Office of the Provost
FAQ Questions and Answers
Page: 1 | 2
|January 13, 2003
||“We have two questions about SUNY’s new teacher education policy. Where can we find a copy of the policy and what is
its relationship to the State regulations on teacher education?”|
|KVA: A New Vision in Teacher Education, adopted by Chancellor King in June 2001, is based in large part on the
recommendations of the Provost’s Advisory Council on Teacher Education. You can find the Report of the Advisory Council and the New
Vision action agenda at teachered.htm.
Last week the Provost’s office issued “Policy Guidelines for the Implementation of A New Vision in Teacher Education”
as Memorandum to Presidents, Vol. 03 No.2. This policy memo is addressed to campuses with teacher preparation
programs, as they must report on the status of various requirements in June 2003. It should be noted, however, that the New Vision policy
also contains broad strategies for the University as a System, for example, an urban public education agenda of which the SUNY Urban Teacher
Education Center in New York City is a working model.
In several respects A New Vision goes beyond the State Education Department’s Regulations governing teacher education in New York
State. It is our expectation that campuses offering teacher preparation programs will meet both the letter and the spirit of the New Vision
as well as the regulatory requirements.
| December 24, 2002
|| "We are working on a new bachelor’s program in Poultry Science Management [ed.] to top off related associate degrees.
We know from previous program development that SED has a rule that there needs to be at least one PhD faculty member in the program. What do we do
if there is no PhD in poultry science management in the country?"|
|KVA: This question goes to the Commissioner’s Regulations on the standards for registration of undergraduate
curricula, specifically about the requirements for faculty. Remember that the Commissioner’s Regulations represent the minimum
expectations for the registration of new curricula for all higher education institutions in New York State. The specific Regulation you refer to is
§52.2(b)(4), which states:
At least one faculty member teaching in each curriculum culminating in a bachelor’s degree shall hold an earned doctorate in an appropriate
The context of this requirement is important. This section is preceded by the following (emphasis added):
All members of the faculty shall have demonstrated by training, earned degrees, scholarship, experience, and by classroom performance or
other evidence of teaching potential, their competence to offer the courses and discharge the other academic responsibilities. [§52.2(b)(1)]
To foster and maintain continuity and stability in academic programs and policies, there shall be in the institution a sufficient number of
faculty members who serve full-time at the institution… [§52.2(b)(2)]
For each curriculum the institution shall designate a body of faculty who, with the academic officers of the institution, shall be
responsible for setting curricular objectives, for determining the means by which achievement of objectives is measured, for evaluating the
achievement of curricular objectives and for providing academic advice to students [52.2(b)(3)]
In other words, each new baccalaureate program should have a sufficient number of full-time qualified faculty to design and assess the curriculum
and to advise students. This is inarguably the center of the review for approval by the State University and for registration by the State Education
Department. It is the responsibility of the proposing campus to demonstrate how a new curriculum meets the spirit if not the letter of the minimum
regulatory requirements and to present a rationale for an exception to the Regulations. The case for an alternative standard will be strengthened by
including external validation, in particular the credentials of peer institution faculty in similar programs, and by the use of the external
evaluation report required of all new baccalaureate degree programs in the University.
For Poultry Science Management you should document how the combined faculty – in the poultry science and in business/management –
is qualified by training, earned degrees, and experience to offer the curriculum and that your external experts validate the argument.
|November 25, 2002
||"I want to inquire if there are any updates regarding the draft program review guide. Thanks in advance for your time and
|KVA: You are referring to the Guide for the Evaluation of Undergraduate Academic Programs, revised and published in 2001
by the University Faculty Senate in cooperation with the Faculty Council of the Community Colleges. The Guide was issued originally in 1983 and
re-issued in 1990. The 2001 edition emphasizes the centrality of assessment in on-going program review and evaluation.
