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Report 04-8: Commission Review of New Academic Programs Proposed by the Public Higher Education Systems, 2002 to 2004

Published by The California Postsecondary Education Commission

June 2004

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California’s public welfare, economy, and labor markets are benefited greatly by the quality and breadth of degree and certificate programs provided by the state’s public colleges and universities. The California Postsecondary Education Commission is statutorily responsible for reviewing and commenting on the need for new degree and certificate programs proposed by the public higher education systems. This report summarizes the results of approximately 100 independent reviews conducted between 2002 and 2004. The long-range academic plans of the systems are also examined. Among the findings are the following:

  • The instructional areas of computer information systems, engineering, and health sciences accounted for over half of the community college proposals reviewed be-tween 2002 and 2004 by the Commission. The proposals were developed in response to growing occupational and industry training needs in those workforce areas.
  • The California State University Board of Trustees recently granted planning authorization for nearly 100 academic programs that its campuses seek to add between 2004 and 2009. Within the professional area, the State University is proposing to greatly increase the number of doctoral programs with various partnering institutions. Preliminary planning includes developing proposals for several joint Ph.D. programs.
  • The long-range plans of the University of California included proposed new graduate programs in engineering, computer science, and the life sciences to meet growing needs in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Some program expansion in the social sciences, humanities, and selected professional areas are also anticipated to help meet emerging social and business needs of California and the nation.
  • The Commission considers it important to develop, in consultation with the systems, a set of program review guidelines that are specific to joint education doctoral programs. The guidelines will clarify better the type of data and information that would be most helpful in considering the merit of regional joint doctoral programs.

Related Topics: Program Review

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(916) 445-1000 or via e-mail at

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