to the home faculty Dean or to the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The first cyclical review for any new program must be conducted no more than eight years after the date of the program s initial enrolment and will follow the schedule established by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Role and Composition of the Graduate Program Committee and the Council of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies The Graduate Program Committee is responsible for overseeing the creation of new programs and for overseeing major and minor modifications to existing programs. It consists of the following members: Dean, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (chair) Vice-Dean, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Associate Dean, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Assistant Dean, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies 10

13 Vice-Deans, Graduate Studies or equivalent: Medicine, Education, Management, Sciences, Health Sciences, Law, Arts, Engineering, Social Sciences Two professors from the Sciences Two professors from the Humanities A student representative The Council of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies The Council promotes the quality and relevance of the graduate programs offered by the University of Ottawa through its Graduate Program Committee and its Graduate Program Evaluation Committee. To that end, it supervises the procedures for the cyclical evaluation of graduate programs; prepares for the audit by the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurances; examines the audit reports and, where relevant, submits its recommendations to the Vice-President Academic and Provost. The Council s specific role in the evaluation and creation of graduate programs is detailed in the various protocols. The Council is composed of: Dean, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, chair Vice-Rector Academic of Saint Paul University one Associate Vice President Research Vice-Dean, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Associate Dean, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Assistant Dean and Secretary General (non-voting), Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Associate Registrar for Graduate Studies (non-voting) President of the Commission - Humanities President of the Commission - Sciences all vice-deans of graduate studies or equivalent of the other faculties or schools two members from the Commission - Humanities two members from the Commission - Sciences one postdoctoral representative two student representatives appointed by the Executive Committee of the FGPS. upon recommendation by the vice-deans of the faculties. One of the students must be from the Humanities and one from the Sciences. Of these, one must be registered as a full-time student. Neither of the two may be the student representative on the Graduate Program Committee. 11

14 OVERVIEW OF PROTOCOL FOR THE EVALUATION AND APPROVAL OF NEW GRADUATE PROGRAMS Development of New Proposal Brief External Review Internal Response Institutional Approval University s Governance Procedures Provincial Appraisal Committee Review and Recommendation Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance Approval to Commence Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (for funding purposes) Ongoing Program Monitoring by the Institution (Vice-President Academic and Provost) Cyclical Review within 8 years of First Enrolment 12

15 INTERNAL APPROVAL PROCESS FOR THE EVALUATION AND APPROVAL OF NEW GRADUATE PROGRAMS Development of New Proposal by the relevant Academic Unit (Template for the Creation of a New Graduate Program) Approval and support from the home faculty or faculties Proposal documentation to Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Council of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (preliminary approval) Graduate Program Committee of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (scheduling) (University Administrative Committee if financial implications) APPROVAL TO DEVELOP THE PROPOSAL Detailed Proposal Brief (3 volumes) Graduate Program Committee of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies External Review (2 external reviewers + 1 internal) Internal Response Graduate Program Committee Executive Committee of Senate Senate Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (for funding purposes) Program initiated within 36 months of approval On-going monitoring by the University (Dean, Vice-President Academic and Provost) University follow-up within 8 years of first enrolment (Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) 13

16 3. PROTOCOLS FOR EXPEDITED APPROVALS 3.1 Protocol for the Expedited Approval of Graduate Programs The Expedited Approval Process requires the submission to the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance of a Proposal Brief. No external reviewers are required. This protocol applies in the following cases: 1. the declaration of a new Field in an existing graduate program; or 2. the proposal for a new Collaborative Program; or 3. a new for-credit Graduate Diploma. This protocol also applies to proposals for major modifications to existing and already approved graduate programs and for which the University is requesting approval from the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance (Quality Council). It also applies to new programs that are created from existing University of Ottawa programs or that involve adding components or options to current programs, and for which the University is not requesting an external review. The steps for evaluation and approval of a brief for Expedited Approval are outlined below. (For details on each of these steps, consult the Protocol for Expedited Approval of Graduate Programs.) Note that the Evaluation Criteria detailed below must be addressed when creating new collaborative programs and new for-credit diploma programs Evaluation and approval process for new fields and new programs created from existing and approved University of Ottawa programs Proposal for a New Field Graduate programs are not required to declare fields in either master s or doctoral programs but they may do so. If there is a decision to add them after the program is established, the academic unit must follow the Protocol for Expedited Approval and must seek the Quality Council s endorsement. The Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance defines fields in graduate programs as an area of specialization or concentration (in multiinterdisciplinary programs a clustered area of specialization) that is related to the demonstrable and collective strengths of the program s faculty. Normally, this means that at least three or four regular professors are actively engaged in researching and teaching in the proposed field. For deletions of or changes to a Field, see Major Modifications. 14

