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Policy 110: IQAP Policy - Institutional Quality Assurance Process

 

Previous Approval Dates:                  May 3, 2011; November 4, 2014;                                                                                                      March 6, 2018

Policy Approval Date:                        June 11, 2019

Next Policy Review Date:                  May 2023 (or sooner at the request of                                                                                      the Provost and Vice-President Academic or Senate)

Responsible Committee or Office: Provost and Vice-President Academic

Ryerson University, in its ongoing commitment to offer undergraduate and graduate programs of high academic quality, has developed this Institutional Quality Assurance Process (IQAP), which adheres to the Quality Assurance Framework established by the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance (Quality Council). Academic programs at Ryerson are aligned with the statement of undergraduate and graduate degree-level expectations adopted by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU). Ryerson’s IQAP describes the University’s quality assurance process requirements for new program development and approval, the periodic review of existing programs, and the modification of existing curricula and programs.

The University’s IQAP includes the following policies:

Policy 110: Institutional Quality Assurance Process

Policy 112: Development of New Graduate and Undergraduate Programs

Policy 126: Periodic Program Review of Graduate and Undergraduate                                    Programs

Policy 127: Curriculum Modifications: Graduate and Undergraduate Programs

1.   Purpose 

This policy describes the authority and responsibility for Ryerson’s IQAP.

2.  Scope

This policy governs all undergraduate degree, graduate degree, and graduate diploma programs, both full and part-time, offered solely by Ryerson or in partnership with any other post-secondary institutions.

3.  Definitions 

3.1.   Dean of Record

A Dean named by the Provost and Vice-President Academic and given decanal authority over an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary program.

3.2.   Degree Level Expectations (DLEs)

The knowledge and skill outcome competencies that reflect progressive levels of intellectual and creative development at specified degree levels (i.e., Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral). (See Appendix 1 and Appendix 2). DLEs have been established by the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents and serve as Ontario universities’ academic standards.

3.3.   Designated Academic Unit

Faculty groups that comprise faculty from a single School/Department, from several Schools and/or Departments within a Faculty, from Schools/Departments from different Faculties, from other internal Ryerson units, or from collaborative structures involving other post-secondary institutions.

3.4.   Expedited Approvals

A process that is normally required by Quality Council when the university: (a) requests endorsement of the Quality Council to declare a new Field in a graduate program; or (b) develops proposals for new for-credit graduate diploma programs; or (c) requests it, to approve Major Modifications, as defined through Ryerson University’s Policy 127, proposed for an existing degree program. The process is expedited by not requiring the use of external reviewers.

3.5.   Field

In graduate programs, an area of specialization or concentration (in multi/interdisciplinary programs a clustered area of specialization) that is related to the demonstrable and collective strengths of the program’s faculty. Declaring Fields at either the master’s or doctoral level is not required.

3.6.   Final Assessment Report (FAR)

A report on a periodic review of an undergraduate or graduate program that must be submitted to Quality Council. The FAR includes the University’s synthesis of the external evaluation and internal responses and assessments of a periodic program review, along with an associated implementation plan and executive summary.

3.7.   Graduate Program

The complete set and sequence of courses, combination of courses, or other units of study, research and practice prescribed by the University, for the fulfillment of a Master’s or Doctoral degree program or diploma program.

3.7.1.   Degree Program

The complete set and sequence of courses, combination of courses and/or other units of study, research and practice prescribed by the University for the fulfillment of a degree. Degrees are granted for meeting the established requirements at a specified standard of performance consistent with the University’s Degree Level Expectations (DLEs).

3.7.2.   Diploma Program

A graduate program that is one of three types:

3.7.2.1.   Type 1: Awarded when a candidate admitted to a master’s program leaves the program after completing a certain proportion of the requirements. Students are not admitted directly to these programs.

3.7.2.2.   Type 2: Offered in conjunction with a master’s (or doctoral) degree, the admission to which requires that the candidate be already admitted to the master’s (or doctoral) program. This represents an additional, usually interdisciplinary, qualification.

3.7.2.3.   Type 3: A stand-alone, direct-entry program, generally developed by a unit already offering a related master’s (and sometimes doctoral) degree, and designed to meet the needs of a particular clientele or market.

3.8.   Joint Program

A program of study offered by two or more universities or by a university and a college or institute, in which successful completion of the requirements is confirmed by a single degree document.

3.9.   Letter of Intent

The Letter of Intent (LOI) is a preliminary new program proposal and is the first stage in the development of a new program proposal.

