Transcript-Recognized Undergraduate Certificates and flow chart (PDF)
- Executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, The University of Texas System (EVCAA) with final approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB):
- Add a certificate program
- Delete a certificate program
- Rename a certificate program
- Move a certificate program from one academic unit to another
- Change the requirements to receive a certificate
A certificate program is a set of courses that allows a student to focus on an area of study in addition to the major. The University-wide requirements for transcript-recognized undergraduate certificate programs are laid out in D 6128–6130, approved by the Faculty Council in April 2008. The process for adding, deleting, or changing a transcript-recognized certificate (“certificate”) program is described here. Academic units may also award certificates that aren’t recognized on the student's transcript; the undergraduate academic change process is used to add, delete, or change one of these certificate programs.
Questions about the procedures described here should be directed to the provost’s office. All correspondence and contact with The University of Texas System (UT System) and the THECB should be coordinated through the provost’s office.
Approval and Notification Process
Key to Abbreviations
a. Faculty Committee If necessary, b. Department c. College d. Office of the General Faculty (OGF) e. Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review (CUDPR) If necessary, f. Educational Policy Committee (EPC) g. Office of the General Faculty (OGF) h. Faculty Council (FC) i. Office of the Registrar/Official Publications (OP) j. Provost (acting on behalf of the president) k. Executive vice chancellor for academic affairs (EVCAA) l. Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) m. Provost n. Office of the General Faculty (OGF) o. Office of Information Management and Analysis (IMA) p. Office of the Registrar/Official Publications (OP) a. Faculty Committee
Each certificate program is developed and administered by a faculty committee that comes together for this purpose. Membership may be drawn from one or more departments or colleges. Each program must be sponsored by at least one college; an interdisciplinary program that relies on the resources of multiple colleges must be sponsored by all the colleges. If the committee is drawn from one department, proposed changes to the program must be approved by the department as described in step b; if multiple departments are represented, the committee is responsible for step b.
If necessary, b. Department
Each department, center, or academic program follows its own process, within any guidelines established by the college, and sends the proposed change forward by the college’s deadline. The process and the paperwork involved vary among the colleges. Those planning a change should consult their dean before proceeding; they should begin the approval process as long as possible before they expect the change to appear in the undergraduate catalog.
The faculty of the college considers the change via the process established by the college. If the faculty, the college curriculum committee, if any, and the dean approve the change, the dean sends forward the documents listed below. If the certificate program is sponsored by more than one college, all the colleges must approve the change.
- Faculty Council proposal
The Faculty Council (FC) proposal consists of (a) an impact statement and (b) the text of the undergraduate catalog, showing the change in legislative style. To add a certificate program or to request recognition for an existing certificate program, the college should use the new certificate form as a template for the FC proprosal; for other changes to certificate programs, the college should use the degree program change form.
For a change to be included in the undergraduate catalog, the proposal must be submitted by the deadline given on the OGF Catalog Changes page. The deadline is normally in September of odd-numbered years.
- Undergraduate catalog copy
In the fall of even-numbered years, the Office of the Registrar/Official Publications (OP) provides online instructions for preparation of catalog copy. The college must ensure that all planned changes are made on the catalog copy and submitted for approval as described here. The college must also submit any related course inventory changes through the Request for Change in Course Inventory system.
Copy for the undergraduate catalog is due to OP by November 1 in odd-numbered years.
- THECB paperwork
- To add a certificate program:
Certification Form for New Certificate Programs at Universities and Health-Related Institutions (“New Certificate Request Form”).
- To delete, rename, move, or change a certificate program:
No THECB form is needed; instead, the vice provost will include the college’s justification for the change in his or her letter to the EVCAA (step j); if the EVCAA must submit the change to the THECB (step k), he or she will include the justification.
d. Office of the General Faculty (OGF)
OGF does the following:
- Assesses the Faculty Council proposal for thoroughness and clarity and requests corrections or more information from the college if necessary.
- Classifies the proposal as exclusive or general. Legislation will be classified as exclusive only if it appears to have no impact on students, faculty members, staff members, or administrators outside the proposing college. All other legislation submitted by a college will be classified as general. (Categories of legislation are defined in the Faculty Council rules.)
- Prepares the proposal for the Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review (CUDPR).
- Provides the proposal electronically to all CUDPR members, with copies to the college staff members who worked on the proposal.
e. Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review (CUDPR)
CUDPR, an ad hoc committee of the General Faculty, consists of representatives of each college, the provost’s office, the Office of Admissions, OP, the Office of Information Management and Analysis (IMA), OGF, and the Educational Policy Committee (EPC). The Senior Vvice Provost serves as chair.
CUDPR considers “issues of the educational quality of degrees and also looks at possible implications of degree changes on course demand and graduation rates, impacts on other programs (e.g., service courses), and other such issues.”1
CUDPR also considers whether the Faculty Council proposal adequately describes the proposed change. If it doesn’t, CUDPR clarifies the proposal or returns it to the college for clarification.
CUDPR meets to consider proposals. The representative of each college explains the college’s proposals and answers questions; additional college representatives may attend for this purpose.
CUDPR may take any of the following actions:
OGF records CUDPR’s action, including any changes to the proposal, in the meeting minutes.
