Academic Program Proposals

fOR Degree-Granting Institutions Authorized to Operate in Maryland​

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    GUIDELINES for PROPOSing

New Academic Degree Programs, New Stand-alone certificate programs, AND Substantial modifications

An institution submits a proposal using guidelines in accordance with State regulations found in COMAR 13B.02.03.Proposals shall be submitted electronically to

A complete proposal shall include a:​

1. Cover letter from the chief academic officer addressed to the Secretary of Higher Education requesting approval of the new program

2. New Program and Sub Mod Cover Sheet.pdfwith all required signatures and should address all of the following areas:

A.    Centrality to Institutional Mission 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.
  3. Provide a brief narrative of how the proposed program will be adequately funded for at least the first five years of program implementation.  (Additional related information is required in section L.
  4. Provide a description of the institution’s a commitment to:

a)      ongoing administrative, financial, and technical support of the proposed program

b)      continuation of the program for a period of time sufficient to allow enrolled students to complete the program.

B.    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:

a)      The need for the advancement and evolution of knowledge

b)      Societal needs, including expanding educational opportunities and choices for minority and educationally disadvantaged students at institutions of higher education

c)       The need to strengthen and expand the capacity of historically black institutions to provide high quality and unique educational programs

  1. Provide evidence that the perceived need is consistent with the Mary​​land State Plan for Postsecondary Education. ​

C.    Quantifiable and Reliable Evidence and Documentation of Market Supply and Demand in the Region and State:

  1. Describe potential industry or industries, employment opportunities, and expected level of entry (ex: mid-level management) for graduates of the proposed program. 
  2. Present data and analysis projecting market demand and the availability of openings in a job market to be served by the new program.
  3. 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.
  4. Provide data showing the current and projected supply of prospective graduates.

D.   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.

E.   Relevance to High-demand Programs at Historically Black Institutions (HBIs)

  1. Discuss the program’s potential impact on the implementation or maintenance of high-demand programs at HBI’s.

F.   Relevance to the identity of Historically Black Institutions (HBIs)

  1. Discuss the program’s potential impact on the uniqueness and institutional identities and missions of HBIs.

G.   Adequacy of Curriculum Design, Program Modality, and Related Learning Outcomes (as outlined in COMAR13B.02.03.10):

  1. Describe how the proposed program was established, and also describe the faculty who will oversee the program.
  2. Describe educational objectives and learning outcomes appropriate to the rigor, breadth, and (modality) of the program.
  3. Explain how the institution will:

a)      provide for assessment of student achievement of learning outcomes in the program

b)      document student achievement of learning outcomes in the program

4.  Provide a list of courses with title, semester credit hours and course descriptions, along with ​a description of program requirements

5.  Discuss how general education requirements will be met, if applicable.

6.  Identify any specialized accreditation or graduate certification requirements for this program and its students.

7.  If contracting with another institution or non-collegiate organization, provide a copy of the written contract.​

8.  Provide assurance and any appropriate evidence that the proposed program will provide students with clear, complete, and timely information on the curriculum, course and degree requirements, nature of faculty/student interaction, assumptions about technology competence and skills, technical equipment requirements, learning management system, availability of academic support services and financial aid resources, and costs and payment policies.

9. Provide assurance and any appropriate evidence that advertising, recruiting, and admissions materials will clearly and accurately represent the proposed program and the services available.

H.   Adequacy of Articulation (as outlined in COMAR 13B.02.03.19)

  1. If applicable, discuss how the program supports articulation with programs at partner institutions.  Provide all relevant articulation agreements. More information for Articulation Agreements may be found here​

I.   Adequacy of Faculty Resources (as outlined in COMAR 13B.02.03.11)

  1. 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 faculty member will teach in the proposed program.
  2. Demonstrate how the institution will provide ongoing pedagogy training for faculty in evidenced-based best practices, including training in:

a)      Pedagogy that meets the needs of the students

b)      The learning management system

c)       Evidenced-based best practices for distance education, if distance education is offered. 

J.   Adequacy of Library Resources (as outlined in COMAR 13B.02.03.12).

  1. Describe the library resources available and/or the measures to be taken to ensure resources are adequate to support the proposed program. 

K.   Adequacy of Physical Facilities, Infrastructure and Instructional Equipment

(as outlined in COMAR


  1. 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. 

2. Provide assurance and any appropriate evidence that the institution will ensure students enrolled in and faculty teaching in distance education will have adequate access to:

a)      An institutional electronic mailing system, and

b)      A learning management system that provides the necessary technological support for distance education

L.   Adequacy of Financial Resources with Documentation (as outlined in COMAR13B.02.03.14)

1.       Complete Table 1: Resources and Narrative Rationale.  Provide finance data for the first five years of program implementation. Enter figures into each cell and provide a total for each year.  Also provide a narrative rationale for each resource category. If resources have been or will be reallocated to support the proposed program, briefly discuss the sources of those funds.  

2.       Complete Table 2: Program Expenditures and Narrative Rationale​​.  Provide finance data for the first five years of program implementation.  Enter figures into each cell and provide a total for each year. Also provide a narrative rationale for each expenditure category.  

M.   Adequacy of Provisions for Evaluation of Program (as outlined in COMAR 13B.02.03.15).

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

2.       Explain how the institution will evaluate the proposed program's educational effectiveness, including assessments of student learning outcomes, student retention, student and faculty satisfaction, and cost-effectiveness. 

N.   Consistency with the State’s Minority Student Achievement Goals

 (as outlined in COMAR


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

O.   Relationship to Low Productivity Programs Identified by the Commission:

1.       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.​​

P.   Adequacy of Distance Education Programs (as outlined in COMAR 13B.02.03.22)​

1.       Provide affirmation and any appropriate evidence that the institution is eligible to provide Distance Education.

2.       Provide assurance and any appropriate evidence that the institution complies with the C-RAC guidelines, particularly as it relates to the proposed program.​

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