PRP 3230 - Course, Co-Curricular Learning Experience, and Academic Program Development Policy and Proposal Requirements

Issued by: James K. Krause, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs
Effective Date: Fall 2017
Notes: Approved by BUCC, 4/24/85. Revised by BUCC, 2/20/87. Revision, page 2, approved by BUCC, 12/7/88.This policy voids PRP 3231, 3232, and 3234. Revised by BUCC, 11/20/96. Revised by BUCC, 1/20/10. Reported to the Forum 1/27/10. Revised by BUCC, 5/2/12. Revised by BUCC, 5/8/13. Revised by BUCC 13 April 2016. Reported to Forum 9/28/2016


  1. The development of academic programs is a crucial aspect of the long-range well-being of the University. New programs must be mounted as student and societal needs become known. Existing programs facing declining enrollments become subject to review so that adjustment steps may be taken. In some cases a program may have to face the possibility of discontinuation. Courses within programs go through a similar evolutionary cycle.
  2. It is the policy of Bloomsburg University that program development be objective (based on demonstrable evidence), orderly (done in conformance to a prescribed procedure), timely (neither pre-mature nor overly delayed), efficient (cost-effective in terms of the investment of both time and energy), and in conformance with the overall mission of the University. Program development must tap the creative talents of all faculty and administrators. Procedures must not stifle those creative talents.
  3. Inasmuch as program development ranges from the development of an entirely new mission for the University, down through the development of new degree programs, options, concentrations and minors to matters involving individual courses and even the numbering of a course, it is imperative that the complexity of procedures be correlated with the complexity of the program developments. Differing actions will involve different actors and different approval levels. Inasmuch, however, as program changes in one area will likely have an impact on other areas, it is essential that all changes be reviewed in such a way that intra-organizational impact is carefully considered.


Introduction: All proposals for the addition, discontinuation (see BOG 1985-01-A), or modification of an academic program, or element thereof, must use Document P, the "Omnibus Course and Program Development Cover Sheet.” This form clearly indicates what additional documents must be prepared, and where they are to be routed for approvals. The proposal must contain all information needed for decisions by curriculum committees at all levels, as well as the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Where possible, refrain from discipline-specific language. The proposal is a binding document and a permanent record. It must be prepared with utmost care. Poorly prepared proposals may be rejected, regardless of the merit or timeliness of the proposal.

Submission for the Approval: One electronic file in PDF format and one paper copy of the entire proposal will be submitted to the first entity in the approval sequence listed in the right hand column of Box 3 in Document P. If applicable, the electronic file will be changed during the sequence to reflect amendments and corrections. In the event of amendment, all preceding entities in the approval sequence will receive a copy of the amended electronic file in PDF format.

Final Distribution of Approved Proposal:

  • The Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs will retain the signed paper copy of the proposal.
  • The Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs will distribute an electronic file in PDF format, with a signed Document P inserted, to all entities in the approval sequence listed in the right hand column of Box 3 in Document P.
  • The Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs will distribute an electronic file in PDF format, with a signed Document P inserted, to all entities listed under “INFO COPIES” in the right- hand column of Box 3 in Document P.
  • The Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs will distribute an electronic file in PDF format, with a signed Document P inserted, to the Office of the Registrar.

Instructions: Forms and formats are available from the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. For information not included below and for clarification of the following instructions, please contact the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs or the BUCC Chairperson.

I. I. Document P - “Omnibus Course, Co-Curricular Learning Experience, and Program Development Cover Sheet”
A. Complete the heading information. Keep the short title informative yet concise.
B. Box 1 – Mark the type(s) of action requested.
C. Box 2 – Mark the level(s) of action requested.
D. Box 3 – Mark applicable item(s) of action. Consult the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs or the BUCC Chairperson for clarification if needed. Make note of the approval sequence, documents required, and to whom informational copies should be provided.
E. Box 4 – Mark the documents to be included in the proposal.
F. Box 5 – Space for signatures indicating recommendation for approval and final approval.

II. Document Q - "Summary Proposal"
A. Complete the heading information.

B. Q-1 – Write a concise and common sense description of what is proposed. One sentence is usually sufficient (e.g., “We wish to make XXXX.XXX Course Name a required course for majors in XYZ.”)