17 Academic Unit: The academic unit completes the Letter of Intent Template for Expedited Approval proposing a new Field. Description of the new field; Appropriateness of its title; Rationale for the proposal; Number and names of faculty involved in the proposed new field; Courses linked to the proposed new field; Impact, if any, on the program s goals and learning outcomes; Impact on any other programs at the University; Effect on student profile and enrolment if any; Consistency with mission and academic plans of the University and of the academic unit; Impact, if any, on the current facilities, resources (human, material, financial) Home faculty The completed template is sent to the home faculty or faculties for approval by the appropriate academic authorities (normally the Dean of the home faculty, Executive Committee or Graduate Studies Committee, Faculty Council). The document will describe the new Field and will provide a rationale for its creation. Faculty expertise and the existence of a sufficient number of related courses must be demonstrated Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies The Graduate Program Committee decides whether the proposal meets the following criteria: a. the faculty expertise justifies its creation; b. there is a sufficient number of faculty members; c. the new field s title (in both languages, where needed) is appropriate and clearly justified in the rationale; d. there is a sufficient number of related graduate courses to justify the addition of a new field. Once approved, the proposal is submitted to Council of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. 15

18 Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance Once approved by the FGPS Council, the proposal is forwarded by the Vice-President Academic and Provost to the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance Proposal for a New Collaborative or For-Credit Graduate Diploma Academic unit(s): The academic unit(s) complete(s) the Letter of Intent Template for Expedited Approval proposing a new Collaborative Program or for-credit Graduate Diploma Home faculty (faculties) The completed template is submitted to all appropriate academic authorities (e.g. Dean, Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies, Executive Committee or Graduate Studies Committee, Faculty Council) for approval. The document will describe the new Collaborative Program or for-credit Graduate Diploma and will provide a rationale for its creation. The program must meet the Evaluation Criteria set out below Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies The proposal is studied by and shared with the appropriate academic authorities (e.g. Graduate Program Committee, Commissions, the Council of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the Administrative Committee of Senate if financial implications). If the proposal is approved, the unit proceeds to prepare a full program proposal Brief. The Proposal Brief will describe the new program using the relevant sections of the Template for the Cyclical Review of Graduate Programs (e.g. learning outcomes, Degree Level Expectations, program content, structure, faculty physical and other resources, funding, etc.). Note that Volume 3 (Reviewers) is not required. The Brief will also provide a brief account of the rationale for the proposed initiative, and will address the Evaluation Criteria where they apply Senate The final version of the proposed program is submitted by the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to the Executive Committee of Senate, then to the Senate. A web version is posted and comments from the public are solicited Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance 16

19 Upon approval by the Senate, the documentation is submitted by the Vice-President Academic and Provost to the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance Information to be included in the proposal for new collaborative or for-credit graduate diploma programs a) a brief description of the new diploma/new collaborative program; b) a rationale for this proposal; c) for the proposal of a new Graduate Diploma: definition of the area of focus and the academic requirements of the program; d) for Types 2 and 3 Graduate Diplomas: appraisal status and degree level(s) of the related programs; e) list of the core faculty of the collaborative program, together with their home affiliation; f) added value of the proposed program to the educational experience of students (i.e. beyond that which would be obtained in the home program); g) intellectual focus of the program and the degree level(s) at which it is offered (i.e. Master s, PhD); h) common learning experience for the students (e.g. core courses); i) academic requirements of the program (including required and elective courses, thesis, etc.); j) impact on the existing program s goals. Impact on other programs at the University of Ottawa; k) changes affecting the student profile and enrolment; l) consistency with the mission and academic plans of the University and the academic unit; m) impact on the facilities, faculty resources, and material and financial resources required to offer the program; n) description of the administrative structure; 17

