Areas of Study
Academic Policies & Procedures Manual

Gallaudet University, Graduate School
Curriculum and Policy Actions Requiring Council on Graduate Education (CGE) Approval

Council on Graduate Education

A unanimous vote of support by the CGE on December 3, 2013 (Revised October 2019)
Policy Code:

December 3, 2013 (Revised October 2019)

Every 5 years, or as required by changes to Faculty By-Laws

October 2019 DATE OF NEXT REVIEW: October 2024

Academic Policy: Curriculum and Policy Actions Requiring Council on Graduate Education (CGE) Approval

A. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to give discretionary authority to faculty in graduate departments and programs to make specified decisions about their curricula, courses, program requirements, faculty knowledge and skills, and other academic and curricular decisions. The policy also identifies and empowers the CGE to maintain its authority over a specific and limited number of policy, curricular, and program decisions.

B. Scope

This policy applies to all current and future graduate programs at Gallaudet University offered via a traditional (e.g., on campus), hybrid, or online format.

C. Definitions
  • Department/Program Authority. In complex organizations, authority for decision-making is pushed to the level of those who have the knowledge, dispositions, and skills to make relevant decisions. Gallaudet University is a complex organization. The appropriate decision-making level for academic and curricular actions is at the department and program levels. Authority is defined here as the ability of department and program faculty to make specific and relevant academic and curricular decisions without approval from a higher governance body. Changes under department authority need to be reported to CGE through the Curriculum Action Form.

  • CGE Authority: Although departments and programs have the authority to make specific academic and curricular decisions that affect their programs, faculty, and students, there are specific actions that have an impact on all graduate programs. Those wide-impact actions require approval by the CGE, and when necessary by the Faculty Senate. Authority is defined here as the ability of members of the CGE to make specific and relevant academic and curricular decisions without approval from a higher governance body; and to have the authority to request and receive reports from departments and programs about changes made to curricula, courses, program requirements, and so on.
D. Policy

Faculty in graduate departments and programs are empowered to make specific and relevant curricular, course, program, faculty, and student decisions without approval from higher governance bodies when those decisions satisfy the following decision criteria:

  1. The decisions align with policies and procedures dictated by professional accreditation agencies such as CAEP and MSCHE;
  2. The decisions are consistent with the University and the Graduate School’s mission and vision to educate deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students;
  3. The decisions are aligned with the general requirements of the University Faculty By-Laws; and
  4. The decisions do not impact any other graduate program.

Although department and program faculty are empowered to make these decisions without approval they must report those actions to the CGE using the curriculum or policy proposal forms so the decisions can be codified and stored in a repository of curricular and policy actions. When necessary, the CGE must report those changes to the Faculty Senate, and appropriate offices (for example, the Registrar’s Office).

The Faculty Senate and the CGE also have specific and relevant decision-making authority for actions that affect all graduate education programs.

To implement the above policy a set of guidelines is required. Many years ago, the former Graduate Council (now, the Council on Graduate Education), created a set of guidelines to implement the above policy. Those original guidelines were revised and they are found below in the Table of Authorities.

Faculty Senate Authority (Reviewed by the CGE and the University Faculty Senate)

CGE Authority (Reviewed by the CGE and reported to the University Faculty Senate)

Department/Program Authority (Reported to the CGE)

From the Faculty By-laws:
  1. New graduate degree and certificate programs;
  2. Significant changes, including closures to existing graduate degree and certificate programs

Program-Level Changes
  1. A new degree/certificate program or concentration area; (new degree programs require BoT approval)
  2. Deletion of an existing degree/certificate program or concentration area (as noted above)
  3. Converting delivery format of an existing program or concentration (e.g., traditional on-campus, hybrid, or online) when 50% or more of the program has changed delivery format.
  4. Changes related to MSCHE university-level accreditation requirements
Program-Level Changes
  1. Specified changes to a degree/certificate program or concentration area:
    1. Formal name and/or description
    2. Numbers of transfer credits accepted,
    3. Changes to degree/certificate program requirements for graduation e.g. minimum ASL proficiency-levels, comprehensive exam, qualifying paper, total minimum credits for degree, etc.
    4. Changes to program SLOs.
Program-Level Changes
  1. Program-specific admission requirements involving previous coursework, work experience, tests (i.e., GRE, Praxis, ACT, SAT), and ASL/English proficiency;
  2. Changes in typical program of study involving previously approved courses and other program requirements, as long as the changes do not entail changes to prerequisites;
  3. Discipline-specific accreditation requirements not related to graduation.
Course Changes
  1. A new course (traditional or non-traditional);
  2. Dropping an existing course from Catalog;
  3. Dropping an existing course from Catalog;
    1. Title
    2. Description
    3. Credits
    4. Prerequisites/Corequisites
    5. Cross or dual listing
    6. Changing a required course to elective, or vice versa
    7. Course level (e.g. change from 70- level to 800-level; note that 500- and 600-level courses require review by both CUE and CGE)
    8. Repeatability (if a course is expected to be taken more than one time throughout a program).
Course Changes
  1. Changes in an existing course delivery format (e.g. online or “hybrid”), assuming appropriate review of course quality (this assessment is not carried out by CGE) and availability of instructor with certification for distance education teaching (note: If these changes result in an on-campus program being more than 50% online or hybrid or an online or hybrid program being more than 50% on campus, then they are considered program-level changes);
  2. Changes in a course number within the same level (i.e., 701 to 731);
  3. Updates to terminology or other minor wording changes in the Catalog (CGE need not be informed of correction of typological errors, which should be communicated directly to Registrar’s office);
  4. Course-level changes related to requirements of accrediting body (e.g. required instructor qualifications).

Contact Us

Council on Graduate Education

Fowler Hall 210

(202) 250 2203

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