Educational Program Actions Requiring State Review and Approval

Diagram of Steps for Educational Program Actions Requiring State Approval (view, download, or print PDF document)


For the educational program actions listed below, formal review and action by the UCC are required in all cases.  Once approved by all levels at UMW, the action must be either approved by or reported to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).  Proposals requiring full UCC review and subsequent action by SCHEV are:

  • Add a new degree program
  • Add a new certificate program
  • Revising academic program title, CIP code or degree designation
  • Offering an approved degree or certificate program in a majority online format
  • Change a department name
  • Merge program
  • Delete certificate or major

Each of these proposals will go through the same set of steps for UMW approval, after which the approved proposal is sent to SCHEV in accordance with their requirements.  SCHEV estimates that it needs nine months lead time to review and approve a new program before it may begin implementation.  Lead-time for other SCHEV program actions is shorter (but plan on anything ranging from two to six months for official approval by SCHEV on actions other than new programs).

In every case, the proposer fills out the UMW cover sheet titled “New_Program_Proposal_State_Action_Required.”  In addition to the specified attachments required by UMW (as stated on this cover sheet), the proposer completes the required SCHEV cover sheet and documentation.   The necessary forms and instructions for program proposals to be submitted to SCHEV are available here. Generally, the SCHEV requirements are:

  • For new degree or certificate programs — complete and attach SCHEV’s “Program Proposal Cover Sheet” and all narratives and documents as required by SCHEV’s instructions.
  • For offering an already approved degree or certificate program in a majority online format — SCHEV considers these proposals as a program modification; contact Dr. John T. Morello, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs (jmorello@umw.edu) for guidance.
  • For revisions of program title, CIP code, or degree designation — complete and attach SCHEV’s “Format for Revising Academic Programs Cover Sheet” and all narratives and documents as required by SCHEV’s instructions.
  • For department name changes — complete and attach SCHEV’s “Format for Simple Organization Changes.” On the SCHEV cover sheet, check the box for Board Approval not required. Follow this template for the supporting documentation needed. This example may prove useful.
  • For program mergers — complete and attach SCHEV’s “Format for Merging Academic Programs Cover Sheet” and all narratives and documents as required by SCHEV’s instructions.
  • For major and/or certificate deletions — also complete and attach the SCHEV “Intent to Discontinue Academic Program” form (form is available at the University Curriculum Committee web site) and provide any additional attachments are required by SCHEV’s instructions.

The following steps are required to receive UMW approval in cases of program actions also requiring state approval: 

A.  The proposer downloads the “New_Program_Proposal_State_Approval_Required” cover sheet from the UCC website.  The form is filled out completely, and additional pages/attachments required are added.  The cover sheet and all required additional pages should be combined into one electronic document. Be sure to include the department chair’s “signature” in the appropriate line, either by the form of an electronic signature or by simply typing the Department Chair’s name in the space provided to indicate that the proposal was submitted with the department’s approval. Proposers of new degree or certificate programs must complete this online form. This will enable the Library to properly evaluate the resource impact of the proposal and provide the necessary impact documentation for the proposal.

B.  To ensure clarity and consistency, proposers are asked to follow the guidance regarding suggested file names as provided in Appendix II, Suggested File Names for Curriculum Change Proposals.

C.  The proposal moves through whatever procedures are standard for curricular actions within the department.  When department approval is secured, the proposal moves to the College Curriculum Committee (CCC).  (If the college permits proposals to go directly to the CCC, the departmental review step may be ignored.)  The department chair’s name on the UMW proposal cover sheet indicates either department approval of the submission or acknowledgement of the submission in cases where a College allows faculty to submit proposals directly to its CCC.

D.  Prior to submitting the proposal to the CCC, the proposer/department must meet with the College Dean for an initial consultation about the proposed new program.  This initial consultation step will help to identify potential problems and will help promote a smooth proposal review process. The Dean must also inform the Provost at this point so that the Provost is aware of the new program proposal. The Dean’s approval is required before the new program proposal advances to the CCC. If a new degree or certificate proposal will be delivered in a majority online format, the proposer must inform the Dean of this fact and must also contact the Chair of the Distance and Blended Learning Committee for guidance about how to proceed with the approval process required for a majority online program. Contact with the Distance and Blended Learning Committee must occur before the proposal is submitted to the CCC.

E.  Following CCC approval, the CCC chair sends the electronic copy of the course proposal with all attachments to the Dean.  At the same time, the CCC Chair reports the curriculum actions approved to the College Faculty Body.  The Dean has five (5) class days to approve or reject the curriculum proposal.  If the Dean approves, the proposal is returned to the CCC Chair.  Once the College faculty Body has accepted the proposal, the CCC Chair sends the proposal to the UCC.  If the Dean rejects the proposal, it is returned to the CCC Chair with a written explanation of the reasons why the proposal was not accepted.  A complete PDF copy of the cover sheet and proposal (in one document) should be sent by the CCC Chair to Dr. John T. Morello, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs (jmorello@umw.edu) for posting on the UCC web site.

F.  If the UCC discovers problems with any program proposal approved by a college, it will identify the problem, return the proposal to the CCC, and request that the problem be addressed before the proposal is reviewed by the UCC.  Once the CCC has addressed the issued raised by the UCC, and with the approval of the College Dean, the proposal is returned to the UCC for action.

G.  Once new programs and program changes requiring state action are approved by the UCC, they are reported to the UFC as part of the UCC’s regular report to that group.  Simultaneously, the UCC chair sends the proposal document with all attachments to the Provost.  The Provost has five (5) class days to approve or reject the proposal.  If the Provost approves, the proposal is returned to the UCC Chair.  If the Provost rejects the proposal, it is returned to the UCC Chair with a written explanation of the reasons why the proposal was not accepted.

H.  If approved by the Provost and accepted by the UFC, the proposal cover sheet is updated, and the proposal status at the UCC website is noted as “Approved, Pending Board of Visitors’ Review.”  If required, Distance & Blended Learning Committee must approve proposal before UFC acts. The Provost will place the new program proposal on the Board of Visitors’ agenda for one of their regularly scheduled meetings occurring during the academic year. NOTE: Department name changes do not need to go before the Board.

I.  If the Board approves the proposal, the UCC website will be updated to state “Approved by Board of Visitors, Awaiting Final Action by SCHEV.”  The Provost will submit the program proposal to SCHEV in accordance with their procedures.  Once approved by SCHEV, the UCC website will be updated to state “Final Approval from SCHEV Received on [date],” and the proposal is filed in the electronic archive maintained at the UCC website.

J.  Should SCHEV not approve a program proposal that has been approved at all UMW levels, the Provost will convene a meeting with the program proposer, the department chair, the relevant College Dean, the relevant CCC chair, and the UCC chair in order to discuss how to proceed.