3333-1-04 Standards for approval of associate degree programs.

(A) Authority

This rule is adopted under authority conferred upon the Ohio board of regents by section 3333.04 of the Revised Code.

(B) Definitions

The definitions developed by the Ohio board of regents to implement its legal charge are as follows:

(1) A "new degree" is any new appropriate recognition or award for completion of a prescribed degree program in a state-assisted institution of higher education designated by the customary titles of associate, bachelor, master, specialist, or doctor.

(2) A "new degree program" is any prescribed program of study in a state-assisted institution of higher education which constitutes an area of concentration or specialization leading to a designated degree.

(3) The two-year associate degrees which are authorized to be awarded by public institutions are defined as follows:

(a) The "associate of arts" and the "associate of science" are degrees awarded for successful completion of a planned program of study which is generally equivalent to the first two years of a baccalaureate degree program.

Baccalaureate programs in many disciplines require specific lower division coursework which must be completed in the freshman and sophomore years if the associate of arts degree is to signify a halfway point in the progression toward the baccalaureate degree. The above is in no way intended to relieve the student of the responsibility for completing the programmatic prerequisites and requirements of the baccalaureate program which he intends to follow at a particular four-year institution.

(b) The "associate of applied business" and the "associate of applied science" are degrees which are awarded for the successful completion of a planned program of instruction in a technology, the primary objective of which is the preparation of individuals for paid or unpaid employment in that technology, or for additional preparation for a career requiring other than a baccalaureate or advanced degree. Degree programs offered as technical education include two-year curricula in engineering and industrial technologies, business technologies, agricultural and natural resource technologies, health technologies, and public service technologies. The board of regents will develop and approve a standard taxonomy for all technical education offerings which should be used by all campuses in the titles of degree programs, and shall be contained in the Ohio board of regents' two-year campus operating manual.

(c) The "associate of technical study" is a degree awarded for successful completion of an individually planned technical education program designed to respond to a student's need for specialized technical education not currently available on a particular campus either through cooperative arrangements with public, private, or proprietary postsecondary institutions, vocational centers, or other educational enterprises, or through an intra-institutional, interdisciplinary combination of courses offered by the awarding institution.

(d) The "associate of individualized study" is a degree awarded for the successful completion of an individually planned degree program designed by a student with the assistance of a designated faculty advisor, generally containing an area of concentration formed either by an interdisciplinary combination of courses offered by the awarding institution, or through credits awarded by the awarding institution for educational experiences judged by the institution to be of college level.

(e) The "associate of labor studies" is a degree awarded for the successful completion of a program with a major emphasis in studies relating to the leadership of labor unions, designed to provide a broader understanding and perspective of economic, social, and political problems of our society and the role which labor unions and workers should play in it, and to equip members of labor organizations with skills needed to exercise their union and civic responsibilities.

(C) General standards for the approval of associate degree programs.

(1) Full-time faculty members and administrative personnel should be provided in numbers which will assure:

(a) Familiarity and identification with the goals of the field of concentration.

(b) The continuity of the program.

(c) Continuing interchange of ideas and experience within the faculty.

(d) Adequate attention to the needs of individual students in the program.

(2) A minimum of sixty per cent of the curriculum should be taught by faculty members who devote full time to the teaching and administrative responsibilities of the two-year campus.

(3) Persons holding top leadership responsibilities at the department level should hold either a master's degree, or a bachelor's degree with other advanced preparation, and have experience in the appropriate field of concentration.

(4) Faculty members whose assignments are primarily in the technical areas should evidence competency based upon:

(a) Formal education appropriate to the specialization, usually including the bachelor's or master's degrees or their equivalent as demonstrated by expertise, licensure, or certification; and

(b) Practical experience other than teaching in the appropriate specialization, as demonstrated by full-time employment for approximately five years in the career area, or a related field; and

(c) Evidence of professional development in the field of concentration as demonstrated by activity in professional associations, consultative practice, participation in seminars, workshops, and formal course work, and individual reading and research.

