Reinhardt University SACSCOC Compliance Certification

3.5.3 Undergraduate Program Requirements

The institution publishes requirements for its undergraduate programs, including its general education components.  These requirements conform to commonly accepted standards and practices for degree programs. (Undergraduate program requirements)

Judgment check box Compliance

Narrative

Reinhardt University publishes degree requirements and the general education components in the Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, as shown by the Table of Contents, [1] which is also published on the website.  The academic catalog, which is published annually by the Registrar’s Office, is updated annually in consultation with the provost, the school deans, the program coordinators, and faculty senate curriculum approvals. Reinhardt publishes the undergraduate catalogs for the past eight years on the Academic Catalog web page [2] of its website. As a rule, a student may follow the degree requirements of a catalog published in the year that he or she begins academic work at Reinhardt University.

Each degree program publishes its requirements which include a general education component, an appropriate length for the degree program, and a coherent course of study. In addition, Reinhardt has a curriculum development and review process that ensures commonly accepted standards and practices for collegiate degree programs.

The General Education component

As demonstrated in Section 2.7.3, in each undergraduate degree program, Reinhardt requires the successful completion of a general education component at the collegiate level that ensures breadth of knowledge and is based on a coherent rationale.

Traditional undergraduate students

For traditional undergraduate students, associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, the general education curriculum requires 48-50 semester credit hours and is based on a set of nine student learning outcomes, organized under four domains:

Domain I: Communication—Students will demonstrate

  1. Effective expression of ideas through writing, speech, and a variety of arts experiences.

Domain II: Critical Thinking and Inquiry—Students will demonstrate

  1. Integrative, critical thinking and inquiry-based learning using evidence, logic, reasoning, and calculation.
  2. Informational, technological, and scientific literacies; and knowledge of research methods.
  3. Independent thought and imagination; preparation for lifelong learning.

Domain III: Self, Society and Culture—Students will demonstrate

  1. Knowledge of the traditions of Western civilization and their global context.
  2. Knowledge of the diversity of societies and cultures; the ability to view themselves and the world from cultural and historical perspectives other than their own.

Domain IV: Values and Ethics—Students will demonstrate

  1. Integrity and ethical responsibility.
  2. Understanding of and commitment to physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
  3. Stewardship and civic engagement, coupled with the ability to work with others both collaboratively and in leadership roles.

Reinhardt publishes the general education learning outcomes [3] and course requirements along with an advising grid in the Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017. [4]  In addition, approved general  education courses specify in their syllabi how the course outcomes link to General Education learning outcomes:  for example, History [5], Political Science [6], and Psychology [7].

Reinhardt University’s undergraduate traditional programs, both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, reflect the university’s mission “to educate the whole person by developing intellectual, social, personal, vocational, spiritual and physical dimensions of its students.” [8]

For traditional students, the curriculum addresses these dimensions by allowing for a number of choices within the four domains of the General Education SLOs. Students have some required courses, like collegiate composition and mathematics. Students also have some elective choices within each domain, allowing for personal development.  An extensive list of acceptable choices is published in the Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017. [9] However, some degree programs require general education courses related to specific majors. For example, the domain, “Knowledge of Self, Society, and Culture” includes courses in literature, history, religion, and social/behavioral science.  For history courses, students may choose HIS 251- American History or HIS 120-Global History, among others.  However, Music majors must choose MUS 321 – Music History I and MUS 322 Music History II, for the history requirements, as published in the Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017. [10]  Education majors must choose PSY 101 – Introduction to Psychology [11] for social science as part of this domain.  Political Science majors must take SCI 103 – Writing about the Sciences for their second composition course. [12]  Similarly, other degree programs with specific course requirements in the general education curriculum publish these requirements in the Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017.

Adult degree-completion programs – hybrid and online

Reinhardt offers five professional, degree-completion programs, which are hybrid or online programs. These programs have a general education curriculum of 36 semester credits requiring courses in each of the following areas:

  • Communication and Technology
  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences
  • Mathematics and Natural Sciences
  • General Education Electives.

The general education requirements for degree-completion programs are published along with the degree program requirements in the Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017:  the Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A) and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Organizational Management and Leadership, from the McCamish School of Business; [13] and the Associate of Science (A.S.) in Criminal Justice, the A.S. in Fire Management, the Bachelor of Criminal Justice (B.C.J.) and the Bachelor of Healthcare Administration (B.H.A.) from the School of Professional Studies. [14]

In 2015-2016, the General Education Task Force, a subset of the General Education Committee, began reviewing and revising the General Education curriculum and rationale for the professional studies and degree completion programs. The revision raises the number of required general education semester credits from 36 to 42, to align with associate’s degrees at other regionally accredited institutions in Georgia, and clarifies the nature of transfer elective credits for non-traditional students.  This proposal was approved by the Faculty Senate in November 2016, and it will appear in the Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018. [15]

Appropriate length

Reinhardt also publishes the degree requirements and lengths of each program.  Reinhardt adheres to the minimum program length expectation for undergraduate degrees as established in SACSCOC Core Requirement 2.7.1: [16]

  • Minimum of 60 semester credit hours or the equivalent for the associate degree
  • Minimum of 120 semester credit hours or the equivalent for the baccalaureate degree

Reinhardt University offers five (5) associate and thirty-five (35) bachelor degree programs.  The specific semester credit hour degree completion requirements for each associate’s and bachelor’s degree program are published in the Reinhardt University Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, which is available on the Reinhardt University public website.

To ensure that the program lengths are appropriate for the educational programs, some programs require more than 120 credits to align with standards of the discipline or professional certification requirements.  For example, the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Musical Theatre requires 127 semester credit hours because of additional performance/applied course work. [17] The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in English Language Arts (English Secondary Education) requires 126 semester credit hours to include additional Education course work. [18] The Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) requires 129-130 semester credit hours because of additional performance and Education course work. [19]

Coherent course of study

Beyond the general education curriculum requirements, Reinhardt publishes its major degree requirements in the Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017. [1] Reinhardt's major degree requirements provide a breadth of knowledge within a focused field of study. The course numbering system also ensures a coherent course of study by identifying increasing levels of integration of knowledge.  Undergraduate courses are numbered 100-400, depending on the level of skills required.

For example, the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English [20] builds on skills developed incrementally in the general education writing and literature courses.  Requirements for the English major, however, are not sequenced. Rather, the English major requires a breadth of knowledge and skills appropriate for higher education in literature by addressing different approaches to interpretation, such as biographical, historical, and formal/generic.

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Early Childhood Education [11] builds on the Conceptual Framework [21] of differentiated instruction and assessment, as published in the Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017. Students must take courses in psychology and communication at the 100-level.  Education courses at the 200- and 300-level help candidates build expertise in differentiated instruction and assessment. Then during the final two semesters in the program, 400-level courses provide the candidate with practical applications of differentiated instruction in a year-long residency.

The Bachelor in Healthcare Administration (B.H.A.), [22] an online, degree-completion program is designed to enable students to enter and advance their professional careers in non-clinical, administrative roles in healthcare organizations.  Most students enter the program as transfer students who have completed courses in both general education and in healthcare related technical fields.  The B.H.A. program curriculum offers two levels of courses.  The 300-level courses develop the student’s general understanding of business management principles as applied to the healthcare sector as well as an overall understanding of the U.S. healthcare system.  The 400-level courses address specific topics unique to the administration of organizations found in the healthcare sector.   At the end of the program, students select one of two 400-level courses in their final semester to demonstrate their mastery of the program curriculum content: “HCA 410 Capstone Course in Healthcare Administration” or “HCA 490 Internship in Healthcare Administration." [23]

Further evidence in support of curriculum coherence can be found in the curriculum maps developed by faculty in each degree program as part of the assessment efforts.  The maps indicate how each program student learning outcome is introduced, reinforced, mastered, and assessed.  The examples of curriculum maps for the B.H.A. program [24] and the Political Science program [25] show that knowledge of each outcome is sequentially built from lower to upper level courses.

Reinhardt University publishes information about degree requirements, the general education components, and course descriptions in the Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, which is also published on the official website.

