Program Development

Establishment of a New Undergraduate Degree Program

New Academic Programs:

The establishment of undergraduate degree programs at the University at Albany is initiated by the faculty and facilitated on-campus through a structured governance and administrative review process.
Beyond campus approval, the university is required to submit all new programs to SUNY for approval. After SUNY approval, SUNY will then forward proposals to NYS Education Department (NYSED) for new program approval and registration. While programs are in review with either SUNY or NYSED, they may reach back out to the University with questions and for clarifications regarding the program proposal’s content. All academic programs must be registered with NYSED before they can be advertised or offered to our students; students may only be granted financial aid in support of attaining registered academic programs and may only graduate from registered programs.

Process:

Stage 1 – Preliminary Discussions

  • Preliminary discussion with the Dean of the College and faculty regarding new program idea.
  • Generally, a department will have worked out a basic outline for a new program on its own. Sometimes this is in the form of a grant proposal for start-up funds.
  • The Program Announcement form is used to secure the initial support for a new program from both the Campus and from SUNY System Administration. The Program Announcement is consists of a brief description of the program and a listing of the courses desired to be included in the degree. This form should be completed by the faculty developing the new program.
  • Form 1A Program Announcement – Undergraduate Program

    • In addition to this SUNY Form, there is also a Campus Impact Form that needs to be completed. This form will be going to the University Planning & Policy Council (UPPC) for consideration of resources required for the program. The document outlines the details of the required resources needed for this new academic program to be successful.  This form should be completed by the faculty developing the new program.

    Campus Impact Form

     

    Stage 2: Campus and SUNY Approval of Program Announcement

  • Once complete, the Program Announcement may be shared for consideration with the College Dean and the College’s internal governance body.
  • The College Dean then may endorse the Program Announcement and transmits it and the Campus Impact Form to the Provost. The Provost approves the development of a Program Announcement and forwards it and the Campus Impact Form to the Office of Undergraduate Education for consideration and referral for governance review to UPPC.
  • UPPC reviews the Program Announcement and the Campus Impact Form to ensure that this new program is in harmony with our campus’s mission and to consider the resource implications of this new academic program.
  • Upon UPPC approval, the Program Announcement is sent to the Provost for consideration.
  • The Provost then may approve the Program Announcement and would send the approved form to the Office of Undergraduate Education.
  • The Office of Undergraduate Education then will submit the Program Announcement to SUNY System Administration’s Provost Office for review and approval.
  • Once received, the Program Announcement is reviewed by UAlbany’s SUNY – assigned campus reviewer.
  • It is possible that the Reviewer may request more information or have questions. If this is the case, the Reviewer will reach out to the Office of Undergraduate Education for assistance in receiving the information needed. The Office of Undergraduate Education will then facilitate with the faculty working on developing the program for assistance in answering the questions or gathering the information needed.
  • Once the Program Announcement is approved by the SUNY Reviewer it is shared with all SUNY schools, and there is an open 30-day comment period where other SUNY institutions can write letters of concern or support for the University’s development of the new program.
  • Throughout the 30-day comment period, please prepare a list of 5 potential external site reviewers.
    • The external reviewer recommendations must be from out of state institutions.
      • - Please note that for programs that lead to professional licensure, recommendations should also include in-state institutions
    • External reviewers must also not be connected to the departmental faculty in any way.
    • The entire external reviewer list must be approved by the College Dean.
  • Once list is compete and approved by the Dean, please submit the list of potential reviewers to the Office of Undergraduate Education. They will submit the reviewer’s list to the SUNY Campus Reviewer for consideration.

    - Please note that the SUNY Campus Reviewer may decide if any of the external reviewers listed should not be invited to participate.
  • Upon the 30-day comment period closing, SUNY will decide if the degree development is authorized based on the comments they received from the other SUNY institutions.
  • - If approved, the department has one year from the end of the 30 day comment period to submit a full New Program Proposal.

