Terms and Definitions
- Academic unit: Includes but is not limited to faculties, schools, libraries, programs, centres, departments, and institutes.
- APPC: The Academic Planning and Priorities Committee is a standing committee of Senate responsible for, among other things, reviewing and recommending to Senate institutional priorities for programming. It has established a set of criteria as a guide for assessing and prioritizing new programs. The criteria reflect UFV established priorities, as articulated in the Strategic Plan. See the APPC Terms of Reference for more information.
- Associate Degree: A credential earned after completing a minimum of 60 credits (equivalent to two years of full-time study) in a variety of academic areas and is granted transfer credit at SFU, UBC, UNBC or UVic. It can count as the first two years of a bachelor’s degree at UFV.
- Bachelor’s Degree: A credential earned after completion of about 120 credits, or approximately 40 courses. It usually takes four to five years of full-time study to complete.
- Calendar: A document, updated yearly (or bi-annually), containing academic policies and regulations, important dates, and detailed information about programs and courses for a post-secondary institution. The UFV Academic Calendar is available from the UFV website home page or click here.
- Campus-Wide Consultation (CWC): Process providing an opportunity for other academic units and service areas (e.g. Admission & Records, Library, Student Services) to review and provide feedback about the course or program submission.
- Certificate: A credential earned after taking 10-12 courses that are grouped together into a program. They are usually designed to be completed in about one year of full-time study. Non-credit certificates may be shorter.
- Concept Paper: The concept paper serves as a general indication of the Program Working Group’s thinking on key issues related to their proposed program. The concept paper provides the basis for approval of a Program Working Group as well as the basis for inclusion in the Education Plan.
- Course-level learning outcome: Course-level learning outcomes specify what learners’ new behaviours will be after a learning experience. They state the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that the students will gain through a course. Learning outcomes begin with an action verb and describe something observable or measurable.
- Cross-listed Course: Cross-listed courses are courses that are listed under more than one department or discipline and which can be taken for credit from either department or discipline but not both.
- Diploma: A credential earned after completing a minimum of 60 credits, or a total of 20-40 courses that are grouped together in a predetermined program. They are usually completed in the equivalent of two years of full time study. Many diplomas can be laddered into bachelor’s degrees.
- DQAB: The Degree Quality Assessment Board of British Columbia is the body which recommends to the Minister approval of degree-level programs. DQAB sets standards which new degree programs must meet.
- Employment Demand: The employment prospects for students gaining the prospective credential. The employment markets, wages, and opportunities for prospective students.
- Exempt Status: An institution with exempt status has demonstrated that it has rigorous, ongoing program and institutional quality assessment processes, both internal and external. When an institution has been granted exempt status at a certain degree level, proposals submitted for new degree programs at that level go directly to the minister for approval following the 30-day public review period on PSIPS. The Degree Quality Assessment Board will not review the proposal unless the minister has concerns about it and refers it to the board. UFV was granted exempt status at the baccalaureate degree level in July 2013.
- Faculty capacity: Faculty expertise available to offer a program.
- Faculty Curriculum Committees: Curriculum committees are responsible for reviewing degree, diploma, and certificate programs and for planning further development within or across existing program. Curriculum committees serve as advisory bodies to Faculty Councils. Any new developments or changes that affect any degree, diploma, or certificate program must be presented to Faculty Curriculum Committees and the Dean before going onto Faculty Council for formal approval.
- Faculty/College Councils: Faculty Councils are senior academic governance bodies responsible for the governance and management of academic affairs at the Faculty level. You can access their websites from the Senate page’s left bar www.ufv.ca/senate/
- Graduate Certificate: A program consisting of at least nine credits and fewer than 30 credits (usually 9-18 credits) at the graduate level. See http://www.ufv.ca/graduate_studies/
- Graduate Studies Committee (GSC): The Graduate Studies Committee has the responsibility to advise Senate on all matters related to graduate educational programs of the university, including policies, practices and criteria for admission, new courses, course changes, new programs and program changes.
- Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs): Institutional Learning Outcomes are a set of knowledge, skills, and abilities that the UFV community has collectively decided that every graduate should be able to demonstrate that they possess. See the UFV Institutional Learning Outcomes here.
