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Academic Program Development and Modification Policy

Policy Statement

All new programs are developed in alignment with Seneca’s mission and values, and the goals of the strategic and academic plans. Seneca credentials adhere to the Framework for Programs of Instruction as outlined in the Minister’s Binding Policy Directive from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). Seneca degrees adhere to the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB) standards.

New program development is informed by relevant provincial standards and requirements identified by professional bodies. All programs articulate clear statements of the vocational learning outcomes. The program requirements including the title, curriculum, work-integrated learning and admission requirements are derived from the vocational learning outcomes, regardless of the location or method of delivery.

Program proposals are approved by Seneca’s Board of Governors, and validated by the Credential Validation Service (CVS) and/or approved by MTCU, as required.

Program requirements, including the validated vocational learning outcomes, are published on the College website and communicated to stakeholders.

Program modifications are guided by feedback from industry and/or community stakeholders, and Seneca’s program review process, to ensure currency and relevancy. Major program modifications require Board of Governors approval and/or validation from the CVS/MTCU, as required. Minor program modifications are approved by the Academic Chair, Dean and the Vice-President, Academic.

Program suspensions and cancellations are approved by the Academic Dean, Vice-President, Academic, Senior Executive Committee, and the Board of Governors.

Procedures

Program Development

Seneca’s program development process is consultative and evidence-based. The three-stage process includes a: 1) Statement of Interest, 2) Preliminary Program Proposal, and 3) Final Program Proposal.

  1. The Statement of Interest (SOI) is the preliminary screening stage. The decision to proceed to the Preliminary Program Proposal stage is based on industry demands, program portfolio analyses, and alignment with Seneca’s Strategic Mandate Agreement. Academic areas complete the SOI form with the support of their Academic Chair and Dean. The Dean submits the completed SOI form to the Vice-President, Academic for approval.
  2. The Preliminary Program Proposal (PPP) consists of analyses of the labour market, student demand, resource capacity, ad-hoc Program Advisory Committee and financial framework, as well as an outline of the proposed curriculum. PPP forms are completed with the support of the Program Development team, and are forwarded to the Dean for approval. The completed PPP form is submitted to the Deans’ Committee.
  3. The Final Program Proposal (FPP) expands on the PPP, and includes key performance indicators, program certification / accreditation if relevant, Program Advisory Committee recommendations, letters of support, and the final financial framework. The FPP is approved by the Senior Executive Committee, Academic Planning and Student Affairs committee, and the Board of Governors.

Program Modifications

Program modifications are guided by feedback from industry and/or community stakeholders, and program review to ensure program currency and relevancy. The Program Modification Criteria Table (see Appendix A) provides examples of Minor and Major program modifications. Detailed instructions for requesting a program modification, and all related forms, are available from the Program Development team.

Program Suspensions and Cancellations

The process for determining program suspensions and cancellations is transparent, evidence-based, and communicated to all stakeholders. All program suspensions and cancellations must be approved by the Dean, Vice-President, Academic, Senior Executive Committee, and the Board of Governors. The process complies with the Minister’s Binding Policy, ensuring that students enrolled in a program have the opportunity to complete the program within the normal time period.

Appendix A

Program modifications are guided by feedback from industry and/or community stakeholders, and program review to ensure currency and relevancy. The Program Modification Criteria Table below provides examples of minor and major program modifications, and the levels of approval, required documentation, and communication.

Table 1. Program Modification Criteria Table

Minor Program Modifications

Minor changes which have college-wide implications or need to be communicated to CVS and/or MTCU.

Types of Changes Approval Documentation Communication
1. Minor changes to program learning outcomes 1. Chair
2. Dean
3. Vice-President, Academic
Minor Program
Modification Form
PAC
Registrar's Office
Marketing
Continuing Education
CVS - FYI
MTCU - FYI
2. Changes to program curriculum less than 25% of the overall program hours Minor Program
Modification Form
3. Adding or changing accelerated curriculum Minor Program
Modification Form
4. Changes to program name: as required to comply with provincial standards MTCU Survey
5. Introduction or deletion of work experience, co-op, internship or portfolio Minor Program
Modification Form
Co-op Modification Worksheet
6. Changes to streams: elimination or addition Minor Program
Modification Form
7. Changes to transfer agreements and pathways Minor Program
Modification Form
8. Changes to program admission, grading mode, promotion, graduation or GPA Minor Program
Modification Form
9. Changes to program delivery (Full Time to Part-Time) Minor Program
Modification Form
10. Changes to intake term / suspend intake(s) Minor Program
Modification Form
11. Changes to program location/site: additional campus or change of campus for existing program for non-degree programs Minor Program
Modification Form

Major Program Modifications

Changes that have implications for provincial approval and funding.

Types of Changes Approval Documentation Communication
1. Changes to program learning outcomes, curriculum and/or credit hours that reflect more than 25% of the overall program hours 1. Dean
2. Deans Committee
3. Senior Executive Committee
4. Academic Planning and Student Affairs (APSA)
5. Board of Governors
6. CVS (if applicable)
7. MTCU (if applicable)
Minor Program
Modification Form
PAC
Registrar's Office
Marketing
Continuing Education
CVS - approval
MTCU - approval
2. Changes to program name (not including changes initiated by MTCU) Minor Program
Modification Form
3. Changes to program delivery (Part-time to Full-time) Minor Program
Modification Form
4. Major changes to course mode of delivery (e.g., Face-to-Face, Hybrid, Online)* MTCU Survey
5. Changes to program location/site: additional campus or change of campus for existing program* Minor Program
Modification Form
Co-op Modification Worksheet

*For Degree programs only