Copies were mailed in April 2002 to campus presidents, academic officers, Faculty Senate and Faculty Council representatives and libraries. It is
available on the University Faculty Senate website at www.ufs.suny.edu: click on Publications and download
using Adobe Acrobat.
The Guide for the Evaluation of Undergraduate Academic Programs was mentioned in the September 16, 2002 Assessment Update as a suggested
context for the assessment of student learning outcomes in the Major.
I had the privilege of working on the 2001 Guide with Faculty Senate and Faculty Council representatives. The committee endured my exhortations about
continuous program review as terrific fodder for the documentation for new academic program proposals and revisions – the workaday world of this
|November 5, 2002
||"As a follow-up to the October 22 column on the Carnegie unit, we have a question. We're familiar with Memorandum to Presidents Vol. 76 No.
8 as well as Vol. 91 No. 2 [Credit Equivalency for Non-Credit Instruction]. Is it the case that all courses must fit into the existing categories, or is
there a mechanism or procedure to alter/add to the categories. Our math faculty would like to pursue a 'self-paced instruction' course, which doesn't
seem to fit any of the existing categories. Is there a procedure to alter or add to the categories?"|
|KVA: Thank you for this question, on which I had to seek the assistance of the System Office of Institutional Research. You are asking
how to report the "instruction type" on the SUNY Student Data File (SDF).
The Student Data File and the Course and Section Analysis (CASA) are independent data collection processes for gathering System enrollment information
and faculty workload, respectively. They are governed by the same set of policies and definitions in order that an instruction type or category
(e.g., lecture, laboratory, tutorial) is defined consistently to allow the data collections to be linked.
For SDF/CASA reporting purposes there are nine instructional types to describe the primary mode of instruction for a course or section: lecture,
seminar, recitation, laboratory or activity, tutorial, independent study, programmed instruction, supervised instruction, and distance learning. I am
advised that a credit-bearing, self-paced mathematics course could be reported as independent study, programmed instruction or supervised instruction,
depending on the particulars. Excerpts from OIR's definitions follow:
Independent study is "study where the student works with minimal faculty direction…a student receives advisement with respect to this type of
study…independent study sections report no faculty member."
Programmed instruction "occurs through programmed materials and includes computer-assisted instruction, televised courses, and other instruction where
materials is presented to students by preplanned automated procedures."
Supervised instruction includes any type of direct mentoring instruction that may occur in a variety of clinical settings.
If you wish further detail, please consult our colleague Gary Blose, Assistant Provost for Data & Analysis, in OIR at 518-443-5639 or at
|October 22, 2002
||Question #1: |
"In revising our catalog we have discovered that the amount of credit assigned to internships varies across campus. The
faculty want to address the disparity and ask if there is a guideline or regulation that applies to community colleges on credits for independent study.
What do you suggest?"
"In a recent accreditation visit, our credit/contact hour situation was a matter for comment and we have been requested to
regularize it. We have been told our standard should be the Carnegie unit and we have been referred to a 1976 memo from SUNY regarding credit/contact
hours, which does allow taking different disciplines into consideration. Are we bound by the 1976 memo? Are other campuses in the system? Why have we
not been told about this earlier?"
|KVA Answer #1: |
The University's policy on Credit/Contact Hour Relationship, promulgated in Memorandum to Presidents,
Vol. 76 No. 8, should help.
The basis for the policy is the classical Carnegie definition of a semester credit hour. While there have been instructional modifications to the
standard over time, such as varied academic calendars and instructional delivery methods, the policy stands.
Let me refer you to relevant policies and regulations. The 1976 memo is the State University policy on
Credit/Contact Hour Relationship mentioned above. While the policy memo does not state so explicitly, its foundation is the definition of the
semester hour found in §50.1(o) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education: "…a credit granted for satisfactory
completion of a course which requires at least 15 hours (of 50 minutes each) of instruction and at least 30 hours of supplementary assignments…"
Exceptions may be granted by the Commissioner of Education; see §52.2(c)(4). Further, the financial aid Regulations, §145-2.1, define
eligibility for awards and loans for full-time and part-time study based on the semester hour definition in §50.1(o). See the Regulations at
http://www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue/rules.htm. They apply to all degree-granting higher
education institutions in New York State.
