Academic Planning Council

The School of Education has two major standing committees that monitor and oversee program planning and development within the School and between departments, the Academic Planning Council and the Programs Committee. All new undergraduate and graduate program proposals, program revisions, and new or revised courses originate within program areas and/or departments and must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate departmental committees before being brought to the appropriate committee of the School of Education.

The Academic Planning Council has the responsibility, as mandated by Section 3.08 of the Faculty Policies and Procedures, for advising the Dean on departmental requests for approval to plan new programs and degrees. Membership of the Council is composed of one faculty member elected by each department; two faculty members appointed by the Dean; two academic staff members elected by academic staff in the School of Education; and the Dean, a member ex-officio, who serves as chair. The primary criteria used by this Committee when reviewing departmental requests are the allocation of resources, the appropriateness of the proposal within the context of the mission of the department and School, and the long-range implications of the program. Following approval by the Academic Planning Council and the Dean, the departmental request is forwarded to the Provost for review by the appropriate individuals and committees (University Academic Planning Council, Graduate Faculty Executive Committee) at the campus level. If approved, the request to plan is then forwarded to the Office of Academic Affairs, University of Wisconsin System. (The highest level of approval required for new centers, certificates, sub-majors, and similar entities is the University Academic Planning Council.) Departments do not proceed to develop a new major or degree until UW system approval to plan has been received.

The Council is also responsible for the periodic review of existing programs at all levels, as mandated by the Regents. Sample guidelines for a program review have been developed by the University Academic Planning Council. However, departments may have a unique situation or set of circumstances that are better served by an idiosyncratic program review. In these cases, departments establish their own criteria and method of inquiry and define the manner in which the report will be submitted to the School's Academic Planning Council. These individualized program reviews must be approved by the School's Council before the department embarks upon its self-study. The program reviews may result in suggestions to departments for program or course changes; in addition, the Council will be interested in enrollment trends, long-range implications of the program, faculty/studen ratios, costs per credit, allocation of departmental resources, and other indicators of program quality and effectiveness.