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Proposing a New Major

Overview

The development of a new major or program is a substantial endeavor.  New majors and programs must be reviewed by several groups of people within the College itself; in nearly all cases, external accreditation agencies must be notified as well.  The entire process (from proposal to implementation) can take eighteen to twenty-four months to complete.  The Committee highly recommends that you consult with the Provost and the appropriate Dean before embarking on such a project.

General Principles

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) has been the voice of liberal education for over 80 years. At the end of the 1980s it inaugurated the project "Liberal Learning and the Arts and Sciences Major." The undergraduate experience was analyzed from many perspectives by a national panel and twelve national societies. A strongly learner-oriented, liberal arts view emerged. A number of departments at the College of Charleston have participated in a self-examination known as "Re-Forming the Major." The Curriculum Committee has adopted the AACU's framework for program review, which we use as a guide when considering new programs (majors or degrees), new concentrations, and new minors, as well as any revisions to these. 

Questions to Consider:

  • What are the goals, objectives, and intended outcomes of the program?
  • How do the beginning, middle and end of the curriculum develop the goals, objectives, and intended outcomes of the program?
  • How are the goals and the intended outcome of the program made clear to the students?
  • Are the program goals linked to specific courses (as manifested, for example, in syllabi)?
  • Do the courses in the major provide depth and perspective in a context that will enhance the liberal education of the students? Conversely, is the selection of the courses so narrow and specialized that the major interferes with rather than enhances liberal education?

Additional Resources

The following resources will help you as you develop a new major or program:

Procedure to Follow

As noted above, you should begin by consulting the Provost's Office and the relevant Dean; you will also need to work with the Academic Planning, Budget, and possibly other committees.  Once you are ready and able to proceed, the Curriculum Committee requires the following:

  • Complete a New Major Proposal and submit all information required therein.
  • For new courses, attach the relevant Course Form.
  • Include a cover letter that includes a list of all the documents you are submitting.
  • Submit one Signature Form that covers all of the changes you are requesting. Ensure that it includes signatures from your Dean.
  • Include a demonstration that a student can meet graduation requirements in 4 years.
  • Describe the minimum number of credit hours required, and justify the size of the major.
  • Submit the required information to the Provost's Office (Randolph 210) by the deadline.
  • Attend the relevant Curriculum Committee meeting to present the proposal.
  • Attend the relevant Senate meeting to answer any questions that arise.