2.7.2 Program Content

The institution offers degree programs that embody a coherent course of study that is compatible with its stated mission and is based upon fields of study appropriate to higher education.

Judgment of Compliance

PVAMU SACS Accreditation - Judgement Compliance

Narrative of Compliance

Inherent in its designation as a land-grant institution is the educational role and scope of the University. The framework for the current and future educational program has been derived primarily from the original 1862 Morrill Act [1] whose educational purpose remained unchanged in the Second Morrill Act of 1890 [2]. According to the First Morrill Act, land-grant institutions have a mission not to exclude other scientific or classical studies, but especially "to teach such branches of learning as are related to agricultural and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the States and Territories may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life" [1]. Affirming that purpose and expanding it, the Texas Legislature set forth the educational role and scope for Prairie View A&M University, which began offering a limited number of diploma programs, most notably in agriculture and mechanic arts in 1876. During its normal school stage, the then Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College was authorized to "establish and maintain a four year college course of Classical and Scientific Studies" [3]. The next major expansion of academic role and scope for the University occurred in 1945 when the forty-ninth Legislature provided for the "establishment of courses in law, medicine, engineering, pharmacy, journalism, or any other generally recognized college course taught at the University of Texas, in such University, whenever there is any demand for any such courses; and declaring an emergency" [3]. The Fiftieth Legislature (1947) expressed the educational role and scope of the then Prairie View Agriculture and Mechanical College as that of offering courses in agriculture, the mechanic arts, engineering, and the natural sciences connected therewith, together with any other courses authorized at Prairie View at the time of the passage of this act, all of which shall be equivalent to those offered at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas" [3].

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 of study appropriate to higher education [6]. Each program has a designated Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code congruent with the United States Department of Education Classification of Instructional Programs taxonomy [7].

The University's programs and courses have been approved in accordance with Texas A&M University System Policy 03.02 [8] and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) policies 5.45 [9] and 5.46 [10]. Degree program requirements also consider standards from accrediting agencies. Many programs for which accreditation is available are accredited by respective agencies, such as the National Architectural Accreditation Board, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, State Board for Educator Certification, ABET, and the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission, among others [11]. All courses that constitute degree programs at PVAMU are initiated by faculty and follow the approval outlined in the Curriculum Review Process flow chart [12]. If after review, the college/school curriculum committee and the dean approve the requested change, the dean and the chair of the college/school curriculum committee present their recommendations to the University Academic Council [13] and Graduate Council [14] respectively. Meetings are open to visitors, and minutes are taken and are available for review [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]. Approved proposals from these councils are forwarded to the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs who makes recommendations to the President. The President initiates the process for approval by the Chancellor, the TAMUS Board of Regents and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Once a change in the curricula has received all required approvals, implementing and monitoring the change rests upon the faculty, department head, and dean. The President generally delegates to the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs authority to supervise all academic progress and administration. In instances where special circumstances direct administrative oversight by the President or by another administrator, the authority does not reside with the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

As an institution whose mission includes that of serving a diverse ethnic and socioeconomic population [20], Prairie View A&M University embraces the challenge of educating students who arrive in college with academic deficiencies as well as those who arrive with adequate or better preparation. Students are provided academic enhancement programs [21] and/or appropriate developmental education course to alleviate academic deficiencies. University Scholars programs [22] [23] [24] as well as special leadership training programs [25] [26] are offered for high achieving and highly motivated students. Preparing students, a significant proportion of whom are first generation college students, for entry into and success in careers is the major outcome expectation of the undergraduate educational program.

Supporting Documentation and Links

Core Requirements 2.7.2

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