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F70: Articulation: Degree Approval, Transfer of Course Credit, and Faculty Approval

Policy

Revised by the Faculty Senate April 2005

Articulation: Though the branch colleges operate under an admissions policy different from that of the main campus, their degree offerings are approved by the University of New Mexico and many of their courses carry transfer credit toward UNM baccalaureate degrees. This connection or articulation of programs means that branch college faculty members may be required to meet a more specific set of approval standards in order to teach transferable courses than to teach non-transferable courses. The policies which govern the articulation of degree programs, course credit, and faculty approval between the UNM branch colleges and the main campus are presented below.

A. Degree Approval

  1. All associate degree programs offered at the main campus in Albuquerque are authorized to be offered at the branches, upon approval by the appropriate college and department or program on the Albuquerque campus.
  2. To meet local needs, the branches are authorized to develop and offer, with the approval of the Undergraduate Committee, the Curricula Committee, and the Faculty Senate, programs leading to the degrees of Associate of Arts and Associate of Sciences. The branches are also authorized to develop and offer, with the approval of the Office of the Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, programs leading to the degree of Associate of Applied Sciences. The transferability to the main campus of credit for courses in these programs will be determined in accordance with the policy statements B. 1, 2, and 3 below.

B. Transfer of Course Credit

The University will accept baccalaureate credits earned by students at any UNM branch college, in accordance with the following policy:

  1. Credits earned in lower division courses that appear in the UNM Catalog and/or UNM Schedule of Classes, which have been submitted by the branches and approved for credit by the appropriate department or program and the UNM Curricula Committee, and the branch instructor, content, and level of performance for said courses having been approved by the appropriate main campus department or program, will be accepted by the University as though they were earned on the main campus at the University in Albuquerque.
  2. New lower division courses which do not appear in the UNM Catalog and/or the UNM Schedule of Classes will be accepted by the University as though they were earned on the main campus if they have been designed by the branches in cooperation with the appropriate main campus department or program and college; approved for credit by the appropriate department or program and college and by the UNM Curricula Committee; and approved for their instructor, content, and level of performance by the appropriate main campus department or program.
  3. New and existing lower division courses designed by the branches which do not appear in the UNM Catalog and/or the UNM Schedule of Classes, and which have not been approved by a main campus department and the UNM Curricula Committee prior to being offered, are generally not acceptable for baccalaureate credit except (a) by petition and approval from the UNM degree granting unit, or (b) if determined to be equivalent to a main campus course by the UNM department or program which offers that course.
  4. Special curricular offerings are authorized to meet local educational needs which are not being met by other institutions in the area. The transferability to the main campus of credit for these offerings will be determined in accordance with the policy statements B. 1, 2, and 3 above.

C. Faculty Approval

  1. Approval standards for transferable courses. Branch college courses carrying pre-designated transferability shall be offered by approved faculty. Tenured/tenure track faculty, by virtue of the standards required for their appointment, are automatically approved to teach transferable courses in their fields of credentialed expertise. Non-tenured/tenure track faculty, and tenured/tenure track faculty teaching outside their fields of credentialed expertise, must be approved to teach transferable courses before or as early as possible during the first semester in which they offer those courses. To be approved to teach transferable courses, faculty members shall meet written standards appropriate to the courses they are to offer.
  2. Formulation of standards. The faculty approval standards for each transferable course shall be formulated in writing and adopted jointly by the appropriate branch college and main campus administrators. Normally these will be the administrators immediately responsible for supervising course offerings in a particular field: e.g., the chairs (or directors or coordinators or heads) of the departments or programs in the relevant discipline. Once formulated, the standards for each course shall be transmitted to, and reviewed by, the Office of the Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. The standards shall be kept on file by the Office of the Provost and by the branch college and main campus administrators who formulated them. They shall be transferred to, and applied in a consistent manner by, subsequent administrators, and they shall be revised only by joint written agreement of the appropriate administrators holding office at the time. All revisions shall be promptly transmitted to, and reviewed by, the Office of the Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. Approval standards for each transferable course should be submitted to the Office of the Provost no later than June 1, 2006. After that date, and until such time as standards for the course are submitted, the main campus department shall be presumed to approve all instructors employed by the branch to teach that course. The implementation of faculty approval standards for each transferable course, as described in paragraphs 3-5 below, shall not begin until the standards for that course have been formulated, adopted, and reviewed as stipulated in this paragraph.
  3. Implementation of standards. The determination that a prospective instructor meets the faculty approval standards for a transferable course shall initially be made by the appropriate administrator (department chair, program director, coordinator, or head) at the branch college. Approval of the instructor shall then be reviewed and confirmed or denied by the college’s Dean of Instruction. If the Dean confirms the approval, the branch college may hire the instructor prior to receiving main campus approval. The approval shall then be forwarded to the Branch Executive Director for recommendation to the appropriate main campus department chair or program director; it shall be submitted no later than the third week of the semester. The approval shall be accompanied by copies of the faculty member’s vita and syllabus for the course in question. The main campus administrator shall confirm or deny the approval before or as early as possible during the first semester in which the faculty member offers the course. This decision shall be promptly communicated in writing to the appropriate branch campus administrator, the Dean of Instruction, and, if the approval is denied, the Office of the Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  4. Denial of approval. If faculty approval is denied, the main campus administrator shall communicate the reasons for this decision in writing to the appropriate branch college administrator, the Dean of Instruction, and the Office of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. This communication shall refer specifically to the written faculty approval standards for the course in question but may include other considerations as well. Courses already in progress shall not be cancelled solely because faculty approval is denied or delayed. If approval is denied, the branch college administrator shall work with the main campus administrator to identify and employ an eligible substitute instructor. If no eligible substitute can be obtained, the faculty member who began the course shall finish it under the supervision of the branch college administrator; but the same faculty member shall not be employed again to teach the same course, or any other course that has comparable approval standards, unless s/he has received branch and main campus approval to do so before the course begins.
  5. Exemptions from standards. Faculty members may teach transferable courses without meeting established approval standards only if the appropriate branch college administrator submits, and the Dean of Instruction supports, a request for an individual exemption from the standards. The request shall be accompanied by a detailed explanation of the reasons for the request and by the proposed faculty member’s vita and syllabus for the course in question. The request shall be submitted to the appropriate main campus administrator no later than two weeks before the semester begins. If the request is not approved by the appropriate main campus administrator before the course begins, the course shall not be offered by the proposed instructor.
  6. Non-transferable courses. Branch college courses not carrying pre-designated transferability shall be offered by faculty who meet the appointment standards set forth in the college’s statement on appointment and retention (see section F60 below), and who are recommended for appointment by the appropriate branch college administrator (department chair, program director, coordinator, or head), the Dean of Instruction, and the Branch Executive Director. In making recommendations concerning all faculty appointments, administrators shall act in accordance with the standards and procedures set forth in the branch college statement on appointment and retention and in section F60 below. All faculty appointments are subject to review by the Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.
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