2.7.2 Program Content

Core Requirement 2.7.2: Program Content

The institution offers degree programs that embody a coherent course of study that is compatible with its stated purpose and is based upon fields of study appropriate to higher education.

Compliance Partial Compliance Non-compliance


The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USF Sarasota-Manatee) faculty and academic administrators ensure that each degree program embodies a coherent course of study, compatible with its stated purpose, and appropriate to higher education. They ensure this through following three main curricular processes: (1) Curriculum Approval, (2) Annual Assessment of Degree Programs, and (3) Program Reviews at least every seven years. 

Through the Memorandum of Delegation, the USF System President delegated the authority to approve new academic programs to USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Regional Chancellor. The Regional Chancellor relies on the expertise of faculty, deans, and the Regional Vice Chancellor for Academic & Student Affairs to assure program quality and development. USF Sarasota-Manatee’s faculty, through the Faculty Senate’s Academic Programs Committee (APC) and the administration, through Academic Council, carefully evaluate curricular changes to determine their appropriateness to higher education and the Mission Statement: “The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee provides high quality bachelor’s and graduate-level education and scholarly activity in a personalized learning community that prepares successful leaders and responsible citizens.“

USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Degree Programs

USF Sarasota-Manatee offers degree programs in disciplines classified as postsecondary in the United States Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES) Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) taxonomy, ensuring appropriateness to higher education. Academic Affairs posts approved curricula on the Academic Programs Committee’s (APC) Website and in the Academic Catalog 2014-15 , 2015-16. The Catalog contains specific information on all programs listed on the USF Sarasota-Manatee Degree Inventory 2014-15, 2015-16. Each program has its own required curriculum and is housed in one of four (4) colleges. USF Sarasota-Manatee offers only one degree program fully on-line (BS in Communication Sciences & Disorders). To complete most degrees, students can choose to take a blend of face-to-face, online, and hybrid courses.

USF Sarasota-Manatee offers eighteen (18) bachelor’s degree fields supported and in demand by the local community. Seventeen (17) are active; the BS/BS in Early Childhood Education is currently inactive due to no enrollment and is not accepting applications until demand increases. The faculty have developed Curriculum Ladders for each bachelor’s degree to ensure proper sequencing of courses by undergraduate students. USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Academic Catalog (Academic Catalog 2014-15; Academic Catalog 2015-16) lists the curriculum for each of the following undergraduate degree programs:

Academic Program Catalog Reference Curriculum Progression Ladder Course Description Example
Accounting, BS/BA Undergraduate Catalog: Accounting, BS/BA Curriculum Progression Ladder: Accounting, BS/BA Course Description: Accounting, BS/BA
Applied Science, BSAS*
in Gerontology Undergraduate Catalog: BSAS Gerontology Curriculum Progression Ladder: BSAS Gerontology Course Description: BSAS Gerontology
in Hospitality Management Undergraduate Catalog: BSAS Hospitality Management Curriculum Progression Ladder: BSAS Hospitality Management Course Description: BSAS Hospitality Management
in Information Technology Undergraduate Catalog: BSAS Information Technology Curriculum Progression Ladder: BSAS Information Technology Course Description: BSAS Information Technology
in Leadership Studies Undergraduate Catalog: BSAS Leadership Curriculum Progression Ladder: BSAS Leadership Studies Course Description: BSAS Leadership Studies
Biology, BS Undergraduate Catalog: Biology, BS Curriculum Progression Ladder: Biology, BS Course Description: Biology, BS
Business Administration, BS/BA Undergraduate Catalog: General Business Administration, BS/BA Curriculum Progression Ladder: General Business Administration, BS/BA Course Description: General Business Administration, BS/BA
Communication Sciences and Disorders, BS Undergraduate Catalog: Communication Sciences and Disorders, BS Curriculum Progression Ladder: Communication Sciences and Disorders, BS Course Description: Communication Sciences and Disorders, BS
Criminology, BA Undergraduate Catalog: Criminology, BA Curriculum Progression Ladder: Criminology, BA Course Description: Criminology, BA
Elementary Education, BS/BA Undergraduate Catalog: Elementary Education, BS/BA Curriculum Progression Ladder: Elementary Education, BS/BA Course Description: Elementary Education, BS/BA
English, BA (Literature) Undergraduate Catalog: English Literature, BA Curriculum Progression Ladder: English Literature, BA Course Description: English Literature, BA
Finance, BS/BA Undergraduate Catalog: Finance, BS/BA Curriculum Progression Ladder:Finance, BS/BA Course Description: Finance, BS/BA
History, BA Undergraduate Catalog: History, BA Curriculum Progression Ladder: History, BA Course Description: History, BA
Hospitality Management, BS Undergraduate Catalog: Hospitality Management, BA Curriculum Progression Ladder: Hospitality Management, BS Course Description: Hospitality Management, BS
Information Technology, BSIT Undergraduate Catalog: Information Technology, BSIT Curriculum Progression Ladder: Information Technology, BSIT Course Description: Information Technology, BSIT
Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, BA Undergraduate Catalog: Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, BA Curriculum Progression Ladder: Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, BA Course Description: Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, BA
Management, BS/BA Undergraduate Catalog: Management Curriculum Progression Ladder: Management Course Description: Management
Marketing, BS/BA Undergraduate Catalog: Marketing, BS/BA Curriculum Progrssion Ladder: Marketing, BS/BA Corse Description: Marketing, BS/BA
Professional and Technical Communication, BA Undergraduate Catalog: Professional and Technical Communication, BA Curriculum Progression Ladder: Professional and Technical Communication, BA Course Description: Professional and Technical Communication, BA
Psychology, BA Undergraduate Catalog: Psychology, BA Curriculum Progression Ladder: Psychology, BA Course Description: Psychology, BA
Undergraduate Catalog: General Education/Pillars of Intellectual Engagement See individual degree programs above. Course Description General Education/Pillars of Intellectual Engagement

* Program has four concentrations across three colleges.

USF Sarasota-Manatee also offers nine (9) master’s degree programs (7 active) supported by and in demand by the local community and in keeping with the mission, each with its own curriculum. The MA in Elementary Education and the MA in Reading Education currently have no student enrollment and are not accepting applications until demand increases. Each master’s degree program’s curriculum is listed in the academic catalog as follows:

Catalog Reference Course Description Example
Business Administration, MBA Graduate Catalog: Business Administration, MBA Course Description: Business Administration, MBA
Criminal Justice Administration, MA Graduate Catalog: Criminal Justice Administration, MA Course Description: Criminal Justice Administration, MA
Education, General, MA Graduate Catalog: Education General, MA Course Description: Education General, MA
Educational Leadership, M Ed Graduate Catalog: Educational Leadership, M Ed Course Description: Educational Leadership, M Ed
English Education, MA Graduate Catalog: English Education, MA Course Description: English Education, MA
Hospitality Management, MS Graduate Catalog: Hospitality Management, MS Course Description: Hospitality Management, MA
Teaching, MAT Graduate Catalog: Teaching, MAT Course Description: Teaching, MAT

Curriculum Approval Process

USF Sarasota-Manatee and USF System faculty and administration developed procedures for approval of new academic proposals (Instructions for Submitting Proposals, and Guidelines for APC Members), as outlined in flowcharts for each process: New Course, Degree ProgramCertificateConcentration, and Course Change. Throughout the process, faculty and administration consider the appropriateness of the proposals to USF Sarasota-Manatee’s mission and the quality of the academic content regardless of the delivery system, whether it be face-to-face, online, or blended. These procedures follow commonly accepted standards and practices in higher education and apply to both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Below are the main steps in the process of curricular approval:

  1. College Initiation – Faculty and Deans
  2. Academic Programs Committee (APC) Review – Committee of the Faculty Senate
  3. USF Sarasota-Manatee Academic Council Review – Senior Academic Affairs Leadership
  4. USF System Review
  5. USF Board of Trustees (BOT) Approval (new degree proposals only)
  6. Florida Board of Governors (BOG) Notification

