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Policy 112: Development of New Graduate and Undergraduate Programs

 

Previous Approval Dates:                 February 7, 1995 (original policy),                                                                                              May 9, 2002, March 1, 2005,                                                                                                    May 6, 2008, May 3, 2011,                                                                                                          November 4, 2014; March 6, 2018

Current Policy Approval Date:         June 11, 2019

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

Responsible Committee or Office:  Provost and Vice-President Academic

 

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

A new program proposal is prepared by a designated academic unit, defined as faculty groups that comprise faculty members 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.

New program development is part of Ryerson University’s Institutional Quality Assurance Process (IQAP) which 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 governs the creation of new programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels that require Quality Council approval.

2.   Scope 

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

3.   Definitions 

3.1. Refer to Ryerson Senate Policy 110 for definitions related to this policy.

3.2. Refer to Ryerson Senate Policy 110 for Degree Level Expectations for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs.

4.   External Authority and Responsibility 

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

4.1.1.     The Quality Council requires that new undergraduate and graduate program proposals are appraised by the Quality Council’s Appraisal Committee. The Quality Council has the authority to approve or decline new program proposals.

4.1.2.     The Quality Council audits the University’s quality assurance process for new programs on an eight year cycle and determines whether the University has acted in compliance with the provisions of its IQAP.

5.   Internal Authority and Responsibility 

5.1.   Ryerson University Board of Governors

Approves new program proposals based on financial viability.

5.2.  Senate

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

5.2.2.     Senate has the final internal authority for the approval of all new and revised academic policies.

5.3.   Standing Committees and Governance Council of Senate

5.3.1.     Academic Standards Committee (ASC): A standing Committee of Senate that assesses and provides recommendations to Senate for approval of new undergraduate program proposals.

5.3.2.     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.

5.3.2.1.    YSGS Programs and Planning Committee (PPC): Assesses and make recommendations to YSGS Council on new graduate program proposals.

5.4.   Provost and Vice-President Academic

5.4.1.    Authorizes and oversees the posting of new program Letters of Intent to the Ryerson community.

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

5.4.3.     Following Senate approval, reports new program proposals to the Board of Governors for review of financial viability.

5.4.4.     Submits Senate approved new program proposals to the Quality Council for approval.

5.5.   Deputy Provost and Vice-Provost University Planning

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

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

5.5.3.     Provides institutional data for the development and monitoring of new programs.

5.6.   Vice-Provost Academic

5.6.1.     Submits undergraduate new program Letters of Intent to the Provost and Vice-President Academic.

5.6.2.     Reviews for completeness new undergraduate program proposals, after endorsement by the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record and prior to submission of the proposal to a Peer Review Team (PRT).

5.6.3.     Submits new undergraduate program proposals to the Academic Standards Committee (ASC).

5.6.4.     Submits to Senate undergraduate new program proposal briefs and ASC’s recommendations for approval.

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

5.6.6.     Posts an Executive Summary of new undergraduate and graduate programs on the Ryerson University Curriculum Quality Assurance website with links to the Senate website and the Provost and Vice-President Academic’s website.

5.6.7.     Develops a manual that details the process and supports the preparation of new undergraduate degree program proposals.

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

5.7.1.     Submits graduate new program Letters of Intent to the Provost and Vice- President Academic.

5.7.2.     Submits new graduate program proposals to the PPC for a review for completeness, after endorsement by the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record and prior to submission of the proposal to a PRT.

5.7.3.     Appoints PRTs for graduate programs in consultation with the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record.

5.7.4.     Submits new graduate program proposals to the PPC and the YSGS Council.

5.7.5.     Submits to Senate graduate new program proposal briefs and the YSGS Council’s recommendations for approval regarding new graduate programs.

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

5.7.7.     Responds to the PRT Report, the designated academic unit’s response to the PRT Report and the Faculty Dean’s Response to the PRT Report for graduate programs.

5.7.8.     Develops a manual that details the process and supports the preparation of new graduate program proposals.

5.8.   Faculty Dean or Dean of Record1

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

5.8.2.     Submits new program proposals to the Vice-Provost Academic or to the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS, as appropriate.

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

5.8.4.     Appoints PRTs for undergraduate programs.

5.8.5.     Provides consultation to the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS regarding the appointment of PRTs for graduate programs.

