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New Curriculum Programs

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At an early stage in thinking about curricular ideas for developing new associate degree or certificate programs, departmental chairpersons should present these ideas in a brief concept memo to the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs with attention to:

  1. A needs assessment for the educational program in the metropolitan area.
  2. Its relationship to existing BCC and other CUNY programs, as well as programs outside of CUNY in the metropolitan area.
  3. Opportunities for graduates.
  4. Enrollment projections.
  5. Cost and resources (including instructional staff).

Subsequent to consultation with the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, the department chairperson should initiate preparation of the documents and materials necessary in the BCC governance, CUNY Board of Trustees, and New York State Education Department (SED) review and approval processes.

Faculty should consult with the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs if they have questions as they prepare documents and materials for program development and approval.

Associate Degree Programs may be developed for:

  • Associate in Arts (AA)
  • Associate in Science (AS)
  • Associate in Applied Sciences (AAS)

Review and approval for new associate degree programs is a process that can take two or more years because it requires that faculty who are proposing the new program present two major documents for approval by the College Curriculum Committee and Senate, and CUNY:

  1. Letter of Intent
  2. Program Proposal (Following approval by the Board of Trustees, CUNY submits the proposal to the NY State Education Department for approval and official program registration as the final step in the approval process.)

Both the Letter of Intent and the Proposal (prepared after the Letter of Intent is approved by the CUNY Office of Academic Affairs) must adhere to guidelines and required procedures and documentation as stipulated in the CUNY Faculty Handbook for the Preparation of New Academic Programs.

See the CUNY website, for more information and resources to use in developing the documents needed for approval of new programs, including forms; a forms’ checklist; flow charts; and a Memo on the Financial Considerations in the Creation of New Programs).  Please consult with the BCC Office of Academic Affairs with regard to required documents.

After CUNY approves the Letter of Intent and authorizes the College to develop a comprehensive proposal, the College has two years to prepare and approve the program proposal through its governance process, and submit it for CUNY approval.   The proposal must be presented to the CUNY Board of Trustees’ Committee on Academic Policy, Programs and Research (CAPPR).   Please note:  Since CAPPR meets usually only six times each year, program proposals that complete college governance approval in May, will most likely not be able to be presented to CAPPR until the following Fall.

Letter of Intent for a New Associate Degree Program

The Letter of Intent must conform to CUNY requirements as indicated in the Handbook for the Preparation of New Academic Programs. The Letter of Intent for a new program must be submitted to the BCC Curriculum Committee and the Senate, because approval by college governance is required before it is submitted to CUNY.

The Letter of Intent must be submitted via email to the Curriculum Committee Chairperson at least five weeks before it first appears on the Curriculum Committee agenda. (See Curriculum Committee Time Requirements.)

After the preparation of the Letter of Intent and its consideration and approval in the Curriculum Committee and the Senate, it is submitted to the University Office of Academic Affairs through the College’s Office of Academic Affairs.

The University circulates the Letter of Intent to all of the CUNY Colleges for a thirty day review period. After this, written responses of CUNY colleges to the Letter of Intent may be received and shared with the department chairperson that originated the Letter of Intent.

Experience indicates that there may be considerable negotiations between Bronx Community College and the University Office of Academic Affairs before the Letter of Intent is accepted for official consideration and circulation among the other colleges, and before approval is given by CUNY to prepare a full proposal for a new curriculum. Please note that substantial changes in the new curriculum may be mandated during these negotiations.

Whether substantial changes are required or not, the full proposal must be prepared and presented to the Curriculum Committee and Senate for consideration and before final approval prior to its ultimate submission to CUNY and SED.

Proposal for a New Associate Degree Program and Program Assessment

After receiving notification from CUNY, the BCC Office of Academic Affairs informs the chairperson of the department that originated the Letter of Intent to proceed with preparation of the Proposal. Instructions on the preparation of such a proposal, together with the required forms, are in the CUNY Faculty Handbook for the Preparation of New Programs.

See especially the list of forms and the Checklist of Required Documents for the Proposal.

Please note that all of the forms may be downloaded from the CUNY website. For articulation agreements, however, please use the recommended BCC articulation template. Articulation agreements are required for all A.A. and A.S. programs. A.A.S. programs with parallel or related programs at CUNY senior colleges must also have an articulation agreement even if 100% course equivalency is not possible.

The Proposal must also include the curriculum pattern (including appropriate footnotes) as it is expected to be published in the College catalog following approval and registration by the New York State Department of Education (SED).

If there are new courses in the new program, the originating department must also submit to the Curriculum Committee Chairperson the documents necessary for new course approval, including the Chancellor’s University Report form, the course syllabus, a course assessment plan, the course description expected to appear in the BCC Catalog, and a plan for establishing course equivalency on TIPPS.

An assessment plan for the new program must be included in the proposal.

The proposal must be submitted via email to the Curriculum Committee Chairperson at least five weeks before it first appears on the Curriculum Committee agenda. (See Curriculum Committee Time Requirements.)

Joint Degree Programs

The approval process and documents for a new program that is a joint program with a CUNY senior college (e.g., AA/BA, or AS/BS) are the same as for any new program, with the additional requirement that approval must be obtained through the governance process at the senior college as well as at BCC.  This will involve close collaboration between the faculty in the sponsoring departments of both colleges in preparation of both the Letter of Intent and the Program Proposal.

Certificate Program - Process and Forms

The New York State Education Department (SED) and CUNY have instituted an expedited review and approval process for proposed credit-bearing certificate programs. SED announced the implementation of the expedited process to “meet increased demand for many certificate programs due to the current fiscal climate and the need for worker training and retraining.” For more information from SED, see Review Process on Certificates, which is available in the CUNY Academic Programs Resources website.

Each course in a certificate program must be applicable to one or more associate degree programs, either as part of the major, liberal arts and sciences, or as a general elective. The proposed new certificate program must correspond to an existing associate degree program to ensure that students who complete the new BCC certificate program can continue their education seamlessly in an associate degree program at the College if they decide to do this.
If the proposed certificate program includes new courses, these courses must also be included in at least one existing associate degree program at the College. This means that an existing associate degree program must be revised to include the new course(s). See below regarding documentation for the change of an existing associate degree program that must be submitted simultaneously with the application for the new certificate program.

The following documents must be prepared for approval of a certificate program:

  1. NYSED’s Expedited Application for Registration of a New Certificate Program.   This application form is available in the CUNY Faculty Handbook for the Preparation of New Academic Programs. It may also be downloaded from the SED website.  Please note that CUNY requires completion of this form, regardless of the statement at the top of the form concerning SUNY/CUNY proposal submission forms.
  2. Chancellor’s University Report, Section AI. Special Actions. Approval of a New Certificate Program.    See the CUNY Guidelines for the Presentation of Academic Matters in the Chancellor’s University Report. See especially page 12.
  3. If the certificate program will include a new course, this course must also be made part of an existing associate degree program.   This will necessitate a revision of the associate degree program, requiring the submission of the documents referenced on these BCC Curriculum Development and Approval webpages:
    1. New Courses
    2. Curriculum Revision

All of the required documents must be submitted via email to the Curriculum Committee Chairperson at least five weeks before the proposal for the new certificate program first appears on the Curriculum Committee agenda.
Please be advised that CUNY may require additional documentation for a new Certificate program.  In this case, the BCC Office of Academic Affairs will inform the chairperson of the department proposing the new certificate program of what may be required.  

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