2005-06

May 2006

Hosting a Site Visit

A new document called Hosting a Site Visit has been posted on the Documents and Forms page. As a guide for institutions undergoing a site visit by a Campus Alberta Quality Council evaluation team, the document contains useful information on Council's processes, the use of external evaluator teams and the roles and responsibilities for the site visit.

Guides to Teams

Several editions of guides for Council's evaluation teams have also been posted on the Documents and Forms page recently. The guides are primarily written for evaluator teams but are also an important resource for institutions undergoing evaluation. All guides describe Council's evaluation process, the use of external evaluator teams, Council's expectations for the team's report and other necessary arrangements for the evaluation. Institutions and evaluators should note that each guide is specific to a type of evaluation as noted in its title. The three types of guides now posted are:

  • The Guide for Teams Conducting Organizational Evaluations (Resident Alberta Institutions)
  • The Guide for Teams Conducting Program Evaluations - Graduate Programs
  • The Guide for Teams Conducting Program Evaluations - Undergraduate Programs

Comprehensive Evaluations

The schedule for known comprehensive evaluations is now posted on the Monitoring page. Council will normally conduct at least one comprehensive evaluation of an institution five years after it begins offering its first approved degree programs.

February 2006

For the convenience of visitors to the site, printer friendly capability has been implemented for each Web page.  Whenever a document is revised, the revision date is noted in the top right hand corner. Applicants should be sure they are viewing the latest version.

Non-resident Institutions

The description of the degree program approval process for non-resident institutions is now posted on this Web site under Application Process  Degree Program Approval Process, Non-Resident Institutions. The application process for non-resident institutions parallels the process for resident Alberta institutions allowing for three types of reviews: full, partially expedited and fully expedited.

There is also a new document called the Degree Program Proposal Checklist - Non-resident Institutions. Part A of the checklist outlines the information needed for the System Coordination review. Part B lists the additional information needed for Council's review of a proposed program. The document is available under the Documents and Forms menu.

Institutional Self-Study

Institutions undergoing a full Council review requiring an organizational evaluation or a comprehensive evaluation after five years of offering a first approved degree program, are required to complete an institutional self-study. The Institutional Self-Study Guidelines document outlines the purposes of the self-study, provides guidelines for completing it and describes the contents that institutions might include. The document is available under the Documents and Forms menu.

The Contents Checklist for Full CAQC Review notes the essential contents of a self-study. A revised version is found in the Documents and Forms menu.

Monitoring

A document called Monitoring of Approved Degree Programs is now posted under the new Monitoring menu. The document outlines the forms of periodic evaluation of approved degree programs that Council undertakes in fulfillment of its monitoring role.

INQAAHE

As noted on the About the Council page, Council is now a member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE). A link to INQAAHE's Web site is available under the Related Links menu.

Future Meeting Dates

Council is scheduled to meet on the following dates:

  • 15 and 16 March 2006
  • 15 and 16 June 2006 (note change)
  • 15 and 16 September 2006

December 2005

In order to continuously assess and refine its activities, Council reviewed and adopted changes to its key operating principles. They can be found under About the Council Operating Principles.

Application process

The description of the degree program approval process has changed considerably. Please see the page Application Process, Degree Program Approval Process for a clearer and more detailed process regarding how to submit degree proposals and what to include in the application. The document first describes the process for applications that will undergo a full CAQC review (both organizational and program external reviews). This is followed by a section describing the partially or fully expedited reviews.

Degree program proposal checklist

In conjunction with the Public Institutions Branch of Advanced Education and Technology, a common Program Proposal Checklist has been developed. Part A of the checklist outlines the information needed for the System Coordination review. Part B lists the additional information needed for the Quality Council's review of a proposed program. This is found under the new Template and Forms menu.

Templates and forms

A new menu has been added to Council's website, Templates and Forms, which contains PDFs of all templates and forms found on the website.  To help those institutions needing to go through a full CAQC review, see the new Checklist for Full CAQC Review.

July 2005

Council's first Annual Report for the period 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005 was approved and is posted on Council's Web site under Publications.

The Minister recently appointed Dr. Andrew Berczi to Council for a three-year term. Please see Andrew's brief bio on the Web site under the Council Membership.

A decision on application fees and financial security has been made, and is expected to be communicated to all institutions in the near future. Once this information has been communicated, it will be posted on Council's Web site.

Application process and guidelines

Council has made a minor change to its expedited review process. Please review the new process on Council's Web site under Application Process Approval Process for New Degree Proposals in the section on Expedited Review.

Council's new graduate program proposal guidelines and assessment standards have been posted under Program Assessment Standards.

Notification of program changes

Council has determined that it will require notification from institutions of the following changes to degree programs that have been approved following recommendation of either PCAB or CAQC:

  • suspension of the program;
  • change of program name;
  • substantive restructuring of the program (curriculum, graduation or admission requirements, addition of an honours program, etc.);
  • any reduction from minimum staffing requirements; and
  • loss of facilities or resources that would affect the nature of the program.

Monitoring requirements

Council has made a number of decisions regarding the monitoring of approved degree programs:

  • Advanced Education and Technology recently announced that all Alberta private degree-granting institutions (profit and non-profit) will be required to provide certain accountability data to the department on an annual basis. For 2004-05 annual reporting to CAQC by private colleges offering approved degrees, some additional information will be required by CAQC. It is described in the Instructions and Sample Forms document found on the Web site under Publications.
  • Comprehensive evaluations of approved degree programs will normally be conducted after five years from the time of initial degree-granting approval.

Concentrations

It has also been decided that new concentrations in approved 3-year degree programs will be subject to the same review process as for new majors in approved 4-year degree programs.

Honours and specializations

Council has decided that it will require notification from institutions of new honours routes within approved degree programs, although they do not require Ministerial approval.

It has been clarified that PhD specializations are to be treated like majors within 4-year programs and therefore must go through the normal review process.