We understand the campus' concern about being cited for apparent "irregularities" by an accrediting body. Whether it is program accreditation
(e.g., AACSB, ABET, NASAD) or institutional accreditation, the matter lies at the heart of the college's academic responsibility and requires the
best thinking of the faculty and the support of leadership. Your work on this issue may well lead to significant curricular revisions, on which process
we would be happy to advise you and to simplify as best we can.
|October 7, 2002
||"Who determines the degree programs a college offers? More precisely, can we offer PhD programs and/or other programs that lead to terminal
degrees? I'm on a committee considering new graduate programs and, when checking other university colleges, we find that an MFA is considered a terminal
degree. What is the protocol for getting terminal degrees?"|
|KVA: You are asking about degree titles specifically at the arts and science or comprehensive colleges. (This response applies
generally to all sectors.)
An easy way to learn the degree titles currently authorized for your campus is to check the first page of the hardcopy of Inventory of Registered
Programs, which is probably available in the office of the academic vice president. (This information is not contained in the on-line version.) For
example, one of the University's more comprehensive colleges is listed as being authorized for the following: NC Cert, NC Dipl, Cert, Dipl, BA, BS, BPS,
BSNurs, BFA, MA, MS, MPS, MAT, MST, MSEd, MFA, MPA, MSW, Adv Cert, Adv Dipl. Some of these would be considered terminal degrees depending, of course, on
Degree titles are authorized campus-by-campus by the State University Board of Trustees, subject to the approval of the Board of Regents. The process
involves: an appropriate (and compelling) program proposal, approval by the Board of Trustees of the award for the program, review of the program by
SED, approval by the Board of Regents of the award, and program registration. Degree authorization is the process for acquiring a new degree title. It
is not the same as a master plan amendment or change in mission. For example, an MBA in accounting for the comprehensive college mentioned above would
require degree authorization only provided the college had a registered baccalaureate or masters degree in accounting.
The first program for an institution at a new level of study would require a master plan amendment. A request for a PhD in education, for example, by
the comprehensive college mentioned above would require a change in mission. This ambition would be sorted out in the Mission Review process or similar
discussions and doubtless inter-campus collaboration would be encouraged.
|September 23, 2002
||"We understand we have to upgrade our certificate in teacher aide to a two-year degree in teaching assistant. We want the program to
transfer into teacher education. Are we bound by the teacher education regulations for the content of the program? Any advice on title? Can we submit
the teaching assistant program as a revision of the teacher aide certificate?"|
|KVA: You are asking about the certification requirements for teacher aides and teaching assistants in New York State. Please see
the SED Office of Teaching Initiatives website, in particular Part 80 of the Regulations of the Commissioner, at
http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/part80.htm. For detail on the requirements for teacher
aide and teaching assistant, consult the section on supplementary school personnel under 80-5.6 at
The Regulations governing teacher aide, a position noted for its non-teaching duties, have not changed. There is no requirement to revise
your teacher aide program.
In 2000, the Board of Regents changed the requirements for candidates applying to work as teaching assistants effective February 2004. All
currently registered programs for teaching assistants will need to be revised to ensure success in applying for certification. All new program
proposals for teaching assistant should be consistent with 80-5.6(b)(2)(ii). You will want to use the formal certification title, teaching assistant,
for the program.
Proposals, either as revisions of existing programs or as new curricula, should show evidence of knowledge of the revised Regulations. (For
example, does the teaching assistant certificate level proposed include the necessary collegiate study and/or indicate applicability toward a
baccalaureate degree?) Program content will be consistent with the specific regulation and determined by the faculty in concert with the school
district(s). Because of the requirements for experience and the time validity of the certificate, all proposals for a teaching assistant curriculum
should demonstrate evidence of market demand and partnering with school districts to meet specific local needs.
