Colleges, Schools and Departments
Clemson University is composed of six colleges that house the academic faculty and staff, offer undergraduate and graduate courses and grant degrees. The deans of these units are referred to as “Collegiate Deans”. The libraries are included as a seventh academic “unit” that houses the libraries’ faculty and staff, offers undergraduate courses but does not grant academic degrees. Collectively, the Dean of the Libraries and the Collegiate Deans are referred to as the “Academic Deans”. The Calhoun Honors College and Emeritus College also use the “college” designation but do not house deans or a separate faculty and do not offer stand-alone academic courses.College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences AFLS Vice President and Dean George Askew
In addition to the academic colleges, Honors College and Emeritus College, the division of Academic Affairs is composed of the Graduate School, the Office of Undergraduate Studies, Office of International Affairs, Clemson Computing and Information Technology (CCIT), Office of University Assessment, and Office of Institutional Research.
Centers and Institutes
Groups of faculty with common interests, often collaborative and interdisciplinary, may organize into centers or institutes. Centers are usually composed of faculty from a single college, although from multiples departments, and are overseen by the dean of that college. Institutes are usually developed by faculty from multiple colleges and are overseen by the Mission Vice Presidents. Institutes can offer interdisciplinary degrees, currently only at the graduate level, but cannot hire or tenure their own faculty (faculty must be housed in academic departments).
Not all centers and institutes are named according to the above guidelines. Often, donors prefer a particular name and some centers or institutes already in existence before year 2000 have “historic” names. Also, some buildings and laboratories are referred to as “centers” (e.g. Brooks Center for the Performing Arts).
An undergraduate program consists of a minimum of 120 hours. Most undergraduate majors consist of 120-126 hours or study, including 33 hours of General Education as required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). This total number of hours required for a degree is typical for most Top 20 universities, although the number of General Education hours may vary.
Academic institutions exist for the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the intellectual and ethical development of students, and the general well-being of society. Clemson undergraduate students must be broadly educated and technically skilled to be informed and productive citizens who need to be able to think critically about significant issues. As Clemson graduates, they should demonstrate a high level of knowledge and skill in the following areas: communication, computer use, mathematics, problem solving, natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts.
The purpose of the General Education curriculum (often referred to as core curriculum at other universities) is to provide Clemson undergraduate students with a structured base through which this knowledge and these skills can be learned. SACSCOC requires a minimum of 30 hours of General Education. These credit hours are to be drawn from and include at least one 3-credit course from each of the following areas:
In addition to the 9 hours required by SACSCOC, the faculty of the university has agreed upon 33 additional hours of General education coursework in order to demonstrate proficiency in eight competency areas:
These General Education Competencies may be met by courses within the discipline (sometimes referred to as double-dipping), or through courses approved by the University Curriculum Committee (as listed in the Undergraduate Announcements). Assessment of proficiency can be augmented by out-of class experiences such as (but not limited to) study abroad, internships, co-ops, service learning, undergraduate research, design studios, capstone coursework and Creative Inquiry experiences.
Minors, Concentrations, Emphasis Areas
Students can double or triple major or can elect to have a “minor”. Minors are composed of 15 or more hours and, unlike major programs of study, do not have to be approved by the Commission on Higher Education (CHE) or SACSCOC) It is also possible for a student to design a personal “cluster minor” with the assistance and approval of the student’s academic advisor.
Groups of relevant courses can also form a “concentration” in the major. Concentrations are composed of more than 18 hours and must be approved by the CHE. In addition, “emphasis areas” (e.g. Sports Marketing) are often developed by grouping up to 18 hours of existing courses thus avoiding the need to declare a concentration that must be approved by the CHE.
Masters, Educational Specialist and Doctoral Degrees
Highly qualified students from around the world come to Clemson to pursue graduate studies and research in more than 100 graduate programs. The University seeks to bring together the world's best students and faculty in an educational environment where a student and a teacher share in research, exploration and inquiry. We place a special emphasis on matching students with our nationally and internationally renowned faculty on the basis of their mutual research and scholarly interests.