(5) Faculty members whose assignments are primarily in the teaching of the general studies curriculum should generally hold a master's degree in the subject matter discipline, and should also show evidence of professional development as indicated in section (C)(4)(c) of this rule.

(6) For approval by the Ohio board of regents, associate degree programs must contain a minimum of ninety quarter credits or sixty semester credits and should not exceed a maximum of one hundred ten quarter credits or seventy-three semester credits, exclusive of physical education. Exceptions may be granted where licensing procedures require additional hours.

(a) The academic quarter should be of eleven weeks duration with not less than ten weeks devoted to instruction.

(b) The academic semester should be of sixteen weeks duration with not less than fifteen weeks devoted to instruction.

(c) Academic credit awarded for successful completion of courses should be expressed in conventional quarter or semester credit hours.

(d) Associate degree programs should not exceed seven quarters (four semesters) of full-time study.

(e) Institutions desiring to deviate from these standards, because of unique educational programs, should obtain the concurrence of the vice chancellor for two-year campuses.

(7) Procedures for seeking approval of the Ohio board of regents to initiate a new degree or degree program are contained in the Ohio board of regents' two-year campus operating manual.

(D) Standards for approval of the associate of arts and the associate of science degrees.

(1) These degrees are awarded for the satisfactory completion of a minimum of ninety quarter credit hours of course enrollment (or equivalent semester hours).

(2) For maximum transferability to four-year institutions, the ninety credits should include as general education at least nine quarter credits in English composition and literature, fifteen quarter credits in the humanities, fifteen quarter credits in the social and behavioral sciences and fifteen quarter credits in the natural sciences (physical and biological) and/or mathematics (or equivalent semester credit hours).

(3) The associate of arts and the associate of science degrees may be authorized to be offered by community colleges, branch campuses of state universities, state community colleges, and by state universities offering a planned program leading to this degree for students who enroll in a unit of the university which serves the two-year mission.

(E) Standards for approval of the associate of applied business and associate of applied science degrees.

(1) Associate degree programs offered as technical education should provide as a minimum:

(a) Forty-five quarter credits or thirty semester credits of technical studies in courses clearly identifiable with the technical skills, proficiency, and knowledge required for career competency. Most courses classified as technical should include laboratory experience. Generally, technical courses should be distributed more or less evenly among the six or seven quarters of the degree program.

(b) Twenty-one quarter credits or fourteen semester credits in basic related studies. These courses should be carefully selected to serve as a base to the technical field and should be closely related to the technical specialty.

(c) Twenty-one quarter credits or fourteen semester credits of general or non-technical studies. These courses should include oral communication, written communication, social studies, and humanities. The general studies requirement may be a standard institutional requirement for all technical programs offered by the institution.

(2) To assure that the college's technical educational programs remain relevant to the needs of the community, each two-year campus will maintain an advisory committee for each technical program offered.

(3) These degrees may be authorized to be offered by community colleges, branch campuses of state universities, technical colleges, and state community colleges in business, health, engineering and industrial, agricultural and natural resource, and public service technologies, and may--in particular circumstances of community need where duplication of existing programs will not occur--be authorized to be offered by main campuses of state universities.

(F) Standards for approval of the associate of technical study degree.

(1) This degree is awarded for the satisfactory completion of a minimum of ninety quarter credit hours in an individually-planned technical education program, which contains an area of concentration formed either by:

(a) An intra-institutional, interdisciplinary, but coherent combination of courses drawn from two or more technical programs offered by the awarding institution, designed to serve an occupational objective; or by

(b) Credits awarded by the institution for courses completed or training received by a student at other postsecondary institutions, vocational centers, and/or other educational enterprises judged by the institution to be of college level.

(2) Prior to completion of sixty quarter credit hours, each degree candidate must complete an associate of technical study application form outlining his or her intended area of concentration and designating course areas for further study to accommodate this plan. Each student's individual curriculum must meet the minimum requirements of forty-five quarter credit hours in technical studies, twenty-one quarter credit hours in basic foundation courses and twenty-one quarter credit hours in general studies.

(3) Following approval of the application, each candidate will be required to complete no less than thirty quarter credit hours of coursework under the supervision of the institution granting the degree.

