Academic Operational Policies

Policy Number: AOP 219 Policy Title: Program Quality Assurance
Supersedes Existing Policy: Y Policy Owner: Senior Vice-President Academic
Associated Procedure: Y Page:  1 of 3

Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition – AOP 221

Course Outlines – AOP 204


Date Last Approved by the CET:   August 12, 2020

Program Quality Assurance

1. Introduction and Purpose

The Program Quality Assurance process at Loyalist College is committed to continuously improving program quality and processes to support academic excellence and successful student experience.

The quality of our post-secondary programs is dependent on a regular and comprehensive review process, appropriate for the credentials offered by the College, to ensure programs are relevant. Quality also depends on the design of the program to foster a student’s development of knowledge and skills to meet the program’s learning outcomes. The quality of the program further depends on   the faculty, who are experts in their field, using contemporary teaching and evaluation methodologies.

The purpose of this policy is to outline Loyalist College’s program quality assurance process, to ensure that the content and delivery of programs are responsive, current and relevant in meeting employer, community, student and government needs.

2. Application

This policy applies to all Loyalist College programs leading to a certificate, diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate or degree.

3. Policy Statement

All academic programs at Loyalist College are to engage in ongoing program quality assurance processes to ensure accessibility, academic integrity, relevance, quality, and sustainability of our programs. All programs, regardless of means of delivery (e.g. online, in-classroom) or delivery provider (e.g. Loyalist College, the licensee), will be part of and subject to the process.

Once every five years, all programs leading to an academic credential (Ontario College Certificate, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Graduate Certificate and Bachelor’s Degree) and Board of Governor certificate programs will undergo a program quality review as per the requirements and standards set out by the Ontario College Quality Assurance Service (OCQAS) and the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB).

Each academic Dean or designate is accountable for overseeing the Program Quality Assurance process within their school.

The quality assurance process is a reflective, evidence-based process that supports the College’s ongoing institutional focus on student learning, student success and program sustainability. Time and financial support are required and participation in this process will be recognized. This is a sustainable process of continual quality improvement across our academic programs and services.

This process creates evidence that is owned by the individual Schools and program teams. The evidence respects the Schools’ or teams’ understanding of their program and disciplines. It includes a broad range of stakeholder opinion – including, but not limited to, analysis of KPI data, focus groups, etc. – that leads to clear recommendations on how the Schools and teams can improve their programs.

  • Quality Standards for Non-Degree Programs

The quality standards for this process are based on the six OCQAS standards with the addition of two standards around sustainability and accessibility in support of Loyalist College’s strategic plan. The work of the Schools and program teams must be undertaken in the context of the eight quality standards “defining exemplary college program quality assurance processes”:

Quality Standard 1: Program Quality Management System

Quality Standard 2: Vocational Learning Outcomes as the Centre of Program Development (Throughout the Program Lifecycle)

Quality Standard 3: Conformity with Government Requirements

Quality Standard 4: Program Delivery and Student Assessment

Quality Standard 5: Existence, Monitoring and Communication of Policies and Practices that Influence and Impact Academic Quality

Quality Standard 6: Availability and Allocation of College-Wide Resources

Quality Standard 7: Sustainability

Quality Standard 8: Accessibility

4. Quality Standards for Degree Programs

PEQAB reviews College degree programs in accordance with the following Board Standards:

Quality Standard 1: Degree Level

Quality Standard 2: Admission, Promotion and Graduation

Quality Standard 3: Program Content

Quality Standard 4: Program Delivery

Quality Standard 5: Capacity to Deliver

Quality Standard 6: Credential Recognition

Quality Standard 7: Regulation and Accreditation

Quality Standard 8: Nomenclature

Quality Standard 9: Internal Quality Assurance and Improvement

Quality Standard 10: Academic Freedom and Integrity

Quality Standard 11: Student Protection.

Loyalist College expects its degree programs to meet two additional standards around sustainability and accessibility in support of the College’s strategic plan:

Quality Standard 12: Support Loyalist’s mission and vision of sustainability

Quality Standard 13: Support the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA); and more specifically, Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

5. Related Documents or Links

6. References

  • Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Act, 2002
  • Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB) Manual for Ontario Colleges
  • Ontario College Quality Assurance Service (OCQAS) website