Proposing New Degree Programs
Before embarking on a proposal, a faculty member (or program leader or department chair), with her/his departmental colleagues, should ask the following questions:
- Fit and Need. Does this program fit the university's mission, specifically with regard to meeting the needs of the metropolitan region and making a contribution to the intellectual advancement of northeast Florida? Does this program meet an expressed community need?
- Applicants. Are there a sufficient number of qualified students who will pursue this degree to justify offering the courses necessary for it? Will there continue to be a sufficient number into the future? How will these students be identified and attracted?
- Obstacles. Are there any hindrances to attracting students? Are there any hindrances to offering courses for them once they are here?
- Student Support. What funding support will we be able to offer to recruit students (e.g. scholarships, assistantships, fellowships)?
- Job Prospects. Will these students be able to find jobs after they complete the degree program? Where will these jobs be? Will there continue to be jobs available into the future?
- Qualified Faculty. Are there sufficient faculty members to teach all the courses in the program? Do these faculty members have the credentials necessary for membership in the Graduate Faculty? Is each an active scholar? Are they prepared for the extra work necessary for graduate level instruction, including for some programs direction of projects, theses, and dissertations?
- Faculty Strengths. How will this program contribute to the strengths of the existing faculty and to attracting strong new faculty?
- Program Administration. Who will be responsible for administration of this program? Are there appropriate and sufficient resources both for proposal of and subsequent running of this program?
- Program Goals. Is there a clear vision of the mission, goals, and objectives of this program? Does this program have clear and realizable student learning expectations?
- Program Resources. What resources will be necessary for this program? Additional faculty lines? Additional administration time and administrative support? Physical resources (classroom and office space, labs)? Library resources? Student support services? Student funding support?
- External Funding. Will this program have potential for attracting external funding?
- Other UNF Programs. Will this program complement and/or overlap with any existing UNF graduate or post-baccalaureate professional programs? How might the relationship between the two (or more) programs be envisioned? Could resources be shared?
- Other Regional Programs. Are there similar programs already offered in the vicinity? What makes our program different? What justifies the offering of our program? How will we compete with these existing programs?
- Distance Learning. Will any part of this program be offered in a distance-learning delivery mode? What resources would be required for this?
- Accreditation. Does this program qualify for discipline-specific or program-specific accreditation? What are the plans for acquiring this credential?
The Graduate School stands ready and willing to assist any department with advice in the construction of a new degree proposal.