Policy 76: Development and Review of Certificate Programs
Approval Date: December 6, 2016
Previous Approval Date: January 30, 2007
Presented By: The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education
Reviewed By: Academic Standards Committee, Academic Planning Group
Responsible Office: Provost and Vice President Academic (in consultation with the Dean of The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education)
Implementation Date: December 6, 2016
1. Certificate programs will be consistent with the mandate of Ryerson University.
2. Certificate programs will consist of a minimum of four courses, whose academic quality is comparable to that of degree programs.
3. Whenever academically appropriate, certificate courses should be part of Ryerson’s degree programs or deemed equivalent to degree program courses in order to provide students with maximum accessibility and internal degree credit transfer.
4. Academic standards and policies pertaining to certificates will be comparable to those pertaining to degree programs.
5. In developing certificate programs, initiatives and advice may be drawn from individuals and organizations internal and/or external to Ryerson. Curricular planning and program development will be carried out within the existing structure of academic authority as articulated below under "Procedures".
6. New certificate programs and alterations in existing certificates require the same pattern of internal approvals as do degree programs. External approval is not required in the case of certificate programs.
7. Administrative responsibility for certificate programs rests primarily with the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education.
8. Academic responsibility for certificate programs rests primarily with the School/ Department/Faculty normally accountable for courses and/or programs in the relevant discipline. When it is academically inappropriate to assign responsibility for a certificate to a particular School, Department or Faculty, responsibility will be assigned to a curriculum committee established in accordance with 2 C below.
9. Certificate programs will be reviewed periodically with respect to their societal need, academic currency and curriculum structure, and financial viability. Such reviews will be carried out under the auspices of the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education. Mechanisms and timetables for reviews of societal need, of academic currency and of curriculum structure will be established by the Provost and Vice President Academic and the Dean of the G. Raymond Chang School.
10. Procedures for Certificate review will be developed by the G. Raymond Chang School in collaboration with Faculties, School and Departments and will be reported to Senate. Senate is charged with final approval of new certificate programs together with the periodic review of certificate programs.
Proposals for New Certificates
Ideas and initiatives for new certificates will be directed to the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education which will provide preliminary advice and commentary on administrative feasibility and planning procedures. The School also plays an important proactive role in bringing proposals for new certificate initiatives into Ryerson's academic approval framework.
The Development of Certificate Proposals
The Dean of the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education will work collaboratively with other Deans to create a framework for administrative and academic leadership for the development and implementation of a proposed certificate program.
1. When a proposed certificate holds academic relationship to a single School or Department, the Dean of the relevant Faculty will be involved.
2. When a proposed certificate may relate to more than one School or Department, the Dean of the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education will involve all relevant Deans in the administrative and academic structure. (One or more Deans may be designated as holding principal responsibility for the program's development.)
3. When a proposed certificate is not clearly linked to any one School or Department, the Dean of the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education will collaborate with the other Deans and advise the Provost and Vice President Academic who will create an appropriate administrative and academic framework for the program.
In all cases, a curriculum committee will be established early in the process of developing a new certificate program. The composition of such a committee will be consistent with the governance provisions which follow. Additionally, a program or advisory council will be established in accordance with the governance provisions of 3 c below.
Governance of Certificate Programs
1. Every certificate program will have a standing curriculum committee with primary responsibility for program curriculum development and, when the program is implemented, for the quality and content of its courses.
a. When a certificate is related to a single School or Department, the curriculum committee will be that of the relevant constituency with representation from the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education.
b. When the program is not clearly related to a single School or Department, the Dean of the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education will collaborate with the Faculty Deans in advising the Provost and Vice President Academic on the appropriate composition for the curriculum committee.
In certain instances, membership may be drawn from outside the Ryerson community. In such cases, Ryerson faculty must comprise a clear majority of the committee membership.
2. In certificates which relate to a single School or Department, academic responsibility for the program, once implemented, rests primarily with that constituency. This responsibility, some elements of which are discharged primarily through the curriculum committee as described above, is taken to include:
a. the development of individual courses and curriculum structure, maintenance of their academic quality and currency, criteria for student evaluation, prerequisite patterns, and student promotion;
b. ongoing review of program objectives, learning outcomes and career competencies;
c. general certificate and course staffing strategies, and recruitment and approval of instructors to teach in certificate programs.
3. Every certificate program will have a program advisory council. This will, in many circumstances, be the advisory council of the degree program from which the certificate program derives. When a certificate is not related to a single degree program, the Dean of the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education will collaborate with Faculty Deans in recommending such an advisory council. (Authority for the creation of such councils rests ultimately with the Provost, and Vice President Academic.)
4. Administrative authority, which rests primarily with the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, is taken to include program marketing and promotion, registration, and insuring access to appropriate University facilities. It also entails the coordination of program reviews and, where appropriate, coordination of the efforts of individuals from various areas of the University in the program development and implementation processes.