Academic Change Processes

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Key Characteristics

Key CharacteristicsMinor ModificationMajor ModificationNew Program
UTQAP description“changes to courses and curriculum that do not change the nature or essence of a program or the learning outcomes” “a restructuring of a program, a merger of existing programs or a renewal of a program in order to keep it current with its academic discipline.” “substantially different program requirements and substantially different learning outcomes from those of any existing approved programs offered by the institution”
Change to requirements Changes do not affect learning outcomes, program “nature” or “essence” Significant changes to admission or program requirements New or substantially different from what currently exists
Change to learning outcomes No change Majority of learning outcomes the same as existing program/ option New or substantially different from what currently exists
Change to program “nature” or “essence” No change Possible change to some aspects New or substantially different from what currently exists
Change to delivery No substantial changes Can change Always part of discussion
Change to resources No substantial changes Changes to requirements, learning outcomes and/or delivery can affect resources Always part of discussion
Change to tuition, BIUs and enrolment Normally N/A Can involve reallocated undergraduate or graduate enrolment within a Faculty/division Always part of discussion
University deadlines and timelines* (changes normally effective Sept 1) Graduate: last Friday of March SGS Calendar deadline.
Undergraduate: April 30 (only for items included in report to AP&P)
Graduate: last Friday of March SGS Calendar deadline.
Undergraduate: April 30; VPAP includes in report to AP&P Cycle 6 and then to Quality Council.
Variable: new programs effective Sept 1 are in development 2-3 years prior (less for diplomas)

* In addition to any earlier deadlines required for Faculty/Divisional governance and/or calendars. Consult early with your Dean’s Office before proceeding with any academic change proposal.

UTQAP: “In cases where it is unclear whether a proposed change in a program is a new program, a major modification, or a minor modification, a determination will be made by the VPAP in consultation with the divisional Dean and the academic unit.”

Examples

Minor Modification ExamplesMajor Modification ExamplesNew Program Examples
  • Creation of a new minor within an existing program
  • Creation of a new undergraduate focus or graduate emphasis
  • Creation of a new Category 2 certificate
  • Changes to admission or program requirements (no effect on learning outcomes)
  • Change program, field, concentration or emphasis name*
  • Creation of a new course
  • Changes to courses
  • Creation or closure of a specialist, major where one exists, collaborative specialization option, concentration, field, stream.
  • Creation or closure of a co-op option
  • Add new off-site location
  • Creation or closure of a new freestanding minor
  • Add new pathway for college students
  • Add new combined degree program, dual degree program or double degree program where applicable
  • Creation of a new Category 1 certificate
  • Significant change to admission requirements where it affects learning outcomes
  • Change course/program requirements
  • Change program learning outcomes
  • Change faculty/other essential resources
  • Closure of a combined degree program, dual degree program or double degree program where applicable
  • Merge two or more programs
  • Change to mode of delivery**
Always subject to discussion with VPAP Office.
Includes creation of undergraduate specialists or majors with existing degrees; undergraduate degree programs leading to new degrees; graduate degree programs.

* Anything with a changed/new name requires consultation with VPAP Office prior to governance; if name change implies significant change to what is being offered or how it is being offered, this may be a major modification or new program.

** “Change to mode of delivery — e.g., introduction of part-time, flex-time, advanced standing, fully online or conversion to face-to-face, change of campus” = major modification to align with Ontario QAF and to support fully fledged discussion of quality in relation to student support and resources (faculty, space, enrolment — graduate spaces, tuition).

UTQAP: “In cases where it is unclear whether a proposed change in a program is a new program, a major modification, or a minor modification, a determination will be made by the VPAP in consultation with the divisional Dean and the academic unit.”