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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 2 - Faculty and Academics
Publication Date: June 14, 2017
Responsible Executive: VP for Academic Affairs


2.43 Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards


I. POLICY STATEMENT


This policy describes describes the system established by The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) to provide oversight for agreements with other institutions for purposes of awarding joint and dual academic completion awards, e.g., certificates, diplomas, or degrees.  Such oversight ensures that educational programs and courses offered through these agreements are appropriately developed, approved and periodically evaluated to maintain their quality and their continued alignment with UTSA’s mission.


II. RATIONALE


This policy is designed to ensure that the quality control processes for programs offered through agreements with other institutions, in which UTSA students enroll, is maintained, and that UTSA complies with applicable core requirements, comprehensive standards, federal requirements, and policies of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).


III. SCOPE


This policy applies to oversight of all dual or joint educational programs, established for purposes of awarding academic credits and/or educational program completion credentials, including certificates, diplomas, degrees or transcripts. However, this policy does not apply to dual enrollment programs where high school students are taking college courses for concurrent credit.


VI. WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY


http://www.utsa.edu/hop/chapter2/2-43.html


V. RELATED STATUTES, POLICIES, REQUIREMENTS OR STANDARDS


UTSA or UT System Policies or the Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations

A. Board of Regents’ Rule 10501 Delegation to Act on Behalf of the Board
B. Board of Regents' Rule 40307 Academic Program Approval Standards
C. UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures policy 2.35, Academic Program Substantive Change
D. Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards (Resources for Deans and Department Chairs on the Provost's web site)

Other Policies & Standards

A. SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation: (Core Requirements, Comprehensive Standards, Federal Requirements, and other standards and policies cited in Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards – Guidelines on the Provost’s web site under Resources for Deans and Department Chairs.)
B. SACSCOC Collaborative Academic Arrangements: Policy and Procedures
C. SACSCOC Policy on Substantive Change


VI. CONTACTS


Any questions about HOP policy 2.43, Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards, should be directed to the UTSA SACSCOC Liaison.

Contact the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and ask for the UTSA SACSCOC Liaison.

210-458-4110


VII. DEFINITIONS


Chain of Command
For purposes of this policy, the University line of authority for supervision of the Sponsor begins with the person to whom the Sponsor directly reports, through the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, concluding with the President or the President’s designee. For agreements in Academic Affairs, this must include the Dean, if the Contact Sponsor is not a dean, as well as the Vice Provost and Dean of University College (for an undergraduate agreement) and/or the Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School (for a graduate agreement). For agreements outside Academic Affairs, this must be sponsored by someone from Academic Affairs and requires the same chain of approval as agreements in Academic Affairs.

Dual Educational Agreement
An agreement whereby students study at UTSA and one or  more institutions of higher education, and UTSA and each institution awards a separate program completion credential bearing only its own name, seal and signature. The initiation and discontinuation of this type of agreement constitutes a substantive change for SACSCOC purposes.

Joint Educational Agreement
An agreement whereby students study at UTSA and one or more institutions and are awarded a single program completion credential bearing the names, seals and signatures of UTSA and each of the participating institutions. The initiation and discontinuation of this type of agreement constitutes a substantive change for SACSCOC purposes.

Signature Authority
An agreement must be signed by a person authorized to represent the University prior to required University, UT System, and State approvals, before submission to the SACSCOC for approval.

UTSA Contact/Sponsor (Sponsor)
The UTSA employee responsible for developing and/or negotiating the terms and operational details of the agreement involving dual or joint academic awards on behalf of UTSA and providing information and regular reports to every party in her/his division responsible for oversight.  Because the Sponsor will probably not have the authority to sign any agreements on behalf of UTSA, the agreement must be signed by an authorized agent of UTSA (Vice President for Business Affairs or designee).

 


VIII. RESPONSIBILITIES



Notification of Intent for Agreement Involving Dual or Joint Academic Awards

A. UTSA Contact/Sponsor

    1. Notifies and receives approval from every responsible party in the Chain of Command to develop an agreement, following the Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards: Guidelines, found on the Provost's web site under Resources for Deans and Department Chairs.
    2. Notifies the UTSA SACSCOC Liaison (Liaison) about the pending agreement because SACSCOC requirements and standards will apply.

