Originator: Vice President, Academic and Research
Approver: Senior Academic Committee
Effective: September 4, 2015
Replaces: A13 – New Academic Program Approval and A19 – Program Review

Download the PDF version of this policy

1. Preamble

Program Life Cycle refers to the evolution of a program over time, from initiation through development, delivery, evaluation, revision, and where applicable, suspension and termination.

This Program Life Cycle Policy is informed by Red River College’s vision, mission, goals, values, strategic plan and academic plan. Its purpose is to establish common principles for the development, revision, review, and retirement of Academic Programs at the College to ensure that Academic Programs are relevant, meet standards of high quality, and are responsive to industry and educational needs. All Academic Programs must be in harmony with the College’s strategic plan. In addition to program quality assurance the Program Life Cycle Policy is also intended to facilitate effective and efficient use of all College resources.

2. Policy

This policy applies to all Academic Programs at the College. The Program Life Cycle includes program initiation, program design, program development, program delivery, program suspension, and program termination. Each phase of the Program Life Cycle will be administered in accordance with the Program Life Cycle’s principles and decision factors.

3. Definitions

“Academic Program” refers to a certificate, diploma or degree program at the College, or proposed as a new program at the College. Academic Programs, when successfully completed, lead to an approved credential.

“Authentic Assessment” is an evaluation method that requires a student to perform a learning outcome.

“Curriculum” refers to the learning outcomes, activities, resources and assessments that are the foundation of an Academic Program.

“Learning Outcome(s)” refers to the knowledge, skills and attitudes students are expected to demonstrate as a result of the learning process. Outcomes can be identified at a lesson, module/unit, course, program and/or College-wide level.

4. Principles

4.1

The principles that guide the Program Life Cycle are:

  1. All procedures associated with the Program Life Cycle are approved by the Senior Academic Committee and outlined in the Program Life Cycle (“PLC”) Manual.
  2. All proposals for new Academic Programs and Academic Program revisions follow a standardized and systematic development process.
  3. Curriculum is based on Learning Outcomes evaluated through Authentic Assessment.
  4. Approved College-Wide Learning Outcomes are integrated into Academic Program curriculum.
  5. Academic Programs make appropriate practice-based experience available to their students.
  6. Academic Programs will undertake an annual self-assessment with participation by faculty.
  7. Academic Programs are evaluated regularly in accordance with the standardized review process.
  8. Decisions regarding suspension and/or termination of an Academic Program will follow the approved process.
  9. Decisions regarding any phase of the Program Life Cycle will be evidence based.

5. Decision Factors

5.1

Each phase of the Program Life Cycle will include analysis of the following non-exhaustive factors:

  1. Industry demand;
  2. Social/community needs;
  3. Student demand;
  4. Labourmarketstudies;
  5. Stakeholder advice;
  6. Cost effectiveness;
  7. Budget;
  8. Full-time equivalents;
  9. Institutional capacity to deliver the program (space, equipment, staffing);
  10. Alignment with institutional priorities and mandate; and
  11. Government directive.

Related Policies

The Red River College Act C.C.S.M. c. R31
The Advanced Education Administration Act C.C.S.M. c. A6.3
The Program Life Cycle Procedural Manual
A5 – Course Outlines
A11 – International Education
A12 – Issuing of College Diplomas and Certificates
A18 – Program Advisory Committees
A20 – Requirements for Graduation
A22 – Academic Standards
A23 – Student Evaluation of Instruction
A24 – Student Evaluation of Program
A25 – Student Mid-Course Feedback on Instruction
A29 – Research and Scholarly Activity
A30 – Instructional and Academic Staff Selection
A31 – Academic Credentials and Designations for Instructional Positions