Queen's complies with province's mandate for academic program approvals
Queen’s proposal to comply with a new province-wide mandate for ensuring high quality of undergraduate and graduate programs will assist the university in maintaining its reputation for excellence.
Last January, in anticipation of approval of the province’s Quality Assurance Framework for Ontario universities, Internal Academic Reviews for 2010-2011 were suspended. During the transitional period, the Provost and VP Academic’s office has been developing Queen’s University Quality Assurance Processes (QUQAPs) and a new consolidated schedule for cyclical reviews that provides the option of incorporating both undergraduate and graduate programs together.
“The new framework has been developed to ensure consistency and cohesion among all university programs offered in Ontario,” says Deputy Provost Susan Cole. “This system is based on learning objectives and learning outcomes and has raised the bar for articulating degree level expectations and learning outcomes in postsecondary education.” The framework also recognizes the autonomy of universities to determine priorities of their own: curriculum development, funding, space and faculty allocation.
“Departments will be able to maintain high quality and monitor that quality effectively,” says Dr. Cole, noting that the framework and QUQAPs will be accessible from the University’s website. “Our goal is to keep bureaucratic complexity to a minimum, and retain Queen’s local culture in its own distinctive process,” she adds.
Each Ontario university must submit the final form of its own quality assurance processes to the Quality Council by Dec. 31 2010. In early 2011 the council will either approve or provide feedback on these protocols, so that the new processes can begin in the fall of 2011.
Queen’s proposed QUQAPs will be presented to Senate on Wednesday for information purposes, and submitted for approval at the Senate meeting in November.