B. SACSCOC Liaison

1. Provides feedback to the Sponsor regarding elements in the Collaborative Academic Arrangement that may be of concern to SACSCOC.

Formal Agreement

A. UTSA Contact/Sponsor

    1. Receives approval for final agreement from every responsible party in the Chain of Command to implement an Agreement Involving Dual or Joint Academic Awards using the following forms: Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards Information Form and Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards: Checklist and Approvals found on the Provost's website under Resources for Deans and Department Chairs.
    2. Implements the agreement after notification by Liaison that the agreement meets SACSCOC requirements and standards.
    3. Submits regular Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards – Annual Assessment and Periodic Review Report to every responsible party in the Chain of Command of the contact/sponsor. This form can be found on the Provost's website under Resources for Deans and Department Chairs.
    4. Submits a Teach-Out Plan to the Liaison if an agreement is discontinued so the Liaison can notify SACSCOC prior to discontinuing the program.

B. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

1. Provides final signed agreement to the Liaison for submission to SACSCOC for approval.  (See SACSCOC submission deadlines in bold under Procedures below.)

C. SACSCOC Liaison

    1. Ensures that UTSA contact/sponsor submits reviews in a timely manner.
    2. Submits materials to SACSCOC for notification and approval of new agreements and for notification (and possible Teach-Out Plan) if an agreement is being discontinued.


IX. PROCEDURES


This policy describes a system of oversight for agreements with other institutions for purposes of awarding joint and dual academic completion awards, e.g., certificates, diplomas, or degrees, to ensure that such agreements are appropriately developed and periodically evaluated to ensure their quality and continued alignment with UTSA’s mission.

The policy assures compliance with the SACSCOC Comprehensive Standard 3.4.7 and its “Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards: Policy and Procedures,” for both continuing and new agreements.

A. New Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards: The UTSA Contact/Sponsor (Sponsor) for each new agreement must:

    1. Provide appropriate notice to every responsible party in her/his area of intent to develop an agreement with another institution using the Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards Form. The proposed agreement must adhere to Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards: Guidelines. These documents can be found on the Provost's website under Resources for Deans and Department Chairs.
    2. Receive approval for implementation of an agreement, using the Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards: Checklist and Approvals form found on the Provost's website under Resources for Deans and Department Chairs.
    3. Ensure that the Office of the Provost provides the final signed agreement to the Liaison for review and approval by the SACSCOC for compliance with its requirements and standards.  SACSCOC submission deadlines are January 1 for July 1 to December 31 implementation in the same year and July 1 for January 1 to June 30 implementation in the following year. In order to ensure these substantive changes are in compliance with SACSCOC policy and guidelines, the Liaison should be notified of pending agreements at least 1 ½ months prior to the SACSCOC submission deadline of either January 1 or July 1.
    4. Implement the agreement after approval from SACSCOC that it is in compliance with requirements and standards.

B. All Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards: The Sponsor of each implemented agreement (new and continuing) must provide evidence of oversight, assessment and evaluation of the purpose of the agreement. The Sponsor must:

1. Ensure the quality of the educational programs and courses offered through an agreement involving dual or joint academic awards through adherence to guidelines and documentation provided under “Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards: Guidelines,” found on the Provost's website under Resources for Deans and Department Chairs. A copy of the agreement will be kept on file in the Office of the Provost.
2. Ensure that program/course outcomes are assessed according to schedule.
3. The nature of the assessment is based on the nature of the agreement and must be identified in the “Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards Information Form.”
4. The assessment results will be documented using the “Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards: Annual Assessment and Periodic Review Report,” found on the Provost's website under Resources for Deans and Department Chairs.
4. Documentation of assessment of agreements involving dual or joint academic awards provided outside UTSA academic degree programs must also be provided in the UTSA electronic assessment portfolio system.

C. In addition to the steps outlined in this policy, an agreement involving a dual or joint academic award must adhere to all other applicable federal and Texas statutes, and UT System and UTSA policies and procedures.


X. FORMS AND TOOLS/ONLINE PROCESSES


Provost’s Web Site, “Resources for Deans and Department Chairs” under “Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards”:

  1. Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards:  Guidelines
  2. Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards:  Checklist and Approvals form
  3. Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards:  Information Form
  4. Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards:  Annual Assessment and Periodic Review Report