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Date of Publication: 

Academic Program Review Results & Recommendations

Read the Provost's Letter to the Community addressing concerns regarding the recommendations.
Download the PDF version of Academic Program Review Results & Recommendations (this web page).
Jump to Issues Raised During Public Hearing.

[Preliminary – Pending Review by Faculty Senate, President, and Board of Trustees]

Executive Summary

Recommendations informed by

  • University Mission, Vision, and Strategic Plan. 
  • Current priority needs of the District of Columbia and the Region.
  • Program reviews conducted by departments and external parties:
    • Quality and currency;
    • Productivity - # majors; # service enrollments; # graduates and graduates per major; # and qualifications of faculty;
    • Potential
  • Deans/Provost Office one-on-one meetings with Department Chairs and Program Directors to share findings and discuss potential recommendations—all Chairs and Directors were provided multiple opportunities to submit their own recommendations to the Dean for improvement      
  • Professional Opportunities Inventory/Occupational Growth Analysis.
  • Academic program demand study
  • Review of the academic structure and offerings of UDC competitor institutions
  • University expenditure and revenue forecasts for the foreseeable future 

Overview of results

  • Too many programs with too few students, lack of currency, low student demand and enrollment potential, and poor alignment with job opportunities.
  • Broad areas for priority investment: Business, STEM, Health Professions, Human Development and Services, and the Center for Urban Education.
  • Significant status changes for 18 degree programs.
  • Creation of minors and concentrations in areas of high student demand and occupational growth within almost all majors.
  • Opportunities for greater efficiency and collaboration through cross-school, interdisciplinary, joint and accelerated degree programs and offerings.
  • Need to use clear, commonly understood program identifiers to reach prospective students.

Flagship programs for new investment (track record of success and/or areas of high student demand and occupational growth in the Capital Region.)

  • Accounting
  • Allied Health Professions/Community Health
  • Applied Statistics (M)
  • Architecture (BS/MS)
  • Biology
  • Business Management (BA/MBA)
  • Center for Urban Education (M)
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Communications (Mass Media Arts)
  • Community Health initiative
  • Criminal Justice (Administration of Justice)
  • Government (Political Science) 
  • Human Development
  • Information Technology
  • Psychology
  • Counseling (M)
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Speech and Language Pathology (M)
  • World Languages initiative  

Program Status Changes (Programs lacking evidence of viability or currency; consistent record of low enrollments, retention, and/or graduation performance; and/or do not provide the appropriate credentialing required for the labor market are recommended for reconstitution to improve academic quality and prioritize limited resources. In some cases, programs are recommended for discontinuation)

  • Clinical Psychology  (M)
    • Replaced by Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling programs
  • Early Childhood Education (BA)
    • Offered as concentration within Human Development
  • Elementary Education
    • Offered as Masters in Teaching within Center for Urban Education, and related undergraduate content offered within Human Development  
  • English Composition and Rhetoric (M)   - Discontinued
  • French
    • Courses offered in new World Languages Program
  • Graphic Communications
    • Offered as Graphic Production concentration within Graphic Design
  • Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program
    • Moving to graduate level and integrated with Masters in Public Administration program
  • Mathematics (MST) 
    • Replaced by Applied Statistics masters program and M.A.T. in Urban Education
  • Physics
    • Offered as a Minor
  • Procurement and Public Contracting
    • Offered as a certificate program and concentration within Management
  • Respiratory Therapy (BA)
    • Courses offered in Nursing and in new Community Health initiative
  • Security Studies (B.A.)
    • Suspended until curriculum revised to meet online quality standards 
  • Spanish
    • Offered as a Minor in new World Languages Program
  • Special Education (BA)
    • Offered as Masters within Center for Urban Education; related undergraduate content offered within Human Development 
  • Special Education (M)
    • Suspended until curriculum revised, in collaboration with DCPS Superintendent, and offered within Center for Urban Education
  • Speech and Language Pathology (BS)
    • Offered as concentration within Human Development
  • Theater
    • Offered as a Minor in Visual and Performing Arts
  • Urban Studies
    • Sociology courses to include more modern urban focus

Structural and Curricular Redesign (comprehensive effort to restructure and strengthen all programs to ensure currency, high-quality, and consistency with student demand and occupational opportunities/competency requirements)

  • Reorganize departments and programs to promote intellectual collaborations and synergies. 
  • Rename departments, degree programs, concentrations, course titles, and other academic units consistent with student demand, trends in the field, and occupational growth.
  • Revamp program major requirements, and associated course content, titles, and descriptions, to reflect current trends in the field.    
  • Maximize academic efficiency by streamlining credit hour requirements; encouraging common requirements among related programs; and eliminating duplicative course offerings.
  • Develop Minors and Concentrations that reflect student and employer demand. 
  • Develop an Interdisciplinary Studies degree. 
  • Develop accelerated and joint degrees that increase student enrollments and strengthen career pathways while saving students time and money.

