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4. Federal Requirements

Federal Requirement:

4.2 The institution's curriculum is directly related and appropriate to the mission and goals of the institution and the diplomas, certificates, or degrees awarded. (Program curriculum)

Statement of Compliance:   In Compliance.

Narrative:

As detailed in the reports for Core Requirement 2.4 and Comprehensive Standard 3.1.1, the University of West Georgia is defined as a State University, with an associated mission and set of core characteristics established by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents [1]

Note: The University System of Georgia adopted a new classification for institutions in August 2013. The University of West Georgia is now a Comprehensive University. Alignment with this new classification will begin in the Fall of 2013 [2]

Further, the University of West Georgia Mission [3] to "achieve preeminence in providing educational excellence in a personal environment through an intellectually stimulating and supportive community" and the constituent goals and strategies associated with this mission were approved by both the Board of Regents [4] and SACS [5].  The approved mission notes a commitment to "selectively focused undergraduate and graduate education"; establishes a goal of "regional outreach through a collaborative network of external degree centers, course offerings at off campus sites and an extensive program of continuing education for personal and professional development"; and defines its primary, though not sole constituents as "the people of West Georgia".

The University of West Georgia curriculum supports the institution’s mission through the following activities that promote relevant and appropriate curriculum:

These four Essential Activities are reflected in the curricula of the undergraduate and post-baccalaureate graduate programs offered through each of the University of West Georgia’s six colleges and schools. The programs offered at different colleges and schools are listed on their respective websites [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11]. As reported in the narratives for Comprehensive Standards 3.5.1 and 3.5.2 and in the narratives for Core Requirements 2.7.2 and 2.7.3, the curriculum of each of these programs conforms to the Board of Regents and SACS policies. Further, the narrative for Comprehensive Standard 3.4.1 discusses how academic programs are  approved through a rigorous review process outlined in the "UWG Shared Governance for Modifications to Academic Programs" document [12].

The respective curricula, as reflected in academic programs, are also subject to regular Comprehensive Program Review  [13].  This process was a result of the work of the Program Review Advisory committee during the 2000-2001 year, to develop a plan for comprehensive program review and to ensure that all programs were relevant to the purpose and goals of the institution. Comprehensive Program Review (CPR) serves as the catalyst for systematic and thoughtful evaluation of an academic program. It is distinctly different from annual assessments of student learning. CPR evaluates the long-term history and sets the long-term plans for an academic program. This review focuses on three characteristics of an academic program: quality, viability, and productivity. These characteristics are defined by the department or college submitting the report. Each academic program is reviewed at least once every seven years. Academic programs that do not meet the review characteristics are subject to review at least every three years. The determination of compliance with the review criteria requires the approval of the academic program faculty, Department Chair, and college or school Dean, and the Faculty Senate, the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Office of the President. All credentialed programs are included in the review cycle including certificates, minors in areas where there is no major, and coherent, identifiable areas of focus such as the core curriculum. 

Moreover, a significant number of programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level are accredited by specialized professional organizations. Discipline-specific accreditation requires a rigorous external review process during which the program is evaluated for its alignment with commonly accepted national standards for that area [14], [15].

Across the factors mentioned in the narrative under consideration, it is clear that the curriculum that constitutes each program at the University of West Georgia aligns with and is appropriate to the formally approved institution’s mission and goals.

Supporting Documentation: