3.4.10  Responsibility for Curriculum

The institution places primary responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of its curriculum with its faculty. (Responsibility for curriculum)

Compliance:  North Carolina State University is in compliance with this principle.


As a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University upholds the standards described in Standards of Shared Governance, adopted by the UNC Faculty Assembly in 2005.  Faculty governance responsibilities delineated in this document clearly assign responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of the curriculum to the faculty [items 2 and 3]. 

2. The university's curriculum is the responsibility of the faculty. The faculty, acting as a committee of the whole or through representatives elected by the faculty or designated pursuant to procedures established by faculty legislation, must give approval to academic policies prior to their implementation, including but not limited to the following: (a) graduation requirements; (b) the undergraduate curriculum; (c) the establishment, merger, or discontinuation of departments, schools, and colleges; (d) the establishment of new degree programs (including online programs); (e) the establishment of or substantive changes to majors; (f) the elimination or consolidation of degree programs; (g) the establishment of individual new courses; (h) admissions policies; (i) attendance and grading policies; (j) grade-appeal procedures; (k) drop-add policies; (l) course-repeat policies; (m) policies for honors programs; and (n) honor-code policies.

3. The curriculum leading to and policies with respect to the award of graduate and professional degrees must be established by the faculties of the schools or colleges that admit and certify candidates for those degrees.

Consonant with these standards, NC State faculty play a leading role in developing and approving new academic programs.  The on-campus procedure is controlled largely by faculty, who develop program proposals.  Committees responsible for review and approval of these proposals at both the college and university level consist predominately of faculty [membership rosters, University Courses and Curricula Committee; Administrative Board of the Graduate School].  For additional detail, see Core Requirement 2.7.2 (Program content) and Comprehensive Standard 3.4.1 (Academic program approval).

Faculty are also responsible for ongoing assessment of the quality and effectiveness of curricula.  At NC State, these assessments include both outcomes assessment (every year for undergraduate programs and biennially for graduate programs) and external reviews (every eight years). For additional detail, see Comprehensive Standard (Institutional effectiveness: Educational programs). 

All degree programs undergo a thorough review a minimum of every eight years, either through a professional accreditation review process or the university's review process [Program Review Schedule]. Faculty of the program to be reviewed prepare by conducting a self-study in which they evaluate the major components of a curriculum, including, as appropriate, the quality of the students, courses, programs, faculty, research, and outreach and extension. The external reviewers, after visiting the campus and meeting with faculty, students, and others, produce a report that identifies areas for improvement and recommendations for improvement. The reviewers' reports may address, as necessary, the currency of theories in the discipline, the intellectual rigor of the program, and the coherence of the curriculum. These reports are used by programs as guides for improving their curricula. 

Faculty also take responsibility for the quality and effectiveness of the curriculum in other ways.  The last revision of NC State's undergraduate general education requirements provides the last major, university-wide initiative.  A General Education Requirement Task Force (GERTF), comprising faculty, students, and staff, was charged with reviewing the general education requirements then in force and, on the basis of that review, recommending revisions, establishing a plan for the proposed revisions, determining their cost, and producing a plan for assessment.

During its nearly thirty months of existence, the GERTF gathered information and opinions about the GER then in force and examined a wide range of approaches to providing a sound, fundamental general education to all NC State students. In fall 2006, a consensus was reached on the new proposal, which was presented to a variety of campus groups, which included faculty, for response. In addition to these meetings, an electronic feedback system was developed so that individual faculty, staff, and students could comment on the proposal. Finally, all of the colleges were asked to submit a response to the proposal. Based on all responses, the GERTF submitted a final proposal, the General Education Plan, which was approved by the provost in 2008 for implementation in 2009.

Reference list

Academic Program Review Schedule, NC State [Report]. - Raleigh : NC State Office of the Provost.

Administrative Board of the Graduate School [Online] // NC State Graduate School website.

Appendix F: Partial List of Presentations [Report]. - Raleigh : NC State GER Task Force, 2006, 2007.

General Education Plan Effective Summer II 2009 [Online] / auth. GERTF NC State // NC State Office of the Provost website. - 2008.

General Education Review Task Force Member Roster [Report] : list / General Education Review Task Force. - Raleigh : NC State Office of the Provost.

Graduate, Professional, and Undergraduate External Reviews, 2012-2020, NC State [Report]. - Raleigh : NC State Office of the Provost.

Roster for 2012/2013 Courses & Curricula Committee [Report]. - Raleigh : NC State Office of the Provost.

Standards of Shared Governance [Online] // Academe Online website.