3.5.3 Undergraduate Program Requirements

The institution defines and publishes requirements for its undergraduate programs, including its general education components. These requirements conform to commonly accepted standards and practices for degree programs.

Judgment of Compliance

PVAMU SACS Accreditation - Judgement Compliance

Narrative of Compliance

Prairie View A&M University defines and publishes requirements for its undergraduate programs, including its general education core curriculum components. The published standards follow guidelines given by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and represent standard practice for academic programs. As noted in Core Requirement 2.7.2; Comprehensive Standards 3.4.1, and  3.4.10, all undergraduate programs have been initiated and approved by faculty, the area department head, dean, the University Academic Council, the Texas A&M University Board of Regents, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating.

As noted in Core Requirement 2.7.2, all undergraduate degree programs have designated United States Department of Education Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes in accordance with THECB policies, and this code is given on forms submitted to the THECB [1] [2]. Therefore, undergraduate programs are aligned with those throughout Texas and the United States. Requirements for the University's undergraduate programs and general education components are published in the Undergraduate Catalog [3] and conform to common practice. Distance education programs are also given in the catalog [4].

Within the undergraduate catalog, degree programs present a list of faculty, a description of the program or department's purpose or mission, honor society information if relevant, affiliations or accreditation descriptions if relevant, and details about the degree requirements, including a suggested degree program sequence, to assist students in making informed choices [3]. Catalog review helps to keep information clear, complete, and consistent [5].

Core Curriculum
Responding to Texas Education Code 61.822 on the Core Curriculum, THECB, with the assistance of advisory committees composed of representatives of institutions of higher education developed a "recommended core curriculum of at least 42 semester credit hours, including a statement of the content, component areas, and objectives of the core curriculum" [6]. In accordance with these guidelines, Prairie View A&M University requires a 42 semester credit hour general education curriculum, commonly called the core curriculum, as discussed Core Requirement 2.7.3. As noted in the University's Core Curriculum Evaluation Report and Plan submitted through the Texas A&M University Board of Regents to the THECB, the core curriculum is designed to provide students a foundation in the broad knowledge and skills which will enhance study in the major areas; to prepare students to change and grow with their own needs and the needs of society; and to enable students to function as contributing members of a democratic society and of the global community. The underlying assumption embodied in the curriculum is that specialized knowledge changes, but the process of thought and the ability to apply the thought in a variety of contexts continues throughout one’s life [7]. A rationale for courses in each area of the core and specific semester credit hours for each area was presented to the THECB in the Fall of 2004 [7].

At Prairie View A&M University, the core consists of 42 semester credit hours. The basic university core includes the following, which are published and distributed to students in the University Catalog [8]: Communication 9 SCH; Mathematics 3 SCH; Natural Science 6 SCH; Humanities 3 SCH; Visual and Performing Arts 3 SCH; History 6 SCH; Political Science 6 SCH; Social and Behavioral Science 3 SCH; Computing 3 SCH. All courses use the semester credit hour as the unit. Additionally, each core area has been linked to University Exemplary Objectives through a written rationale disseminated in the Undergraduate Course Catalog [9]. Courses under the Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS) transfer automatically according to Prairie View A&M's equivalency guide, which is featured in the undergraduate catalog to assist students in course selection [10]. Prairie View's adherence to the minimum rule and its core is common at other area institutions like Texas Southern University, University of Houston, and Sam Houston State University.

Supporting Documentation and Links

Comprehensive Standards 3.5.3

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