Area 9 (SACS 2009-2010)
UWG SACS Fifth-Year Interim Report
Area 9: The institution’s curriculum is directly related and appropriate to the purpose and goals of the institution and the diplomas, certificates, or degrees awarded. (Federal Requirement 4.2)
Judgment of Compliance
The mission of UWG was revised and approved by the Board of Regents (BOR) of the University System of Georgia (USG) in January 2007. The University of West Georgia’s degree programs and certificate programs are directly related to the University’s mission and goals. The mission has a focus on "Educational Excellence in a Personal Environment,” and this theme is reflected throughout the curriculum. The university offers 104 programs of study including 50 at the bachelor’s level, 30 at the master’s level, 9 at the specialist levels, three at the doctoral level and 12 at the certificate level.
The University of West Georgia’s curriculum supports the university's purpose through the following activities that promote relevant and appropriate curriculum: 1) instruction in general education and the promotion of lifelong learning; 2) educational opportunities such as the Honors College and the Advanced Academy of Georgia that serve the needs of exceptionally prepared high school students; 3) systematic investigation of teaching and student learning that fosters innovation in teacher, professional, and pre-professional preparation; and 4) the use and exploration of existing and emerging technologies that improve opportunities for faculty and student learning.
In the fall of 2000, President Sethna created and charged an ad hoc committee with creating a strategic plan for the University that listed “non-negotiable” goals as “Bread and Butter Goals” (those that faculty, staff, and students must reach in order to be an excellent comprehensive state university) and a set of aspirational goals as the “Visionary Goals” or the “Three by Five” goals, or “Three Fives,” so called because they were organized as three sets of fives – in five years, five goals, top five per cent of the nation. University and College administrators and faculty were in agreement on the University's goals and worked together to achieve national recognition as a comprehensive university in these five areas: faculty-directed student research and professional activities, the Honors College and Advanced Academy, and the First-Year Program.
In 2000-2001, a Program Review Advisory Committee was created to develop a plan for comprehensive program review and to ensure that all programs were relevant to the purpose and goals of the institution. This new plan emphasized the role of periodic review in complying fully with the requirements for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation and the requirements of the Board of Regents. The plan also stressed that the broadest guiding principle for program evaluation was the improvement of programs according to their stated outcomes and the role such assessment plays in achieving the mission of the University. Additional goals in the creation of the plan were to take full advantage of reviews already conducted for accreditation and annual reports so as to avoid duplication of work to the greatest extent possible and streamline the reporting process to make communication easier. Each of the academic divisions of the Colleges and the School of Nursing conduct assessment activities on an ongoing basis. Curriculum review is conducted periodically within colleges, the School of Nursing and departments. When undergraduate and/or graduate course/program additions, modifications, and or deletions are made, they go through a rigorous review which begins at the department level. After department/college/school approval, the recommendation goes to the Undergraduate Academic Programs Committee (UAPC), the Faculty Senate, and finally the Vice President for Academic Programs. A similar process occurs at the graduate level with modifications going to the Committee on Graduate Studies (COGS) as opposed to UAPC.
In 2007, under the direction of Acting President, Dr. Tim Hynes (Dr. Beheruz Sethna was on assignment to the Board of Regents), a new strategic planning committee was established to review the progress of the institution on its current strategic and propose new goals and plans for the institution. The outcome of this planning process is the UWG Strategic Plan for 2010-2015 that is linked below. The process of program review continues under the new strategic plan to assure alignment between the curriculum delivered to students and the goals of the degree programs and certificates and the goals of the institution.