_____________________________
   

1 The Dean of Record for Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs that cross faculty lines is the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS (Policy 45).

5.8.6.     Responds to the PRT Report as well as to the designated academic unit’s response to the PRT Report for undergraduate and graduate programs.

5.9.   Designated Academic Unit

5.9.1.     Oversees 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.     Prepares a written response to the PRT Report for undergraduate and graduate programs.

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

5.10.1. Endorses Letters of Intent for new undergraduate programs 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.

6.   Implementation 

A new program must be implemented within thirty-six months of its approval to commence by the Quality Council and Ryerson University’s Board of Governors. After that time, the new program’s approval will lapse.

7.   Monitoring 

At the end of the second academic year after a new program has commenced, a brief report from the academic unit will be filed with the Office of the Vice Provost Academic (for undergraduate programs) or the Office of the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS (for graduate programs) for submission to Senate, summarizing student registrations compared to projections; student retention; the status of issues raised in the implementation plan; and, any challenges faced by the program together with how these challenges are being addressed.

8.   Review of IQAP Policies and Procedures 

The review of Ryerson University’s IQAP policies will follow the procedures set out in Ryerson Senate Policy 110.

Procedures 

This document outlines the sequential stages of the developmental, review, and approval process of new undergraduate degree programs, graduate degree programs and graduate diploma programs.

As new graduate diploma programs fall under the Expedited Approval process, all of the Policy 112 procedures outlined below, with the exception of Section 4 (External Peer Review), must be completed.

A Field2 can be declared as part of a graduate new program proposal.

1.   Letter of Intent 

The first stage for a new program proposal is the development of a preliminary new program proposal, hereafter referred to as the Letter of Intent. The Letter of Intent is developed by an originating designated academic unit.

Consultations must take place during the development of the Letter of Intent, including, at least, all of the following:

·        Faculty Dean or Dean of Record;

·        Vice-Provost Academic or the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS as appropriate;

·        University Planning Office; and

·        Registrar’s Office.

1.1.   Letter of Intent Content 

The Letter of Intent must include all the following information. The Letter of Intent is part of the full new program proposal.

Basic Information

1.1.1.     Name and brief description of the proposed program, the proposed degree designation(s), identification of the designated academic unit, and the program governance structure; and

1.1.2.     Discussion of the overlap between, and/or integration of, the program with other existing or planned programs at Ryerson.

______________________

2 Refer to Senate Policy 110 for definition

Program Details(Quality Council requirements have been italicized)

1.1.3.   Alignment with University’s Plans

1.1.3.1.   Consistency of the program with the University’s mission and academic plan;

1.1.3.2.   Clarity and appropriateness of the program’s requirements and associated program learning outcomes in addressing the University’s own undergraduate or graduate Degree Level Expectations; and

1.1.3.3.   Appropriateness of degree nomenclature.

1.1.4.   Societal Need

1.1.4.1.   Evidence of societal need and labour market demand;

1.1.4.2.   Evidence of student demand; and

1.1.4.3.   Comparison of the proposed program with the most similar programs in Ontario or beyond and indicating that the proposed program differs from others in one or more significant ways. If there are significant similarities between the proposed program and existing programs, a case for duplication should be made.

1.1.5.   Admission Requirements

1.1.5.1.   A statement of the admission requirements and the appropriateness of the program’s admission requirements for the program learning outcomes established for completion of the program; and

1.1.5.2.   Sufficient explanation of alternative requirements, if any, for admission into a graduate, second-entry or undergraduate program, such as minimum grade point average, additional languages or portfolios, along with how the program recognizes prior work or learning experience.

1.1.6.   Structure

1.1.6.1.   Presentation of the program curriculum in a clear table format;

1.1.6.2.   Appropriateness of the program's structure and regulations to meet intended program learning outcomes and degree level expectations; and

1.1.6.3.   For graduate programs, a clear rationale for program length that ensures that the program requirements can be reasonably completed within the proposed time period.

1.1.6.4.   For undergraduate programs, a rationale for any deviations from the program balance requirements outlined in Ryerson Senate Policy #2.

1.1.7.   Mode of Delivery

1.1.7.1.   Appropriateness of the proposed mode(s) of delivery to meet the intended program learning outcomes and Degree Level Expectations.

1.1.8.   Resources (developed in consultation with the University Planning Office)

1.1.8.1.   Adequacy of the administrative unit’s planned utilization of existing human, physical and financial resources, and any current institutional commitment to support the program;

1.1.8.2.   Participation of a sufficient number and quality of faculty who are competent to teach and/or supervise in the program; and

1.1.8.3.   For graduate programs: a statement of whether the program is a professional program and/or a full cost recovery program.

1.1.9.   Appendices

1.1.9.1.   Appendix I: Template course outlines of each of the proposed core courses including those taught by Schools/Departments other than the Program Department. The course outline will include course descriptions, course objectives and learning outcomes; major topics of study, teaching methods, assessment methods, and potential text(s).

1.1.9.2.   Appendix II: A schedule for the development of the program, noting that the program proposal must be presented to the ASC or YSGS Council within one year of the Provost and Vice-President Academic’s authorization to proceed, along with the proposed schedule for program implementation.

1.1.9.3.   Appendix III: Letters of support, if appropriate.

1.1.9.4.   Appendix IV: An executive summary.

1.2   Endorsements and Reviews of Letter of Intent (In Order)

1.2.1.     Endorsement of Letter of Intent by originating designated academic unit.

1.2.2.     Endorsement to go forward by relevant Faculty Dean or Dean of Record.

1.2.3.     Review by Vice-Provost Academic or Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS, as appropriate.

1.2.4.     Review by Deputy Provost and Vice-Provost University Planning.

1.2.5.     Review by Provost and Vice-President Academic, who decides whether the Letter of Intent is ready to be reviewed by the Ryerson community.

1.2.6.     If the proposal is deemed ready for review, the Provost and Vice-President Academic will post the complete Letter of Intent and the Executive Summary on the Provost and Vice-President Academic’s website for a period of one month3.

1.2.7.     Review of the Letter of Intent by any interested member of the Ryerson community. Written comments/feedback on the new program proposal may be submitted to the Provost and Vice-President Academic within the specified community-response period.

1.3.   Authorization to Proceed

1.3.1.     The Provost and Vice-President Academic will respond to the Letter of Intent after the expiry of the one-month community response period.

1.3.2.     If the Provost and Vice-President Academic authorizes the development of a new program, an academic unit will be formally designated to assume responsibility for it and a Faculty Dean or Dean of Record will be given primary responsibility. The designated academic unit(s) may correspond to an existing School/Department or be newly created for the purpose of developing a full new program proposal. In the case of undergraduate inter- Faculty proposals, the Provost and Vice-President Academic will decide on a Dean of Record who will be given primary responsibility.

1.3.3.     Authorization to proceed signifies that the University supports the continued development of a new program proposal, but it does not commit the University or the Faculty to final endorsement.

2.   New Program Proposal 

2.1.  Full New Program Proposal

2.1.1.  Letter of Intent

2.1.1.1.   The full new program proposal includes all of section 1.1, as described above in the Letter of Intent Content.

2.1.2.   Program Content

2.1.2.1.   Ways in which the curriculum addresses the current state of the discipline or area of study;

2.1.2.2.   An analysis of the program’s curriculum content in terms of professional licensing/accreditation requirements, if any; 

_____________________

3  At the discretion of the Provost and Vice-President Academic the posting requirement may vary for graduate diplomas at the Master’s and Doctoral level.

3.1.1.1.   Identification of any unique or creative curriculum or program innovations or components, and experiential learning components;

3.1.1.2.   For research-focused graduate programs, clear indication of the nature and suitability of the major research (scholarly, research and creative) requirements for degree completion; and

3.1.1.3.   Evidence that each graduate program requires students to take a minimum of two-thirds of the course requirements from among graduate level courses.

3.1.2.   Assessment of Teaching and Learning

3.1.2.1.   Appropriateness of the proposed methods for the assessment of student achievement of the program learning outcomes and Degree Level Expectations;

3.1.2.2.   Completeness of plans for documenting and demonstrating the level of performance of students, consistent with the University’s statement of its Degree Level Expectations; and

3.1.2.3.   Grading, academic continuance, and graduation requirements, if variant from Ryerson’s graduate or undergraduate policies.