Please see Comprehensive Standard 3.4.1 (Academic Program Approval) for more details of the curricular approval processes at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

Annual Assessment of Degree Programs

Using the USF Sarasota-Manatee Assessment System, faculty annually assess student learning outcomes in each of the undergraduate and graduate degree programs to ensure program coherence and quality. Faculty from all four colleges use a similar design template (Assessment Planning Record Template) when preparing the annual plan and subsequent review of results report each year.  Although each program is different, all assessment plans share the following common elements to ensure compatibility with its purpose along with quality:

  • Section I – Program mission statement
  • Section II – Program/student learning outcomes
  • Section III – Means/methods of assessment
  • Section IV – Recap of previous cycle analysis results and use of results by learning outcome
  • Section V – Current cycle assessment results by learning outcome
  • Section VI – Current cycle analysis of results, planned changes, faculty comments, and recorded curricular and assessment process changes
  • Section VII – Summary of program improvement initiatives to be pursued in the coming year
  • Section VIII – Dean’s response to faculty’s analysis

The annual assessment cycle consists of the following time-frame:

Fall/Spring Submission of Data by Faculty: Faculty submit to IR, or students input into TaskStream for the College of Education (COE), student learning outcome data gathered as described in the Means/Methods of Assessment portion of their annual assessment plan.
Summer Samples Selected/Scores Calculated: For all but COE, IR prepares clean samples of student work and renders them anonymous with the removal of any personal identifiers. Sample size is representative of the quantity of work submitted. IR selects samples randomly. IR forwards scoring rubrics and the samples to faculty raters for scoring. IR tracks data, such as embedded test scores, on spreadsheets and adds them to the assessment report for comparison to previous year results.
Late Summer Preparation for Faculty Review: IR records rubric scores onto spreadsheets along with calculated statistics (e.g. means, standard deviations) for review by faculty. In COE the assessment coordinator runs reports from TaskStream and inputs results into the assessment reports in preparation for faculty review.
Early Fall Assessment Review: Faculty meet to review the results of the assessment cycle reports. Faculty comment and record initiatives.  The college’s dean reviews and comments on each degree program’s results/plans.

For completed annual assessment reports for each degree program and additional detail, please see Comprehensive Standard Comprehensive Standard (Institutional Effectiveness: Educational Programs).

Program Review Process and Timeline

The Florida Board of Governor’s (BOG) requires the periodic review of all academic degree programs in state universities at least once every seven years from the date of the preceding review or from the implementation date of new academic programs or to align with a specialized  accreditation cycle (BOG Regulation 8.015).  Program reviews must document how individual academic programs are achieving stated student learning and program objectives within the context of the university’s mission, as illustrated in the academic learning compacts for baccalaureate programs. The results of the program reviews are expected to inform strategic planning, program development, and budgeting decisions at the university level and, when appropriate, at the state level. The BOG reviews by specializing program accreditors acceptable to meet its program review requirements.

USF System Policy 10-062 on Academic Program Review and Specialized Accreditation requires each USF System institution to designate an office “to be responsible for the review of all academic degree programs” and “to establish guidelines for the program review process.” USF Sarasota-Manatee has adopted its own Program Review Guidelines and recommended forms for the Program Review Self-study, the Program Review External Reviewer, and the Dean’s Program Review. The office responsible for program review at USF Sarasota-Manatee is Academic Affairs.

Regarding specialized accreditation, the College of Business’ degree programs are reviewed by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) on a five-year cycle with the last review in 2013-14. The National Council to Accredit Teacher Education (NCATE) reviews the College of Education programs on a ten-year cycle with the last review in 2014-15.

USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Program Review Timetable for 2014-15 to 2020-21 indicates scheduled program review and specialized accreditation review.

Please see Comprehensive Standard (Institutional Effectiveness: Educational Programs) for further information on Program Review at USF Sarasota-Manatee.