Program approval of HE coursework programs – guidelines
The approval documentation is focussed on the development of:
- Program Proposal that establishes the business and strategic case for a new Higher Education program or for any change to a Higher Education coursework program structure, content or delivery which involves a significant shift in student demand, resources or new mode of study and/or shift in geographical location.
Note: Another Melbourne based campus is not considered a shift in geographical location, therefore a Program Proposal is not required.
- Program Guide that provides students, employers and staff with a succinct description of the aims of the program and how these are achieved. The Program Guide should be written in a clear direct voice and free of jargon and acronyms. The Program Guide is written from the students’ perspective and sets out what students can expect in the program, what capabilities they will develop, why these are desired by the future leaders of their professions, and how the assessments in their courses will help them provide a portfolio of evidence to indicate to future employers that they have indeed achieved the capabilities the program is designed to develop. The Program Guide also includes all relevant information about how the program meets University policy requirements and it also sets out links to programs from which students may enter, or to which students may progress, together with arrangements for credit transfer, academic requirements for entry and terms of entry (guaranteed place, preferential entry, academic ranking, etc.)
A Program Guide will have sections that contain information about the program that is relevant to all offerings across all locations or modes of delivery. Other sections will contain information relevant to a specific offering of the program – so, for example, the Bachelor of Business (Accountancy) in Melbourne will have one Program Guide and the Bachelor of Business (Accountancy) in Singapore will have another version. A Program Guide is required for every Plan/Campus combination and also each Exit Point in a Nested Program.
The section in each Program Guide, which refers to policies, will be written and maintained by the Academic Registrar's Office and referred to from the Program Guide. Thus the student gets the information they need in a meaningful way but information they receive about policies and practices is always consistent and up-to-date.
Course Guides associated with each Program are divided into Parts A and B:
1. Course Guide Part A: Course Overview. This provides a general description of the capabilities to be developed in the Course and the learning outcomes expected. This part of the Course Guide also describes the general approach taken to learning activities, resources and assessment.
2. Course Guide Part B: Course Details. This part provides the specific course information that relates to the semester, location and mode of delivery in which the course is offered. Hence there will be several Part B Course Guides, one for each offering.
Finally, the documentation included in the guidelines provides all the forms necessary to enable the ARG (Course and Program Administration Unit) to keep program information on People Soft updated. It also provides an overview of the criteria used by Committees to evaluate proposals. (Note: The Program Guide Template is an example only as it is developed within the Program Guide System
Policy requirements for a program proposal (new program/plan or major change)
The following criteria for undertaking a Program Proposal (Strategic and Business Case) are outlined within the ‘Policy Provisions for Program Quality Assurance Policy for TAFE and Higher Education Coursework Programs’:
1.3.1 All new HE coursework programs are subject to approval of a Program Proposal (Strategic and Business Case) by the VCE and academic approval by the Academic Board.
1.3.2 All programs to be delivered through Open Universities Australia are subject to the approval of a Program Proposal (Strategic and Business Case) by the VCE and academic approval by the Academic Board.
1.3.3 All programs to be delivered offshore are subject to the approval of an International Implementation Plan by the VCE and academic approval by the Academic Board.
1.3.4 Any proposal to amend Higher Education coursework program structure, content or delivery which involves a significant shift in demand or resources or new mode of study and/or shift in geographical location requires a Program Proposal (Strategic and Business Case) to be approved by VCE.
Note: A new coursework program also includes the addition of a new stream (a new specialisation) to an existing program, a dual award or a double degree.
Note: An International Implementation plan is deemed to be the equivalent of a Program Proposal (Strategic and Business Case), and therefore the completion of a Program Proposal (Strategic and Business Case) is not an additional requirement.
It should be noted that changes to content alone will not require a Program Proposal (Strategic and Business Case). Robert Webster (Policy and Planning Team) is available to provide advice regarding the development of program proposals. Robert can be contacted on extension 59703.[Next: Supporting documents and information]