Reinhardt University SACSCOC Compliance Certification

4.4 Program Length

Program length is appropriate for each of the institution’s educational programs. (Program length)

Judgment check box Compliance

 

Narrative

Reinhardt adheres to the minimum program length expectation for undergraduate and graduate degrees as established in SACSCOC Core Requirement 2.7.1: [1]

  • 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
  • Minimum of 30 semester credit hours of graduate level course for the master’s degree

Reinhardt University offers five (5) associate, thirty-two (32) bachelor, and six (6) master’s degree programs.  The semester credit-hour degree completion requirements for  associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs are published in the Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, [2] and the semester credit-hour degree completion requirements for master’s degree program are published in the Reinhardt University Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017. [3] Moreover, these publications identify each major, concentration, and master’s program with the required course work necessary for degree completion. These publications are available on the Reinhardt University public website. [4]

Undergraduate degree programs

As the following table illustrates, Reinhardt associate degrees require a minimum of 60-65 semester credit hour, and Reinhardt bachelor’s degrees require a minimum of 120-130 semester credit hours.  No associate’s degree programs exceed a requirement 65 semester credit hours. Those bachelor degree programs that exceed a requirement of 125 semester credit hours are programs in Education, which align with certification from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC), and programs in Performing Arts, which align with accreditation standards of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

     Table 4.4-1 Program Lengths for Reinhardt Undergraduate Degree Programs

Degree Program Name

Example: B.A. History

Number of Semester hours

Justification for Associate’s Programs over 65 semester hours and Bachelor’s Programs over 125 semester hours

A.A Liberal Arts 64
A.S. Criminal Justice
A.S. Pre-Nursing
A.S. Fire Management
A.S. Pre-Education
60
65
65
61
B.A Communication and Media Studies
English
History
Interdisciplinary Studies
Religion
Theatre
World Languages and Culture
120
120
120
120
120
120
120
B.C.J. Criminal Justice 120
B.F.A. Digital Media Arts
Graphic Design
Musical Theatre
Studio Art
120
120
127
120
B.F.A Musical Theatre –
NASM accreditation
B.H.A. Healthcare Administration 120
B.M. Performance

Sacred Music

 

127

122-124

B.M. Performance –
NASM accreditation
B.M. Sacred Music –
NASM accreditation
B.M.E. Music Education (P-12) 129-130 B.M.E. Music Education (P-12) – NASM accreditation
B.S. Biology
 Biology Education
Business Administration
Criminal Justice – Sociology
Cultural Diversity – Sociology
Early Childhood Education (P-5)
English/ Language Arts
Education (6-12
)Mathematics
 Mathematics Education (6-12)Middle Grades Education (4-8)
Political Science
Psychology
Social Services – Sociology
Sports Studies
120
128-129
120-121
120
120
125
126120
124-126124-126
120
120
120
120-122
B.S. Biology Education – GaPSC certification

B.S. - English/Language Arts
Education – Ga PSC certification

B.S. Mathematics Education –
Ga PSC certification
B.S. Middle Grades Education – Ga PSC certification

B.A. Organizational Management & Leadership 120
B.B.A. Business Administration 120

Associate’s degrees

The associate’s degree programs are under regular review by faculty to ensure that the program lengths are appropriate for the degree programs.  For example, in 2016-2017, the Associate of Arts (A.A.) was amended to reduce the total credits required to 60, which will align the Reinhardt A.A. with similar degrees at other SACSCOC institutions. [5]

Traditional Bachelor’s degrees

Some bachelor’s degrees require more than 120 credit hours to align with certification or professional standards. The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology Education, [6] English Language Arts (English Secondary Education), [7] Mathematics Education, [8] and Middle Grades Education [9] all require additional course work in the content areas as well as Education for Georgia Professional Standards (GaPCS) certification. [10]

In the School of Performing Arts, the music programs music are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) to offer professional music degrees. [11] NASM distinguishes between “liberal arts” degrees (like a Bachelor of Arts in Music) and professional degrees (like a Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre). [12] The professional degrees require additional course work in music.  At Reinhardt, these degrees include the Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Performance, [13] the B.M. in Sacred Music, [14] the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Musical Theatre [15] and the Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E). [16]  Similar programs at other accredited institutions have similar program lengths.

Table 4.4-2 Comparison of Professional Music Degree Requirements

Degree Program Total credits required for the degree
B.M. in Performance
Shorter University [17]
Kennesaw State University [18]
Valdosta State College [19]
Reinhardt University
127
123
124
127
B.F.A. in Musical Theatre
Shorter University [20]
Young Harris College [21]
Reinhardt University
126
126
127
B.M. Education
Shorter University [22]
Kennesaw State University [23]
Young Harris College [24]
Reinhardt University
127
128
133
130

Distance education—degree-completion bachelor’s degrees

Reinhardt’s professional, degree-completion programs [25] are delivered online or in hybrid form.  These programs include the Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.), Bachelor of Criminal Justice (B.C.J.), Bachelor of Healthcare Administration (B.H.A.), and the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Organizational Management and Leadership. These programs require completion of exactly 120 semester credit hours.