C. Q-2 - Set forth the full rationale for what is proposed. The box will expand to accommodate all text.

  1. Where appropriate, address required courses, total hours, special features, and benefits to the University and its students. A proposal seeking General Education Points must clearly specify how the course contributes to the General Education Goals.
  2. Except as detailed in other parts of the proposal (e.g. Document R), indicate how the quality of the proposed change will be guaranteed, with explicit discussion of outcomes assessment, both initially and for the duration. Quality analysis should include references to training and expertise of faculty and the adequacy of support personnel, equipment, facilities, and so forth. When these issues are addressed in other parts of the proposal, indicate where the details may be found (e.g. “See Document R for details”).

D. Q-3 –Mark the appropriate box. Consider departmental and extra-departmental resources, including staffing, library resources, academic computing, etc. Provide a rationale for the selection.

  1. “No additional resources required.” – The rationale will address how the requested action will be accommodated without additional resources. Note: Resources used for a proposed new course previously offered as an experimental course ARE additional resources unless the new course replaces an existing course or sections of an existing course.
  2. “Use space as needed to indicate probable source of additional funds.” – Include both departmental and extra-departmental cost estimates. If additional resource requirements exceed $1000 for the first year and $500 per year thereafter, you must complete Document T even if not listed under “Documents Required” in Document P.

E. Q-4 – The originating department is accountable for the careful completion of the statement, as indicated by the chairperson’s signature.

  1. The statement need not include the widely diffused impact of changes in general education offerings or the impact of new programs on the enrollments of existing programs. The impact of new programs on existing programs should be included when they cause the need for additional sections of courses outside of the originating department.
  2. The originating department should seek the mediating assistance of the dean(s) in the event objections cannot be resolved. If a total impasse occurs the originating department may bring the proposal to BUCC for arbitration, regardless of approval sequence.

III. Document R – Master Course Syllabus
A. See PRP 3233-Required Format Required Format for Course Syllabi for BUCC Approval
B. The Master Course Syllabus sets the course goals and/or objectives; content outline; methods; recommended class size, if appropriate, with rationale; evaluation procedures, and instructional methods. The course instructor will use these to ensure quality and consistency among sections of the same course.

IV. Document T – Fiscal Impact
Fiscal Impact statement must include the following sections:
A. T-1 – “Faculty Requirements” Indicate the contact hours (work load hours) that will be needed to offer the proposed program. Explain how the cost will be met. (Will new faculty be needed? Will current faculty be used? If, so how will the utilization of current faculty be altered?)
B. T-2 – “Support Personnel” Analyze in a manner similar to T-1.
C. T-3 – “Equipment Requirements” Indicate what equipment will be used in implementing the proposed program. If existing equipment is to be used indicate how its utilization will be altered by the new program. Indicate what new equipment will be needed and how much it will cost.
D. T-4 – “Facility Requirements” If existing facilities are to be used, indicate how the current utilization of those same facilities will be impacted by the new program. Indicate what new facilities will be needed and their cost.
E. T-5 – “Other Resources Requirements” Give details and costs.

V. Document U – Needs Analysis
Needs Analysis must include the following sections:
A. U-1 – “Enrollment Projection” Describe the enrollment projection over the next five years and how you arrived at the projection.
B. U-2 – “Source of Students” Indicate if the students in this program will come from within the University, an off campus location, online, or if the total student body must be increased to accommodate this program.
C. U-3 – “Career and Employment Opportunities” Describe the career and employment opportunities in the field with valid documentation.
D. U-4 – List the institutions in the region offering the same or similar programs. Contact the appropriate dean or director to find out how "communications with appropriate departments or units at other institutions" are to be conducted.

VI. Document V – Program Course Checklists
A. List all courses required for completion of the program, including pre-requisites, major requirements, and general education requirements.
B. Indicate the number of credit hours required for pre-requisites, major requirements, and those required for general education requirements.
C. Make note of pre-requisites and courses that are not offered every semester.

VII. Document W – Program Completion Plan
A. Give an eight semester plan of courses that would permit a student to complete a degree in the program. Choices among courses are permitted.
B. Although required courses may not be offered every year, it should be possible for a student to obtain all necessary courses in eight semesters. The program completion plan should document that this is possible.
C. Allow for general education courses (suggested or required general education courses may be given). Check that prerequisite requirements are met.
D. It is understood that not every student in a particular program will follow the course selections in the program completion plan exactly. Nor does the existence of a program completion plan guarantee that all students in a program will complete their degrees in eight semesters.

VIII. Document X - Letter of Intent
Before a detailed proposal for a new major is submitted, proposers should follow the procedures and approval process found on PASSHE’s Letter of Intent. Note that Concept Approval should be done before detailed program development is undertaken