Program change is a critical part of ensuring that Durham College programs are current, relevant and meet students' and employers' expectations and needs. Program change can range from changing a course title to introducing new courses to updating program learning outcomes (PLOs). Our team supports academic schools by facilitating the program change process. This includes providing advice on determining the nature of the change and the required supporting documentation, supporting broad consultation through the Program Proposal Review Committee (PPRC), reviewing submitted forms and seeking final approval of major and minor changes to programs of study. Our team also supports the submission of program change proposals to external stakeholders including Credentials Validation Service, Ministry of Colleges and Universities, and Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board.
Types of program change range from minor changes, including: changes to a course title and/or pre-requisites to major changes, including adding and/or deleting courses, and/or updating program learning outcomes. Typically minor and major changes are submitted by June 15, for implementation 15 months later (example submit forms on June 15, 2020 for academic calendar September 2021). Major changes may require resubmission to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities that require a minimum of 15 to 18 months lead time for review and approval.
What is the process for Program Change?
Step One: Complete a Major or Minor Program Change form.
Step Two: Submit completed form(s) to the School’s Executive Dean for review and approval.
Step Three: Submit completed and signed form(s) to Manager, Academic Quality Assurance.
Step Four: Review, feedback, and consultation (if required) by the Manager, Academic Quality Assurance and CAFE staff or college service areas (e.g., curriculum specialists, admissions, scheduling, etc.) to ensure impact to students and college processes are considered.
The following steps will differ based on the program change type (minor or major).
Minor changes are approved by the Manager, Academic Quality Assurance, in consultation with the Executive Vice-President, Academic (EVPA) as needed.
Major changes are typically presented for review by the Program Proposal Review Committee (PPRC) and to make recommendations to the EVPA. The EVPA will review recommendations for approval and/or modifications.
Step Six: Following final approval of minor and major changes, the CAFE will communicate the changes to the School and appropriate college stakeholders.
Step Seven: The CAFE will send a communication memo for major changes to college stakeholders with the relevant program change information.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Are there deadlines associated with program change?
A: Major and Minor changes must be approved by June 15th or 15 to 18 months prior to the academic term effective date. Exceptions require approval by the EVPA.
Q: What is the difference between a Minor and Major Change?
A: Minor changes refer to changes to courses that will not significantly impact students or the learning outcomes of the program. Minor course changes include:
- changes to course numbering and titles; and or
- changes to course pre-requisites, co-requisites.
Updating course content to maintain relevant curriculum (i.e., textbooks, assessments, etc.) that do not impact the above, do not require approval as a minor change.
A major change is a more substantial change to the program and typically will impact students entering or re-entering the program in future years. Major program changes may require submission of the change to the Credential Validation Service (CVS) or the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU).
- Major program changes include those that have an impact on finance and budgeting, marketing and recruitment initiatives and can stem from a change in:
- admission requirements;
- program delivery methods (e.g. fast-track, online);
- number of courses, credits, semesters and/or hours of delivery;
- program learning outcomes or implementation of new program standard;
- work integrated learning experiences (e.g. placement/practicum, research projects, co-op); and
Q: Why does Durham College use this process?
A: As a public postsecondary institution, Durham College is accountable to demonstrate quality assurance mechanisms that oversee change to our programs of study. The Program Change Policy and Procedures (ACAD-124) ensures our responsibilities to comply with the Ministers’ Binding Policy Directive Framework for Program of Instruction, the Ontario Qualifications Framework and other key regulations. The process and associated timelines provide opportunity to assess risk, respond to resource requirements, and implement change in a timely, transparent manner for Durham College students.
Q: What is the role of the Program Proposal Review Committee (PPRC)?
A: The purpose of the PPRC is to ensure compliance with the Minister’s Binding Policy Directive – Framework for Programs of Instruction and the Ontario Qualifications Framework in the development of new programs and modification of existing programs. PPRC members represent various college departments and help ensure the presented programs are assessed from various stakeholder perspectives. PPRC reviews new program and major change proposals and make recommendations for approval to the EVPA in accordance with the college’s, Strategic Plan and quality assurance policy and processes.
Questions about Program Change? Please contact:
Please contact Briar Jamieson, Manager, Academic Quality Assurance, Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment (CAFE).