The Fifth-Year Interim Report

Part III: The Fifth-Year Compliance Certification

3.4.11 Academic Program Coordination

For each major in a degree program, the institution assigns responsibility for program coordination, as well as for curriculum development and review, to persons academically qualified in the field. In those degree programs for which the institution does not identify a major, this requirement applies to a curricular area or concentration

Judgment of Compliance



The five academic schools of Alcorn State University (ASU) are organized into academic departments administered by a dean. Each school is made up of several departments administered by a department chair. The department chair serves in a dual administrative and faculty capacity.

For each major in a degree program, ASU assigns responsibility for program coordination, as well as curriculum development and review to the department chair. ASU gives the faculty of each school primary responsibility for all aspects of the curriculum. Curricular coordination of programs may be assigned to departmental faculty members with expertise in the degree program area by the departmental chair. In instances where the chair assigns a program coordinator, the coordinator oversees program changes. Program assessment is the responsibility of the chair, who works closely with all program coordinators within the department. In most cases, the chair constructs schedules for each academic semester. When the course schedule is constructed by a program coordinator, it is still the chair’s responsibility to approve it and forward to the dean of that school. Program coordinators and/or department chairpersons are responsible for the oversight of curriculum development, review, and assessment regardless of delivery mode.

As shown in Tables 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5,  , 83% of the department chairpersons and program coordinators hold terminal degrees in the area or program for which they provide oversight, direction, and assessment. In instances where the program coordinator holds the Master’s degree, he/she is usually a faculty member whose degree is in the field of coordination but also has a number of years of experience in the area of expertise. Majors in each degree program are the responsibility of the faculty, and department chairs provide oversight. All departmental chairs are credentialed to provide oversight for the programs they supervise.

In those departments that incorporate a secondary education endorsement area, the chair and usually one other academically qualified faculty member serve on the university wide Teacher Education Committee (TEC), as stated in the ASU Faculty Handbook. The TEC is responsible for the coordination of all teacher education programs at the university. At the department level, the chair and the appointed faculty coordinator are directly responsible for the teacher education curriculum development and review.

For all academic departments that house a graduate program component, an appointed program coordinator serves on the university wide Graduate Council. The Graduate Council Membership Policy assures that qualified faculty members are responsible for graduate program coordination at the departmental level. Minutes from the graduate council meetings reflect the collaboration and decision-making process to involve all designated program coordinators from the various departments.