(4) A maximum of forty-five quarter credit hours can be recognized by the degree-granting institution for coursework completed in other public, private, or proprietary postsecondary institutions, vocational centers, and schools conducted by business and industry, prior to the declaration of candidacy for this degree.

(5) The degree awarded must contain the name of the student's area of concentration.

(6) This degree may be authorized to be offered by universities, community colleges, university branches, technical colleges/institutes, state community colleges, and urban centers of state universities. In the communities having both a technical college and a university branch on the same campus, the associate of technical study degree may be authorized to be awarded by only the technical college.

(G) Standards for approval of the associate of individualized study degree.

(1) This degree is awarded for the satisfactory completion of a minimum of ninety quarter credit hours in an individually-planned educational program. The curriculum is to be designed largely by the student with the assistance of a designated faculty advisor, and should contain an area of concentration which is formed either by:

(a) An intra-institutional, interdisciplinary, but coherent combination of courses drawn from the curriculum of the awarding institution; or by

(b) Up to sixty quarter credit hours (or equivalent semester hours) awarded by the institution for documentable educational experiences or courses completed at other postsecondary institutions, or educational enterprises judged by the institution to be of college level; or by

(c) An unusual but academically coherent combination of technical and general studies courses.

(2) Prior to completion of sixty quarter credit hours, each degree candidate must complete an associate of individualized study application form outlining his or her intended area of concentration and designating course areas for further study to culminate this plan. This requirement should provide assurance that students are not simply avoiding required courses.

(3) Following approval of the application, each candidate will be required to complete a minimum of thirty quarter credit hours (or equivalent semester hours) of coursework under the supervision of the institution granting the degree.

(4) This degree may be authorized to be offered by universities, community colleges, university branches, technical colleges/institutes, state community colleges, and urban centers of state universities. In the communities having both a technical college and a university branch on the same campus, the associate of individualized study degree must be offered cooperatively.

(H) Standards for approval of the associate of labor studies degree.

(1) This degree is awarded for the satisfactory completion of a minimum of ninety quarter credit hours in a program with a major emphasis in studies relating to the leadership of labor unions.

(2) Approval of these degrees will be restricted to a very small number of two-year campuses in the state, in locations where the need for such programs has been established in cooperation with statewide representatives of labor organizations.

(I) Standards for approval of one-plus-one technical programs.

The Ohio board of regents accepts the premise that because of limited employment opportunities in some regions and the high cost of technical laboratories, not all technical programs can be delivered on every two-year campus. Some students desiring specialized technical programs will have to attend a campus away from their home area. Some two-year campuses, through cooperative planning, have developed a one-plus-one program wherein the first year of a two-year technical degree is offered by several campuses with students transferring to other two-year campuses at the end of the first year.

(1) The first half of a one-plus-one sequence should contain not less than forty-five and not more than fifty-five quarter credit hours (or equivalent semester hours), and generally refers to a program which a full-time student can complete in one year. Part-time students will spend a longer period of time completing these academic requirements.

(2) Technical courses should comprise approximately fifty per cent of the first year curriculum.

(3) The first year of the program should provide students with a specific employment possibility.

(4) One-plus-one programs will be approved only for a group of campuses geographically related which have made arrangements guaranteeing that one of these colleges will admit students at the second year level with no loss of credit for courses completed successfully the first year.

(J) Program review.

Unless otherwise stipulated at the time a program is approved, all technical degree programs are approved for a period not exceeding five years. The staff of the board of regents will conduct periodic reviews of all approved technical programs following procedures outlined in the Ohio board of regents' two-year campus operating manual. Programs will be reviewed to assure continued adherence to the above standards, and to determine whether the board of regents should recommend to the state-assisted institutions the elimination of certain programs which constitute unnecessary duplication, are no longer needed in a particular area, or should be eliminated for other good and sufficient cause.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 07/19/2005 and 07/19/2010

Promulgated Under: 111.15

Statutory Authority: 3333.04

Rule Amplifies: n/a

Prior Effective Dates: 11/16/79