3.36.1 Academic Programs Procedure

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Chapter 3: Educational Policies

3.36.1. Academic Programs Procedure


Related Minnesota State Board Policy: 3.36 Academic Programs
Related Minnesota State Board Procedure: 3.36.1 Academic Programs

Purpose: To establish standards, processes, and conditions that enable consistent implementation of academic program policy in compliance with Minnesota State Board Policy and Procedure.

Part 1: Definitions
 

Part 1. Definitions

Academic award
A certificate, diploma or degree.

Academic program
A cohesive arrangement of college-level curricular requirements leading to an academic award.

Academic program closure
An academic program change in status which permanently closes the academic program to new enrollment.

Emphasis
A specialized area of study of at least nine credits within an academic program.

Academic program redesign
A change to an existing academic program characteristic.

Academic program reinstatement
An academic program status change from suspended to active.

Academic program relocation
Academic program relocation occurs when an active academic program is closed at its present location and approved for delivery at a different location.

Academic program replication
Academic program replication occurs when an active academic program is offered at an additional location.

Academic program suspension
Academic program suspension is a change in status which temporarily closes the academic program to new enrollment.

Articulation agreement
A formal agreement between two or more educational entities to accept courses in transfer toward a specific academic program using the system articulation agreement template or equivalent evidence of course transfer encoded into the degree audit reporting system.

Credit
A unit of measure assigned to a college or university course offering or an equivalent learning experience that takes into consideration achieved student learning outcomes and instructional time.

Fine arts
The disciplines of creative writing, dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, and performing arts in which artistic purposes are primary.

General education
A cohesive curriculum defined by college or university faculty to develop reasoning ability through an integration of learning experiences in the liberal arts and sciences.

Liberal arts and sciences
Liberal arts and sciences include communications, natural sciences, mathematics, social and behavioral sciences, and humanities and fine arts.

Location
A geographic place where Normandale has been approved to deliver an entire academic program.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum
Curriculum comprised of general education courses, goal area definitions, and competencies that transfer between Minnesota public colleges and universities.

New academic program
An academic program identified by curricular content and an academic award significantly different from other academic programs at a college or university.

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Part 2: Authorized Academic Awards and Attributes
 

Normandale Community College awards undergraduate certificates and the associate of arts, the associate of fine arts, the associate of science and the associate of applied science degrees. The College reserves the right to automatically post certificates and/or degree completion to the student's academic record upon the verification that all requirements have been satisfied. A student may opt out of being awarded a credential by notifying the Records & Registration office in writing.

Subpart A. Academic award attributes
Academic awards must have the following attributes.

1.         Undergraduate certificate. An undergraduate certificate is awarded upon completion of an academic program of 30 or fewer credits. At least one third of the credits in the undergraduate certificate must be completed at Normandale. This requirement may be decreased upon a student's approved academic petition.An undergraduate certificate must not have emphases. All vocational and technical credits earned for a certificate must be applicable toward an available degree in the same program.

2.       Associate degrees. Associate degrees are awarded upon completion of a 60-credit academic program unless approved for a higher credit level by special waiver. At least 15 credits of the degree program must be completed at Normandale.

a.     Associate of arts degree.   An associate of arts (AA) degree is awarded for completion of a liberal arts and sciences program that includes completion of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum. It is designed for transfer to a baccalaureate degree-granting college or university.An AA degree may have one or more emphases of at least 9 credits each in liberal arts and science fields, provided there is an articulation agreement with a related baccalaureate major offered by one or more system universities.

b.   Associate of fine arts degree.  An associate of fine arts (AFA) degree is awarded for completion of a program in particular disciplines in the fine arts. It is designed to transfer in its entirety to a related fine arts discipline baccalaureate degree program. An articulation agreement with a related baccalaureate degree program at a regionally accredited university is required. Normandale faculty shall pursue an articulation agreement with a system university before establishing an articulation agreement with a non-system university.

An AFA degree requires a minimum of 24 credits selected from at least six of the ten goal areas of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum.

Requirements for the following disciplines have been adopted.

1.     Art. An AFA degree in art requires a minimum of 24 credits selected from at least six of the ten goal areas of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum.

2.     Creative Writing. An AFA degree in creative writing requires completion of the entire Minnesota Transfer Curriculum with a minimum of 40 credits from all ten goal areas.

3.     Music. An AFA degree in music requires at least 30 credits selected from at least six of the ten goal areas of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum.

4.     Theatre arts. An AFA degree in theatre arts requires completion of the entire Minnesota Transfer Curriculum with a minimum of 40 credits from all ten goal areas.