- Recommend approval of the proposal as submitted.
- Recommend approval of the proposal with minor changes (that is, changes that the college’s representative can approve without consulting the college).
- Suggest nonminor changes to the college. In this case, CUDPR returns the proposal to the college for reconsideration. The college may accept the changes, request further changes, or withdraw the proposal. If any further changes that result are substantive, the chair or the college representative presents the updated proposal for reconsideration at the next CUDPR meeting; if they are not substantive, the college representative or the CUDPR chair reports them to OGF.
- Recommend disapproval of the proposal.
If necessary, f. Educational Policy Committee (EPC)
The EPC representative to CUDPR may refer the proposal to EPC if he or she thinks that it is likely to generate considerable discussion among the faculty or that it raises educational policy questions.
g. Office of the General Faculty (OGF)
For a change to be included in the undergraduate catalog, the legislation must be posted online no later than the deadline given on the OGF Catalog Changes page. The deadline is normally in February of even-numbered years.
- makes any changes approved by CUDPR and formats the proposal as General Faculty legislation;
- posts the legislation on the FC Web site for five days if it has been classified as exclusive, or for ten days if general, and notifies FC members of the posting by e-mail.2
h. Faculty Council (FC)
- If no protests are received by OGF in the established time, the legislation is approved. OGF transmits it to the provost.
- If one or more protests are received, the legislation is place on the agenda for hte next FC meeting.
For a change to be included in the undergraduate catalog, the legislation must be approved and by the Faculty Council and forwarded to the provost no later than the deadline given on the OGF Catalog Changes page. The deadline is normally in March of even-numbered years.
- If the legislation if approved, OGF transmits it to the provost.
- If the legislation is disapproved, OGF reports disapproval to the college dean.
i. Office of the Registrar/Official Publications (OP)
In consultation with the college and with the vice provost as needed, OP edits the catalog copy submitted by the college to ensure (1) that all certificate program changes proposed for the catalog have been approved by the Faculty Council, and (2) that all certificate program changes approved by the Faculty Council are included in the catalog.
OP also ensures that changes to certificate programs have been approved by the provost before they are published; any changes not approved by the provost at press time will be omitted from the catalog. A certificate program change will not be published unless it has gone through the approval process described here.
j. Provost (acting on behalf of the president)
The Senior Vice Provost handles proposed certificate program changes. The vice provost or provost may consult the president, and the president may consult the chancellor, the regents, or the THECB.
For a change to be included in the undergraduate catalog, the vice provost must forward the proposal no later than the deadline given on the OGF Catalog Changes page. The deadline is normally in April of even-numbered years.
- If the vice provost has no objection to the proposal, he or she forwards the FC legislation to the EVCAA with a letter recommending approval. If the proposal is to add a certificate program, the vice provost also forwards the New Certificate Request Form.
- If the vice provost objects to the proposal, he or she reports the objections to the Faculty Council or the Faculty Council Executive Committee (FCEC). This body may3
- Withdraw the proposal. In this case, OGF adds this information to the FC legislative status report.
- Reaffirm approval of the proposal as is. In this case, the vice provost forwards the FC proposal to the EVCAA with a letter that indicates the action(s) the FC (or FCEC) and the vice provost recommend. If the proposal is to add a certificate program, the vice provost also forwards the New Certificate Request Form.
- Modify the proposal in response to the vice provost’s objections. In this case, OGF modifies the FC legislation. The vice provost forwards the modified legislation to the EVCAA with a letter that indicates the action he or she recommends. If the proposal is to add a certificate program, the vice provost also forwards the New Certificate Request Form.
k. Executive vice chancellor for academic affairs (EVCAA)
The associate vice chancellor for academic planning and assessment handles proposed changes. Action depends on the kind of change that is proposed.
- To add a certificate program: The associate vice chancellor forwards a recommendation letter, the FC legislation, and the New Certificate Request Form to the THECB.
- To delete a certificate program or
To rename a certificate program or
To move a certificate program from one academic unit to another:
The associate vice chancellor writes to the THECB, informing them of the change and asking them to update their certificate program inventory.
- To change the requirements of a certificate program: If the associate vice chancellor and the UT System staff have no concerns about the change, the associate vice chancellor notifies the vice provost that the change is approved.
l. Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)
The THECB staff updates the THECB’s certificate program inventory and the assistant commissioner for academic affairs and research notifies the provost that the change has been made.
The provost notifies the college dean and others on campus of the THECB’s response.
n. Office of the General Faculty (OGF)
OGF informs the FC of the THECB’s response. They also notify college staff members who were involved in the approval process.
o. Office of Information Management and Analysis (IMA)
IMA updates the University’s certificate program inventory as needed.
p. Office of the Registrar/Official Publications (OP)
Official Publications notifies other registrar’s office staff members involved in implementing the change.
1Source: Documents of the General Faculty, D 1188, approved by the Faculty Council March 19, 2001.
2The OGF staff may make minor corrections and updates to the legislation after it has been posted. If they do so, they notify OP that the online document has been changed.
3Source: Handbook of Operating Procedures, Chapter 1, Section III(E).