3.10.   New Program

A new program is defined as any degree program or graduate diploma program, currently approved by Senate, which has not been previously approved for Ryerson University by the Quality Council, its predecessors, or any intra-institutional approval processes that previously applied. A new program has substantially different program requirements and substantially different learning outcomes from those of any existing approved programs offered by the institution.

3.11.   Undergraduate Program

The complete set and sequence of courses, combinations of courses, or other units of study, research and practice prescribed by the University for the fulfillment of a baccalaureate degree. Degrees are granted for meeting the established requirements at a specified standard of performance consistent with the university’s Degree Level Expectations (DLEs).

4.   External Authority and Responsibility

4.1.   Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance (Quality Council)

4.1.1.     Has ultimate authority for the approval of Ryerson University’s IQAP and any subsequent revisions.

4.1.2.     Reviews and approves proposals for all new undergraduate and graduate programs.

4.1.3.     Reviews undergraduate and graduate periodic program review FARs and major modifications.

4.1.4.     On an eight-year cycle audits the quality assurance process for periodic program review, new programs and major modifications and determines whether the University has acted in compliance with the provisions of its IQAP. Assesses the extent to which the University has responded to the recommendations and suggestions of the audit report.

5.   Internal Authority and Responsibility 

5.1.   Ryerson University Board of Governors

5.1.1.     Approves new program proposals based on financial viability.

5.2.   Senate

5.2.1.     Exercises final internal authority for the approval of all new undergraduate and graduate programs.

5.2.2.     Exercises final authority for the approval of all undergraduate and graduate periodic program reviews.

5.2.3.     Exercises final authority for the approval of all major modifications to curriculum/programs for all academic programs.

5.2.4.     Exercises final internal authority for the approval and review of all new and revised academic policies.

5.3.   Standing Committees and Governance Council of Senate

5.3.1.     Academic Governance and Policy Committee (AGPC): A Standing Committee of Senate that proposes, oversees, and periodically reviews Senate policies and University procedures regarding any matter within the purview of Senate.

5.3.2.     Academic Standards Committee (ASC)1: A Standing Committee of Senate that assesses and provides recommendations to Senate for approval of new undergraduate program proposals, undergraduate periodic program reviews, minor curriculum modifications (Category 3), and major curriculum modifications to undergraduate programs.

5.3.3.     Yeates School of Graduate Studies Council (YSGS Council): A Governance Council of Senate that assesses and provides recommendations to Senate for approval of new graduate program proposals, graduate periodic program reviews, and major curriculum modifications to graduate programs.

5.3.3.1.    YSGS Programs and Planning Committee (PPC): Assesses and makes recommendations to YSGS Council on new graduate program proposals, graduate periodic program reviews, and major curriculum modifications to graduate programs.

5.4.   Provost and Vice-President Academic

5.4.1.     Assumes overall responsibility for the IQAP policies and procedures, and policy reviews.

5.4.2.     Authorizes new program Letters of Intent, development of new program proposals, and the commencement, implementation and budget of new programs.

5.4.3.     Following Senate approval, reports to the Board of Governors (i) new program proposals for review of their financial viability; and (ii) outcomes of periodic program reviews.

5.4.4.     Should there be a disagreement between Faculty Deans or Dean of Record or between a Faculty Dean and a Department/School or Faculty Council, where appropriate, the Provost and Vice-President Academic will decide how to proceed.

5.4.5.     Reports to the Quality Council, as required. This responsibility may be delegated to the Vice-Provost Academic.

_____________________

1 ASC assesses Chang School certificate proposals, revisions, and reviews within the parameters of Ryerson Senate Policy 76.

5.4.6.     Approves any budget allocations related to academic programs.

5.4.7.     Is responsible for the University’s participation in the Quality Council cyclical audit process.

5.5.   Deputy Provost and Vice-Provost University Planning

5.5.1.     Develops program costing and evaluates societal need, differentiation, sustainable applicant pool, and outcomes of new program proposals.

5.5.2.     In collaboration with the relevant offices, supports new program development, implementation and monitoring.

5.5.3.     Analyzes program costing for major curriculum modifications and other minor curriculum modifications, as required, to programs.

5.5.4.     Provides institutional data for the development of new programs, periodic program reviews, and major modifications.

5.6.   Vice-Provost Academic

5.6.1.     Submits undergraduate new program Letters of Intent to the Provost and Vice-President Academic; submits full undergraduate new program proposals to the Academic Standards Committee (ASC); submits to Senate a brief of a new undergraduate program proposal along with the ASC’s recommendations; and, in collaboration with relevant offices, supports new program development, implementation and monitoring.

5.6.2.     Maintains periodic program review schedules for undergraduate programs; communicates, advises, and monitors the periodic program review process; assesses the undergraduate periodic program review self-study and appendices for completeness prior to giving permission for a peer review team site visit; submits undergraduate periodic program reviews and subsequent follow-up reports to the ASC; submits to Senate an undergraduate periodic program review FAR and the ASC’s recommendations; submits periodic program review follow-up reports to Senate, for information.

5.6.3.     Advises undergraduate programs on curriculum modifications and has final authority, where necessary, to determine if a modification to an undergraduate program is considered major or minor; submits Category 3 minor curriculum modification proposals and major curriculum modification proposals to the ASC for assessment; submits to Senate Category 3 minor curriculum modifications proposals and major curriculum modification proposals and the ASC’s recommendations for approval.

5.6.4.     Resolves disputes between Faculty Deans or Dean of Record or between a Faculty Dean or Dean of Record and a Department/School/ Faculty Council with respect to undergraduate curriculum modifications.

5.6.5.     Reports, as required, to the Quality Council, in consultation with the Provost and Vice-President Academic, including an annual report on Senate- approved undergraduate and graduate major curriculum modifications and FARs of periodic program reviews.

5.6.6.     Implements the Quality Council Audit process, and oversees the undergraduate requirements of the cyclical Audit.

5.6.7.     Posts the Executive Summary of new undergraduate and graduate programs and the Final Assessment Report of undergraduate and graduate periodic program reviews on the Ryerson University Curriculum Quality Assurance website with links to the Senate website and the Provost and Vice-President Academic’s website.

5.7.   Vice-Provost and Dean, Yeates School of Graduate Studies (YSGS)

5.7.1.     Submits new graduate program Letters of Intent to the Provost and Vice- President Academic; submits new graduate program proposals to the YSGS Council for approval to recommend to Senate; submits to Senate a brief of the new graduate program proposal and YSGS Council’s recommendation for approval; and, in collaboration with relevant offices, supports new program development, implementation and monitoring.

5.7.2.     Maintains periodic program review schedules for graduate programs; communicates, advises, and monitors the periodic program review process; gives permission for a peer review team site visit following the YSGS Programs and Planning Committee’s (PPC) assessment of the graduate periodic program review self-study and appendices for completeness, and submits graduate periodic program reviews and subsequent follow-up reports to the YSGS PPC, followed by the YSGS Council. Submits to Senate a graduate periodic program review FAR and the YSGS Council’s recommendations; submits periodic program review follow-up reports to Senate, for information.

5.7.3.     Advises programs on curriculum modifications; submits minor curriculum modification proposals to the Programs and Planning Committee for review; submits major curriculum modification proposals to the Programs and Planning Committee followed by the YSGS Council for approval to recommend to Senate, followed by submission to Senate.

5.7.4.     Submits to Senate the YSGS Council’s recommendations regarding new graduate programs, periodic program reviews for graduate programs, Category 3 minor curriculum modifications (for information), and major curriculum modifications.

5.7.5.     Resolves disputes between Faculty Deans or Dean of Record or between a Faculty Dean or Dean of Record and a Department/School/Faculty Council with respect to graduate curriculum modifications.

5.7.6.     Appoints Peer Review Teams for graduate programs, as appropriate, in consultation with the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record.

5.7.7.    Responds to the Peer Review Team Report as well as to the Program Response and the Faculty Dean’s Response to the Peer Review Team Report for new graduate degree program proposals and for periodic program reviews of graduate programs, as applicable.

5.7.8.     Oversees the graduate requirements of the Quality Council cyclical audit process.

5.8.   Faculty Dean or Dean of Record

5.8.1.      Submits Letters of Intent for new program proposals to the Vice-Provost Academic or the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS, as appropriate.

5.8.2.      Submits full new program proposals to the Vice-Provost Academic or the Vice-Provost and Dean of the YSGS, as appropriate, and, in collaboration with relevant offices, supports new program development and implementation.

5.8.3.      Reviews an undergraduate periodic program review self-study and appendices prior to submission to Department/School/Faculty Council(s) and endorses following Council endorsement.

5.8.4.      Endorses a periodic program review self-study and appendices of graduate programs in consultation with the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS.

5.8.5.      Appoints Peer Review Teams for undergraduate programs.

5.8.6.      Provides consultation to the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS regarding the appointment of Peer Review Teams for graduate programs, where applicable.

5.8.7.      Reviews mandated Follow-up Reports to ensure progress with the recommendations from ASC or YSGS Council. If it is believed that there has not been sufficient progress, an additional update and course of action by a specified date may be required.

5.8.8.      Endorses minor modifications (Category 2 and Category 3) and major modifications to undergraduate programs.

5.8.9.      Endorses minor modifications (Category 2 and Category 3) and major modifications to graduate programs, in consultation with the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS.

5.8.10. Resolves disputes between a Department/School/Program Council and Faculty Council, if applicable, and Chair/ Director with respect to curriculum modification, as required.

5.8.11. Responds to reports of the periodic program review and/or new program Peer Review Team and subsequent program responses, as applicable.

5.9.   Chair/Director of Department/School (or designated academic unit)

5.9.1.    Oversees the preparation of a Letter of Intent for new program proposals and submits to the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record, as appropriate;

5.9.2.     Oversees preparation of a new program proposal and submits to the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record, as appropriate;

5.9.3.     For periodic program reviews of undergraduate and graduate programs, oversees the preparation of the program self-study and appendices and presents the completed documents to the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record for initial review prior to presentation to Department/School/Program and Faculty Councils, as appropriate.

5.9.4.     Prepares a response to the reports of Peer Review Teams for undergraduate and graduate programs.

5.9.5.     Prepares a mandated periodic program review follow-up report for submission to the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record, and Vice-Provost Academic or Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS, as appropriate.

5.9.6.     Administers the periodic program review implementation plan to ensure that it is effectively accomplished in a timely manner.

5.9.7.     Prepares minor and major curriculum modifications, and submits, as required, to the Department/School/Program and Faculty Council (where applicable) and to the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record.

5.10.   Department/School/Program Council and Faculty Council (where applicable)

5.10.1. Endorses Letters of Intent for new undergraduate and graduate programs and recommends these to the appropriate Faculty Dean or Dean of Record.

5.10.2. Endorses new program proposals for undergraduate and graduate programs, and recommends these to the appropriate Faculty Dean or Dean of Record.

5.10.3. Endorses undergraduate and graduate periodic program review self-studies and appendices to be forwarded to the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record.

5.10.4. For undergraduate programs, endorses Category 1 minor curriculum modifications (or designates another approval process), Category 2 and Category 3 minor curriculum modifications, and major curriculum modifications, and recommends these to the appropriate Faculty Dean of Dean of Record.

5.10.5. For graduate programs, endorses minor curriculum modifications (Category 1, Category 2 and Category 3) and major curriculum modifications, and recommends these to the appropriate Faculty Dean or Dean of Record.

6.   Review of IQAP Policies and Procedures

6.1.   The Academic Governance and Policy Committee (AGPC) recommends to Senate the establishment of a Policy Review Committee, mandated by Senate, to undertake a periodic review or special review of an IQAP policy or policies.

6.2.   Any revision of the University’s IQAP policies requires approval by Senate, and any substantive revisions require ratification by the Quality Council.

6.3.   Procedures associated with the IQAP policies are reviewed by the Provost and Vice-President Academic, as needed, to ensure their currency and effectiveness.

 

APPENDIX 1:   DEGREE LEVEL EXPECTATIONS FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS

UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE

Baccalaureate/Bachelor’s Degree: honours

This degree is awarded to students who have demonstrated the following:

EXPECTATIONS

1. Depth and Breadth of Knowledge

a.    A developed knowledge and critical understanding of the key concepts, methodologies, current advances, theoretical approaches and assumptions in a discipline overall, as well as in a specialized area of a discipline;

b.   A developed understanding of many of the major fields in a discipline, including, where appropriate, from an interdisciplinary perspective, and how the fields may intersect with fields in related disciplines;

c.  A developed ability to:

i.  Gather, review, evaluate and interpret information; and

ii. Compare the merits of alternate hypotheses or creative options, relevant to one or more of the major fields in a discipline;

d.  A developed, detailed knowledge of and experience in research in an area of the discipline;

e.  Developed critical thinking and analytical skills inside and outside the discipline;

f.  The ability to apply learning from one or more areas outside the discipline.

2. Knowledge of Methodologies

An understanding of methods of enquiry or creative activity, or both, in their primary area of study that enables the student to:

a. Evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems using well established ideas and techniques;

b. Devise and sustain arguments or solve problems using these methods; and describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research or equivalent advanced scholarship.