     

    Stage 3: Full Proposal Development

  • The Office of Undergraduate Education will inform the Provost and Dean of the College, as well as the department and the faculty if SUNY has approved or denied the program proposal’s request for development.
    • If SUNY has approved the proposal’s development, the Dean, and faculty within the department work together to draft a full program proposal using the SUNY forms.
    • This form includes a needs analysis; input from employers and faculty, library and other resource implications; student learning outcomes; and assessment plans.

    Form 2A New Program Proposal – Undergraduate Degree

    • As the proposal is being created, please work with the Office of Undergraduate Education to assist with review of document and answer any questions.
    • As the proposal is being developed, the Office of Undergraduate Education, working in conjunction with the initiating department and College, shall arrange for the site visit of the external reviewers. Site visits should be setup to take place after the proposal is in a quality draft form that may be shared and commented on by the external reviewers.
  • Financial underwriting for the site visit should be worked out with the College Dean.
  • Develop the visit itinerary with the Office of Undergraduate Education. The initiating department is considered the host for the site review.
  • Prior to their visit, share with them the Form 2A Draft with the external reviewers.
  • Each reviewer will be asked to submit the Form 2D - External Review Evaluation that will be included in the Form 2A that will be eventually submitted for approval.
  •  Form 2D – External Reviewer Evaluation

    • Upon receipt of the external reviewer’s report, the Dean and faculty review the reviewer’s report and craft a response to be included in the complete program proposal, along with the reviewer’s report.
      • If any changes need to be made to the Form 2A, due to the external reviewer’s report do so. If there were any comments or concerns from other SUNY Schools that need to be addressed in the proposal, please address them as well before submitting the proposal to your College’s Dea

     

      • If the resource implications have changed, submit an updated Campus Impact Report, along with the explanation of the changes to UPPC.
        • Alternatively, if there is no changes to resource implications that were previously submitted to UPPC, please craft a statement detailing that there were no changes since the approval by UPPC.
      • The College Dean may seek consideration of the New Program Proposal by the College governance body.
      • Once approved by the College, the full proposal is then submitted to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. Their staff will submit the complete New Program Proposal to the Undergraduate Academic Council (UAC) for review and approval.
      • The Curriculum and Honors subcommittee of UAC will review the New Program Proposal and direct any concerns or questions to the initiator.
      • Following Curriculum and Honor’s review, they will present the program to UAC for approval.
      • Upon approval from UAC, the proposal is forwarded to Faculty Senate for approval.
      • First the Senate Executive Committee SEC) reviews the proposal.
      • After SEC review, the entire proposal in full goes to the Faculty Senate for approval.
    • Once Faculty Senate approves the new program, The Office of Undergraduate Education will submit the proposal to the Provost and the President for final campus approval. If approved, the President will sign the 2A form and send it back to the Office of Undergraduate Education for final transmittal to SUNY System Administration’s Provost Office for review and consideration.

     

    Stage 4: SUNY System Approval

    • SUNY System Administration’s Provost Office reviews the program proposal in full detail. If there are questions or concerns, they will reach out to the Office of Undergraduate Education at UA for clarification and assistance. 
    • If the Office of Undergraduate Education receives questions, they will reach out to the faculty for clarification. The faculty will send the answers back to the Office of Undergraduate Education for record keeping and transmission back to SUNY.
    • Once SUNY approves of the proposal, they will submit the new program proposal to NYSED for review.

    Stage 5: NYSED Approval

    • NYSED receives the program proposal and reviews the program in detail. If they have any questions or clarifications, they will reach out to the Office of Undergraduate Education for assistance.
  • If the Office of Undergraduate Education receives questions, they will reach out to the faculty for clarification. The faculty will send the answers back to the Office of Undergraduate Education for record keeping and transmission back to NYSED.
    • Upon approval from NYSED, the Office of Undergraduate Education will receive notice that the program being registered.
    • The Office of Undergraduate Education will then inform the College, the department, the faculty who worked on the proposal, and various key offices at the University of the approval.
    • Once approved, the department and College may start to advertise, teach and graduate students in the program.
    • The Office of Undergraduate Education will then include the new academic program in the next Undergraduate Course Bulletin.

