In Stage Two of the Program Renewal process, the academic area ensures the college is continuing to deliver the quality of education necessary for student and program success. The academic area is responsible for re-evaluating and renewing the program curriculum. Use the list below for quick access to selected sections of Stage Two:
Curriculum Analysis and Reflection
To begin the curriculum re-design, program teams need to conduct an analysis of the existing program. Lead by a member of the Office of Academic Quality, teams will reflect on the current program in terms of what is working, what needs improvement, what might be missing, and what might be superfluous. When analyzing the success of an existing program, teams will consider the following:
- accreditation reports and commitments
- relevant pathway agreements
- potential pathways between credentials
- institutional learning outcomes
- program differentiation
- alignment with college mission, vision and strategic values
Program teams may choose to analyze the program in a small group, or include additional program faculty or stakeholders.
Internal and External Consultations
Consultation with internal and external stakeholders is also an essential part of Program Renewal, and takes place at various stages throughout the process. The Program Advisory Committee (PAC), made up of industry advisors, for example, provides subject matter expertise and knowledge of the employment landscape that will help ensure the program is current and relevant to future employment and academic pathways. Regulatory bodies are consulted regarding changes to external requirements.
Internally, the Office of the Registrar confirms how these changes impact admission requirements and helps to resolve any issues around how changes to the structure of a program may impact funding, student fees, academic space and scheduling. Other stakeholders from across the college should be consulted on an as needed basis. Examples include the following:
- graduates and students
- Credit Transfer Centre
- Physical Resources
- international recruitment
- academic areas
- Library Commons
- Information Technology
For a list of complete stakeholders, refer to the Integrated Planning and Stakeholders Collaboration process.
Provincial Program Standards and Descriptions
Provincial Program Standards and Descriptions provide the foundation of all programs of instruction at the college: Vocational Learning Outcomes (VLOs), Essential Employability Skills (EES) and General Education (GNED) requirements. When renewing a program, it is important that teams identify whether they are working from a Provincial Program Standard or a Provincial Program Description. The ways in which VLOs are used are based on this distinction, as dictated by the Ontario Colleges Quality Assurance Service (OCQAS), the body that oversees the Credentials Validation Service (CVS), and the College Quality Assurance Audit Process (CQAAP).
When considering the title of a program, it is necessary that teams adhere to the Titling Protocols established by the Credentials Validation Services (CVS). In brief, these protocols were designed to ensure that program titles are
- consistent across the college system
- describe of the field of study (not the delivery mode or occupation)
- uphold truth in advertising
Refer to the CVS Titling Protocols document for the complete protocols with explanation, and contact the Office of Academic Quality for support.
The Program Outline includes essential information about an academic program, including program learning outcomes, courses, admission requirements, graduation requirements, student progression and more. This document serves the needs of students, faculty, administrators, and external approval bodies.
The Program Tracking illustrates the sequencing of courses as students take them from semester one through to graduation. Pop-up bubbles linked to the course codes are used within the tracking to provide essential information, including the course description, hours, requisites, and Prior Learning Assessment eligibility. In this section, teams also identify whether or not work integrated learning in the program exists to meet the requirements of a professional or occupational regulatory body.
The program tracking is completed within CIM, and does require some training. Refer to the CIM section of our website for further information.
Course outlines for a Program Renewal need to be drafted or revised (where necessary), and approved by the Dean or Associate Dean within the Curriculum Information Management system (CIM) prior to the program curriculum approval at Academic Council. The course proposal form in CIM provides instruction regarding all of the essential components via help bubbles: title, hours, semester offered, delivery method, requisites and equivalents, the course description, course learning outcomes, course content, and course evaluation.
Course outlines are finalized in the system once the revised Program Outline is approved at Academic Council during Stage 3: Approval Process.
Please contact the Office of Academic Quality (OAQ) for curriculum coaching and resources. The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) will provide support with assessment and instructional design, once the program curriculum is approved.
There are numerous ways to map the curriculum of a program. Maps are useful in creating a picture of your program from a particular angle, and the type of map you use is dependent upon your goal. Elements of mapping might include program and course learning outcomes, assessment, and accreditation requirements, to name a few.
Mapping requirements for Program Renewal include Vocational Learning Outcome Mapping and Detailed Curriculum Mapping.
Vocational Learning Outcome Mapping
Vocational Learning Outcome (VLO) Mapping is a requirement of the Ontario Colleges Quality Assurance Service (OCQAS), and is used to ensure that programs are developed from VLOs and Essential Employability Skills (EES). Program teams will map proposed Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) to Provincial VLOs, and individual courses to both PLOs and EES. At the same time, if proposed PLOs differ from the VLOs, teams are required to justify the difference. This VLO mapping and justification is done within the Curriculum Information Management system (CIM), and must be approved internally by Academic Council.
Detailed Curriculum Mapping
The Detailed Curriculum Map enables faculty to map every Course Learning Outcome (CLO) to each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) and Essential Employability Skill (ESS), as well as to institutional priorities such as entrepreneurship and Indigenization. In a grid layout, faculty also identify when each CLO is Taught for the first time (T), Reinforced (R), and/or Assessed (A) in each course.
Curriculum mapping helps faculty to conceptualize the “big picture” in the sequence of course learning concepts and see how the pieces of the curriculum fit together. It helps faculty identify gaps in the intended learning and provides opportunity to re-think course sequencing. Course mapping also helps the college illustrate its adherence to Ministry guidelines that program PLOs, courses, lessons and evaluation stem from the Provincial Vocational Learning Outcomes (VLOs).
Program Costing and Capacity Assessment
Because a Five-year Program Renewal can have budgetary implications, the Dean/Associate Dean is responsible for reviewing the existing Program Costing and modifying it to reflect any changes. Be sure to review and update the following:
- program review costs
- program delivery costings (including online development, specialized space, specialized IT requirements, capital and specialized equipment)
- altered staffing plan
- changes to Library Commons and learning resource requirements
- Return on Investment (ROI) analysis
The Business Manager of the academic area must consult with Financial Planning to review and approve the new Program Costing for the Five-year Program Renewal. At this time, it may be identified that the resource requirements resulting from the renewal are significant. In this case, the Capacity Assessment Committee is convened to conduct a full evaluation of the resource requirements. Approval of both the revised Program Costing and the Capacity Assessment must be received before the Program Renewal can be submitted to Academic Council for approval.
Program Renewal Summary
The final documentation required for approval is the Program Renewal Summary, a section of the program form in CIM, which is used to collate the review findings and summarize recommendations for program changes. It provides readers with an overview of the program prior to changes, goals for the program moving forward, and details on the plans to achieve these goals.
Once the Program Outline, program mapping, program tracking, Detailed Curriculum Map and Program Renewal Summary are completed within CIM, and once the necessary approvals regarding the Program Costing and Capacity Assessment are obtained, the complete Program Renewal is submitted to Academic Council for approval. Please refer to Stage Three: Approval Process.