Breadth Policy (Degrees)

Policy Number: AS-2009-2017
Policy Title: Breadth Policy (Degrees)

Policy Owner: Vice President, Academic

Effective Date: January 24, 2018

1. Purpose

This policy outlines a framework to ensure that Mohawk College degree level programs delivered by Mohawk College comply with the breadth requirements specified in the Standards and Benchmarks established by the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB).

2. Application and Scope

This policy applies to all degree level programs offered at Mohawk College, with the exception of collaborative degree programs.

PEQAB's breadth requirements include the delivery of coherent and substantive non­ core offerings. Breadth requirements at  Mohawk  College will be met by offering a range of  Liberal  Studies courses designated as required and elective courses in degree-level programs.

3. Definitions

"Breadth requirement" refers to criteria specified in the Program Quality Review Standard for Program Content (PEQAB: 2016, Handbook for Public Organizations: Applying for Ministerial Consent under the Post-Secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act, 2000).

"Collaborative Degree Program" refers to a degree program offered jointly by a college and a partnering university.

"Degree Level Program" refers to a program that has been approved by the Ontario MAESD and PEQAB that leads to a Bachelor's Degree qualification awarded at the completion of the program, as defined by the Ontario Qualifications Framework.

"Faculty member" means a person who is employed by the College and teaches in a degree level program.

"PEQAB" refers to the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board, an arm's­ length agency to which the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development refers proposals for initial consent and renewal of consent to deliver degree programs for assessment against quality standards dictated by the Ontario Qualifications Framework (OQF).

4. Principles

This policy is designed to meet or exceed all breadth requirements of PEQAB and the
Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) related to the delivery of College degree level programs.

The curriculum (core and non-core) within Mohawk College's degree level programs contributes to the students' achievement of critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, written and oral communication skills, knowledge of society and culture, and skills relevant to civic engagement.

Liberal Studies options offered in Mohawk  College degree level programs are coherent and substantive non-core offerings that will develop knowledge of disciplines distinct from the field of the study identified in the program title, including at least two of the following: humanities, sciences, social sciences, global cultures and/or mathematics.

Curriculum for Liberal Studies options in Mohawk College degree level programs reflects current knowledge in the fields represented to develop knowledge of the distinctive assumptions and modes of analysis of individual disciplines and understanding of different theoretical perspectives.

All Liberal Studies options offered in degree level programs at the College provide exposure to increasingly complex theory to promote specialized knowledge and conceptual sophistication. These courses will conform to the level of intellectual rigour and standards of evaluation specified by PEOAB and the OQF  for programs at this level.

Liberal Studies options are classified as follows:

  • Introductory Level courses build the foundation for a field of study by providing an overview and engaging students with the theoretical and methodological concerns of the discipline at a preliminary level.
  • Advanced Level courses augment breadth and depth of knowledge within the discipline and emphasize theoretical and/or critical approaches to analysis and research. Evaluations require students to demonstrate comprehension and skills in critical thinking, research and communication that evidence the capacity for intellectual autonomy outside the core field of study.

Liberal Studies options will comply with PEOAB's Program Delivery Standard by using delivery methods appropriate to course content and design (Benchmark 4), and by ensuring that delivery methods contribute to and enhance the creation of community among students and between students and faculty (Benchmark 6).

5. Accountability and Compliance

5.1 Accountability Framework

This policy has been approved by the Senior Leadership Team.

5.2 Compliance

The Vice President Academic is responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy and updating the policy as required.

The Associate Dean, School of Liberal Studies and faculty members are responsible for the quality of the breadth curriculum in Mohawk College degree programs.

6. Requirements

6.1 Mandatory Breadth

Degree level programs may specify exclusion of  Liberal Studies Options closely related to the area of study identified  in the program's title that would  be considered as "core."

Liberal Studies (non-core) Options will constitute 20% of program hours to comply with the PEOAB standard for Program Content; the Program of Studies (POS) must provide for students to choose at least 50% of their breadth/non-core courses as electives. Students must complete two mandatory non-core courses (3 hours each) in Critical Thinking and Communications, and as many as two additional non-core courses can be identified as mandatory for the POS.

Students must successfully complete courses in a minimum of two of the following fields of study: humanities, sciences, social sciences, global cultures and or mathematics, including at least two courses at the advanced level.

Prior to inclusion in a Mohawk College program of studies (POS) leading to a bachelor degree, all non-core courses must be reviewed by the  Associate  Dean,  School of Liberal Studies to ensure compliance with the PEOAB breadth requirement for degree programs.

6.2 Block Transfer

The School of Liberal Studies has responsibility for the academic evaluation of diploma level general education courses, confirming those courses satisfy the requirements for general education and determining the corresponding field of study at the degree breadth level. Block transfers of diploma level general education courses to degree level breadth courses will be offered at a ratio of 3:2 or 4:3. In this case, the student's three or four diploma level general education courses must have a minimum combined average of 70%, with a minimum grade of 60% in each course. General education courses being transferred to breadth course credits cannot have previously given credit consideration towards a previously earned diploma.

6.3 Advanced Standing

The School of Liberal Studies has responsibility for the academic evaluation of credits earned in degree level courses, confirming those courses satisfy the requirements of breadth for degree-level programs and determining the corresponding field of study.

7. Policy Revision Date

7.1 Revision Date

January 2021

7.2 Responsibility

This policy will be reviewed and updated every three years or earlier if required.

8. Specific Links

  • AS-2007-2016 Academic Hiring (Degrees) AS-2008-2016 Technology Based Delivery Academic Employees Collective Agreement
  • Ontario Qualifications Framework: The Post-Secondary Education Quality Assessment Board, "Handbook for Ontario College