 

3. Application of Knowledge

a.  The ability to review, present and critically evaluate qualitative and quantitative information to:

i.  Develop lines of argument;

ii. Make sound judgments in accordance with the major theories, concepts and methods of the subject(s) of study;

iii.  Apply underlying concepts, principles, and techniques of analysis, both within and outside the discipline;

iv.  Where appropriate use this knowledge in the creative process; and

b.  The ability to use a range of established techniques to:

i.  Initiate and undertake critical evaluation of arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and information;

ii.  Propose solutions;

iii.  Frame appropriate questions for the purpose of solving a problem;

iv.  Solve a problem or create a new work; and

c.  The ability to make critical use of scholarly reviews and primary sources.

4. Communication Skills

The ability to communicate information, arguments, and analyses accurately and reliably, orally and in writing to a range of audiences.

5. Awareness of Limits of Knowledge

An understanding of the limits to their own knowledge and ability, and an appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits to knowledge and how this might influence analyses and interpretations.

6. Autonomy and Professional Capacity

a.  Qualities and transferable skills necessary for further study, employment, community involvement and other activities requiring:

i.  The exercise of initiative, personal responsibility and accountability in both personal and group contexts;

ii.  Working effectively with others;

iii.  Decision-making in complex contexts;

b. The ability to manage their own learning in changing circumstances, both within and outside the discipline and to select an appropriate program of further study; and

c. Behaviour consistent with academic integrity and social responsibility.

 

APPENDIX 2: DEGREE LEVEL EXPECTATIONS FOR GRADUATE PROGRAMS

MASTER’S DEGREE

This degree is awarded to students who have demonstrated:

EXPECTATIONS

1. Depth and Breadth of Knowledge

A systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study,

2. Research and Scholarship

A conceptual understanding and methodological competence that:

a.     Enables a working comprehension of how established techniques of research and inquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline;

b.     Enables a critical evaluation of current research and advanced research and scholarship in the discipline or area of professional competence; and

c.     Enables a treatment of complex issues and judgments based on established principles and techniques; and,

 

On the basis of that competence, has shown at least one of the following:

a.     The development and support of a sustained argument in written form; or

b.     Originality in the application of knowledge.

3. Level of Application of Knowledge

Competence in the research process by applying an existing body of knowledge in the critical analysis of a new question or of a specific problem or issue in a new setting.

4. Professional Capacity/Autono my

a. The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:

i.      The exercise of initiative and of personal responsibility and accountability; and

ii.    Decision-making in complex situations; and

b.     The intellectual independence required for continuing professional development;

c.     The ethical behaviour consistent with academic integrity and the use of appropriate guidelines and procedures for responsible conduct of research; and

d.     The ability to appreciate the broader implications of applying knowledge to particular contexts.

5. Level of Communications Skills

The ability to communicate ideas, issues and conclusions clearly.

 

6. Awareness of Limits of Knowledge

Cognizance of the complexity of knowledge and of the potential contributions of other interpretations, methods, and disciplines.

DOCTORAL DEGREE

This degree extends the skills associated with the Master’s degree and is awarded to students who have demonstrated the following:

EXPECTATIONS

1. Depth and Breadth of Knowledge

A thorough understanding of a substantial body of knowledge that is at the forefront of their academic discipline or area of professional practice.

2. Research and Scholarship

a.     The ability to conceptualize, design, and implement research for the generation of new knowledge, applications, or understanding at the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the research design or methodology in the light of unforeseen problems;

b.     The ability to make informed judgments on complex issues in specialist fields, sometimes requiring new methods; and

c.     The ability to produce original research, or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, and to merit publication.

3. Level of Application of Knowledge

a.     The capacity to undertake pure and/or applied research at an advanced level; and

b.     Contribute to the development of academic or professional skills, techniques, tools, practices, ideas, theories, approaches, and/or materials.

4. Professional Capacity/Autono my

a.     The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and largely autonomous initiative in complex situations;

b.     The intellectual independence to be academically and professionally engaged and current;

c.     The ethical behaviour consistent with academic integrity and the use of appropriate guidelines and procedures for responsible conduct of research; and

d.     The ability to evaluate the broader implications of applying knowledge to particular contexts.

5. Level of Communication Skills

The ability to communicate complex and/or ambiguous ideas, issues and conclusions clearly and effectively.

6. Awareness of Limits of Knowledge

An appreciation of the limitations of one’s own work and discipline, of the complexity of knowledge, and of the potential contributions of other interpretations, methods, and disciplines.