An AFA degree must not have emphases.

c.     Associate of science degree. An associate of science (AS) degree is awarded upon completion of program in scientific, technological, or other professional fields.

The AS degree is designed to transfer in its entirety to one or more related baccalaureate degree programs and requires an articulation agreement with such a program. Normandale shall pursue an articulation agreement with one or more system universities before establishing one with a non-system university.

The AS degree requires a minimum of 30 credits selected from at least six of the ten goal areas of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum.

An AS degree must not have emphases.

d.    Associate of applied science degree.  An associate of applied science (AAS) degree is awarded upon completion of an academic program in scientific, technological or other professional fields.

An AAS degree prepares students for employment in an occupation or range of occupations. An AAS degree may also be accepted in transfer to a related baccalaureate program.

An AAS degree requires a minimum of 15 credits selected from at least three of the ten goal areas of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum. At least 30 credits must be in the academic program's occupational or technical field of preparation.

An AAS degree may have one or more emphases of at least 9 credits each when there are at least 30 credits in the major that are common to the emphases.

Subpart B. Duplicate Awards

1.         Academic certificates. A student may earn any number of academic certificates. Each certificate will appear separately on the student's transcript, and each program completed will have its own printed certificate.

2.         Associate degrees.

a.     A student may earn any combination of different associate degree types (AA, AFA, AS, AAS).

b.     A student may earn only one associate degree of its type (i.e. one AA, one AFA, one AS, one AAS).  A student may earn additional programs under the degree if the student completes at least 9 unique credits under each program. Such programs may be completed currently or subsequently. The student's transcript will reflect an additional program completion date if the student completes the additional program in a term subsequent to the term in which the degree was awarded. One diploma will be issued for each degree type, reflecting the program(s) of completion earned at the time of issuance. Students who complete an additional program during a subsequent term in a degree type that has already been awarded at Normandale will not be issued another diploma.

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Part 3: Academic Program Approval
 

Normandale will follow all Minnesota State policies and procedures regarding its academic programs.

Subpart A. The following actions require approval by the Chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities before they are implemented:

1.         New academic program creation

2.         New program location

3.         Program redesign that affects the approved program name, CIP code, the addition of emphases, a change in award, or a change in credit length when the change exceeds the maximum or fails to meet the minimum credit lengths defined in policy.

4.         Program suspension and reinstatement. Normandale may suspend an academic program for three years and may subsequently extend that suspension for up to one year with notification to the chancellor. Reinstatement requires approval of the chancellor based on review of required documentation. The chancellor shall close an academic program that has not been reinstated following a suspension.

5.         Academic program replication or relocation. Replication and/or relocation of an academic program requires approval by the chancellor when the replication or relocation is offered at a new location; affects an existing agreement between colleges and/or universities; is in the same service area or within a reasonable commute of a similar academic program offered by another college or university; or involves leasing non-Minnesota State property. If none of the above applies, only notification by the president to the chancellor of the location is required.

Relocation to another college or university requires approval of the chancellor. The college or university to which an academic program is reassigned must provide for the viability of the academic program.

Subpart B. Student consultation and review regarding academic program decisions
When academic program changes are proposed as described in Part 4, Subpart A, students must be provided an opportunity to be involved as required by Board Policy 2.3 and System Procedure 2.3.1.

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Part 4: Student Options when Academic Programs are Suspended, Closed, Relocated, or Changed
 

Normandale shall establish plans to address students' opportunities to complete an academic program when it has been suspended, closed, relocated, or when the requirements have changed.


Subpart A. Academic program suspension, closure, or relocation
Normandale shall develop a plan to serve students who were admitted to an academic program proposed for suspension, closure, or relocation. The plan must identify admitted students who are covered by the plan and their options to complete the academic program. Normandale shall notify students about their options and assist them with their individual plans.

Subpart B. Academic program changes
Normandale shall notify students who have been admitted to an academic program of any changes to the academic program. Students must be given an opportunity to graduate under the catalog requirements at the time of their admission to the college, if completed within the period established under Normandale Policy 3.8 and Procedure 3.8.1, Effective Catalog Requirements.

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Part 5: Academic Review
 

Periodic review of academic programs is the responsibility of the system college or university. The review must encompass all instructional areas and be structured according to discipline, academic program or program cluster, department, or other academic unit.

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  Policy History:
Date of Adoption: 2.04.2022
Department Owner:  Academic Affairs
Date and Subject of Revisions:
Next Review Date:  2026
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