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Federal Requirement 4.2

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

√ CompliantNon-Compliant


The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) maintains a curriculum that is directly related and appropriate to the institutional goals of the University:

• Provide innovative educational programs and curricula that are continuously improved based on recognized state and national standards and metrics.
• Develop the infrastructure and identify the resources needed to increase student enrollment and enhance student success.
• Expand interprofessional educational opportunities for students to improve collaboration in patient-focused health care.
• Enhance the transparent reporting of student and faculty outcomes to better recognize outstanding performance.
• Educate our patients, families and key communities about attainment of better health.” (1)

As an academic health sciences institution, UTMB’s curricula and degree programs enjoy a common focus on the healthcare sciences. The academic programs in each school (Medicine, Nursing, Health Professions, and Biomedical Sciences) are consistent with the institution’s mission statement and focus. They are also consistent with national standards for health profession education and are professionally accredited by their respective organizations and adhere to the accreditation standards of licensing and certification programs for medicine (2), nursing (3), occupational therapy (4), physical therapy (5), clinical laboratory science (6), physician assistants (7), respiratory care (8), and clinical nutrition and dietetics (9). The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS), which includes 13 different programs, has a curriculum committee that is responsible for monitoring and evaluating courses in each program and, with the approval of the GSBS Executive Committee, comprised of representatives of each of the school’s programs and the Dean, developing new courses and deleting obsolete courses (10). Details about each school’s curricula may be found in their respective school bulletins (11).

Within each of UTMB’s schools, it is the responsibility of the faculty and the deans to provide curriculum oversight and ensure that all programs are consistent with the institutional mission. Each school has its own process for development, review, and approval of new degree and certificate programs, but they are generally initiated at the department or division level. Proposals are forwarded to the curriculum committee and faculty organization within each school for review before being approved by the school’s dean and sent to both the Provost and the Council of Deans. Final institutional approval comes from the President of the University and the proposal is then submitted to the Executive Vice Chancellor of the University of Texas (UT) System Office of Health Affairs. If approved at this level, the proposal moves to the UT System Board of Regents (specifically the chair of the Subcommittee for Health Affairs) to ensure it meets the set of criteria established by the Regents to assure that the program is consistent with the overall mission of the UT System, that it is of excellent quality, and that it reflects an efficient use of resources (12).

Once new academic programs are approved by the Regents, approval and oversight becomes the responsibility of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) (13), where the proposal is again weighed against the institutional mission, determined whether curriculum changes are consistent with current educational standards, and assured that adequate funding is available for implementation and sustainment. Oversight at the state level ensures that new programs meet the standards of consistency with the University mission and goals related to educational quality.

1 UTMB Mission, Vision and Values
2 The Liaison Committee on Medical Education, Functions and Structure of a Medical School, May 2012, pp. 12-15.
3 American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Standards for Accreditation of Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing Programs
4 Standards for an Accredited Educational Program for the Occupational Therapist, Standard A.6.0, Program Evaluation
5 Evaluative Criteria for Accreditation of Education Programs for the Preparation of Physical Therapists, Section 2, pp. 24–37.
6 National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, pp. 20–25
7 Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant: Accreditation Manual, Section B
8 Standards and Guidelines for the Profession of Respiratory Care, Standard III & IV
9 The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
10 Bylaws and Academic Policies, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, pp. 13, 22
11 School Catalogues and Bulletins
12 UT System Board of Regents Rules (40307) – Academic Program Approval Standards
13 Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board – Chapter 5. Rules Applying to Public Universities and/or Health-Related Institutions of Higher Education in Texas Subchapter C. Approval of New Academic Programs and Administrative Changes at Public Universities and/or Health-Related Institutions

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