The Coordinating Board adopted rules in April 2010 (Chapter 4 Subchapter R §§ 4.285-4.293) establishing procedures for the annual review of the number of graduates produced by degree programs at institutions of higher education. Low-producing degree programs are undergraduate programs that do not graduate more than 25 students in 5 years, master's programs that do not graduate more than 15 students in 5 years, and doctoral programs that do not graduate more than 10 students in 5 years. Programs established within the previous ten years, academic associate programs, and master's-level programs leading directly to a doctoral program are exempt from review. In addition, the completers of career technical certificates are included with in the count of similar applied associate degree completers. Doctoral programs include research programs leading to the award of the doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) and practice or special professional degrees often required to practice, such as the Juris Doctorate (J.D.), Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), and Doctor of Audiology (AUD), etc.
The Coordinating Board sends each institution a detailed report that shows the productivity levels of all programs and informs them of all programs that do not meet the established five-year productivity thresholds. This report also provides institutions with notification of programs not meeting productivity thresholds for the previous three and four years.
If an institution has a program identified as low-producing in the fifth year, the institution is required to respond to the Coordinating Board. For each program identified as low-producing in year five, the institution must provide a proposed action. Institutions may: 1) request a temporary exemption, 2) consolidate with similar programs, or 3) phase out the program. No institutional response is necessary until the program is identified as low-producing in the fifth year.
Coordinating Board staff review institutional requests for temporary exemptions and consolidations using an evaluation flowchart to maintain consistency and equity.Evaluation criteria for temporary exemptions:
Example of Staff Review Temporary Exemption Flowchart [Click here]
Institutions may appeal any denial of a temporary exemption or consolidation request to the Board at the October Board meeting.