Part 3 - Comprehensive Standards
  

3.5.3  The institution publishes requirements for its undergraduate programs, including its general education components. These requirements conform to commonly accepted standards and practices for degree programs.  (Undergraduate program requirements)

Compliance
Partial Compliance
Non-Compliance
Not Applicable

Narrative

The University of New Orleans defines requirements for its undergraduate programs and publishes these requirements, including its general education components. The degree requirements comply with policies published by both the Board of Regents and the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors. Degree requirements conform to general practice in higher education in Louisiana as well as in the United States.

State-Level Policy

Louisiana Board of Regents Academic Affairs Policy 2.15 states definitions of undergraduate degree and certificate programs in order to: 1) provide for the uniform use of degree terminology, promote uniform curricular requirements for similar programs, effect the ready transfer of course credits earned throughout the state’s higher education system, and facilitate the development of appropriate articulation agreements between systems and campuses. This policy sets the standard number of credits required for baccalaureate degrees at 120, although degrees may require additional hours with justification and approval by the Board.

The University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors Bylaws and Rules Chapter II Students Section VIII, Baccalaureate Degrees Requirements also states that the “total number of credit hours required for a baccalaureate degree shall be 120 hours unless otherwise required for accreditation and/or professional certification purposes”.

The University of Louisiana System Baccalaureate Degrees Requirements bylaw also sets three categories of requirements for undergraduate degrees:

General Education: This group of courses is mandated by the Board of Regents, and is generally taken within the first two years (freshman and sophomore) at the institution. Total credits for these courses range from 39-45 credit hours. Of these, a minimum of six semester hours must be in English composition and six semester hours must be in Mathematics/Analytical Reasoning in order to demonstrate competency.

Courses in the Major: Each institution will specify its own assortment of courses required to complete the degrees it offers. The number of credit hours will vary by program and by institution.

Electives or Selectives: Students choose additional courses to complete their college experience. Certain programs may have lists of courses from which students may choose to complement the required courses in a major.

The policy also established the minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) for graduation at 2.0. The policy also allows individual campuses governed by the University of Louisiana System to impose additional requirements.

The Louisiana Board of Regents also prescribes terminology that may be used in university catalogs to describe undergraduate programs of study. Following are the terms that may be used to define degree requirements:

A Curriculum is a description of required and elective courses for a Degree Program.

A Major is that part of a Degree Program which consists of a specified group of courses in a particular discipline(s) or field(s). The name of the Major is usually consistent with the Degree Subject Area. A Major usually consists of 25% or more of total hours required in an undergraduate curriculum. Establishment of a Major requires prior approval by the Board of Regents.

A Minor is that part of a Degree Program which consists of a specified group of courses in a particular discipline(s) or field(s), consisting usually of 15% or more of total hours required in an undergraduate curriculum. Minors may be instituted by the affected system and campus without prior approval by the Board of Regents.

An Option is an alternative track of courses within a Major, accounting for at least 50% of the Major requirements. Establishment of an Option requires prior approval by the Board of Regents.

A Concentration is an alternative track of courses within a Major or Option, accounting for at least 30% of the Major requirements. Concentrations may be instituted by the affected system and campus without prior approval by the Board of Regents.

A Degree Title is the complete label of a Degree Program, consisting of a Degree Designation (e.g., Associate of Science) and the Degree Subject Area (e.g., Biology). It is listed in the Board of Regents' Inventory under the categories "Degree Level" and "Degree Description/Option" (e.g., A.S. in Biology).