Students have opportunities to contribute to disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary knowledge include both basic and applied research making a contribution to some of the world's most complex problems spanning science, engineering, business, behavioral and social sciences, education, life sciences, agriculture, human services, the arts, architecture, and the humanities.
A combination of graduate course work and research are combined to provide students with a personalized program of study within departmental guidelines. Master’s degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours and doctoral degree is an additional 30 hours above the master’s or 60 hours above the baccalaureate degree.
Recently, the demand for “certificates” has increased. A certificate can be composed of any number of hours but is usually nine to 12 hours (less than 18 hours requires only notification to CHE and SACSCOC). While certificates originated as a means to offer graduate coursework to professionals, certificates are now being sought by undergraduates as a means to distinguish their degree from the norm without the necessity of declaring a minor (for instance, a certificate in languages, Six Sigma, business administration, entrepreneurship, ethics, etc.).
Post-baccalaureate certificates can be taken by students who have completed an undergraduate degree and have applied as a non-degree seeking student. Graduate certificates are available for those enrolled in graduate school. Some certificates, post-MS, are only for students who have completed the masters degree, whether or not they are enrolled in doctoral programs.
Clemson University has maintained a very conservative approach to on-line education. While some fall and spring semester stand-alone undergraduate courses exist, they are limited to large elective audiences (e.g.: art history) or are paired with a face-to-face course so that students can select the mode of delivery with which they are most comfortable. Some standard undergraduate fall and spring courses are also taught on-line in the summer. No undergraduate degrees are offered on-line, although several
pre-baccalaureate certificates, at the request of our students, are available on-line. An exception to this is the BS in Electrical Engineering that is for working professionals in the power industry and is not offered to Clemson undergraduates.
At the graduate level, on-line courses must be part of a blended or on-line degree program, or certificate program, and are primarily for working professionals.
Approval of New Programs, Changes in Curriculum and Academic Organization
For new programs, planning proposals must be approved by both the Board of Trustees and the Commission on Higher Education’s Advisory Committee of Academic Programs (ACAP). After approval, full proposals must then be approved by the Commission on Higher Education’s Committee on Academic Affairs and Licensing (CAAL) and the CHE’s Board of Commissioners as well as SACS-COC. Change in delivery site for traditional mode of delivery, program discontinuations, new departments, department mergers or discontinuations and new centers or institutes must also be approved by the Board of Trustees.
Academic Program Assessment
Assessment of the quality of degree programs is included as part of Clemson’s overall program assessment process that uses Weave®, an online platform for collection of information about student learning outcomes and program quality. Program review occurs at the department or unit level and requires a five year assessment cycle beginning with program implementation or review and culminating in “closing the loop” by using assessment results and data (both qualitative and quantitative) to improve curricula and programs. In addition, the Commission on Higher Education (CHE) evaluates degree completion by major annually, requiring a 5-year average degree completion rate of five graduates for undergraduate programs (minimum enrollment of 12.5 students), three for masters (minimum enrollment of 6 students) and two for doctoral programs (minimum enrollment of 4.5 students).
As part of our participation in the voluntary system of accountability (VSA) sponsored by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), the University is committed to demonstrating that a Clemson University degree adds value. The ETS Proficiency Profile, NSSE, GRE, Specialty field tests, professional / occupational licensing, e-Portfolio and other forms of assessment are used as a means of collecting quantitative feedback on student learning and engagement. We also use focus groups, exit interviews, and alumni surveys to seek more qualitative information from students and graduates. We engage in specialty accreditation processes as well as SACSCOC five year and ten year reviews, and CHE productivity reviews to ensure continuous improvement of our degree programs.
Beginning in Fall 2011, the Education Testing Service (ETS) proficiency examination was administered to all entering freshmen and all graduating seniors in an effort to quantitatively measure critical thinking, writing, reading and mathematical abilities.
Center and Institute Assessment
Centers and institutes are evaluated annually through the Weave® process which includes development of an assessment plan and annual report. In addition, all centers and institutes undergo a comprehensive fifth-year review. Research centers and institutes are to be self-sustaining within a three-year period. Educational centers and institutes that offer courses and support department or university curricula should have substantial external funding but are not required to be entirely self- supporting.
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