MDHE staff is involved in the approval of new academic program proposals, changes to existing programs, and the off-site delivery of existing programs by public institutions. MDHE staff also reviews and offers comments on programs from independent institutions. All new academic program proposals are posted as "New Program Requests" on the MDHE website within 15 business days of the submission deadline. This begins a 20-day public commentary period. The MDHE posts new program proposals for review and comment and maintains an archive of requests from the previous year.

Timeline for reviewing new program proposals and program changes:

MDHE must receive the proposal by: For a program proposal to be considered for approval
at the CBHE meeting in:
July 1 September
October 1 December
December 1 /td> February
February 1 April
April 1 June

The proposal timeline corresponds to the academic calendar as follows:

MDHE must receive proposals by: For program proposals to be considered for approval for the following academic terms:
October 1 Spring Semester
February 1 Summer Semester
April 1 Fall Semester

Effective July 1, 2011, the CBHE will give provisional approval to new academic programs. The MDHE will review the program five years from the date of its provisional approval. If this review indicates that the program is not performing as expected, the CBHE may recommend the termination of the program, unless there are compelling justifications (i.e., central to institutional mission; supports other programs; meets statewide needs) for continuing the program.

For the five-year review, the MDHE will request that an institution provide enrollment, graduation and staffing data for the program, as well as a brief summary of program performance. If the program is performing as well as or better than the projections in the original program proposal, the MDHE will recommend that the CBHE approve the program without conditions.

Policy for Review of Academic Program Proposals & Clarifying Comments

The Policy for Review of Academic Program Proposals helps to ensure that Missouri's higher education institutions offer programs that effectively serve the citizens of the state. Effective service is achieved through
  • provision of high quality programs,
  • efficient use of resources,
  • collaboration between institutions, and
  • elimination of unnecessary program duplication within a service region.

Clarifying Comments

The Clarifying Comments on the Policy for the Review of Academic Program Proposals provide additional criteria that the CBHE and MDHE staff use to evaluate new academic programs. Working with the policy, these criteria provide a guideline on general objectives for quality programs. As an additional reference, a link to the Missouri Code of State Regulations is also provided below.

Missouri Code of State Regulations for Academic Program Approval (6 CSR 10-4.010)

Submitting Program Proposals

There are two general categories for program proposals:

  1. New program proposals (including off-site proposals)
  2. Proposals to make changes to existing programs

Program proposals have specific sets of forms associated with them depending on your institution's request; however, there are basic requirements for all proposals.

  1. All proposals must be reviewed, approved and signed by the Chancellor / President or Chief Academic Officer
  2. Proposals must be submitted by the deadlines listed above to be approved for your academic catalogues. (For example, proposals for the Fall semester must be submitted for approval at the CBHE meeting in June, as the September meeting occurs after classes have begun)
  3. The CIP code must be cross-referenced for duplication with other institutions in your region, and to ensure the code is up to date, by accessing the MDHE program inventory (Click here for a link to instructions). (PDF Version) This CIP code must be placed on the proposal.
  4. Proposals should be completed according to the information and format provided below.

New Program Proposals

New program proposals must be submitted by using the forms provided below and must contain the following information and format, and order. Once the forms have been filled out and embedded within your proposal, all documents must be combined into ONE file to submit to the MDHE (copies of the forms used for proposals are located at the bottom of this page):

  1. New Program Proposal Form (Form NP)
  2. Rationale for the program
  3. Student enrollment projections (Form SE), including a rationale for how projections were calculated
  4. Evidence of Market demand / Societal need supported by research
  5. Address program duplication and opportunities for collaboration (should include Form CL for collaboration)
  6. Details on Program Structure (Form PS)
  7. Financial Projections (Form FP) for public institutions only
  8. Program Characteristics and Performance Goals (Form PG)
  9. Plans for accreditation, including a rationale if it is not a goal for this program
  10. Institutional Characteristics demonstrating why your institution is particularly well equipped to support the program

Off-site proposals

Off-site proposals must be submitted by using the same format and forms as a New Program Proposal except:

  1. An Off-site Proposal form (Form OS) replaces the Form NP
  2. Unless the program is also new to the main campus, no details on program structure ( or Form PS) is required

Residence Sites

Residence site proposals must be submitted using the same CBHE deadlines and guidelines for new program proposals. In general, a residence site is distinct from an off-site center if

  1. The parent institution has paid staff supervising site operations and
  2. More than 50% of curriculum is offered at the site.

A copy of residence site requirements is included below:

Criteria and Standards for Approval of Residence Centers

Sample Proposal for Residence Site

Proposals for program changes

Proposals for making changes to existing programs must be submitted by using a Program Change Form (Form PC). The form itself contains a variety of options that can be selected, including the addition of emphasis areas (options), or certificates to existing programs, deletions, inactivations, or title changes.

  • Submit proposals as program changes if a certificate is one-year or less, and part of an umbrella parent program.
  • If the certificate is two-years or more, or is newly developed outside a parent degree, the proposal must be submitted as a new program.

Along with selecting the most applicable action (or actions) from the options provided, all program changes must include the following information and format:

  1. The title and options for the current program before changes in the "Before the Proposed Change" box
  2. The title and options for the proposed program after changes in the "After the Proposed Change" box
  3. Rationale for change(s)
  4. Before and after curriculum, if necessary

Forms

Public Policy Guidelines on Lower Division Delivery

The Public Policy Guidelines on Lower Division Coursework, Lower Division Certificate, and Associate Degree Delivery provides a framework that clarifies CBHE expectations concerning public institutional practices associated with lower-division coursework, lower-division certificate programs, and associate degree delivery.