3.1.3.   Resources (developed in consultation with the University Planning Office)

For all New Program Proposals

3.1.3.1. Report by the University library on existing and proposed collections and services to support the program’s learning outcomes; and

3.1.3.2. Evidence that there are adequate resources to sustain the quality of scholarship produced by undergraduate students as well as graduate students’ scholarship, research, and creative activities, including information technology support, and laboratory access.

Resources for Undergraduate Programs Only

3.1.3.3.   Evidence of and planning for adequate numbers and quality of:

i)   faculty and staff to achieve the learning outcomes of the program;

ii)   evidence of plans and the commitment to provide the necessary resources in step with the implementation of the program;

iii)   planned/anticipated class sizes;

iv) provision for supervision of experiential learning opportunities (if required); and

v)   projection of the role of adjunct and part-time faculty.

Resources for Graduate Programs Only

3.1.3.4.   Evidence that faculty have the recent research (scholarly, research and creative) or professional/clinical expertise needed to sustain the program, promote innovation and foster an appropriate intellectual climate;

3.1.3.5.   Where appropriate to the program, evidence that financial assistance for students will be sufficient to ensure adequate quality and numbers of students; and

3.1.3.6.   Evidence of how supervisory loads will be distributed, and the qualifications and appointment status of faculty who will provide instruction and supervision.

3.1.4.   Quality and Other Indicators

3.1.4.1.   Definition and use of indicators that provide evidence of quality of the faculty (e.g., qualifications, research, innovation, creative, and scholarly record; appropriateness of collective faculty expertise to contribute substantively to the proposed program); and

3.1.4.2.   Evidence of a program structure and faculty research (scholarly, research and creative) that will ensure the intellectual quality of the student experience.

3.1.5.   Fields in a Graduate Program (optional - if a graduate program wishes to have a Quality Council endorsed field)

3.1.5.1.   A list of Fields, if applicable, in the proposed Master’s program; and/or

3.1.5.2.   A list of the Fields, if applicable, in the proposed PhD program.

3.1.6.   Appendices (in addition to Appendices I-IV, as described in Section  1.1.9 above)

3.1.6.1. Appendix V: Curriculum Vitae of the faculty members who will be involved in the development/delivery of the proposed program, formatted as per local norm.

3.1.6.2. Appendix VI: Copy of the Provost and Vice-President Academic’s authorization to proceed.

3.1.6.3.   Appendix VII: Documentation of approvals and related communications4.

3.1.7.   Preliminary External Review for Graduate Programs

3.1.7.1.   If a graduate program so desires, it may engage an external consultant to review the written documents, normally prior to presenting the proposal to the Department/School/Program Council and Faculty Council for endorsement, where appropriate. The consultant will be selected in consultation with the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record and the Vice- Provost and Dean, YSGS, and may not be a member of the subsequent PRT.

3.   Endorsement and Review of New Program Proposals 

3.1.   Faculty Dean or Dean of Record Endorsement

3.1.1.     The Faculty Dean or Dean of Record assumes involvement with all stages of the full proposal including review of the proposal before presentation to Department/School/ Program Council(s) and Faculty Council(s), where appropriate. After the new program proposal has been endorsed by the Department/School/Program Council(s) and Faculty Council(s), where appropriate, it will be forwarded to the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record for endorsement. Inter-Faculty programs will require the endorsement of the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record of all involved Faculties.

3.2.  Departmental/School/Faculty Council Endorsement

3.2.1.     The full proposal for a new undergraduate or graduate program will be presented to the relevant Departmental/School/Program Council(s) and Faculty Councils, where appropriate, for review and endorsement. The appropriate Council(s) will be determined in accordance with Senate policies. Where such a Council does not exist, the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record shall establish an appropriate committee, comprising members of related Department/School/Program Councils and Faculty Councils, where appropriate.

3.2.2.     A record will be kept of the date(s) of the relevant Council meeting(s), along with any qualifications or limitations placed on endorsement by the Council(s). This information must be forwarded to the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record.

3.3.   Undergraduate Review for Completeness

3.3.1.     Once an undergraduate new program proposal is endorsed by the participating Department/School Council(s) and the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record, the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record will submit the proposal to the Vice-Provost Academic who will conduct a preliminary review for completeness of the proposal prior to the Peer Review Team receiving the proposal.

________________________

4 Reviews, endorsements, approvals and related communications must be documented and retained at every stage of the development of the new program. The documentation (Appendix VII) accompanies the new program proposal that is submitted to the ASC or YSGS Council.