20 o) comparison with similar programs offered at other institutions in Ontario and Canada Evaluation Criteria Objectives a) consistency of the program with the University s mission and academic plans; b) clarity and appropriateness of the program s requirements and associated learning outcomes in addressing the Ontario Council of Associate Vice- Presidents and University of Ottawa s Degree Level Expectations; c) appropriateness of degree nomenclature; d) high quality; e) fit with other programs Admission requirements a) appropriateness of the program s admission requirements for the learning activities and outcomes established for completion of the program; b) sufficient explanation of all admission requirements (e.g. minimum grade point average, language proficiency, previous degrees) Structure a) appropriateness of the program's structure and regulations to meet specified program learning outcomes and Degree Level Expectations. Note: The University of Ottawa has accepted the OCAV Degree Level Expectations; b) a clear rationale for program length that ensures that the program requirements can be reasonably completed within the proposed time period Program content a) ways in which the curriculum addresses the current state of the discipline or area of study; b) identification of any unique curriculum or program innovations or creative components; 18

21 c) for research-focused graduate programs, clear indication of the nature and suitability of the major research requirements for degree completion; d) evidence that each graduate student in the program is required (and will be able) to take a minimum of two-thirds of the course requirements from among graduate level courses; e) a clear list of essential requirements; f) learning outcomes of the program Mode of delivery a) appropriateness of the proposed mode(s) of delivery to meet the intended program s learning outcomes and Degree Level Expectations Language of delivery a) evidence that, where appropriate, the University s mission concerning Ontario s Francophone Community and bilingualism is reflected in the course delivery; b) supervision offered in both of the official languages (where possible and appropriate); c) language in which the thesis is written; d) comprehensive examinations; e) and other activities offered in both languages Assessment of teaching and learning a) appropriateness of the proposed methods for the assessment of student achievement of the intended program learning outcomes and Degree Level Expectations; b) completeness of plans for documenting and demonstrating the level of performance of students, consistent with OCAV s statement of its Degree Level Expectations Resources 19

22 a) adequacy of the academic unit s planned utilization of existing human, physical and financial resources, and any institutional commitment to supplement those resources, to support the program; b) participation of a sufficient number and quality of faculty who are competent to teach and/or supervise in the program; c) evidence that there are adequate resources to sustain the quality of scholarship produced by graduate students scholarship and research activities, including library support, information technology support, laboratory access, and student office space; d) evidence that faculty have the recent research or professional/clinical expertise needed to sustain the program, promote innovation, and foster an appropriate intellectual climate; e) where appropriate, evidence that financial assistance for students will be sufficient to ensure adequate quality and numbers of students; and to ensure that students are able to complete their programs within the specified time; f) evidence of the way supervisory loads will be distributed, and the qualifications and appointment status of faculty who will provide instruction and supervision Quality and other indicators a) evidence of quality of the faculty (e.g. qualifications, research, innovation; scholarly record; teaching excellence; appropriateness of collective faculty expertise to contribute substantively to the proposed program). These details will be found in Volume Two (faculty CVs) and in the tables in the Template for the Cyclical Review of Graduate Programs (e.g. benchmark data, Graduate and Professional Student Survey results); b) evidence of a program structure and faculty research that will ensure the intellectual quality of the student experience; c) evidence that the program has addressed the Tri-Council s guidelines statement concerning graduate students professional skills; d) mentoring policies in place for junior professors; e) mentoring policies and orientation days for new graduate students; 20