Reorganizations and Name Changes (Restructure departments to promote efficiencies and visibility of high demand programs; align names with student interests, current trends in the field, and occupational growth areas.)

  • Reorganize Business School Departments and names to group similar programs and promote visibility of high demand areas:
    • Department of Accounting and Finance
    • Department of Management, Marketing, and Management Information Systems
    • Department of Public Administration and Economics
  • Rename CAUSES Department names to promote visibility of high demand areas:
    • Department of Architecture and Urban Design
    • Department of Nutrition and Food Science
    • Department of Environmental Science and Sustainability
  • Streamline Arts and Sciences departments so no department has excessive numbers of programs; reorganize and rename departments to promote visibility of highest demand programs:
    • From existing Department of Mass Media, Visual and Performing Arts, create Department of Communications and Public Relations and separate Department of Visual and Performing Arts
    • From existing Departments of Language and Communication Disorders; English; and Psychology and Counseling; create Department of English and World Languages and separate Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Human Development
    • From Department of Urban Affairs, Social Sciences, and Social Work, create Department of History, Government, and Global Studies and a Department of Criminal Justice, Sociology, and Social Work;  
    • Rename existing Department of Nursing and Allied Health as Department of Nursing and Health Professions
    • Rename  existing Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Departments of Chemistry and Physics as Department of Biology and Chemistry
    • Rename existing Department of Mathematics as Department of Mathematics and Applied Statistics
  • Rename degrees to reflect currency, student demand, and occupational growth:
    • Environmental Science to Environmental Studies  
    • Mass Media Arts to Communications
    • Political Science to Government
    • Administration of Justice to Criminal Justice
    • Sociology and Anthropology to Sociology

Issues Raised During Public Hearing

Discontinued academic programs:…no foreign languages

  • After conducting reviews of all UDC baccalaureate and graduate programs, a regional academic program demand study, and a professional opportunities inventory/jobs analysis, we have recommended changes in 18 major degree programs – along with other structural and organizational changes.
  • Reasons: no evidence of program viability (demand) or currency; record of low enrollments, retention, and/or graduation rates; failure to provide the appropriate credentialing required for labor market; or other indicators of poor quality.
  • In all but three cases, the programs are being consolidated  or otherwise reconstituted as minors, concentrations, or course sequences within broader major fields. (If the programs thrive, if demand, enrollments and graduation rates rise, they may later evolve into major degree programs.)
  • Example: within a new “World Languages” program, a Spanish minor as well as French language courses will be offered, along with Chinese and Arabic. (So, there will in fact be enriched foreign language offerings at UDC next year.)
  • This kind of consolidation is going on across the country. Healthy institutions change, grow, move in new directions, in response to limited resources and the changing demands and needs of society. Howard University has discontinued 70 programs.

Availability of University academic support services and tutoring to community college students

  • These resources have always been available to community college students, particularly those who are taking courses at the Van Ness campus, as a matter of explicit policy.
  • The director of the Academic Support Center works closely with the leader of the community college’s Success Team. (The community college staff has expressed a strong preference that community college students work with their Success Team advisors.)
  • When there was a misunderstanding last fall, the community college leadership was made aware, in writing, that this was the policy and the case. Perhaps this message was not communicated to the student who testified.

Easier for community college students to enroll in courses at other Universities in town than at UDC…

  • Just factually not accurate.
  • As you know, there is a substantial differential between community college and University tuition and fee charges. Last year we found that over 100 community college students were enrolled in University courses for which they (at that time) paid only community college rates. Some of these students needed the University course to complete requirements. In order to address, we blocked universal CC access to University courses and established an exception procedure for the students who needed the courses to fulfill requirements. They could contact their Success Team member who could contact the dean of the school in question and gain permission to enroll in the particular course.
  • The process to enroll in courses at other Consortium universities in the region is more onerous as each student’s eligibility to do so must be reviewed and confirmed by the Registrar’s Office. It is outlined in the class schedule.

Disruption in all aspects of services and operations at CCDC….

They should speak to the leadership of the community college regarding this matter as they are the people responsible “on the ground” for solving problems.

Problems in transferring credits…

Would have to know the specifics of this complaint. If this student is a community college student wishing to enter a UDC baccalaureate program, there is no issue of “transfer” as he is already a UDC student earning UDC credits towards a UDC degree..

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Alan Etter, Vice President of University Relations & Public Affairs,, 202.345.6371