Yes, we would entertain a proposal as a revision provided it is clearly market-driven and all of the above-mentioned documentation is included.
|September 9, 2002
||"Our campus has an accreditation visit scheduled soon by ABET. A number of us recall having a representative from SED at previous visits.
Does SUNY or SED require that a representative be invited or is it customary to invite an SED representative? If the answer is yes, what is the
procedure for inviting the representative?"|
|KVA: No, there is no requirement or consistent practice of inviting an SED representative to join professional accreditation
teams visiting our campuses.
SED's Office of the Professions is notified by accrediting bodies, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), of
upcoming visits, including programs/departments scheduled for review and the names of the visiting evaluators. If SED chose to accompany the team on
a "combined" visit, it would notify the professional school and institution. SED might also elect to conduct a visit separate from the accreditation
team. (Keep in mind that when SED accompanies an accreditation team or conducts a visit, it is acting in its role as the State's registration
authority, not in its role as a federally recognized accreditation body. The resulting SED registration action is independent of the findings of the
In recent years, given SED staff reductions, its site visits are few and seem to be prompted by program or professional school difficulties
(e.g., low success rates on licensure exam, high attrition, high faculty turnover) or by initial programs in the health professions.
These comments apply principally to the SED's Office of the Professions where programs leading to licensure are reviewed. They now apply to SED's
Office of College and University Evaluation for the accrediting body, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), as well as in
general for our regional accreditation body, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
|August 19, 2002
||"We recently received a registration letter from SED for a program that we cannot now implement in Fall '02 (which begins in late
August). Are we obligated to inform SED that we don't intend to admit students this month?"|
|KVA: No, you do not owe the State Education Department detail on the start date of the program. As far as SED is concerned,
the program meets (and will continue to meet) the regulatory requirements for registration as represented in the proposal.
We are obligated to inform our SED colleagues on any conditions or issues stated in the registration letter (e.g., faculty vita, progress
reports), on major changes, and on program elimination.
|July 29, 2002
||"After reading recent program announcements, I am really confused. (That often is the case before I read my email, but this time I think
I know the cause). My understanding was that at the present time there would not be SUNY approval for 'free standing' AA programs in education, and
that the only ones that would be considered would be jointly registered programs with a four-year institution, like the ones that a number of
campuses are doing with New Paltz. And that the word 'education,' since it was a field that led to licensure, was going to be more or less reserved
for degree programs on the four-year teacher ed campuses. Now I see one community college has submitted what appears to be a free standing AA in
Liberal Arts Education. Did I miss a meeting, or misunderstand the previous message, which I think was contained in an earlier 'Ask Kate'? Thanks, as
always, for your help."|
|KVA: You are correct. We will not be approving free-standing associate degree programs in education. What you are seeing in
recent Program Announcements is the formal expression of interest by several campuses in developing a proposal in anticipation of the outcome of the
teacher education transfer "template" project. As you know, we review Program Announcements for basic information. Colleges submitting Program
Announcements for "Liberal Arts and Sciences: Education" AA/AS programs will be advised on the title and program content, specifically that the title
is reserved for curricula that meet certain qualifications, that is, they include all SUNY General Education subject categories, contain two or three
courses in pedagogy, and contribute courses work toward the academic major.
For more on teacher education transfer programs, see also the May 7, 2002, and the
May 22, 2002 Ask Kate questions.
|July 16, 2002
||"We are about to submit a program leading to a B.A./B.S. The only difference between the two is the language requirement. How do we
represent this in the proposal?"|
|KVA: You may want to represent the difference between the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science courses of study by
providing alternative curricular outlines. I suggest that you also include a descriptive paragraph.