Second degrees

A student who earns a first bachelor’s degree from Reinhardt University or from another regionally accredited college or university may earn a second bachelor’s degree from Reinhardt in a different program by completing the required courses for that major.  The candidate must also complete a minimum of 32 additional semester credit hours in residence at Reinhardt, [26] which is consistent with its internal residency requirement for the first degree: 32 of the last 45 semester credit hours must be in residence at Reinhardt. [27]

This policy is consistent with accepted practices at other regionally accredited institutions in the state of Georgia [28], which require an additional 30-39 semester credit hours, depending on whether the first degree was earned in the home institution or transferred from another regionally accredited institution.

Graduate degree programs

Graduate programs at Reinhardt University are master’s degree programs.  Each graduate program has a course of study that requires at least 30 semester credit hours of graduate-level only coursework.  Two programs exceed 36 semester hours:  the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Elementary Education, which aligns with certification requirements from the GaPSC, and the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing, which aligns with professional standards of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).

Table 4.4-3 Program Lengths for Reinhardt Graduate Degree Programs

Degree Program Name

Number of Semester hours

Justification for Master’s Programs over 36 semester hours.

M.B.A. Business Administration 36
M.A.T. Early Childhood Education 48 M.A.T. - Ga PSC certification

 

M.Ed. Early Childhood Education

Special Education

36

36

M.F.A. Creative Writing 60

 

M.F.A. - Professional standard – AWP
M.P.A. Public Administration 36

The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Early Childhood Education [29] requires forty-eight (48) semester credit hours to align with curriculum standards for K-5 and to provide an embedded Reading Endorsement: GaPSC Statement 505-3-01 (p. 13) [30] explains that a Reading Endorsement must be included and may add 9-12 hours to the program.

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing [31] requires a total of sixty (60) semester credit hours to align with professional standards from AWP:  because the MFA is a “studio” or “studio/research” program, it  “requires 48 to 60 semester hours or credits of study over two to three years.” [32]

Comparable low-residency MFA degree programs have similar requirements.

Table 4.4-4 MFA in Creative Writing,
Low Residency Program Credit Hour Comparison                       

Institution      Required Credit Hours
Warren Wilson College, Low-Residency MFA [33] 60 with 5 residencies
Pine Manor College, Low-Residency MFA [34] 60 with 5 residencies
Vermont College, Low-Residency MFA [35] 64 with 4-5 residencies
University of Tampa, Low-Residency MFA [36] 48 with 4 residencies + a 5th residency
Reinhardt University, Low-Residency MFA 60 with 3 residencies

Reinhardt has two additional graduate programs, the Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Early Childhood Education and the Master of Education in Special Education (M.Ed.).  These programs did not accept applicants in 2016-2017 because they are under revision to conform to certification changes made by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC).  As currently formed, each of these programs requires exactly 36 semester credit hours of graduate course work. [37]

Conclusion

Program length is appropriate for each of Reinhardt’s educational programs.

 

Supporting Documents

[1] Narrative for 2.7.1

[2] Undergraduate degree completion requirements, Reinhardt University
Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017
, p. 55

[3] Graduate Program Lengths Table, Reinhardt University Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 23-24

[4] Academic Catalog website

[5] A.A. Degree Revision Proposal, 2016

[6] B.S. Biology Education degree requirements, Reinhardt University Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, p. 88

[7] B.S. in English Language Arts, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 135-36

[8] B.S. Mathematics Education degree requirements, Reinhardt University Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 93-94

[9] B.S. Middle Grades Education, Reinhardt University Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 95-97

[10] PSC approval for PSOE programs 2009 and 2010

[11] NASM Commission Action Report 2012

[12] NASM Handbook 2016-2017, p. 87

[13] B.M. Performance degree requirements, Reinhardt University Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 149-51

[14] B.M. Sacred Music degree requirements, Reinhardt University Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 151-52

[15] B.F.A. Musical Theatre, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, p. 148

[16] B.M.E., Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, pp.
154-55

[17] B.M. Performance, Shorter University

[18] B.M. Performance, KSU

[19] B.M. Performance, Valdosta University

[20] B.F.A. Musical Theatre, Shorter University

[21] B.F.A. Musical Theatre, Young Harris

[22] B.M. Education, Shorter

[23] B.M. Education, KSU

[24] B.M. Education, Young Harris

[25] Professional bachelor’s degree programs: Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.), Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Organizational Management and Leadership, Bachelor of Criminal Justice (B.C.J.), and Bachelor of Healthcare Administration (B.H.A.), - Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, pp. 73, 74-75, 190-91, 192

[26] Second degrees Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, p. 58

[27] First degree residency requirement, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, p. 55

[28] Comparative data for second degree requirements

[29] M.A.T. degree requirements, Reinhardt Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, p. 40

[30] GaPSC Statement 505-3-01

[31] M.F.A. degree requirements, Reinhardt Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017, p. 55

[32] AWP Guidelines

[33] Warren Wilson College, MFA requirements

[34] Pine Manor College, MFA requirements

[35] Vermont College, MFA requirements

[36] University of Tampa, MFA requirements

[37] Reinhardt M.Ed. degree requirements