Minnesota State Policy

Part 1: Purpose and Applicability. The purpose of the Academic Programs policy is to direct decision-making regarding the development, approval and management of academic programs to meet Minnesota’s educational needs. This policy applies to credit-based academic programs at Lake Superior College.

Part 2: Definitions

Subpart A: Academic Award. Academic award means a certificate, diploma or degree.

Subpart B: Academic Program

Academic program means a cohesive arrangement of college-level credit courses and experiences designed to accomplish predetermined objectives leading to the awarding of a degree, diploma, or certificate. Most academic programs include a general education component. The purpose of an academic program is to:

  1. increase students’ knowledge and understanding in a field of study or discipline,
  2. qualify students for employment in an occupation or range of occupations, and/or
  3. prepare students for advanced study.

Subpart C: Academic Program Inventory. Academic program inventory means the official list of academic programs offered by Lake Superior College.

Subpart D: Credit. Credit means a quantitative measure of instructional time assigned to a course or an equivalent learning experience such as class time per week over an academic term.

Subpart E: Credit Life. General education and elective credits have no transfer limit. Occupational course credits earned more than five years prior to the time of request need program faculty approval to fulfill current program requirements. Certain occupational areas may have more stringent requirements. If occupational credits more than five years old are not approved to fulfill program requirements, students may demonstrate course content mastery by utilizing the Credit for Prior Learning process.

Subpart F: General Education. General education means a cohesive curriculum defined by faculty through Lake Superior College procedures to develop reasoning ability and breadth of knowledge through an integration of learning experiences in the liberal arts and sciences.

Part 3: Authorized Academic Awards

Subpart A: College Awards. Lake Superior College has the authority to confer undergraduate certificates, diplomas, associate in arts, associate in fine arts, associate in science, and associate in applied science degrees. Approval by the Board of Trustees is required for Lake Superior College to confer an academic award type for which specific authority is not granted in this policy.

Subpart B: Academic Award Characteristics. The chancellor shall specify the characteristics of academic awards.

Part 4: Authority to Establish Academic Program Locations. Approval of the chancellor is required for establishment of a location at which an academic program may be offered.

Part 5: Academic Program Approval. Approval of the chancellor is required for new academic programs, changes to existing academic programs, suspension of academic programs, and closure of academic programs at system colleges and universities. An approved academic program shall include curricular requirements for earning an academic award, such as credits in general education, a major and/or minor, and all prerequisite courses. The chancellor shall maintain the academic program inventory. Only academic programs approved by the chancellor as recorded in the academic program inventory may be offered by system colleges and universities.

Part 6: Student Options when Academic Programs are Suspended, Closed, or Changed. Lake Superior College shall provide a student admitted to an academic program an opportunity, consistent with Lake Superior College policy, to complete the academic program when it is suspended or closed or when the requirements have changed.

Part 7: Academic Review. Lake Superior College shall regularly review its academic programs for the purpose of academic planning and improvement. Lake Superior College shall submit an annual summary of its academic program review activity to the chancellor. The chancellor, as appropriate, may conduct statewide or regional reviews of academic programs or program clusters, report findings to the Board of Trustees and, when necessary, impose conditions on academic programs. September 2008 Replaces Policy 3.17 Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates.

Date Implemented: May 3, 2001

Date Updated: February, 2009