23 f) evidence of clear communication between students, faculty, and program administration (e.g. a handbook for students with program details, processes, important deadlines, etc.; a web site; listserv); g) appropriate administrative structures (and including frequency of meetings) that ensures oversight of students progress; h) evidence of student input into graduate program amelioration and development (e.g. exit surveys, student representation on committees, etc.); i) postdoctoral fellows: number, length of appointment, and their contribution to the graduate program Announcement of new programs Once the Council has received all the documentation, the academic unit may advertise the proposed program with the following caveat: Conditional upon approval by the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance. The academic unit must not solicit applications for admission to new Collaborative or for-credit Graduate Diploma programs without the explicit authorization of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Implementation window After a new program is approved to commence, the program must begin within 36 months of that date of approval; otherwise, the approval will lapse Institutional follow-up of new collaborative programs or new for- Credit Graduate Diplomas New collaborative programs and new for-credit graduate diplomas will be monitored in the same fashion as a new program (i.e. with a report two and four years after initiation). The first cyclical review for any new program must be conducted no more than eight years after the date of the program s initial enrolment and follows the schedule established by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. 21

24 OVERVIEW OF PROTOCOL FOR EXPEDITED APPROVALS FROM THE ONTARIO UNIVERSITIES ON QUALITY ASSURANCE Development of a new Program by the Academic Unit Institutional Approval University s Governance Procedures Appraisal Committee Review and Recommendation Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance Cyclical Review within 8 years OVERVIEW OF PROTOCOL FOR APPROVAL PROCESS FOR A NEW FIELD Academic Unit proposes a new field Approval of the faculty or faculties involved Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Council, Program Committee) Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance 22

25 COLLABORATIVE PROGRAMS AND FOR-CREDIT GRADUATE DIPLOMAS OR CERTIFICATES Development of the proposal for a new collaborative program or new graduate diploma Approval of the faculty or faculties involved Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Council, Program Committee) Administrative Committee (if financial implications) Executive Committee of Senate Senate Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (for funding purposes) Ongoing Program Monitoring by the University (Dean of home faculty/faculties, Vice-President Academic and Provost) Cyclical Review within 8 years of First Enrolment 23

26 4. PROTOCOLS FOR THE EVALUATION AND APPROVAL OF MAJOR MODIFICATIONS TO EXISTING PROGRAMS 4.1 Protocol for the Evaluation and Approval of Major Modifications to Existing Graduate Programs Major Modifications Modification to a program is considered major when: a) the requirements for the program differ significantly from those existing at the time of the previous cyclical program review (e.g. a change in number and type of mandatory courses; a change in the language of program delivery; the introduction of a new concentration; a new mode of delivery; the addition or deletion of a coop or practicum; addition or deletion of a research paper; a change in the nature of the comprehensive, qualifying or candidacy examinations; the merger of two or more programs; the introduction of a bridging option for college diploma graduates; any change to field studies or residency requirements; major changes made to more than one-third of courses; a change from full to part-time program options or vice versa); b) significant changes have been made to the learning outcomes (e.g. a major research component such as a research paper or thesis has been removed, added, or otherwise significantly changed; c) any changes to program content, other than those listed above, that affect the learning outcomes, but do not meet the threshold for a new program ; d) significant changes have been made to the professors engaged in delivering the program (e.g. a large proportion of professors retires; new hires alter the areas of research and teaching interests; a field is deleted; an existing degree program is established at another location or institution). (For the introduction of a new field see above.); e) when significant changes have been made to the essential physical resources (e.g. new laboratories are created; a complete on-line delivery of the program is proposed; the program is moved to an off-campus location) where these changes impair the delivery of the approved program. The above list is merely illustrative and does not exhaust the possibilities of the definition of a major modification to a program. The Assistant Dean and Secretary General of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the Graduate Program Committee should be consulted for further information and in case of doubt. 24