Louisiana Board of Regents Academic Affairs Policy 2.16 establishes statewide general education requirements to ensure that all undergraduate academic credentials “contain a broad-based common educational experience that enhances students’ ability to describe, interpret, and analyze their world”. Board of Regents policy establishes a minimum of 39 credit hours in general education requirements within the following areas:

  • English Composition – Effective written communication skills are essential to prepare students to effectively and intelligently communicate in a variety of contexts
  • Mathematics/Analytical Reasoning – As a cornerstone for the liberal arts, engineering, and sciences, mathematical/analytical reasoning skills are an essential component of all disciplines
  • Natural Sciences – Natural sciences study both life and physical sciences in an approach to understanding the universe by studying objects, phenomena, laws of nature, and the physical world
  • Humanities – Humanities offer a broad-based study of cultural traditions and the human condition, including everything from language, literature and religion to history, philosophy and communication
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences – Social and Behavioral Sciences study human behavior and the relationship between individuals and their societies
  • Fine Arts – The Fine Arts provide an opportunity to explore and to value aesthetic creation and form as an essential means of conceiving and expressing the human experience

Baccalaureate degree requirements at the University of New Orleans are fully compliant with all Board of Regents and University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors policies. Following are the general degree requirements at UNO:

The University of New Orleans also maintains compliance with SACSCOC policies on “Distance and Corresponding Education” and “The Quality and Integrity of Undergraduate Degrees” as outlined in Tables 1 and 2.

Table I: Distance and Corresponding Education

SACSCOC Policy Statement Compliance
The technology is used appropriate to the nature and objectives of the programs and courses and expectations concerning the use of such technology are clearly communicated to students. Two primary technologies are used for distance education delivery – Moodle for asynchronous options and Adobeconnect for synchronous options. Technology support is discussed in Comprehensive Standard 3.4.12.
Academic support services are appropriate and specifically related to distance and correspondence education. Academic support services, including library support, are provided to distance education students. Academic support is discussed in Comprehensive Standard 3.4.9. Library Support is discussed in Core Requirement 2.9.
Program length is appropriate for each of the institution’s programs, including those offered through distance education and correspondence education. The University of New Orleans offers only one undergraduate program completely online – the B.A. Philosophy degree. The length of the program, 120 credits, is the same as the B.A. Philosophy program offered in the traditional format.
For all degree programs offered through distance or correspondence education, the programs embody a coherent course of study that is compatible with the institution’s mission and is based upon field of study appropriate to higher education. The University of New Orleans offers only one undergraduate program completely online – the B.A. Philosophy degree. The requirements for the online program are the same as the requirements for the B.A. Philosophy program offered in the traditional format.
For all courses offered through distance or correspondence education, the institution employs sound and acceptable practices for determining the amount and level of credit awarded and justifies the use of a unit other than semester credit hours by explaining its equivalency The University of New Orleans policy for determining credit is explained in Federal Requirement 4.9. UNO only uses the credit hour as a unit of accruing credit toward a degree.

 

Table 2: Quality and Integrity of Undergraduate Degrees

SACSCOC Policy Statement Compliance
Undergraduate degrees require completion of a general education component/core curriculum. Undergraduate programs at the University of New Orleans require 39 credits of general education core coursework as prescribed by the Board of Regents and the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.
The institution maintains the integrity of its undergraduate degrees by being responsible for the quality of the credits that constitute these degrees.

Program content is described in Core Requirement 2.7.2 and Federal Requirement 4.2.

The University of New Orleans includes mechanisms for assessing student learning outcomes at the course and program levels. See Comprehensive  Standard 3.3.1.1 for more information.

Comprehensive Standard 3.4.10 describes the role of the faculty in creating and modifying programs of study.
Transfer courses meet transfer quality accreditation standards. Transfer credit for general education coursework is aligned using the requirements codified by the Louisiana Board of  Regents. Comprehensive Standard 3.4.4 provides detail on the acceptance of academic credit for degrees.

 

Publication of Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

The University of New Orleans catalog includes the following information:

General university regulations [Page: 177]

This section of the catalog provides explanations and regulations that apply for all undergraduate students and programs.

General education requirements

General education requirements for baccalaureate degrees at the University of New Orleans are aligned with Board of Regents requirements. Students complete a total of 39 credits, representing the following disciplines: English Composition (6 credits), Mathematics (6 credits), Science (9 credits), Humanities (9 credits, 3 of which must be literature), Social Sciences (6 credits) and Arts (3 credits). Some degree programs require specific courses within one or more of these disciplines. Typically, students complete the general education requirements from a menu of 59 courses. All general education coursework represents the 1000 – 2000 level. Requirements are posted in the Catalog and more information is available on the General Education website.

