Academic programing is the number one factor affecting students’ choice of university. Dalhousie’s mission and vision and the associated strategic priorities (numbers 1.4, 1.5 and 2.4) speak to the need to foster and support innovation in program development and excellence in teaching and pedagogy, to foster undergraduate research, and to enhance the effectiveness and student focus of our program offerings.
To maintain strong enrollment, have the reputation and impact we desire nationally and globally, we must offer programs of exceptional quality, that excel in meeting student and community learning needs. One key element in academic programing is the ability to have a dynamic and efficient program approval process for graduate programs, undergraduate programs and certificates.
For All Program Proposals
- The efficient and effective completion of any program proposals is contingent on early discussion with the contacts noted in the sidebar.
- All academic program submissions to the Faculty of Graduate Studies or Senate must be submitted under a Dean's signature.
- All program proposal documents must be submitted as a single PDF file, with appropriate organization (e.g. table of content, labeled appendices).
- For information, the Senate Academic Programs and Research Committee (SAPRC) would like to receive an update for all new and major modified programs, two years after the first students have been admitted.
External Quality Assurance
For all programs, the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (MPHEC) has a mandate to ensure quality assurance through assessment of university-level academic programs prior to implementation, as outlined in Academic Program Assessment Prior to Implementation. The MPHEC defines the scope, objective and outcomes of the Program Assessment Process as:
Universities are required to submit, prior to implementation, a proposal for any new, modified or terminated university-level program (which includes degrees, diplomas and certificates) that meets any of the following criteria:
- leads to an exit credential; or
- is the equivalent of 30 credits (or one full year) or more of study at the undergraduate level (regardless of whether it leads to an exit credential); or
- is a type to be tracked as per the MPHEC decision (which may change from time to time)
Objectives and Outcomes of the Program Assessment Process
The overall objective of the program assessment process is to ascertain the suitability of a program in light of its objectives, structure, content, resources, and stated student outcomes and their relevance, through, as required, an iterative process.
The program assessment process has two main outcomes:
- To provide third-party validation that programs meet pre-determined standards of quality, and
- To improve, as required, the quality of academic programs.
The program assessment process is most directly linked to the MPHEC’s quality assurance function; however, it also feeds into other duties of the MPHEC, including: data and information, cooperative action and province-specific services. For example, information gathered through the program assessment process is integrated with enrolment data within the Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS) which allows the MPHEC to produce audited enrolment counts for publication and for calculating province-specific funding formulae. These data are also used in the application of the Regional Transfer Arrangement and have been a source of information for the MPHEC assessments of institutions’ quality assurance monitoring policies and procedures.
For Health and Health-Related Programs program proposals submitted to the MPHEC must be accompanied by a letter from the Atlantic Advisory Committee on Health Human Resources (AACHHR), indicating their support of the proposed program. The MPHEC’s program assessment criteria differ from those of AACHHR; as a result, AACHHR support does not guarantee MPHEC approval.
Submissions to AACHHR must be made under the signature of the Provost and Vice-President Academic. Please contact the Executive Director, Provost Office, 902-494-2591 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about AACHHR information requirements, including relevant contact information, can be found here. Notwithstanding the AACHHR’s information requirements, all health and health-related proposals submitted to the MPHEC must be drafted using the MPHEC Information Requirements for new, modified, or terminated programs.