The Fifth-Year Interim Report

Part III: The Fifth-Year Compliance Certification

4.2 Program Curriculum

The institution’s curriculum is directly related and appropriate to the purpose and goals of the institution and the diplomas, certificates, or degrees awarded.

Judgment of Compliance



Alcorn State University’s mission states that it is a “comprehensive land-grant institution that celebrates a rich heritage with a diverse student and faculty population. The university emphasizes intellectual development and lifelong learning through the integration of diverse pedagogies, applied and basic research, cultural and professional programs, public service and outreach, while providing access to globally competitive academic and research programs. Alcorn strives to prepare graduates to be well-rounded future leaders of high character and to be successful in the global marketplace of the 21st century." The university’s purpose statement is in direct alignment with the mission statement and reflects the university’s commitment to provide “meaningful academic and real-world educational experiences for students through both undergraduate and graduate programs”.

As identified in the Alcorn State University 2009-2019 Strategic Plan: Road Map to Greatness, the university will implement its mission by providing a broad variety of academic and experiential learning opportunities which focus primarily around the following five core educational areas:

The university will continue to enhance its general focus on Agriculture, an area which is critical to the fulfillment of its mission as a land grant university, while emphasizing the development of advanced expertise in the areas of agri-business and biofuels.

The university will continue to develop special expertise and implement diverse pedagogies in order to empower the learning capabilities and academic achievement of underserved populations.

The university will continuously strengthen its capacity to contribute to the economic development of its surrounding communities and to develop models of economic revitalization by enriching its entrepreneurship program.

The university will enhance nursing education in its effort of addressing the nation’s nursing shortage. In doing so, the University will support the School of Nursing’s goal of becoming a Center of Excellence in Health Promotion and Service for Rural and Underserved Populations. The School of Nursing is poised to serve the growing local and national needs for strategies in the prevention of conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. The School of Nursing is committed to graduating competent beginning level and advanced practice registered nurses.

Science, Technology, and Mathematics
The University will continue to develop students who are outstanding professionals in the STEM disciplines. Alcorn State University will focus on the fields of chemistry, biology, and mathematics, with particular emphasis on the areas of robotics and nuclear energy.

ASU offers 42 degree programs to include 1 associate’s degree in nursing, 29 undergraduate degrees, 11 master’s degrees, and 1 specialist degree. The list of degree programs are provided.

As declared by the mission statement of the undergraduate education is to “emphasize intellectual development and lifelong learning”. To this end, the university offers a liberal arts component that provides the student with essential knowledge that ensures success in a specific field of study leading to a Bachelor’s degree.

The General Education Core Curriculum provides the student with the instruction in liberal arts.

Course Area

Fields of Study

Required Hours




Creative Arts

Literature, Music, Art, Speech, Theater, Humanities


Social Sciences

History, General Psychology, Economics, Social Institutions, Government


Natural/Physical Sciences

Biology, Physics, Chemistry



Algebra, Calculus, Trigonometry


University Life

University Life


Total Hour (minimum)




As evidenced in the above chart, the core curriculum requires a minimum of thirty-one credit hours. Taken as a whole, the general education and major courses provide a broad base of knowledge and experience that promote intellectual development and lifelong learning.

According to the 2012 Faculty Handbook, the university curriculum committee has the responsibility to review all proposals for curricular changes, including new courses, course revisions, new degree programs, degree program revisions, and the general education core for undergraduate and graduate programs, and to forward recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The university curriculum committee is a standing committee of the faculty senate. As such, faculty members are discipline experts who are tasked with any curriculum changes.

Curriculum changes and new degree program proposals must be initiated in the department by the faculty. After the initiation, the proposed changes are reviewed by the departmental curriculum committee, department chair, dean, and the University Curriculum Committee. The curriculum committee makes all recommendations on curriculum changes to the provost. All curricular changes are added when the provost grants approval.

If it is a graduate level course or graduate program addition, the graduate council must approve after the university curriculum committee but prior to provost’s approval. Attached is evidence of a graduate course approval.