Graduation requirements

Degree requirements organized into the three parts described below for each baccalaureate program offered by the University are published by degree program.

General education requirements – identification of the 39 credit hour general education requirements

Other requirements – listing of required courses, selective courses, and elective courses required

Major requirements – listing of required and elective courses comprising the major requirements for the degree. Major requirements represent at least 25% of the total number of credits required for the degree (typically 30 hours). A minimum of 50% of major coursework must be taken at the 3000 – 4000 level. Transfer credit may comprise a maximum of 50% of the credits applied to the major requirements. Options and concentrations, if applicable, are included in the major requirements. As per Board of Regents regulations, an option comprises greater than 50% specialized coursework within the major requirements. A concentration comprises 30-49% specialized coursework within the major requirements.

Although minor areas of study are not required at UNO, students may complete a minor, usually by using elective credits. A minimum of 50% of minor coursework must be taken at the 3000 – 4000 level. Transfer credit may comprise a maximum of 50% of the credits applied to the minor requirements.

All undergraduate program requirements are formatted in the catalog using the same template to facilitate interpretation by students. Examples of degree requirements are provided for each college:

B.S. Accounting (College of Business Administration) [Page: 41]

B.S. Elementary Education (College of Education and Human Development) [Page: 51]

B.S. Mechanical Engineering (College of Engineering) [Page: 79]

B.A. English (College of Liberal Arts) [Page: 244]

B.S. Chemistry (College of Sciences) [Page: 104]

In addition to being published in the catalog, all degree requirements are available as a PDF document on each department’s website. Examples of the degree requirement publication on departmental websites are provided for the B.S. Accounting, B.S. Elementary Education, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, B.A. English, and B.S. Chemistry programs.

Conformity to Commonly Accepted Standards and Practices

University of New Orleans degree requirements are fully aligned with Board of Regents and the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors regulations. Thus, the baccalaureate degree requirements meet accepted standards within the state. The minimum number of required hours (120) meets the standard established in SACSCOC Core Requirement 2.7.1 and the general education coursework composition represents a balanced set of disciplines similar to those found across the country.

Additional evidence that the undergraduate programs conform to commonly accepted standards and practices is found in external reviews of academic programs. A list of accreditation organizations that have reviewed undergraduate programs at the University of New Orleans is provided.

Supporting Documents

Document Description
Document IconBOR_AA_Policy_2_11Board of Regents Policy Providing Standardized Academic Terms
Document IconBOR_AA_Policy_2_15Board of Regents Policy Stating Definitions of Undergraduate Degree and Certificate Programs
Document IconBOR_AA_Policy_2_16Board of Regents Policy Establishing Statewide General Education Requirements
Document IconDept_Acct_WebsitePublication of Degree Requirements on Department of Accounting Website
Document IconDept_Chem_WebsitePublication of Degree Requirements on Department of Chemistry Website
Document IconDept_CI_WebsitePublication of Degree Requirements on Department of Curriculum and Instruction Website
Document IconDept_English_WebsitePublication of Degree Requirements on Department of English Website
Document IconDept_Mech_WebsitePublication of Degree Requirements on Department of Mechanical Engineering Website
Document IconList_Accred_InfoList of Accreditation Organizations and Programs Reviewed
Document IconSACSCOC_Policy_Dist_Corr_EdSACSCOC Distance and Correspondence Education Policy Statement
Document IconSACSCOC_Policy_Qual_Int_Under_DegSACSCOC The Quality and Integrity of Undergraduate Degrees Policy Statement
Document IconUL_System_Bylaw_II_Students_VIII_RequireUniversity of Louisiana System Bylaw/Rule Establishing Categories of Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees
Document IconUL_System_Bylaw_II_Students_VIII_Require-2Categories of requirements described in University of Louisiana System policy
Document IconUNO_CatalogUniversity of New Orleans Catalog
Document IconUNO_Catalog_Gen_Ed_RequirementsUniversity of New Orleans Catalog - General Education Requirements
Document IconUNO_Gen_Ed_WebsiteUniversity of New Orleans General Education Requirements Published on Website