Launching New Degree Programs
Once your new master's degree program has been approved by the UNF Board of Trustees—or once your new doctoral program has been approved by the State of Florida Board of Governors—you will want to address all of the steps listed below to launch your new program. Some of these steps should be addressed concurrently; please do not take this to be a sequential list.
- Have you established a timetable for launching/implementing your new degree? Check with both your college dean and the graduate dean.
- Does your program require either notification of or approval from SACSCOC? Check with the Director for Academic Affairs and SACSCOC Liaison.
- Have you determined program codes to allow the applications of those who apply to your program to be processed appropriately? Check with the Director for Academic Affairs and the Graduate School.
- Do we have clear admission criteria and application deadlines? Check with the Graduate School.
- Do we know who the Graduate Program Director (or Coordinator) will be? The Graduate School will need this information as early as possible. Your GPD will need to be briefed on her/his duties (Graduate Program Director Handbook) and included in all listings and email distribution lists of GPDs. If this is your department's only graduate program, your GPD (or in very rare cases another member of the department) will need to become a member of the Graduate Council.
- Are all those in your department—and elsewhere in the university—who will teach the graduate level courses in your new program graduate faculty? If not, check with the graduate dean. Note: Graduate Faculty must have earned terminal degrees in the field (or a closely related field) in which they will offer graduate instruction or serve on thesis/dissertation committees.
- Have you submitted the necessary documents to the APC (Academic Programs Committee) for curriculum approval?
- Do you know the APC deadlines? Faculty Governance Process: Your APC forms will need to go to your department's curriculum committee, your college's curriculum committee, (don't forget that you will need the signatures of all those deans affected, including the graduate dean), the APC, and finally the Faculty Association. APC deadlines are strict, so you need to plan to meet them.
- Have you spoken with your college's associate dean and with the graduate dean about student financial support (scholarship funds, assistantship funds, and tuition waiver authority)?
- Do you have a plan to publicize your program? UNF's Public Relations office will help; check with Assistant VP for Public Relations. The Graduate School will include the new program in all of its electronic and print media.
- Have you planned for publicizing the program yourself? Your New Degree Program Proposal speaks to your potential population of students. You will need to figure out how to contact them and invite them to apply. You may want to create a departmental brochure and flyers for your new program; construct a mailing campaign, and/or an e-mail campaign to get the word out. You will certainly want to make sure your new degree is featured prominently in your department's—and perhaps your college's—website. Your first and second year success will be tied in part to how dynamic your department is in publicizing your new program.