Miami Academic Program Incubator Program - Processes

The Miami Academic Program Incubator follows two different processes:

  • Process A: Program idea is initiated by a department or division
  • Process B: Program idea is initiated by the Miami Academic Program Incubator Steering Team.

Proposers may begin the process anytime during the fall or spring semesters.  The steering team will work with proposers on a rolling basis during the fall or spring semesters.

Process A: Program Initiated by a Department or Division

Step 1: Initial Contact

At the earliest point possible when a department or division is considering proposing a new degree, major, co-major or free-standing certificate or a very significant revision of an existing program, the unit should contact the Associate Provost to receive initial consultation and participate in the program.  At this initial consultation, the two parties will decide upon the type of curriculum coaching that will be needed.

Step 2: Curriculum Coaching

Proposers will have the opportunity to take advantage of a number of curriculum coaching resources:

Curriculum Canvas Site which includes a range of components:

  • Key curriculum terminology and definitions

  • List of key contact persons for curricular issues

  • Guidelines (including key questions) to consider when developing a new program

  • Procedures and timelines for developing, revising and approving new curriculum

  • Information about internal and external data sources (e.g., Gray Associate Score Cards, EAB feasibility study or 360 assistant, Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness studies and data)

  • Guidelines and template for developing a budget

  • Strategies for advancing core Miami values (active and inquiry-based learning; equity, diversity and inclusion; writing) in the program in disciplinary appropriate ways

  • Information about marketing and recruitment

  • Information about compliance issues

  • Guidelines on assessment and evaluation of programs

External Consultation(s) to gain insights on market demand and program feasibility. Miami has contracts with Gray Associates and Education Advisory Board; the resources from these vendors can be leveraged as needed.

Internal Consultation(s) focused on particular aspects of the program idea, including:

  • Recruitment & Marketing (Office of Admission)

  • Approaches to Curricular Design for Degree Programs (Center for Teaching Excellence)

  • Writing Across the Curriculum (Howe Center for Writing Excellence)

  • Assessment and Evaluation (Office of Institutional Research)

  • Budgeting (Assistant Provost for Budget)

  • Compliance Issues (e.g., General Counsel Office, Office of Institutional Research, Student Financial Assistance, Office of Provost – depending on the issue).

Note: Proposers will not necessarily need to gain consultations on any or all of the items listed above.  The number and type of consultations will depend on the particular program being proposed.

Step 3: Brief Concept Paper

After completing the review of the Canvas site, the proposer develops a concept paper and submits to Carolyn Haynes,

The intent is for the concept paper to be vetted widely to ensure that the program idea is feasible before faculty expend the substantial amount of time necessary to craft a full proposal for new degrees, majors, co-majors, or free-standing certificates.

The concept paper should precede the development of a full proposal and should include as much of the following information as possible. Because any successful degree, major or certificate proposal eventually must eventually address the following items, it is in the best interest of program developers to consider these issues during the early planning phase. The document is intended to be brief--typically not to exceed three pages.

  • Program title

  • Student population to be targeted (traditional, adult working professionals, undergraduate, graduate, etc.)

  • Brief analysis of the student demand for the degree (Gray scorecard, EAB feasibility study) and target enrollment numbers after a period of 3-5 years

  • Brief description of the proposed curriculum (listing of existing and proposed courses; be sure to make distinctions between these two)

  • Brief description of how the proposed degree aligns with University, division, department and/or campus missions and strategic plans, including diversity, equity and inclusion

  • Evidence of support from the dean of the proposing unit and promise (and feasibility) of financial support if approved

  • List of similar programs at Miami and those that might be affected by the proposed degree and indication of support from leadership of affected programs

  • Career opportunities (in the state or region) which graduates of this program would be qualified to pursue

  • Evidence of faculty support for the program; involvement in program development and expected impact on faculty workload/assignments

  • Will a market driven tuition rate be associated with the degree/certificate (graduate only)?

  • Will it be in part or wholly online?

  • Will it be offered on one of Miami’s campuses? If not, indicate the proposed location.

  • Will the program be offered during traditional semesters and terms?

  • Description of costs associated with developing the program–will it require new facilities or new faculty or staff hires? Library resources?  Special equipment?

  • For free-standing certificates, if the proposing unit wishes for the certificate to be financial aid eligible, the proposing unit must be prepared in the full proposal to provide evidence of compliance with gainful employment guidelines.

The Associate Provost may provide preliminary feedback to the proposer via the Canvas site.

Note: Proposers who would like to request start-up loan funding should also complete a budget template in addition to the concept paper. The Budget Template is available in the Canvas site.

Step 4: Feedback on Concept Paper

Once the concept paper is ready, the Associate Provost seeks feedback from steering team members as well as other relevant key stakeholders to raise questions, offer insights, provide additional consultation on the feasibility of the proposed program, and identify possible recommendations and action steps.

Key objectives of the feedback include:

  • Offer insights into the viability of the program
  • Identify potential collaborations across departments, divisions, and other units; and ensure that there is no unnecessary duplication with existing programs
  • Identify compliance issues or other challenges, including overlap and duplication with existing programs
  • Ensure that the proposed program is aligned with the mission and strategic goals of Miami and does not pose an undue burden on the campus or other divisions
  • Ensure that there is adequate unmet student demand in the state/region for the program and that the program is fiscally feasible and sustainable.

The Associate Provost will summarize the stakeholders’ feedback and submit this to the proposer as well as academic deans for their consideration.

Step 5: Recommendation from Academic Deans

The concept paper along with the summary of the panelists’ feedback will be presented to the academic deans who will discuss the paper and offer a recommended course of action for the proposer – e.g., develop full proposal using the input provided; revise the concept paper using the input provided; or (3) table the proposed program at this time.

If funding is also requested, the deans will determine whether start-up funding is warranted and the amount to be allocated for the first year. The proposer’s academic dean will communicate the feedback to the proposer.

Step 6: Complete and submit a formal proposal

If the proposed idea is recommended for advancement, the proposer should submit a formal proposal via the Curriculum Information Management (CIM) system.

Information about the approval workflow and the timing for approval of new programs can be found on the Office of the Provost website.

Process B: Program Idea Initiated by MAPI Steering Team

To ensure that Miami is advancing promising disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs and promoting the highest quality curriculum, the steering team will confer with external consultants (e.g., Gray Associates, Education Advisory Board) and analyze relevant data and professional literature to identify promising new disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields of study as well as promising trends for improvement of existing academic programs at Miami University.

The steering team will reach out to relevant deans and department chairs to discuss the idea. The steerting team may also host a retreat which may include external consultants will focus on presenting promising ideas for new curricula and curricular change and then brainstorming possible next steps.

Promising proposals for new programs will undergo Procedure 1, steps 2-5, outlined earlier in this document.

Follow-Up Evaluation and Assessment

Departments will prepare a brief one-page report by the end of the spring semester each year (using a standard template and in the year following the launch of the program) to provide information on the progress and success of the academic program.  Proposers may also submit a budget template with the report to request additional funds.  Annual reports and budget templates will be submitted to the Associate Provost.  The Associate Provost will share the report and budget request (if applicable) with the steering team, Provost and deans for their feedback.  Feedback, including response to the budget request, will be shared with the proposer within 6 weeks of submitting the report.