Policy Effective Date
Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Dean of Institutional Effectiveness
To ensure academic programming decisions are made with the input from appropriate advisory and decision-making college constituents and that all stakeholders are notified of programmatic changes in a timely manner.
The office of the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs is responsible for ensuring all academic programs are developed following Virginia Community College System (VCCS) and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) policy, requirements, and standards and that additions and modifications to programs all effectively communicated to all stakeholders and implemented within the appropriate timeframe. The Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning will maintain documentation for compliance within the following established procedures.
As a regionally accredited institution by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) and one of Virginia’s twenty-three community colleges within the Virginia Community College System ( VCCS), Central Virginia Community College (CVCC) maintains continuous compliance with SACSCOC Core and Federal Requirements, Comprehensive Standards, State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) policies, and VCCS Policies. This process is designed to provide formal guidance for the development and approval of a new, modified, or discontinued curriculum within those required policies and procedures. Different types of programs require different levels of review and approval.
Career Studies Certificate
A career studies certificate program is defined as a program of study of not less than 9 nor more than 29 semester credit hours which may include courses numbered 10-299. Career studies certificate programs are not required to include general education.
A certificate program is defined as a curriculum of study less than two years in length that consists of a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 59 semester credit hours. Certificate curricula may include any appropriate courses numbered 10-299. A minimum of fifteen percent (15%) of a certificate’s credit hour requirement shall be in general education (for general education goal areas see 188.8.131.52). The general education requirements must include one (1) three (3) credit hour English class.
The current Central Virginia Community College catalog.
A degree program is a broadly structured curriculum leading to the award of an associate’s degree; is identified by a six-digit CIP code used for reporting purposes to external agencies; and is listed on the student’s diploma. (See Courses & Programs
A diploma program is defined as a two-year curriculum of study that consists of a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 72 semester hours with an emphasis in a career/technical area. Exceptions to credit hour limits must be justified on the basis of documented business and industry requirements or standards. Diploma curricula may include any appropriate courses numbered 10-299. A minimum of fifteen percent (15%) of a diploma’s credit hour requirement shall be in general education (for general education goal areas see 184.108.40.206). The general education requirements must include one (1) three (3) credit hour English class. Existing programs (as of 2009) that exceed the 72 semester hour maximum are grandfathered in at their current length.
A major is a grouping of 100 and 200-level courses that define a discipline or interdisciplinary specialty; listed under a common CIP code; and identified by a VCCS curriculum code. All curricula under a CIP code share a common core of courses, defined as 25% of total credits required for the degree (15-18 credits), excluding the general education core.
A program proposal consists of all of the documentation required by SCHEV to support the addition of a new degree program. Majors, specializations, Certificates, and Career Studies Certificates do not require preparation of a SCHEV program proposal. (See VCCS Degree Program Proposal Guidelines and Checklist)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, CVCC’s regional accreditor
Simple Modifications to Existing Programs-Substitutions of program-specific courses for other program-specific courses that do not change the total number of credits and for minor revisions that do not change the intent of the program, the award, or the total credits by more than six credits, the Curriculum Committee and the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs has final approval.
A specialization is an area of concentration within an approved major, varying from the parent major by 9-15 credit hours.
VCCS Courses & Programs
The VCCS online search system classifying curricula with options to search courses, programs and majors or focus on a specific college within the VCCS; also known as the Master Course File. (See Courses & Programs
CVCC places primary responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of its curriculum with its faculty.
Reference: SACSCOC 10.4 and VCCS Table 5-3
Dean Consulted and Approved (VCCS-102 completed)
CVCC’s educational programs for which academic credit is awarded are approved by the faculty and the administration. VCCS Form 102 (Request for New Curriculum) – AS&R is required for all requests for new curriculum. A copy is located in Appendix A.
Reference: SACSCOC 10.4 and VCCS Policy Manual Section 5, Part I, 5.2, Table 5-3
CVCC publishes academic policies that adheres to principles of good educational practice. These policies are disseminated to students, faculty, and other interested parties through publications that accurately represent the programs and services of the institution.
Reference: SACSCOC 10.1 and VCCS Policy Manual Section 5
CVCC offers one or more degree programs based on at least 60 semester credit hours at the associate level. Justification for any degrees that included fewer than the required number of semester hours must be provided.
Reference: SACSCOC 9.2 and VCCS Policy Manual Section 220.127.116.11 - Curricular Design, Table 5-1
CVCC offers degree programs that embody a coherent course of study that is compatible with its stated mission and is based upon fields of study appropriate for higher education.
Reference: SACSCOC 9.1 and VCCS Policy Manual Section 5
In each undergraduate degree program, CVCC requires the successful completion of a general education component at the collegiate level that (1) is a substantial component of each undergraduate degree (2) ensures breadth of knowledge, and (3) is based on a coherent rationale. For associate programs the general education component includes a minimum of 15 semester hours. These credit hours are drawn from and include at least one course from each of the following areas: humanities/fine arts; social/behavioral sciences; and natural science/ mathematics. The courses do not narrowly focus on those skills, techniques, and procedures specific to a particular occupation or profession. Diplomas and certificates must include a minimum of fifteen percent (15%) of credit hour requirements in general education, including 1 three-credit English course. In addition the following are required:
- State Council for Higher Education in Virginia Core Competencies
Within associate degree programs, colleges must address the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia Core Competencies.
- Faculty Preparation
Faculty teaching general education and college transfer courses must meet collegiate level academic preparation as defined by SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation.
- Written Communication Requirement
All associate degree programs must include at least one course in English composition.
- Personal Development Requirement
Personal development includes courses that promote physical and/or emotional well-being and student development courses. Degree program must include at least one student development course.
All college-level course prerequisites must be included in the total credits required for each program.
- Computer Competency Requirements (State Board)
CVCC must ensure that students are able to demonstrate college entry-level computer skills necessary for academic success and discipline-specific skills necessary for successful transfer or employment.
Reference: SACSCOC 9.3 outlined in VCCS Policy Section 5.1
CVCC supports student success within its mission by publishing information that accurately represents academic programs, time to completion, and milestones for students within their educational journey. Course mapping within the program is created using a template and published on the CVCC website and used for advising students. See Appendix B for the Course Mapping Template, “Academic Pathways”.
Reference: SACSCOC 10.1 and VCCS Policy Manual Section 5
Program Coordinator/Program Head
For each major in a degree program CVCC assigns responsibility for program coordination, as well as curriculum development and review, to persons academically qualified in the field. In those degree programs for which a major is not identified this requirement applies to a curricular area or concentration.
Reference: SACSCOC 9.1, 6.2.c, and VCCS Policy Manual Section 3.
Program and Student Learning Outcomes Established/Assessment Plan
CVCC identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results for all educational programs.
Reference: SACSCOC 8.1, 8.2.a, and VCCS Policy Manual Section 8.2, 8.2.1
CVCC will demonstrate the need for new academic programs. The needs assessment will consider state, employer, institutional, student needs and required resources. These results provide documentation in support of the program for the SCHEV Program Proposal.
Reference: SCHEV State-Level Requirements for Approval of Various Academic Program Actions at Public Institutions
Approved curricular offerings shall be included in the college catalog and contain, as a minimum, the following elements of information:
- Curriculum title (as approved by VCCS);
- Type of award (degree, diploma, certificate, career studies certificates);
- Normal length of the curriculum (number of semesters/terms);
- Purpose and curricular objectives;
- Admission requirements;
- Special program or graduation requirements;
- Listing of required courses; and
- Total minimum credits.
Reference: SACSCOC 10.1 and VCCS Policy Manual Section 5.2.5
In addition, financial aid eligibility and program effective date should be disclosed in program information.
Curriculum Advisory Committee Review and Recommendation Documented
Local citizens' curricular advisory committees must be utilized to assist in development of all occupational/technical curricula and courses. CVCC also consults four-year colleges and universities for transfer degrees.
Reference: VCCS Policy Manual Section 2.5
Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee
The Curriculum and Instruction Policy Committee, within the CVCC Governance Model reviews and makes recommendations for new and existing curriculum/courses of the College (including workforce offerings). Reviews proposals for curriculum changes and provide leadership for developing and reviewing policies and procedures that relate to curriculum and instruction. Membership includes:
- Academic Division Deans
- Classified Staff Representative
- Dean of Enrollment Management
- Dean of Institutional Effectiveness
- Dean of Student Services
- Faculty Representatives (2 per academic division)
- Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
- Vice President for Workforce Development
NOTE: Materials must be delivered to committee members at least two weeks prior to the stated meeting date to give committee members adequate time to review new program proposals, revisions, or deletions.
Reference: SACSCOC CS 3.4.1; VCCS Policy Manual Section 5, Part I, 5.2, Table 5-3; CVCC Governance Model
CVCC’s educational programs for which academic credit is awarded are approved by the faculty and the administration.
Reference: SACSCOC 10.4 and VCCS Policy Manual Section 5, Part I, 5.2, Table 5-3
There is a clear and appropriate distinction between policy-making functions of the governing board and the responsibility of the administration and faculty to implement policy. CVCC’s College Board approves new and discontinued programs prior to their submission the VCCS.
Reference: SACSCOC 4.2.b and VCCS Policy Manual Section 5, Part I, 5.2, Table 5-3
CVCC notifies SACSCOC of changes in accordance with the substantive change policy, and, when required, seeks approval prior to the initiation of changes.
Reference: SACSCOC 14.2 and CVCC Substantive Change Policy
SCHEV Program Proposal
SCHEV staff developed a reference guide for public institutions seeking state action on academic programs. SCHEV’s Policies and Procedures for Program Approvals and Changes contains definitions of terms, specific policy statements, detailed instructions and requisite forms. These are the documents used to prepare of the SCHEV Program Proposal.
VCCS AS&R Staff
The Director of Educational Programs and Policy at the Virginia Community College System receives, reviews, and facilitates the VCCS forms and the SCHEV Program Proposal through the appropriate review, notification, and/or approval processes, including Chancellor Approval/ Notification, State Board of Community Colleges, and SCHEV.
Reference: VCCS Policy Table 5-3
Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
The Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs works directly with the Director of Educational Programs and Policy at the VCCS. Once notification of decisions regarding programs submitted for consideration, the VPASA notifies appropriate departments and committees including curriculum committee, program faculty, marketing, financial aid, registrar.
Curriculum Development and Modification Checklist