Academic Resources

Submitting Program Proposals

Off-Campus Delivery of Existing Program

Delivery of an existing program to an off-campus location requires prior approval.

MHEC and Middle States have different definitions for what constitutes an off-campus program. According to MHEC, off-campus delivery of an existing program occurs when an existing degree or certificate program offers more than 1/3 of required course work for the major or certificate at off-campus site during any 12 month period (MHEC definition), or the institution advertises that course work at an off-campus site leads to award of certificate or degree, regardless of portion of program offered at off-campus site. According to Middle States, off-campus delivery of an existing program occurs when 50% or more of the degree requirements are offered at an off-campus location.

1. Faculty must submit a completed internal Declaration of Intent (DOI) to the dean of the college for approval and signature. The dean will then submit the DOI to the Provost’s Office. The DOI should be submitted six to 12 months before intended submission to MHEC and or Middle States.

2. If the Declaration of Intent is approved by the provost, the assistant provost will send signed copies to the college dean, chair of the department(s), and the registrar. The academic department should then complete the proposal information requested by MHEC.

3 The department prepares and submits the proposal to develop an off-campus program to the dean for review and approval.

4. The dean submits the proposal to Provost's Office.

5. In the Provost’s Office, the proposal is reviewed. If the proposal is found to be complete and consistent with institutional planning, USM, MHEC, and Middle States requirements, the assistant vice president for assessment submits the approved proposal to the USM Chancellor and MHEC concurrently. If further action is required by Middle States, the assistant vice president for assessment notifies the dean and the department of the additional Middle States accreditation requirements.

6. MHEC performs a preliminary review of the proposal to ensure its completeness and adherence to regulations. The Secretary informs all institutions and segments of the proposal, triggering a 30-day comment period. The program is added to the website of academic programs currently under review. If no objections are received within 30 days, then the final decision is rendered within 30 days after the review/comment period.

7. If the proposal requires approval as a substantive change by Middle States, the department prepares the required substantive change documentation for Middle States. The department submits the draft substantive change document to the appropriate dean for approval, and the dean’s office submits the substantive change documentation to the assistant vice president for assessment for review and approval. Once the substantive change request has been approved, the substantive change request, executive summary, copy of the final contract, and copies of the transmittal memos to USM and MHEC are submitted by the assistant vice president for assessment to Middle States on behalf of the Provost’s Office.

8. Once approved by their respective boards, MHEC and Middle States each send a letter of approval to the Provost’s Office.

9. The Provost’s Office forwards a copy of the approval letters to the appropriate college dean and department chair, director of institutional research, registrar, director of financial aid, and assistant vice president for assessment.

Marketing for the requested program and admissions decisions must be delayed until notification of approval is received by both MHEC and Middle States.

Division of Academic Affairs
Administration Building, Room 311

Phone: 410-704-2557
Fax: 410-704-3129

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