3.4.   Graduate Review for Completeness

3.4.1.     Once a graduate new program proposal has been endorsed by the participating Program Council(s), it will be forwarded to the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record who will submit their letter of endorsement and the new program proposal to the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS. The Program and Planning Committee of YSGS Council will conduct a preliminary review for completeness of the proposal prior to the Peer Review Team receiving the proposal.

4.   Peer Review 

Peer review teams are required for new program proposals for both undergraduate degree programs and graduate degree programs. New graduate diplomas fall under an Expedited Approval process, as defined by the Quality Council (see Ryerson University’s Policy 110) and do not require external reviewers.

As soon as possible after a proposal has been endorsed by Departmental/School Council(s) and Faculty Council, where appropriate, and by Faculty Dean or Dean of Record, and reviewed by the Vice-Provost Academic, for undergraduate degree programs, or YSGS Council, for graduate degree programs, it will undergo review by a PRT as described below.

4.1.   Selection of Peer Review Team (PRT) Members

4.1.1.     All members of the PRT will be at arm’s length5 from the program under review.

4.1.2.     The external and internal reviewers will be active and respected in their field, and normally associate or full professors with program management experience.

4.1.3.     If graduate and undergraduate reviews are done simultaneously, the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record, and the Vice-Provost Academic and the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS must decide if a combined PRT or separate PRTs are required. Separate PRT reports are required.

4.1.4.   PRT for Undergraduate New Program Proposals

 

______________________

See Appendix A for information on arm’s length selection of PRT members.

The PRT for new undergraduate degree program proposals will consist of:

4.1.4.1.   One external reviewer; and

4.1.4.2.   One further external reviewer, or an internal reviewer from a related discipline (or interdisciplinary group) within the university. Internal reviewers are not members of the designated academic unit under review. Internal reviewers will provide external reviewers with an institutional perspective on related policies and processes.

4.1.4.3.   This PRT composition is the same for undergraduate degree programs that will be taught in collaboration with colleges or institutions outside of Ontario. In a joint program with other Ontario universities, unless one internal reviewer is agreed upon by all participating institutions, if applicable, one internal reviewer will be appointed from each participating institution.

4.1.4.4.   External review of new undergraduate program proposals will normally be conducted on-site, but may be conducted by desk audit, videoconference or an equivalent method if the external reviewer is satisfied that the off-site option is acceptable.

4.1.5.   PRT for Graduate New Program Proposals

The PRT for graduate new program proposals will consist of:

4.1.5.1.   Two external reviewers qualified by discipline and experience to review the program(s); and

4.1.5.2.   One further external reviewer, or an internal reviewer from a related discipline (or interdisciplinary group) within the university. Internal reviewers are not members of the designated academic unit under review. Internal reviewers will provide external reviewers with an institutional perspective on related policies and processes.

4.1.5.3.   This PRT composition is the same for graduate programs that will be taught in collaboration with colleges or institutions outside of Ontario, Canada. In a joint program with other Ontario universities, unless one internal reviewer is agreed upon by all participating institutions, if applicable, one internal reviewer will be appointed from each participating institution.

4.1.5.4.   External review of new graduate program proposals must be conducted on-site.

4.2.   Appointment of Peer Review Team (PRT) Members

4.2.1.   Undergraduate

4.2.1.1.   The membership of the undergraduate PRT will be determined and appointed by the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record based on written information provided by the designated academic unit.

4.2.1.2.   The designated academic unit will provide the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record with names and brief biographies of four or more faculty external to Ryerson and two or more faculty internal to Ryerson (if applicable).

4.2.1.3.   Initial communications to the reviewers, such as interest, availability, and invitation to serve on a PRT, will come only from the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record.

4.2.1.4.   The Faculty Dean or Dean of Record will invite one of the external reviewers to act as Chair of the PRT.

4.2.2.   Graduate

4.2.2.1.   The membership of the graduate PRT will be determined by the Vice- Provost and Dean, YSGS in consultation with the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record and designated academic unit.

4.2.2.2.   The designated academic unit will provide the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS with names and brief biographies of four or more faculty external to Ryerson and two or more faculty internal to Ryerson (if applicable).

