3.6 Educational Programs: Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Professional Programs
3.6.1 Post-baccalaureate program rigor
Judgement of Compliance:
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) offers post-baccalaureate professional degree programs (1), master’s degree programs (18), and doctoral degree programs (3). Each of these programs is progressively more advanced in academic content than its respective undergraduate program.
According to the UTC Graduate Catalog, the Graduate Council is the body “responsible for providing and periodically revising basic educational philosophy for graduate programs, for ensuring the maintenance of high standards in the graduate programs offered.” The Council also “reviews new courses to be offered for graduate credit” and “reports its curriculum and standards actions to the Faculty Senate executive committee with recommendations for implementation or appropriate disposition” (p. 5).
At its March 26, 2009 and April 9, 2009 meetings, the Graduate Council approved a new policy that prohibits graduate students from taking undergraduate courses for graduate credit, effective Fall 2010. Similarly, no undergraduate course may be included in a graduate student’s approved candidacy form. In this way, UTC can guarantee that all courses receiving graduate credit are progressively more advanced in academic content and rigor. To be considered a graduate level class, each course must be reviewed through the following method.
Graduate curriculum proposals are initiated by the academic department and reviewed by the department head and dean. If the proposal has an impact upon another department, that department will review the proposal as well. The course is then submitted to the Graduate School for review by the director and dean. Approved proposals are submitted to the registrar, the Provost, the Associate Provost (for substantive change), and the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee for review. Proposals are then considered by the Graduate Council. Once the Graduate Council has approved the proposal, it is taken to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee with a recommendation for disposition. Approved curriculum proposals are archived in the Lupton Library, maintained on the Graduate School website, and originals are housed in the office of the Dean of the Graduate School. Proposals for new programs must also be approved by the UT Board of Trustees, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Standards for application of transferred course work to the candidacy are specified in the Graduate Catalog (p. 29). Students must submit an original transcript indicating an earned grade of B or better. The transferred courses must carry graduate credit from a regionally accredited university, fit the timeframe for completion of the degree, and not have been used for another degree at the same level.
To further protect the academic content and rigor of the advanced degree programs, UTC has established criteria by which faculty can be included in the Graduate Faculty. All courses offered at the graduate level must be taught by a member of the Graduate Faculty. There are four levels of graduate faculty, each with descending authority to direct research: full doctoral; full master’s; associate; and special. Membership is held at the full and associate level for five years and at the special level for two years. Temporary appointments may be made by the Provost. Only members who hold full doctoral status may direct a dissertation while those who hold full master’s status may direct a thesis. All graduate faculty members may serve on a committee and teach graduate level courses.
Special status is reserved for adjunct, visiting, or other faculty who have special expertise but are not full time tenured, tenure track, or research faculty. Persons who are lacking the terminal degree in their area and are designated as having special status must also have justification from the Provost.
The process for designation is described in the Graduate Catalog, (page 166). It requires application; review by department/unit head, academic dean, and Graduate Council; and designation by the dean of the graduate school. Written appeals may be submitted to the Provost and Chancellor.
These graduate faculty provisions are reviewed by the Graduate Council and were last updated in April, 2008.
- Graduate Catalog
- Graduate Council web page
- Graduate Council Meeting Minutes, March 26, 2009
- Graduate Council Meeting Minutes, April 9, 2009
- Curriculum proposals approved by Graduate Council
- Transfer policy regulations were reviewed March 2007
- Graduate Council minutes, April 10, 2008: Graduate Faculty provisions
- Graduate Faculty, 2009-2010