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Higher Education in Maryland

Academic Program Proposals
From Degree-Granting Institutions Authorized to
Operate in the State of Maryland


An institution submits a proposal using guidelines in accordance with State regulations.
See COMAR Title 13B.02.03 (PDF) for the full set of regulations. Proposals for new programs should be submitted electronically to acadprop@mhec.state.md.us.

New Academic Programs, Degrees and Stand-Alone Certificate Programs

A complete proposal shall include a cover letter from the chief academic officer addressed to the Secretary of Higher Education requesting approval of the new program, a Proposal Cover Sheet(pdf) with all required signatures, and should address all of the following areas:

A.      Centrality to institutional mission statement and planning priorities:
  1. Provide a description of the program, including each area of concentration (if applicable), and how it relates to the institution’s approved mission.
  2. Explain how the proposed program supports the institution’s strategic goals and provide evidence that affirms it is an institutional priority.
B.      Adequacy of curriculum design and delivery to related learning outcomes consistent with Regulation .10 of this chapter:
  1. Provide a list of courses with title, semester credit hours and course descriptions, along with a description of program requirements.
  2. Describe the educational objectives and intended student learning outcomes.
  3. Discuss how general education requirements will be met, if applicable.
  4. Identify any specialized accreditation or graduate certification requirements for this program and its students.
  5. If contracting with another institution or non-collegiate organization, provide a copy of the written contract.
C.     Critical and compelling regional or Statewide need as identified in the State Plan:
  1. Demonstrate demand and need for the program in terms of meeting present and future needs of the region and the State in general based on one or more of the following:
    • The need for the advancement and evolution of knowledge;
    • Societal needs, including expanding educational opportunities and choices for minority and educationally disadvantaged students at institutions of higher education;
    • The need to strengthen and expand the capacity of historically black institutions to provide high quality and unique educational programs.
  2. Provide evidence that the perceived need is consistent with the Maryland State Plan for Postsecondary Education (pdf).
D.     Quantifiable & reliable evidence and documentation of market supply & demand in the region and State:
  1. Present data and analysis projecting market demand and the availability of openings in a job market to be served by the new program.
  2. Discuss and provide evidence of market surveys that clearly provide quantifiable and reliable data on the educational and training needs and the anticipated number of vacancies expected over the next 5 years.
  3. Data showing the current and projected supply of prospective graduates.
E.      Reasonableness of program duplication:
  1. Identify similar programs in the State and/or same geographical area.  Discuss similarities and differences between the proposed program and others in the same degree to be awarded.
  2. Provide justification for the proposed program.
F.      Relevance to Historically Black Institutions (HBIs)
  1. Discuss the program’s potential impact on the implementation or maintenance of high-demand programs at HBI’s.
  2. Discuss the program’s potential impact on the uniqueness and institutional identities and missions of HBIs.

G.     If proposing a distance education program, please provide evidence of the Principles of Good Practice (as outlined in COMAR 13B.02.03.22C).

H.     Adequacy of faculty resources (as outlined in COMAR 13B.02.03.11)

Provide a brief narrative demonstrating the quality of program faculty . Include a summary list of faculty with appointment type, terminal degree title and field, academic title/rank, status (full-time, part-time, adjunct) and the course(s) each faulty member will teach.

I.     Adequacy of library resources (as outlined in COMAR 13B.02.03.12).

Describe the library resources available and/or the measures to be taken to ensure resources are adequate to support the proposed program. If the program is to be implemented within existing institutional resources, include a supportive statement by the President for library resources to meet the program’s needs.

J.     Adequacy of physical facilities, infrastructure and instructional equipment (as outlined in COMAR 13B.02.03.13)

Provide an assurance that physical facilities, infrastructure and instruction equipment are adequate to initiate the program, particularly as related to spaces for classrooms, staff and faculty offices, and laboratories for studies in the technologies and sciences. If the program is to be implemented within existing institutional resources, include a supportive statement by the President for adequate equipment and facilities to meet the program’s needs.

K.    Adequacy of financial resources with documentation (as outlined in COMAR 13B.02.03.14)

  1. Complete Table 1: Resources (pdf) and Table 2: Expenditure(pdf)Finance data(pdf) for the first five years of program implementation are to be entered.  Figures should be presented for five years and then totaled by category for each year. 
  2. Provide a narrative rational for each of the resource category. If resources have been or will be reallocated to support the proposed program, briefly discuss the sources of those funds.

L.    Adequacy of provisions for evaluation of program (as outlined in COMAR 13B.02.03.15).

Discuss procedures for evaluating courses, faculty and student learning outcomes.

M.    Consistency with the State’s minority student achievement goals (as outlined in COMAR 13B.02.03.05 and in the State Plan for Postsecondary Education).

Discuss how the proposed program addresses minority student access & success, and the institution’s cultural diversity goals and initiatives.

N.    Relationship to low productivity programs identified by the Commission:

If the proposed program is directly related to an identified low productivity program, discuss how the fiscal resources (including faculty, administration, library resources and general operating expenses) may be redistributed to this program.

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