New curriculum shall be developed following the guidelines of the accrediting Commissions and following the new curriculum procedures provided by Quality Assurance office. New curriculum shall only be implemented after it has obtained the relevant approvals.
The process in the development and approval of new degree programs involves four main stages:
The Concept Stage
In this stage, a new program idea emerges from Faculty, other stakeholders or the University’s strategic plan. The Associate Dean ensures that appropriate consultation has taken place among departmental faculty regarding the concept. A Curriculum Development Committee comprising of subject matter experts is set up to prepare a concept paper. The concept paper is a two to four page document that lays the groundwork for the new program proposal.
Step 2: Needs Assessment Stage
All proposed programs will require that:
- An analysis of the labour market demand and student supply be conducted
- Interested groups and individuals be consulted
- The proposed program is benchmarked to other currently existing programs in the nation and region.
Hence, adequate evidence of program need in the region should be provided to depict:
- Evidence of student demand for the program
- A market survey having been conducted
- The anticipated demand for graduates from the program by employers
- Analysis of whether similar programs are offered by competitors
Step 3: The Proposal Stage
The Curriculum Development Committee proposing the new program must follow the guidelines in the templates provided by the two accrediting bodies namely: Commission for Higher Education (CHE) and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
Step 4: The Approval Stage: Internal & External
The internal approval has six stages:
- School Curriculum Committee
- Quality Assurance Committee
- Faculty Council –Academic and Research Committee (FC-ARC):
- DVC- Academic Affairs
- Vice Chancellor
- Board of Trustees
Accreditation (External Approval by CUE & WASC)
After proposals have been approved internally, the university quality assurance office starts the process of submitting the proposal to CHE and WASC for review and approval.
Submission of the proposal
- The ALO submits the proposal using the WASC customized, secure, and Internet-based, communication portal hosted by LiveText. WASC uses the portal for the review of the proposal and decision making. A user guide is available to help institutions to develop and submit a substantive change proposal online using LiveText.
- The ALO should notify the substantive change manager at WASC via email once the proposal has been submitted.
- After review, the reviewing committee may accept the proposal if it has addressed the key issues satisfactorily. Alternatively, it may result in a 'Not Accept’ action. In such a case the institution in question has to do or revise the recommended actions before resubmitting the proposal for review.
Once the program has been implemented, the ALO completes the Program Implementation Form and sends it to the relevant office at WASC.
The Commission for University Education requires that academic programmes submitted to the Commission must be accompanied by evidence of the University Policy on Curriculum Development. The evidence is in terms of approval by relevant body/bodies within the institution. CUE also requires that any new degree programs be reviewed before implementation.
It is university policy that every degree program in the university undertakes annual assessment of student learning beyond the grade. This process shall be conducted following the procedures for program assessment outlined below.
Step One: Develop and align Program and Course Learning Outcomes (or check the alignment if they are already in place)
Step Two: Publicize the PLOs to all stakeholders (If this is not already done)
Step Three: Prepare Program Assessment Plans (where there may be none in place)
Step Four: undertake annual assessment
Step Five: Prepare annual assessment report
Step Six: Disseminate findings
Step Seven: Implement improvements
Each degree program at USIU-Africa shall undertake comprehensive program review once every five years. The program review shall be conducted following the procedures outlined in the guidelines.
The steps involved are:
Step One: Plan and prepare for Self-Study
Step Two: Gather program, institutional, and market/industry survey data for the self-study
Step Three: Review, Analyze Data & Prepare Report of the Self-Study
Step Four: Invite an External Review and Respond to his/her report
Step Five: Submit Review report to QA office for evaluation
Step Six: Create an Improvement Action Plan
The university expects every faculty member to undertake regular trainings to improve his/her knowledge in the content area in their discipline, teaching methodology and use of technology in teaching. For all the courses taught faculty shall upload content onto blackboard following the template developed by the Educational Effectiveness Committee.
All new faculty members, both fulltime and adjunct shall go through three workshops (“Formulation and Alignment of Learning Outcomes”; “Assessment of Student Learning beyond the Grade”; and “Effective Classroom Management Procedures”) to be inducted into student-centered approach and the outcomes based teaching and assessment. At the end of each academic year, faculty members gather for two days to share successes and challenges in their assessment engagements. This is also the period within which faculty development needs identified in the year are addressed through workshops and other trainings.
Students shall conduct two evaluations of course instructions: a formative and a summative evaluation. Faculty shall use the results of the formative evaluation to improve the course instruction within the semester. The results of the summative evaluation shall be used for the improvement of content and pedagogy for the next group of students.
The following is the procedure of conducting formative evaluation in the various schools:
- Faculty administers the formative evaluation form to his/her students.
- Faculty analyzes the student’s responses.
- Faculty then discuss with the students, letting them know what they can and what they cannot change.
- Faculty documents any improvement in their teaching as a result of the process.
- Faculty to include this documentation in their course files at the end of the course.
The summative evaluation is carried online and coordinated by the ICT department.
Faculty shall attend all scheduled classes and administer own examination. For any missed class a make-up time shall be planned and the evidence of teaching the class given to the dean.
All examination papers shall be moderated internally by before the examinations are administered. This shall be done following the laid down procedure as stipulated below.
Step 1: At the beginning of the semester all faculty teaching in that semester submit course files containing detailed course syllabus that show the alignment of the course to the program learning outcomes and of the content to the course learning outcomes. This forms the basis for the moderation of the examinations set for that course.
Step 2: The subject leader convenes for a meeting one week prior to the mid-semester or final exams i.e. 4th week and 11th week.
Step 3: Each faculty attends the meeting with copies of: the exam itself, the marking scheme and the course outline.
Step 4: Examination moderation meetings also serve as mentoring sessions. Using a standard examination moderation instrument, faculty members teaching in the same program/concentration scrutinize the examination question papers and marking schemes on the basis of the approved course syllabi. This helps to spot any overlap in related courses, and to support younger faculty who are still learning the art of test construction.
Step 5: After moderation each faculty gets a report on the improvements he or she needs to make in his or her examination. The list of corrections and the corrected question paper form part of the end of semester faculty clearance requirements.
Step 6: A moderation report of the exams moderated is prepared and submitted, by the convener, to the assistant to the dean in the appropriate school.
Step 7: After examination faculty submit completed attendance list, final grade sheet, original and corrected examination question papers, and marking schemes to be added to the course file for that semester.
Step 8: Marked examination scripts are returned to the students and the USIU-Africa catalogue outlines procedures of handling examination related grievances where they arise.
Step 9: The Quality Assurance regularly does surveys of course files and grading patterns to ensure quality.
Faculty members shall be appraised annually on the basis of their development plans drawn and agreed upon between individual faculty members and their Deans. This appraisal shall follow the procedures outlined in the Faculty Handbook.