Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commision on Colleges – Fifth Year Interim Report

11. Program length [FR 4.4]

Standard 11: Program length is appropriate for each of the institution’s educational programs. (Federal Requirement 4.4)

Status: In Compliance

Program length at Berea College is appropriate for each of the degrees offered.  Berea College offers programs of study that upon successful completion, lead to the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and/or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degrees.   All programs require at least 32 course credits.

The Berea College 2010-11 Catalog states that course credits are equivalent to four semester hours.  Thus, the minimum number of semester hours for any of the College’s 32 Degrees is 128.   The College operates on a two fifteen-week academic calendar, with optional Summer One and Summer Two terms.

All majors are approved by the College Faculty and Board of Trustees, and at Berea the major is defined as “a set of courses selected to provide an opportunity for students to undertake study in depth.”   Every major includes four components:

  • a central core of method, theory, and content;
  • a formal integration of the diversity of topics and analytical tools within the field of study;
  • an intellectual sequence of study that moves to increasingly complex and sophisticated understandings; and
  • opportunities for students to demonstrate some mastery of the field of study’s nature, tools, central questions, arguments, history, philosophical presuppositions, limits, etc.

All changes to academic programs are proposed by the core faculty in a program area, reviewed by the Academic Program Council, the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty, and the College Faculty Assembly.  In addition, all academic programs undergo comprehensive self studies, which include external reviewers from accredited colleges and universities who offer similar programs.

Students who propose independent majors must show how their proposal compares to requirements for similar program at other accredited institutions.

Supporting Documents and Evidence

  1. Berea College 2011-2012 Catalog and Student Handbook, (Website)
    1. Degrees of Study <>
    2. Degree Requirements <>
    3. Academic Calendar <>
    4. Definition of Major <>
  2. Berea College Fall 2010 Faculty Manual,
    1. Academic Program Council
    2. College Faculty Assembly
  3. Self-Study Guidelines
  4. Berea College 2011-2012 Catalog and Student Handbook, Independent Major (Website) <>

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