27 4.1.2 Evaluation and approval process for major modifications Academic unit The academic unit submits the proposed modification (which includes a clear and detailed rationale for the changes, as well as implications, if any, for the program) to the home faculty authorities for approval, using the Letter of Intent Template for Major Modifications of Graduate Programs. Academic units are encouraged to consult the Secretary General and Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to determine whether the proposed changes are considered major or minor Home faculty Once approved by the appropriate authorities in the home Faculty (e.g. Dean, Executive Committee or Graduate Studies Committee, Faculty Council), the academic unit prepares a full (calendar) version of the proposed changes. This document is submitted to the Graduate Program Committee of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and a copy is sent to the Dean(s) and Vice- Deans of the faculty or faculties concerned Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies The Graduate Program Committee considers the proposal in light of the applicable Evaluation Criteria and, if there are financial implications to the creation of the new program, the proposal is submitted for approval to the Administrative Committee. Once all the necessary approvals have been received, the Graduate Program Committee submits the document to the Council of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Senate The proposed changes are then sent to the Executive Committee of Senate. Once approved by the Executive Committee of Senate, the documentation will automatically be sent for Senate approval if deemed necessary Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance A copy of the major modification approved by Senate is sent to the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance as part of the University s annual report on Major Modification(s) approved during that academic year. 25

28 4.1.3 Information to be included in the proposal The proposal must include: a) a description of changes made (structure, courses, mode of delivery, deletion of a field, etc.); b) a rationale for the changes; c) the impact on the program s goals, degree level expectations and learning outcomes; d) the impact on student s profile and enrolment; e) the effect of these modifications on the mission and academic plans of the University and the unit; f) the effect of these modifications on admission requirements and student s level of preparation; g) the effect of these modifications on teaching, learning and evaluation methods; h) the effect of these modifications on the program structure; i) the impact on facilities, faculty resources, and material and financial resources required to offer the program; j) the effect these modifications on the program s administrative structure Evaluation Criteria Objectives a) Consistency of the program with the University s mission and academic plans; b) Clarity and appropriateness of the program s requirements and associated learning outcomes in addressing the Ontario Council of Associate Vice-Presidents and University of Ottawa s Degree Level Expectations; c) Appropriateness of degree nomenclature; d) High quality; e) Fit with other programs. 26

29 Admission requirements a) Appropriateness of the program s admission requirements for the learning activities and outcomes established for completion of the program; b) Sufficient explanation of all admission requirements (e.g. minimum grade point average, language proficiency, previous degrees) Structure a) Appropriateness of the program's structure and regulations to meet specified program learning outcomes and Degree Level Expectations. Note: The University of Ottawa has accepted the OCAV Degree Level Expectations; b) A clear rationale for program length that ensures that the program requirements can be reasonably completed within the proposed time period Program content a) Ways in which the curriculum addresses the current state of the discipline or area of study; b) Identification of any unique curriculum or program innovations or creative components; c) For research-focused graduate programs, clear indication of the nature and suitability of the major research requirements for degree completion; d) Evidence that each graduate student in the program is required (and will be able) to take a minimum of two-thirds of the course requirements from among graduate level courses; e) A clear list of essential requirements; f) Learning outcomes of the program Mode of delivery a) Appropriateness of the proposed mode(s) of delivery to meet the intended program s learning outcomes and Degree Level Expectations Language of delivery 27

30 a) Evidence that, where appropriate, the University s mission concerning Ontario s Francophone Community and bilingualism is reflected in the course delivery; supervision offered in both of the official languages (where possible and appropriate); language in which the thesis is written; comprehensive examinations; and other activities offered in both languages Assessment of teaching and learning a) Appropriateness of the proposed methods for the assessment of student achievement of the intended program learning outcomes and Degree Level Expectations; b) Completeness of plans for documenting and demonstrating the level of performance of students, consistent with OCAV s statement of its Degree Level Expectations Resources a) Adequacy of the academic unit s planned utilization of existing human, physical and financial resources, and any institutional commitment to supplement those resources, to support the program; b) Participation of a sufficient number and quality of faculty who are competent to teach and/or supervise in the program; c) Evidence that there are adequate resources to sustain the quality of scholarship produced by graduate students scholarship and research activities, including library support, information technology support, laboratory access, and student office space; d) Evidence that faculty have the recent research or professional/clinical expertise needed to sustain the program, promote innovation, and foster an appropriate intellectual climate; e) Where appropriate, evidence that financial assistance for students will be sufficient to ensure adequate quality and numbers of students; and to ensure that students are able to complete their programs within the specified time; f) Evidence of the way supervisory loads will be distributed, and the qualifications and appointment status of faculty who will provide instruction and supervision Quality and other indicators 28

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