Curriculum review process

Reinhardt also ensures that academic programs follow commonly accepted standards through regular program reviews. Some major degree programs also have external reviews and approvals which help to ensure additional layers of coherence.  For example programs in the Price School of Education must be approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC), [26] and programs in the Murray Department of Music are approved the National Association of  Schools of Music (NASM). [27]  In addition, in fall of 2016 Reinhardt launched a cycle of academic program reviews, which operate on a seven-year rotation. [28] Therefore, all undergraduate and graduate degree programs are evaluated either by external peer review or by accreditation review in accordance with a published peer review cycle maintained by the Provost’s Office.

Curriculum review process

Reinhardt University has well-defined procedures for ensuring that new programs, as well as minor or substantive changes to existing programs, offer coherent courses of study with commonly accepted standards and practices.

New course proposals and new program proposals are generated by faculty within academic programs/schools.  Then the proposals must gain several levels of approval:  the program coordinator/director, the school dean, faculty Academic Programs and Curriculum Committee (APCC), the faculty senate, the provost, the university president, and for new programs or substantive changes, the Board of Trustees as well as SACSCOC. [29]

A proposal must include a rationale and sample syllabi.  The program proposal form includes comparative data about other institutions of higher education to ensure appropriateness for higher education.  For example in November 2015, the McCamish School of Business proposed converting its Bachelor of Arts in General Business Studies (B.A.-GBS) for adult learners to an online program, a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.). [30]  The proposal noted that the B.A.-GBS was undersubscribed and that a number of comparable institutions offered fully online programs, the comparative data using two databases, thebestschools.org and affordablecollegesonline.org.  For another example, in 2016, the School of Mathematics and Sciences proposed two new concentrations for the Bachelor of Science in Mathematics:  Cyber Security and Computer Forensics. [31]   The proposal was supported by market research initiated by the president of the university. [32]

(In Spring 2017, “Curriculum Change Cover Sheet” and “Guidelines” were revised to better align with the newly revised SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy that now has only two submission deadlines for a prospectus that requires approval: January 1 and July 1. The revised forms go into effect in August 2017.) [33]

Conclusion

Reinhardt University publishes requirements for its undergraduate programs, including its general education components.  Reinhardt University has procedures in place to ensure that these requirements conform to commonly accepted standards and practices for degree programs.

 

Supporting Documents

[1] Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, Table of Contents

[2] Academic Catalog webpage

[3] General Education Student Learning Outcomes, Reinhardt University
Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, 
pp. 8-9

[4] General Education Curriculum, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog
2016-2017
, pp. 56-58

[5] History 252 syllabus

[6] Political Science 101 syllabus

[7] Psychology 101 syllabus

[8] Reinhardt University Mission Statement, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, p. 8

[9] General Education Core Options, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 59-62

[10] B.M. Sacred Music general education requirements, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 152-53

[11] B.S. Education general education requirements, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 89-90

[12] B.S. Political Science general education requirements, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, p. 177

[13] B.B.A. and B.A. in OML general education requirements, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 73-75

[14] A.S. in Criminal Justice, A.S. Fire Management, B.C.J. and B.H.A. general education requirements, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 187-92

[15] Professional Studies Programs Revision 2016

[16] Section 2.7.1

[17] B.F.A. Musical Theatre degree requirements, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, p. 148

[18] B.S. English Language Arts degree requirements, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 135-36

[19] Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) degree requirements, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 154-58

[20] B.A. English degree requirements, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 121-22

[21] PSOE Conceptual Framework, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, p. 79

[22] B.H.A. degree requirements, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, p. 192

[23] B.H.A. capstone courses: HCA 410 and HCA 490 course descriptions, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, p. 233

[24] B.H.A. program curriculum map

[25] Political Science program curriculum map

[26] Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) approval of Reinhardt’s Education programs, 2010 and 2009

[27] NASM Commission Action Reports, 2012

[28] Schedule of program reviews

[29] “Curriculum Change Cover Sheet and Guidelines for Materials and Evidence to Support Curricular Changes” 2016-2017

[30] B.B.A. New Program Proposal 2015, pp. 6-7

[31] Proposal for new concentrations in Cyber Security and Computer Forensics 2016

[32] Reinhardt New Programs Report, pp. 72-76

[33] Revised “Curriculum Change Cover Sheet Guidelines for Materials and Evidence to Support Curricular Changes” 2017-2018