For your SUNY and SED colleagues who will review your proposal, remember there is a regulatory difference between the B.A. and the B.S. The
information you provide-in graphic or narrative form-needs to assure that the minimum regulatory requirements for liberal arts and sciences are
being met. See Section 3.50 "Registered Degrees" at
http://www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue/rules.htm. Remember too that the amount of liberal arts
and sciences is a fraction of the regulatory minimum total, that is, three-quarters (for the B.A.) or one-half (for the B.S.) of 120 credit
hours. It is not, as many think, a fraction of the total for the particular curriculum which may well be greater than 120 credits.
|July 2, 2001
||"At the program proposal workshop at Genesee Community College you answered a question about cleaning up the names of programs. You said
if they were truly cosmetic clean-ups, we could handle them in a specific way. Can we do this by letter listing the current name matched up with the
name we prefer? Would that work?"|
|KVA: It is important to make a distinction between a cosmetic change (what we call a technical correction) and a substantive
Technical corrections are necessary when there is an oversight or mistake in the approval (by the college or by the University) and/or in the
registration (by SED) of a program. Such technical corrections may involve a misspelling or erroneous title, a wrong award (e.g., A.S. rather than
A.A.), or an errant or incorrect punctuation mark (e.g., a hyphen rather than the preferred colon). Yes, they are cosmetic but we want the programs
to be registered correctly. We can handle a technical correction by letter or by email. This may result in the issuance of a corrected registration
letter; it definitely will result in a correction on SED's Inventory of Registered Programs.
(Watch http://www.nysed.gov/heds/irpsl1.html for the change.)
A substantive change, of course, involves more than notification of an error or infelicity. Please use the outline in the
March 19, 2001 Ask Kate for a program revision and/or change in title. Examples we would regard as substantive
changes include: shift from an A.A.S. to an A.S., from a B.A. to a B.F.A., from "Hospitality Management" to "Hospitality Management & Technology &
If you have any question about the nature of the change and how to handle it, email your reviewer here and we'll advise you directly.
Technical changes were also addressed in the October 9, 2001 Ask Kate. And see the
June 4, 2001 Ask Kate for a review of the pertinent Regulations of the Commissioner and the reason why
your programs need to be registered correctly.
|June 18, 2002
||"We have a disagreement on our campus about which certificates need to be registered. You see, some of our certificates are registered
and some are not. Are there certificate programs that do not need to be submitted to you and SED for registration? (We don’t even agree on
whether or not to ask you this question!)"|
|KVA: You are not alone in asking this question. There is natural confusion about the titles of certain awards and methods of
recognition. We are often asked about "certificates of attendance" or "certificates of completion," for example.
Strictly speaking, a review of the Commissioner’s Regulations would prompt one to suggest the registration of all certificate programs.
(See the April 9, 2001 Ask Kate for the pertinent Regulations and general discussion) However, we know that some
campuses offer a sequence of courses to already matriculated students and recognize the achievement with a "certificate." We also know that
campuses offer non-credit or CEU certificate programs.
I suggest the following guideline: for a coherent set of courses, designed by the faculty, consisting of credit courses applicable toward a
registered degree program, and available only to matriculated students at the campus and not to the public at large, the course of study need
not be separately registered. If, however, the sequence of courses is available to matriculated students and to citizens "off the street"
(for which you will doubtless advertise — at least in your catalog), then the course of study needs approval by the University
and registration by the State Education Department. The exception, of course, is a course of study that leads to licensure or certification in New
York State, which will always require registration.
You will want to examine your certificates. If any are for credit and available to the public and/or you wish to advertise them, we should seek
The labeling of some credit course sequences as certificate programs is at the heart of the confusion here. Is there perhaps another term of art
your faculty colleagues could devise?
|June 3, 2002
||"Several representatives from our campus attended the recent program proposal workshop at Genesee Community College and returned with
the impression that we should not be sending proposals directly to you personally. We’ve been doing this recently, we thought at your request.
