Changes in Curriculum

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CHANGES IN CURRICULUM

There are three (3) categories of curriculum changes listed in Policy #14 Reporting Substantive Changes:

Changes in Nursing Content

Changes in nursing content are determined by calculating the percentage of credits being altered through the 1) addition, 2) deletion, or 3) substitution of nursing course credits only.

  • Addition: Adding a course to the program of study with content that was not previously delivered in any course in the nursing sequence. This course is not being added to replace an existing course, but as a supplement to the existing courses in the nursing sequence. (Ex: adding a pathophysiology course to a curriculum that did not previously include it in any course)
  • Deletion: Deleting a course from the program of study where the content will no longer be offered in any other course in the nursing sequence. This does not include removing a course to add a different but comparable course.
  • Substitution: Substituting a course in the existing nursing sequence with a newly-developed course or a course with significantly modified content, OR redistributing the content of an existing nursing course into other courses in the nursing sequence.

Templates for Reporting: Curriculum Revisions (50% or greater) (.docx)
Curriculum Revisions (25-49%) (.docx)

Determining if a Change in a Nursing Course is Substantive

When determining if a change in a course is substantive, content is what is important. Has the course been developed from the ground up, or has it been significantly revised? If not, these changes would be considered minor and would not count towards the percentage of credits that have been substantively changed.

Changes that DO count towards the percentage total:

  • Adding a three-credit course to the nursing sequence with content that was previously included in multiple courses throughout the curriculum (3-credit addition)
  • Eliminating a three-credit course and redistributing the nursing content throughout the curriculum (3-credit substitution)
  • Developing a four-credit nursing course to replace a three-credit nursing course with new or significantly modified content (4-credit substitution)
  • Deleting a four-credit course from a program of study with no equivalent in the new/revised curriculum (4-credit deletion)

Changes that DO NOT count towards the percentage total:

  • Changing the title of a course with no changes to the content (e.g., changing Medical-Surgical Nursing II to Nursing II)
  • Changing the course prefix or number with no changes to the content (e.g., changing NUR 101 to NURS 111)
  • Combining two courses to create one course with the same total number of credits and no changes to the content (e.g., combining a four-credit Nursing I course and a three-credit Nursing II course to create a seven-credit Nursing Fundamentals course)
  • Splitting one course into two courses with the same total number of credits and no changes to the content (e.g., splitting a six-credit Professional Nursing course into a three-credit Professional Nursing I course and a three-credit Professional Nursing II course)

When to Report

If 25% or greater of the nursing credits have been altered, a substantive change report is required.

  • Changes of 50% or more of the nursing course credits/clock hours follow Procedure 1 for review and require Board of Commissioner approval.
  • Changes of 25–49% of the nursing course credits/clock hours follow Procedure 2 and may be accepted by the ACEN Staff without requiring Board approval.
  • Changes involving less than 25% of the nursing course credits/clock hours do not require reporting.
Changes in Overall Program Length

Changes in the overall program length are determined by calculating the percentage of increase or decrease in the total credit or clock hours required for program completion.

Template for Reporting: Credit/Clock Hour Change (20% or greater) (.docx)

When to Report

If 20% or greater of the existing program length has changed by increasing or decreasing credit or clock hours, a substantive change must be reported.

EXAMPLE:
College Xʼs practical nursing program consists of 45 credits. The program faculty decide to decrease the total number of credits by 9 credits to comply with its state regulatory agencyʼs rules.

Current Program of Study
Course
Prefix, Number, and Title
Credits
PN 110 Nursing I   9
  PN 111 Nursing II   9
  PN 112 Nursing III   9
  PN 113 Nursing IV   9
  PN 114 Nursing V 9
Total Credit Hours: 45

Revised Program of Study
Course
Prefix, Number, and Title
Credits Credit Change
PN 110 Nursing I 7 2
  PN 111 Nursing II 7 2
  PN 112 Nursing III 7 2
  PN 113 Nursing IV 7 2
  PN 114 Nursing V 8 1
Total Credit Hours: 36 9

To facilitate this change, the program faculty:

  • Reduced Nursing I, II, III, and IV by 2 credits each (8 credit decrease)
  • Reduced Nursing V by 1 credit (1 credit decrease)

College X decreased 9 out of 45 credits required for completion to create the revised curriculum. This change represents a 20% (9/45) change in program length and follows Procedure 1 for review.

Changes in Methods of Academic Measurement

Changing methods of academic measurement (e.g., from clock hours to credit hours) are typically related to the awarding of financial aid.

Template for Reporting: Method of Academic Measurement (.docx)

When to Report

  • Changes involving changes in method of academic measurement requires reporting in accordance with Policy #14 and follows Procedure 1 for review and requires Board of Commissioner approval.