4.2.2.3.   Initial communications to the reviewers, such as interest, availability, and invitation to serve on a PRT, will come only from the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS.

4.2.2.4.   The Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS in consultation with the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record for graduate programs, will invite one of the external reviewers to act as Chair of the PRT.

4.3.   The Mandate of the Peer Review Team (PRT)

The general mandate of the PRT is to evaluate and report in writing on the academic quality of the proposed program and the capacity of the designated academic unit to deliver it in an appropriate manner. The report of the PRT will evaluate the new proposed program against the following criteria:

4.3.1.     consistency of the program with the institution’s mission and academic plans, clarity and appropriateness of its requirements and associated learning outcomes in addressing degree level expectations, and appropriateness of the degree nomenclature;

4.3.2.     appropriateness of the program’s admission requirements for the learning outcomes established for completion of the program, and sufficient explanation of any alternative admission requirements;

4.3.3.     appropriateness of the program's structure and regulations to meet specified program learning outcomes and degree level expectations, and for graduate programs a rationale for program length to ensure program requirements can be reasonably completed within the proposed time period;

4.3.4.     ways in which the curriculum addresses the current state of the discipline or area of study, and identification of innovative or creative curriculum components. For graduate programs, an indication of the nature and suitability of the major research (scholarly, research and creative) requirements for degree completion, and evidence of the requirement for students to take a minimum of two-thirds of the course requirements from among graduate level courses;

4.3.5.     appropriateness of the proposed mode(s) of delivery to meet the intended program learning outcomes and Degree Level Expectations;

4.3.6.     appropriateness of proposed methods to assess, document and demonstrate student achievement of the program’s defined learning outcomes and Degree Level Expectations;

4.3.7.     adequacy of the administrative unit’s planned use of human, physical and financial resources and institutional commitment to supplement the resources where necessary, evidence of a sufficient number and quality of faculty, and evidence of adequate resources to sustain quality scholarship, research, and creative activities;

4.3.8.     for graduate programs, evidence of faculty research (scholarly, research and creative) or professional/clinical expertise needed to sustain the program, promote innovation and foster an appropriate intellectual climate, evidence of sufficient student financial assistance to ensure quality and numbers of students, and evidence of how supervisory loads will be distributed to provide qualified faculty instruction and supervision;

4.3.9.     for undergraduate programs, evidence of planning for adequate numbers and quality of faculty and staff to achieve the program goals, of plans and commitment to provide the necessary resources for implementation of the program, of planned/anticipated class sizes, of supervision for experiential learning opportunities (if required) and of adjunct and part-time faculty; and

4.3.10.   indicators of quality including faculty, program structure and faculty research (scholarly, research and creative) that will ensure the intellectual quality of the student experience.

4.4.   Information Provided to the Peer Review Team Before the Site Visit 

4.4.1.     The PRT will be provided with a Letter of Invitation from the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record for undergraduate programs or the Vice-Provost and Dean YSGS for graduate programs, along with the PRT’s mandate, information on the University, and its mission and mandate. Once confirmed, the Dean of Record for undergraduate programs or the Vice-Provost and Dean YSGS for graduate programs will provide to the PRT a site visit agenda along with the new program proposal and all documentation pertinent to its approval to this point. This communication will remind the PRT of the confidentiality of the documents presented.

4.5.   The Peer Review Team (PRT) Site Visit 

The PRT will be provided with:

4.5.1.     Access to program administrators, staff, and faculty (including representatives from joint or collaborative Ontario institutions), administrators of related departments and librarians, and students (including representatives from joint or collaborative Ontario institutions), as appropriate.

4.5.2.     Coordination of site visits to Ontario institutions offering joint programs (excluding college collaborative programs), where appropriate, and any additional information that may be needed to support a thorough review.

4.5.3.   Undergraduate

4.5.3.1.   At the opening of the site visit the Vice-Provost Academic will review the PRT mandate, the format for the PRT Report, and the timeline for completion of the PRT Report.

4.5.3.2.   At the close of the site visit the PRT will hold a debriefing involving the Provost and Vice-President Academic, the Vice-Provost Academic, the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record, and any others who may be invited by the Faculty Dean or PRT.

4.5.4.   Graduate

4.5.4.1.   At the opening of the site visit the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS will review the PRT mandate, the format for the PRT Report, and the timeline for completion of the PRT Report.

