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4.2 Program Curriculum

The institutionís curriculum is directly related and appropriate to the purpose and goals of the institution and the diplomas, certificates, or degrees awarded.

Judgment of Compliance

PVAMU SACS Accreditation - Judgement Compliance

Narrative of Compliance

Prairie View A&M University’s mission, goals and programs offered are approved by the Texas A&M University Board of Regents. The University's mission and programs are also approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board as noted in Core Requirements 2.4, 2.7.2, 2.7.4, and Comprehensive Standards 3.4.1, 3.4.10 and other principles.

All aspects of the university's educational programs are clearly related to the mission and purpose of the institution.  The variety of academic programs is consistent with PVAMU’s mission and purpose. The Texas A&M Board of Regents, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) approval process require assessment of each degree program for consistency with the mission and goals of the institution. The University’s programs and courses have been approved in accordance with Texas A&M University System Policy 03.02 [1] and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) policies 5.45 [2] and 5.46 [3].

Furthermore, the PVAMU University Academic and Graduate Councils conduct rigorous evaluations of all curricula and program requirements for graduate and undergraduate programs. These evaluation proceedings examine all aspects of admission, curriculum, courses, faculty, and facilities. The process ensures that the curriculum is directly related and appropriate to the purpose and goals of the institution and the diplomas, certificates, and degrees awarded.

The educational programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels reflect the historical evolution of the University and its sustaining and affirming fidelity to its land-grant origins and to the expectations of the people as expressed by the State Legislature. Prairie View A&M University offers a comprehensive set of undergraduate degree programs in the following areas: Agriculture, Architecture, Business, Computer Science, Education, Engineering, Engineering Technology, Humanities, including Liberal Arts and Communications, Juvenile/Criminal Justice, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and the Social Sciences [4] [5]. All degree programs at the University embody a coherent course study appropriate to higher education [6]. In keeping with its mission, it does not offer degrees in areas such as art, theology, classics, philosophy, anthropology, or film. It is strong in areas such as nursing, education, business, engineering, and agriculture.

Texas Priority Plan to Strengthen Education, 2000
As noted in the Texas Priority Plan, [7] in February 1997, Governor George W. Bush was notified by Office of Civil rights that it was going to conduct a review of Texas’ system of higher education “to ensure that former de jure state higher education systems have both implemented their OCR-approved desegregation plans and eliminated vestiges of the formerly de jure systems.” The Texas Priority Plan to strengthen education at the university resulted largely from that review. The following excerpt from that October 2000 plan further emphasizes how the current curriculum is directly related and appropriate to the purpose and goals of the institution and the diplomas, certificates, or degrees awarded.

The plan specifies five academic areas to be enhanced that are highly supportive of the mission of Prairie View: The College of Nursing, the College of Engineering, educator preparation, the School of Architecture, and Juvenile Justice. The plan includes the following improvements:

The College of Nursing supports Prairie View’s focus on urban healthcare issues, including access to care. Located in downtown Houston, it has links to the medical centers of several Texas universities. It is a strong program that will benefit from review of and improvements to its existing degree programs and a new, state-of-the-art equipped building.

The College of Engineering supports Prairie Views’ mission in assisting communities, agriculture, business and industrial enterprises to grow and develop. It is another strong program that will be made stronger by efforts to enhance existing programs and the development of both an MS and a PhD program in Electrical Engineering to serve as an academic mainstay for the college. A renovated state-of the-art building with appropriate equipment will provide a basis for generating research dollars and scholarship and will add to the quality of existing programs.

An MS in Computer Science will provide the academic talent in computers and technology that all programs at Prairie View, but particularly its engineering program, can draw on as needed. Similarly, an MS in Information Systems must also be developed.

Prairie View has trained thousands of public school teachers and administrators who serve our Texas public education system. Texas must continue to support that effort by enhancing its educator preparation programs. A new PhD program in Educational Leadership will greatly enhance these efforts with its focus on urban educational problems.

The School of Architecture supports Prairie View’s focus on assisting cities with their infrastructure needs. Both a new program that offers a BS in Construction Science and another that offers a Masters of Architecture will firmly anchor this focus in the school of architecture. A new state-of-the-art building will attract high quality faculty and students, support acquisition of research dollars, and create an environment that helps produce meaningful scholarship.

A new program in Juvenile Justice at Prairie View, its first PhD program and the only type of program of its kind in the nation, addresses a core focus of Prairie View—urban crime committed by children. Already nationally recognized, a new PhD in Juvenile Forensic Psychology will provide more power to address this critical problem in our nation’s cities. A new building will increase the attractiveness and quality of this unique program, inviting quality faculty, research funds, students, public service, and scholarship.

Based on input from professional educators and others as to what implementation schedule would most likely lead to success, the plan requires implementing the programs on the following schedule. For the 2002/2003 biennium: the MS in Computer Science and the MS/PhD in Electrical Engineering. For the 2004/2005 biennium: The BS in Construction Science, the Masters in Architecture, and the PhD in Educational Leadership. For the 2006/2007 biennium: the PhD in Juvenile Forensic Psychology and the MS in Information Systems. [8]

Undergraduate Programs
Completion requirements for the undergraduate programs that Prairie View A&M University offers are identified for each degree program in the undergraduate catalog. [4] The catalog gives information specifying the total number of credit hours to be earned for graduation, any specified distribution of general education credits needed, and other requirements that students must meet in order to receive a degree (varies by degree program). Individual academic programs specify requirements for each major and area of
concentration, the number of upper-division credit hours within the major or concentration, and requirements for demonstrating satisfactory progress.

Graduate Programs
Prairie View A&M University has established policies governing all aspects of degree completion, which include areas such as: 1) level of academic progress at which the student should apply for candidacy for master’s/doctoral degrees, 2) standards for satisfactory academic progress, 3) thesis and dissertation requirements, 4) minimum number of credit hours required for the degrees, 5) specified period of time for degree completion, and 6) requirements governing residency. [5]

Supporting Documentation and Links


Federal Requirements 4.2

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