P-2: CHANGES IN UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS/MAJORS, OPTIONS, IUGs, AND MINORS
P-2 proposals are the basis of University Faculty Senate curricular approval and are used to amend undergraduate academic programs (including majors, changing or eliminating options within majors, IUGs, minors, and academic ETM changes). P-2 proposals are submitted by academic units to the Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs through their dean (University Park) or the Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses.
Administrative approval is not required to implement the curricular amendment of majors, options, IUGs, or minors approved by the Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs.
Implementation of P-2 proposals may occur the first semester following approval. Students must receive timely notification and will be subject to the requirements in effect at the time of their first scheduled class meeting following the most recent admission as a degree candidate. Students should consult with the head of a program or program committee or their representative to resolve difficulties caused by the curricular change.
P-2 Review and Approval Process
The process for making changes to existing undergraduate degrees/majors, options, IUGs, and minors should begin in the academic unit and adhere to the processes required by that unit. Once unit approval is obtained, the steps listed below may be taken. Program approval times may vary based on unit requirements, consultation, and committee meeting schedules; therefore, these steps should be initiated at least one year in advance of the desired delivery date for the changed program.
- Preliminary college and disciplinary consultation and consultation between appropriate campus chancellor(s) and the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses.
- Submission of prospectus to ACUE by College/Campus Associate Dean
- ACUE prospectus deliberation and written response to submitting college/campus. ACUE deliberation will include consideration of requests to place an enrollment hold on options that are under review for elimination. Such requests must be supported by appropriate justification such as data on low enrollments or the lack of faculty resources or support.
- College/Campus (or colleges and campuses) development of formal proposal, including appropriate consultation, data collection, and research.
- Submission of P-2 proposal by College Dean (University Park) or the Vice President of Commonwealth Campuses to University Faculty Senate.
- Senate Curricular Affairs Committee review.
- Senate Curriculum Report invites university-wide comment (30 day period).
- Implementation the following semester or later.
P-2 Proposal Elements for substantial changes to programs or options:
A substantial program change involves multiple curricular revisions in the requirements for a major, minor or option.
All substantial program changes should include the following elements. The prospectus memo will indicate whether a proposal reflects substantial program changes. P-2 proposals must include current, localized data and information relevant to several academic and strategic elements. These include, but may not be limited to:
- A statement of clear, measurable and rigorous program objectives and learning outcomes.
- Relationship of proposal to university and college mission.
- Program quality indicators such as:
- On-going involvement of a minimum of three or more full-time faculty aligned academically and disciplinarily with the program. These faculty may be located at a single campus, or in the case of shared programs, across multiple campus locations;
- Program leadership by senior-level faculty;
- Ability to move student program cohorts through in a timely manner;
- Availability of a sufficient number of program electives within the discipline and in supporting area of study;
- University-wide curricular integrity that includes disciplinary community engagement and the avoidance of curricular drift;
- Ability to minimize the need for core course substitutions and explicit rationale for, and justification of, necessary core substitutions.
- Impact on Penn State college and campus enrollments and flow of students among campuses.
- Market need and demand documented by current, valid, and reliable evidence.
- Physical and fiscal resource availability (please include the official University Budget Office costing analysis form as well as other relevant information).
- Strategic and academic approval and support demonstrated by the signature of the appropriate chancellor and/or dean.
- Disciplinary community and administrative consultation.
P-2 Proposal elements for limited program changes:
The prospectus memo will indicate whether a limited proposal is required. The limited proposal may include the following elements, as well as additional elements listed in the memo:
- Justification of program change.
- Description of program change.
- Impact on other academic units.
- Resource implications, if any.
P-2 Proposal elements for Entrance to Major changes:
Academic changes to Entrance to Major (ETM) requirements that do not involve changes in the curriculum (such as requiring a C or better in an ETM class), need to be submitted via curriculum.psu.edu to the Faculty Senate for review by the Retention and Transfer Committee and the Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs. The following elements need to be addressed:
- Academic justification for ETM change;
- Description of ETM change;
- Summary of data used to document need for change.
Administrative enrollment controls must be reviewed by the Committee on Undergraduate Enrollment.
Approved: ACUE (11-6-14)
Approved: ACUE (6-1-17)
Approved: ACUE (10-5-17)
Approved: ACUE (1-4-18)
Revised: Editorial (9/12/18)
Revised: Editorial (7/1/21)