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Section 2: Program Development and Approval

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Pilot Development Process

In support of the CSU tradition of experimentation in the planning and offering of degree programs, trustee policy states that a limited number of proposals that meet pilot program criteria may be implemented as five-year "pilot programs" without prior review and comment by the Office of the Chancellor or CPEC. Only new degree programs are eligible for pilot status; degree options, certificates, minors, and sub-options do not qualify. To qualify, pilot degree programs must meet all of the following six criteria:

  • 1. can be offered at a high level of quality by the campus within the campus' existing resource base, or there is a demonstrated capacity to fund the program on a self-support basis;

  • 2. is not subject to specialized accreditation by an agency that is a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors, or is currently offered as an option or sub-option that is already recognized and accredited by an appropriate specialized accrediting agency;

  • 3. can be adequately housed without a major capital outlay project;

  • 4. is consistent with all existing state and federal law and trustee policy;

  • 5. is either a bachelor's or master's degree program; and

  • 6. has been subject to a thorough campus review and approval process.

Departments or programs wishing to gain approval for a pilot program need to conform to the following:

  • 1. Prior to implementation, the campus is obligated to a) notify the CSU Office of the Chancellor of plans to establish the program, b) to provide a program description and list of curricular requirements, and c) confirm that each of the six pilot criteria apply to the pilot program.

  • 2. Although CSU Office of the Chancellor approval is not required, a pilot program must be acknowledged by the CSU Office of the Chancellor before the program is implemented.

  • 3. A campus may implement a pilot program without first proposing the projection on the campus Academic Plan. In such cases, the program will be identified as a pilot program in the next annual update of the campus Academic Plan.

  • 4. The CSU Office of the Chancellor will notify CPEC.

A pilot program is authorized to operate only for five years. If no further action is taken by the end of the five years, no new students may be admitted to the pilot program. In the event of the termination of a pilot program, the campus must make appropriate arrangements to allow students already enrolled to complete the program. The department or program shall prepare a comprehensive packet of materials including:

  • the program proposal in template format, including the Faculty Check List,

  • a pilot program statement,

  • a completed "Coversheet for Program Projection, Implementation and Major Program Change" form (Attachment 2.3),

  • a completed "Proposal for Implementing New Degree, Option, Certificate, or Minor" form (Attachment 2.5), and

  • complete catalog copy.
Section 2: Program Development and Approval
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