4.5.4.2.   At the close of the site visit, the PRT will hold a debriefing involving the Provost and Vice-President Academic, the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS, the Faculty Dean, and any others who may be invited.

4.6.  Peer Review Team (PRT) Report 

4.6.1.    Undergraduate

4.6.1.1.   Within four weeks of the completion of the site visit, the PRT for an undergraduate program will submit its written report to the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record and the Vice-Provost Academic. The Faculty Dean or Dean of Record will review the submission for completeness and contact the peer reviewers if further information is required. The Faculty Dean or Dean of Record will circulate this report to the designated academic unit.

4.6.2.   Graduate

4.6.2.1.   Within four weeks of the completion of the site visit, the PRT for a graduate program will submit its written report to the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS. The Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS will review the submission for completeness and contact the peer reviewers if further information in required. The Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS will circulate this report to the designated academic unit and to the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record.

5.   Responses to the Peer Review Team (PRT) Report

5.1.   Designated Academic Unit's Response 

5.1.1.   Undergraduate and Graduate

5.1.1.1.   Within four weeks of receipt of the PRT Report, the designated academic unit will submit its response to the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record. The response will identify any corrections or clarifications and will indicate how the PRT recommendations are being accommodated, or if they are not to be accommodated, reasons for this.

5.2.   Faculty Dean or Dean of Record's Response 

5.2.1.   Undergraduate

5.2.1.1.   Within four weeks of receipt of the designated academic unit’s response, a written response to the PRT Report must be provided by the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record. The Faculty Dean or Dean of Record will provide a response to each of the following:

5.2.1.1.1.   the recommendations of the PRT;

5.2.1.1.2.  the designated academic unit’s response to the PRT Report; and

5.2.1.1.3.  any changes in organization, policy or governance required to meet the recommendations.

5.2.1.1.4.  If the new program proposal is revised following, or as a result of, the PRT’s Report, the original and the revised documents must be resubmitted through the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record to the Vice-Provost Academic.

5.2.1.1.5. If the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record and the Vice-Provost Academic believe that this document differs substantially from the original, it must be resubmitted to the Department/School/Program Council(s) and Faculty Councils, where appropriate, for further endorsement before providing decanal endorsement.

5.3.   Faculty Dean or Dean of Record's Response and Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS Response

5.3.1.   Graduate

5.3.1.1.   Within four weeks of receipt of the designated academic unit’s response, a written response to the PRT Report must be provided by the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record and by the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS. The Faculty Dean or Dean of Record and the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS will each provide a response to the following:

5.3.1.1.1.   the recommendations of the PRT;

5.3.1.1.2.  the designated academic unit’s response to the PRT Report;

5.3.1.1.3.   any changes in organization, policy or governance required to meet the recommendations; and

5.3.1.1.4.  the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS will also provide a response to the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record’s Response.

5.3.1.2.    If the new program proposal is revised following, or as a result of, the PRT’s Report, the original and the revised documents must be resubmitted through the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record to the Vice- Provost and Dean, YSGS.

5.3.1.3.    If the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record and the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS believe that this document differs substantially from the original, it must be resubmitted to the Department/School/Program Council(s) for further endorsement before providing decanal endorsement.

6.   Assessment and Recommendations of Academic Standards Committee (ASC) or YSGS Council 

6.1.  Undergraduate

6.1.1.     The designated academic unit submits to the Vice-Provost Academic the new program proposal, with any revisions, together with the PRT Report, the responses to the PRT Report by the designated academic unit and by the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record, and the associated documentation (see Section 2.2.7). The Vice-Provost Academic will submit the full new program proposal to the ASC.

6.1.2.     The ASC will assess the proposal for academic quality and societal need and make one of the following recommendations:

6.1.2.1.   that the new program proposal be recommended for approval by Senate, with or without qualification;

6.1.2.2.   that the new program proposal be returned to the designated academic unit for further revision; or

6.1.2.3.   that the new program proposal not be recommended for approval by Senate.

6.2.   Graduate

6.2.1.     The designated academic unit submits to the YSGS, for submission to the PPC, the new program proposal, with any revisions, together with the PRT Report, the responses to the PRT Report by the Designated Academic Unit, the Faculty Dean or Dean of Record, and the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS, and the associated documentation (see Section 2.2.7). The PPC will make one the following recommendations:

6.2.1.1.   that the new program proposal be sent to the YSGS Council with or without qualification; or

6.2.1.2.   that the new program proposal be returned to the designated academic unit for further revision.