    Special Note:
    Per New York State Education Department:

    • An institution may not market or advertise for a degree that is not registered.
    • An institution is not allowed to promote a degree that is not registered.
    • Students are also not able to receive Financial Aid for a degree that is not registered.

    Special Forms to Consider:

    New degrees that are proposed to have an external teaching component (internships, practicum, field placement, etc.) require the Form 2E- External Instruction Form submitted with the completed Form 2A – New Program Proposal.

    Form 2E – External Instruction Form


    New degrees that are proposed to have a distance education format (a minimum of at least 50% of the program is planned to be available online), the Form 4 – Distance Education Format Proposal must be completed and submitted with the completed Form 2A- New Program Proposal.

    Form 4 – Distance Education Format Proposal

    Creation of New Minor:

    New minor ideas and plans may be discussed within the department and with the College Dean. Reach out to the Office of Undergraduate Education for assistance and governance approval. Minors should be at least 18 credits, 9 of which are upper level courses. The University’s Undergraduate Academic Council (UAC) has the final authorization on the creation of minors. Their actions are reported to the University Senate via the Senate Executive Committee.       New Course:
    The establishment of undergraduate courses, either as part of a new program proposal or due to additional elective options are facilitated by the submission of a Course Action Form through departmental, school/college and campus level governance. These forms are submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Education and are referred to UAC for consideration.
  • Course Action Form
  • Course Action Form Instructions
  • Course Syllabus Guide
  • Establishment of Combination Existing Undergraduate and Graduate Degree Programs - Process:
    Please Note: Each undergraduate degree and graduate degree involved must be previously approved on their own, prior to a combination degree being able to be considered.  If you are looking for a new degree to be involved in the combination, please see the New Academic Program instructions above as the first step to the process.

    Stage 1 – Preliminary Discussions and From Creation:

    • Preliminary discussion with the Dean(s) of the College(s) and faculty regarding new program idea.
      - If the Dean(s) approve, the Form 3B - Program Revision Proposal: Creating New program(s) from Exiting Program(s) needs to be completed.
    • Preliminary discussion with the Dean(s) of the College(s) and faculty regarding new program idea.
      - If the Dean(s) approve, the Form 3B - Program Revision Proposal: Creating New program(s) from Exiting Program(s) needs to be completed.

     Form 3B – Program Revision Proposal: Creating New Program(s) from Existing Program(s)

    Stage 2 – Campus Governance Approval:

    • Once complete, the College Dean(s) transmit the proposal to the Provost.
    • The Provost forwards the proposal to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and the Vice Provost for Graduate Education.
      o The Graduate School will forward the proposal to UPPC as well as the Graduate Academic Council (GAC) for consideration.
      o The Office of Undergraduate Education will forward the proposal to UAC for consideration of its academic program.
    • Upon approval by UPPC, GAC & UAC, the Proposal shall be prepared by the Graduate School or the Office of Undergraduate Education as a bill for joint introduction to the senate by all three councils.
    • Upon Senate approval, the bill will be forwarded to the Provost and the President for final campus consideration.

    Stage 3 – Course Bulletin Update:

    • Upon the President’s approval, the Graduate School and the Office of Undergraduate Education will reflect combination degree outline in the Course Bulletin.  

     

    Assistance:
    Faculty contemplating undergraduate program development actions are encouraged to contact the Office of Undergraduate Education for individualized procedural assistance.   We can provide feedback and assistance throughout the development process, can assist in determining what if any SUNY forms need to be completed, provide direction in completing the forms and shepherd their movement through campus governance, SUNY and NYSED approvals and registration.