Please advise us."|
|KVA: It is important that (three copies of) all proposals — for new programs, revisions, title changes,
reactivations, etc. — come only from authorized individuals at the campus to a central address here:
Peter D. Salins
Office of the Provost
SUNY System Administration, S-401
State University Plaza
Albany, New York 12246
This ensures that your proposal will be entered on our internal database, acknowledged and referred to the individual reviewer in a timely manner.
(The date the proposal is formally assigned to the reviewer places the proposal in the reviewer’s queue and starts the "clock" on our internal
There is an exception, however, which is noted in our guidelines and handbook: "It is not helpful to send materials directly to the reviewers
unless specifically requested to do so." Quite often an additional piece of information is needed for our recommendation of approval and we
may ask that the supplementary piece be e/mailed or faxed to us personally.
We ask that campuses not send proposals directly to the State Education Department. This invariably causes confusion and unnecessary delays
between agencies when you would much rather have your Albany colleagues attending to the proposals in the queue.
Thank you, as always, for your cooperation.
|May 22, 2002
||Assistant Provost Kathryn Van Arnam responds to several questions generated by the May 7 Ask Kate column regarding "teacher education
Question: We’re waiting on the "template" final product to develop a "Teacher Preparation" program leading to an
AA. Can we use that title?
Answer: We don’t know at this date the title that the universal teacher education transfer will take or if in fact there
might be several. It is doubtful, however, that we — or NYS — could support an associate degree by
that name. A program title should fairly reflect its content. We believe the more accurate title will be "Liberal Arts and Sciences: Education."
Question: Our campus is in discussion with two senior colleges on a teacher education transfer program. They seem to be agreeing to our
embedding seven of the SUNY-GER subject categories in the AA degree. If these campuses are OK with this, do we have to meet the requirements of
‘template’ outlined in your recent column and do all 10 SUNY-GER silos?
Answer: If you are developing an articulation agreement with specific institutions and they are satisfied with the liberal arts
content, we would not require that you meet all 10 SUNY-GER subject categories. (Indeed, we do not approve articulation agreements between
campuses.) If, however, you and the senior campus are seeking a jointly registered program and want to use "education" in the associate degree
component of the title, we would require the full general education program including an extra semester’s work in Foreign Language.
Question: Your last column confuses us. We’re in the final stage of developing a jointly registered program with our
neighboring SUNY four-year campus. If we do this, will we be precluded from developing an associate degree in accordance with the template when
Answer: No. We would encourage you to develop a joint program with your senior neighbor and to develop a generic template
program when it is available. This would give your students choice: between continuing locally (and perhaps part-time) with a specific program and
opting for the more universal free-market transfer program.
Question: We have a jointly-registered childhood program registered by SED. Will we have to revise that program once the model
template curriculum is made policy?
Answer: No. Your joint program is approved by the University and registered by the State Education Department, and stands.
Question: Is it true that for a jointly registered program the baccalaureate degree can be listed in our catalog?
Answer: Of course. A jointly registered program is co-owned. Both campuses are free to market the registered program and to
list the entire course of study — all eight semesters — in the catalog and promotional material of
Question: We are prepared to develop an AA and AS in "Liberal Arts & Sciences: Education" including the 10 SUNY-GER categories and
the extra semester of Foreign Language, as outlined in the last Ask Kate. Will we have to submit a Program Announcement and, if so, when should we
Answer: At this time there has not been a decision as to whether a Program Announcement will be necessary. As you know, a
Program Announcement is required for every new undergraduate program. It serves to provide information to and request information from other
campuses in the System. In any case, to keep the System informed of new academic program developments we will continue to issue the monthly report
that is periodically attached to this Update.
Question: We know the ‘template’ is under discussion. Can you estimate when it will be available?
Answer: It is our expectation that the template will be finalized and issued as guidelines in time for two-year colleges to
implement the model in Fall 2003.