6.2.2.     Upon recommendation by the PPC, the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS will submit the new program proposal, to the YSGS Council.

6.2.3.     The YSGS Council will assess the proposal for academic quality and societal need and make one of the following recommendations:

6.2.3.1.   that the new program proposal be recommended for approval by Senate, with or without qualification;

6.2.3.2.   that the new program proposal be returned to the designated academic unit for further revision; or

6.2.3.3.   that the new program proposal not be recommended for approval by Senate.

7.   Senate Approval 

7.1. The Vice-Provost Academic (as Chair of the ASC) for undergraduate program proposals, or the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS (as Chair of the YSGS Council) for graduate program proposals, will submit a report of the new program proposal to Senate, as appropriate. Senate approval is the culmination of the internal academic approval process for new program proposals.

8.   Quality Council Approval 

8.1. Once approved by Senate, the new program proposal, together with all required reports and documents, as outlined in the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance Framework, will be submitted to the Quality Council for approval as per the required process. Following submission to the Quality Council, the University may announce its intention to offer the new program if it is clearly indicated that Quality Council approval is pending and no offers of admission will be made until that approval is received.

9.   Presentation to the Board of Governors 

9.1. The Provost and Vice-President Academic is responsible for presentation of the new program to the Board for approval of financial viability.

10.   Program Implementation 

10.1. Final implementation of the program is the responsibility of the Provost and Vice- President Academic. A new program must be implemented and commence within thirty-six months of approval by the Quality Council and Ryerson’s Board of Governors. After that time, the new program’s approval will lapse.

11.   Monitoring 

At the end of the second academic year after a new program has commenced, a brief report from the academic unit will be filed with the Office of the Vice Provost Academic (for undergraduate programs) or the Office of the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS (for graduate programs) for submission to Senate, summarizing student registrations compared to projections; student retention; the status of issues raised in the implementation plan; and, any challenges faced by the program together with how these challenges are being addressed.

12.   Periodic Program Review 

All new undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and graduate diploma programs will be reviewed no more than eight years after implementation and in accordance with Ryerson University Senate Policy 126: Periodic Program Review of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs.

Appendix A

Choosing Arm’s Length Reviewers

Best practice in quality assurance ensures that reviewers are at arm’s length from the program under review. This means that reviewers/consultants are not close friends, current or recent collaborators, former supervisor, advisor or colleague.

Arm’s length does not mean that the reviewer must never have met or even heard of a single member of the program. It does mean that reviewers should not be chosen who are likely, or perceived to be likely, to be predisposed, positively or negatively, about the program.

Examples of what may not violate the arm’s length requirement:

·        Appeared on a panel at a conference with a member of the program

·        Served on a granting council selection panel with a member of the program

·        Author of an article in a journal edited by a member of the program, or of a chapter in a book edited by a member of the program

·        External examiner of a dissertation by a doctoral student in the program

·        Presented a paper at a conference held at the university where the program is located

·        Invited a member of the program to present a paper at a conference organized by the reviewer, or to write a chapter in a book edited by the reviewer

·        Received a bachelor’s degree from the university (especially if in another program)

·        Co-author or research collaborator with a member of the program more than seven years ago

·        Presented a guest lecture at the university

·        Reviewed for publication a manuscript written by a member of the program

Examples of what may violate the arm’s length requirement:

·        A previous member of the program or department under review (including being a visiting professor)

·        Received a graduate degree from the program under review

·        A regular co-author and research collaborator with a member of the program, within the past seven years, and especially if that collaboration is ongoing

·        Close family/friend relationship with a member of the program

·        A regular or repeated external examiner of dissertations by doctoral students in the program

·        The doctoral supervisor of one or more members of the program

Additional Advice for Choosing External Reviewers/Consultants 

External reviewers/consultants should have a strong track record as academic scholars and ideally should also have had academic administrative experience in such roles as undergraduate or graduate program coordinators, department chair, dean, graduate dean or associated positions. This combination of experience allows a reviewer to provide the most valuable feedback on program proposals and reviews.

Source: Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance (Quality Council)