- Laddering: Building on previously earned credentials. For example, courses taken as part of a certificate can be used towards a diploma, and a diploma or associate degree can make-up part of a four-year degree in the same area.
- Lower-level course: First- or second year course, generally numbered in the 100s and 200s.
- Major: A collection of 12-18 courses in a single subject area.
- Master’s Degree: A higher degree earned after the completion of a bachelor’s degree.
- Ministry of Advanced Education (AVED): The Ministry of Advanced Education has a mandate to ensure that the post-secondary education system in British Columbia is of high quality, relevant and responsive to changing economic, technological and social forces in the province. Under the University Act, British Columbia public universities must not establish a new degree program without approval of the Minister. See the AVED website here.
- Minor: A collection of 7-12 courses in a single subject area.
- New Course: a newly developed course that has not been offered before. New courses follow the same review and approval process that major course changes follow.
- Official Course Outline: Legal document used for calendar copy, articulation, and other official documentation purposes. The official course outline is used as a guideline for the syllabus that instructors develop and provide to students.
- PDO: The Program Development Office is responsible for providing guidance on the development of new programs at UFV.
- Post-degree Certificate: Higher certificates or degrees earn after completing a bachelor’s degree.
- Program Budget Analysis: Summary of the budget implications of a proposed new program or revisions to an existing program. This is to be attached to all new and revised program proposals when being submitted to Senate and its standing committees for approval. See the budget analysis templates on the PDO website’s Budget Development page.
- Program Proposal: Detailed description of a new program prepared on the UFV program development template.
- Program: Collection of courses and associated requirements offered as a credential or an option within a credential. This includes, but is not limited to, a certificate, diploma, minor, extended minor, major, honours, degree, specialization, option, or concentration.
- Program-level learning outcome: Program-level learning outcomes are the knowledge, skills and abilities that a graduate should possess upon completion of a program. Program-level learning outcomes should be aligned with the institutional learning outcomes and should inform the development of course-level learning outcomes.
- PSIPS: The Post-Secondary Institution Proposal System is the Web-based system designed to manage and support the post-secondary submission and review processes for approval of degree and non-degree programs. All new degree-level program proposals are posted on this public website for comment from other institutions, and all comments must be responded to before a proposal can go forward to the Ministry for approval. Non-degree programs are usually also posted, and comments must be responded to, but non-degree programs are approved by UFV.
- PWG: Group formed in consultation with the Dean(s) to proceed in the development of a course or program proposal.
- Recommendation: Providing advice, positive or negative, to inform approval decisions by subsequent committees.
- Reference Group: A group of employers and academics from other related programs who review a new proposal and provide feedback to a Program Working Group.
- SBC: Senate Budget Committee is a standing committee responsible for annual budget, budgetary policies, guidelines, processes and models.
- Senate: Senate is the academic governing body at UFV which is responsible for policies concerning academic matters and advising the Board on policies and mutual interest. Under the University Act, Senate has final authority over academic matters, and is thus the final internal authority for approval of new programs and approval of program revisions. Senate also plays an advisory role in the determination of the institutional budget. A proposal will move through several stages in the internal approval process, culminating at Senate. See http://www.ufv.ca/senate/
- Student Demand: The target audience for the program. The nature, source, and sustainability of the student audience.
- UEC: The Undergraduate Education Committee has the responsibility to advise Senate on all matters related to undergraduate educational programs of the university, including policies, practices and criteria for admission, new courses, course changes, new programs and program changes.
- UFV Education Plan: UFV creates a plan, covering a five year period but update annually, for the development of educational programming, establishing priorities among emerging programs. Before a group can develop a full program proposal, that program must be approved for inclusion in the plan. Inclusion in the plan, however, does not guarantee approval of the full proposal or eventual implementation.
- UFV Strategic Plan: The UFV Strategic plan outlines the goals and priorities of UFV.
- Undergraduate course: Course numbered below 600, including continuing studies, vocational, and developmental courses.
- Upper-level course: Third- or fourth-year course, generally numbered in the 300s and 400s.