Savannah State University
Fifth-Year Interim Report
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FR 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.

Compliance                     ___ Non-Compliance





Narrative and documentation supporting the narrative of appropriateness of the curriculum with the institution's mission and the certificates and degrees offered demonstrate that:

      Programs offered by Savannah State University align with the institution's mission as a State University in the University System of Georgia, and as the oldest public historically black college in the state of Georgia, that Savannah State University (SSU) occupies a unique position within the University System of Georgia (USG). Documents providing evidence of this alignment include documentation from the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, a listing of institutional degrees and majors, and the SSU Faculty Handbook.

      Curriculum is appropriate for the degrees awarded, as evidenced by a listing of institutional accreditations and program review documents.

      Curriculum development and approval policies and practices are consistent with standard practices in higher education; involve review and opportunities for input and feedback at every level from the departmental faculty through the institution-wide Faculty Senate New Programs and Curriculum Committee process. Documentation supporting adherence to these policies include Faculty Senate Committee Descriptions, including the New Program and Curriculum Committee (NPCC), Description from the Faculty Handbook of the curriculum approval process, and program review; and approval documents for the Bachelor of Science in Education degree programs in Middle Grades Education.

      As there are no differential policies and approval processes for curriculum offered online are aligned with the university's mission, and adhere to the approval processes described.        


Alignment with the Mission and Goals of the Institution

Savannah State University is classified as a State University in the system of classification employed by the University System of Georgia. According this classification process, State Universities offer bachelors and master's degrees and limited associate-level degrees. Limited doctoral programs also are offered by this sector. They conduct some basic research, but it is typically focused on institutional and/or applied research (USG Institutional Classification Policy).  The vast majority of the degree program offered by Savannah State University are at the bachelor's and master's degree levels in the broad areas of business administration; liberal arts and social sciences; science and technology; and teacher education. 


Savannah State remains ever conscious of its historical mission to serve the underserved and of its contemporary mission to develop productive members of a global society through high quality instruction, scholarship, research, service, and community involvement.  It embraces a celebration of its African-American legacy while nurturing a diverse student body (University Mission Statement). The curriculum currently offered by the University is designed within that framework, and all new program proposals are also considered within that framework. Savannah State University offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in African Studies, in keeping with the institution focus on its African-American legacy.  As also stated in the mission, the university offers graduate and undergraduate studies including nationally accredited programs in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions. (University Mission Statement). Programs which have earned national accreditation include: business administration (BBA and MBA) (AACSB); Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work (CSWE); Master of Public Administration (NASPAA); and Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).   


Appropriateness of the Curriculum to Degrees Awarded

Savannah State University offers varied programs of study leading to degrees at the Associate's, Bachelor's and Master's levels, as authorized by the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents (BOR) (USG: "Degrees and Majors for SSU"), along with certificate programs. In these programs, the HBCU tradition remains intact as, for example, liberal arts courses within the core curriculum include some attention to the African-American experience (AFRS 1501 "African-American Experience" syllabus and ENGL 2222 African American Literature syllabus)

To fulfill the mission's focus on developing productive citizens of a global society, POLS 2401 Global Issues is a core requirement for all undergraduate majors (POLS 2401 Global Issues syllabus).  Additionally, ample opportunities are available for international study, as described on the "Study Abroad" pages of the International Education Center website, again fulfilling the institution's mission to produce citizens for the global society. These activities are directly supportive of the mission, as well as Strategic Priority 3 of the Strategic Plan - Global Education Experiences, which includes as two of its components, Enhancing Study Abroad and Exchange , and Broadening experiences for international and other diverse students (SSU 2014-2020 Strategic Plan Priorities).   

Most majors include some element of community service in their upper division curricula, and the current University Strategic Plan includes the specific long-term strategic goal: Initiating leadership opportunities through service and workforce development thus satisfying the institution's mission related to service and community involvement. The Social Work undergraduate and graduate programs are examples of programs with community service incorporated in the curriculum through field practica and research experiences with local and regional social service agencies (Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work).


Curriculum Development and Approval

The University has established processes for creating and revising its curriculum. In keeping with Savannah State University's belief in shared governance, new programs are developed by faculty and move through various steps, beginning with the initial proposal for a new course or program or modification of existing courses or program by faculty at the departmental level. Following review and approval at the departmental level, including approval by the department chair, the proposal is then reviewed as approved by a curriculum committee comprised of faculty from disciplines across the college (Curriculum Approval Process Flow Chart).   Once action has been taken at the college level, the curriculum proposal is then reviewed and approved by the New Program and Curriculum Committee (NPCC), which is a standing committee of the Faculty Senate. Members of the NPCC represent the four academic units of the university, namely, The College of Business Administration; the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences; the College of Science and Technology; and the School of Teacher Education.  While there is ex-officio representation of the deans of the four academic units and other units involved with the curricular review and approval process, such as the Registrar's Office and Center for Academic Success, the voting members of the committee are faculty representing the four academic units. Following approval at the level of the NPCC, the proposal is signed by the Provost representing the NPCC. These institutional processes and procedures are in compliance with USG's criteria with regard to approval of New Academic Programs (USG: Academic Programs – 2.3.2 New Academic Programs).   


An example of a program that was recently approved by the New Programs and Curriculum Committee is the Bachelor of Science in Education degree with emphases in Language Arts/Social Studies or Science and Technology. Minutes of Departmental (SOTE Meeting Minutes); College (SOTE Meeting Minutes), and NPCC Meetings (NPCC Meeting Minutes) reflect input and feedback into the curricular review and approval process from the departmental through the university levels (SOTE Meeting Minutes)


Online/Distance Learning Programs

As there are no differential policies and approval processes for curricula offered online, these course and programs are aligned with the university's mission and goals; the curriculum is appropriate to the degree awarded, and the courses/programs adhere to the approval processes described above.       



       New Programs and Curriculum Committee (NPCC) Web Page

       New Program Proposal Form

       Syllabus: AFRS 1501 African American Experience

       Syllabus: ENGL 2222 African American Literature

       Syllabus: POLS 2401 Global Issues

       University Mission Statement

       University Strategic Priorities 2014-2020

       Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work

       USG: Academic Programs – 2.3.6 Comprehensive Program Review

       USG: Academic Programs – 2.3.2 New Academic Programs

       USG: Academic Programs – 2.3.4 Program Modifications

       SSU Center of International Education

       SSU Faculty Senate Committee Listing

       NPCC New Programs Flow Chart

       USG: Academic Programs – 2.3.2 New Academic Programs

       Comprehensive Program Review (Homeland Security and Emergency Management)

       Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd) in Middle Grades Education New Program Proposal

       SOTE Meeting Minutes

       NPCC Meeting Minutes