Development of a New Graduate Program

The following process should be followed when a new graduate program is being developed. The process is administered through the Faculty of Graduate Studies and should include consultation with the proposed Core graduate faculty members, Chairs, Academic Deans, prospective graduate students, the Registrar, the Calendar/Graduate Records Officer, the Manager of Graduate Studies and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

  • Meet with the discipline Faculty Dean, Chair and faculty members in the academic unit to discuss the proposed program
  • Meet with the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Manager, Graduate Studies to discuss the proposed program, the OCGS guidelines and the University Academic Plan criteria for new programs
  • Develop a 5-6 page document based on the following criteria in accordance with the Academic Plan (I.B.1). Growth in the number of graduate programs will be carefully controlled. New programs will need to meet specific curricular and budgetary criteria:

    Critical Mass of "Core Faculty"
    While all faculty members at Lakehead University should have access to participation in graduate education, this does not mean that every faculty member can have a Master's or Doctoral program focused solely in their particular area of research interest. Any given Master's or Doctoral program will have at least four (4) "Core Faculty" members in an approved "field of study"

    Faculty Research Intensity
    The "Core Faculty" members will be research-active and productive as per the Faculty of Graduate Studies membership criteria; peer reviewed publications and tri-council (or other external) funding will be key factors

    Teaching Effectiveness of "Core Faculty"
    A program will demonstrate the teaching effectiveness of its "Core Faculty", including times-to-completion of previous graduate supervision in other graduate programs (if applicable) and by reference to data from such assessment methodologies as the National Survey of Student Engagement or the Graduate and Professional Student Survey

    A program will provide evidence of a need for the opportunity. Needs assessment information may be such things as employment trends, survey data, summaries of focus groups, documented requests from external constituents.

    A program will provide evidence of access to a critical mass of students at Lakehead University or elsewhere. Projected numbers and characteristics of the students to be served will be provided; estimated numbers of graduates over the next five years will be outlined; evidence that students would actually enroll in the program (if approved) will be useful.

    Graduate Planning will be thought of in terms of building and maintaining a predictable infrastructure. A program will provide reasonable assurance of (a) a steady stream of students who are making appropriate academic progress and (b) a sufficient pool of instructional and supervisory faculty. Normally, the resources necessary for the program should be available within existing programs or should be identified within existing budgets and reallocated. If new resources are needed, all new funding required will be identified in a financial planning form.

    Interdisciplinary Programs
    Interdisciplinary programs will not necessarily receive preference, but will be evaluated sympathetically. Proposals for interdisciplinary programs will describe the kinds of work to be performed by Graduate Assistants.

    In addition, include responses to the following in accordance with the Academic Plan (II.B): One of the primary ways an academic program can demonstrate the student-centered quality of its educational experience, is to state its program outcomes in terms of learners. All programs will be required to answer the following questions:

    • What specific learning outcomes will be achieved by students who complete the proposed program of study?
    • What methods will be used to assess student learning? How will student learning assessments be embedded in the curriculum?
    • What specific methods of approaches will be used to assess graduate (completer) outcomes?
    • Is a licensure examination associated with this field of study?
    • How will the institution determine the extent to which the academic program meets the objectives previously outlined?
    • How will the collected information be used to improve teaching, advising and co-curricular activities to enhance student learning?
    • Clarify how Lakehead University's commitment to "educating students who are recognized for leadership and independent critical thinking and who are aware of social and environmental responsibilities" will be incorporated as part of the learner outcomes of the curricula
  • "Approval in principle" of the above document by the academic unit and submission of the document to the academic Faculty Council
  • "Approval in principle" by the academic Faculty Council and submission of the document to Senate for referral
  • Referral by Senate to: Senate Academic Committee, Senate Budget Committee and Faculty of Graduate Studies Council
  • Senate Academic Committee, Senate Budget Committee and the Faculty of Graduate Studies Council submit their "approval in principle" to Senate for submission to the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies
  • Develop and submit the three volume Standard Appraisal Brief to the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS) through the Dean of Graduate Studies
  • The OCGS Appraisals Committee will select consultants to visit Lakehead to review the new program and submit a report to OCGS. The Faculty of Graduate Studies Office coordinates this visit
  • After their visit to campus, the consultants submit their report to OCGS. A copy of the report is sent to the Dean of Graduate Studies who will consult with the academic unit and the academic Faculty Dean in preparing a response to the report within the required two weeks
  • The Appraisals Committee will make a final recommendation on the program to OCGS. The Dean of Graduate Studies is sent this preliminary recommendation and with consultation from the academic unit responds to OCGS
  • Final approval is received from OCGS
  • After OCGS approval to commence, the final Calendar entry for the program is submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies Council who recommends the final calendar entry to Senate for approval
  • The University requests funding for the program from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities