Wayne State University

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Board of Governors

Wayne State University Statutes

2.43.06 Expanded Baccalaureate Degree Options for Two-Year Technical Degree Holders (Capstone Programs) PURPOSE
  The Wayne State University Transfer Student Statute sets forth policy and procedures governing transfer of undergraduate students from two- and four-year colleges to Wayne State University. The purpose of this policy is to implement that portion of the Transfer Student Statute which requires promulgation of policy guidelines to be used in the establishment of upper division Capstone Programs for two-year technical degree holders. The relevant section of the Transfer Student Statute is cited below: Expanded Baccalaureate Degree Options
  Wayne State University will seek to design, in collaboration with other collegiate institutions, an expanded array of upper division programs and degree designations which will maximize opportunities for two-year degree holders to pursue baccalaureate studies with minimal credit loss. Two-year technical degree programs at community colleges provide general and theoretical educational components which can serve as the foundation for both general and professional upper division studies at the University. The requirements of "capstone" programs will be established by guidelines developed in a later policy statement. (WSUCA This policy defines Capstone Programs, establishes the authority of the schools and colleges to offer such programs and award capstone degrees, and sets forth policy governing the academic standards of all Wayne State University Capstone Programs. The special transfer guidelines established by this policy apply to the holder of a two-year technical degree from an accredited institution. Wayne State University accepts the definition of an accredited institution as one which has been granted full recognition by a regional accrediting group (such as the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools) which has received a positive evaluation from the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (COPA). Policy governing transfer of credit from traditional academic programs at two- and four-year colleges are detailed in Section 2 of the Transfer Student Statute. DEFINITION OF CAPSTONE PROGRAMS
  Wayne State University Capstone Programs are unique upper division program structures designed to provide integrated, baccalaureate-level educational experiences and suitably designated baccalaureate degrees to graduates of two-year technical, vocational and professional programs--i.e., associate or applied science degree programs or the equivalent. Capstone Programs minimize the serious credit loss usually experienced by students holding two-year technical degrees through the establishment of special transfer credit provisions which award maximum credit for previous academic and technical courses of study. These special provisions enable two-year technical degree holders to enhance their overall educational experience and marketable occupational skills and competencies in two to three years of baccalaureate study, principally in upper division course-work. Capstone Programs are usually designed and offered by the individual schools and colleges of Wayne State University. In rare cases, such programs may be inter-collegiate or university-wide. Typically such programs do not have a lower division counterpart; entering students complete their freshman and sophomore years in two-year technical programs offered by community colleges or other accredited institutions of higher education. Types of Capstone Programs
  Technological/Professional Capstone. Technological/Professional Capstone Programs are designed by individual schools and colleges to articulate with specific lower division technical, vocational or professional programs in community colleges, or similarly accredited collegiate institutions. This basic type of Capstone Program both broadens the general education of technical degree holders, and also deepens their educational experience in a specific technical field or disciplinary area. General Studies Capstone. General Studies Capstone Programs offer a general, interdisciplinary baccalaureate curriculum to graduates of a broad range of two-year technical and professional degree programs. This type of capstone program concentrates primarily upon broadening the general educational background of two-year technical graduates, and strengthens fundamental skills in areas such as comprehension, critical analysis, communication, composition and computation. Preparation for Master's Degree Admission and Completion. The Graduate School requires adequate preparation in the chosen field and a bachelor degree for admission. Capstone programs through carefully structured curriculum designs and effective counseling should encourage student's preparation for master degree level programs such that both the capstone baccalaureate and the master degree usually may be completed in four years of full-time study beyond the associate degree. However, completion of a capstone baccalaureate in no case guarantees admission to a master degree program without the other necessary admission requirements. Authority to Establish Capstone Programs
  All Capstone Program proposals are subject to the regular academic review and approval procedures established by statute and Executive Order. The Wayne State University schools and colleges, except for the College of Lifelong Learning, have the authority to develop Technological/Professional Capstone Programs and to recommend degrees which designate successful completion of Capstone Program requirements. Departments within schools and colleges may propose the establishment of Capstone Programs in their particular professional and disciplinary areas. The Weekend College Program of the College of Lifelong Learning as well as each of the other schools and colleges have the authority to develop General Studies Capstone Programs and to recommend degrees which designate successful completion of the Capstone Program requirements. CAPSTONE PROGRAM STANDARDS AND STRUCTURE
  Academic standards and the design of curricula for Capstone Programs shall follow the guidelines set forth below. Identification of Consonant Programs
  Academic units choosing to offer Capstone Programs, acting through established 1 academic policy procedures, will identify those consonant two-year technical degree programs which provide the appropriate foundation for study in their Capstone curriculum(s). Schools and colleges will publish a listing of those technical, vocational and professional programs offered by accredited colleges which serve as the source of students for Capstone Programs. Admission to Capstone Programs
  Applicants for Capstone Program degrees will first apply for admission to Wayne State University following regular admission procedures. If not denied admission at this level, they will be reviewed by the appropriate Capstone Program to certify whether or not the applicant fulfills the necessary program admission requirements. Upon successful completion of the review, the applicant will be granted admission to the Capstone Program. Capstone Program applicants must have completed all requirements for a two-year degree (Associate of Applied Science or the equivalent) in a technical, vocational or professional program offered by an accredited institution of higher education. Applicants that do not hold an associate degree (or equivalent) may be admitted to Capstone Programs with special permission from the dean of the school or college. The schools and colleges may establish admission requirements which exceed those required for regular University matriculation. Transfer of Credit
  Students from consonant programs admitted to a Capstone Program will receive full credit for all collegiate level course-work, including all technical, vocational and applied course-work, for which credit was earned in fulfillment of associate degree (or equivalent) requirements. No more than sixty-four (64) semester hours of non-remedial credit may be transferred from two-year colleges and these will be considered lower division course-work. In addition, up to thirty (30) semester hours of upper division course credit taken at an accredited four-year college and eligible for transfer under the Transfer Student Statute may be transferred into a Capstone Program, provided that such credit meets the Capstone Program requirements established by a given school or college. If a student admitted to a Capstone Program subsequently transfers to one of the University's traditional academic programs, transfer credits must be re-evaluated consistent with the requirements of the Transfer Student Statute which normally limits transfer credit in technical, vocational and applied courses to twelve (12) semester hours if such courses are determined to be cognate or related to the students' new program. Automatic Junior Standing
  All two-year technical degree holders admitted to Capstone Programs who transfer sixty (60) or more semester credits will receive automatic junior (third-year) standing. Degree Requirements
  Following established academic policy procedures, the schools and colleges will establish degree requirements for each Capstone Program. Fulfillment of all general education and professional requirements for the capstone baccalaureate may require that students spend more than an additional two years of full-time study (or the equivalent) beyond the associate degree in order to complete the capstone baccalaureate degree requirements. Moreover, all Capstone Programs should be designed to enable two-year technical degree holders to complete their baccalaureate studies with no more than seventy-five (75) hours of course-work beyond the associate degree. Proficiency Requirements
  Capstone Program students must fulfill the University English and mathematics proficiency requirements. Students who have not satisfied the proficiency requirements upon admission must take the proficiency examination(s) before completing twelve (12) semester credits at the University and will have up to two semesters to meet the requirement. Curricular Design
  All Capstone Program curricula should be designed after consultation with two-year collegiate institutions that offer programs which will serve as the lower division component of the Capstone Program. Capstone Programs should be designed to permit transfer of students from two-year institutions, and from a range of related two-year technical degree programs. There should be accommodation for some degree of variability in the lower division preparation of capstone students. The Capstone Programs, in addition to specifying the type of courses which must be taken at the lower division level, should also indicate the topics, competencies and skills which technical degree students must master during their first two years of college course-work. Capstone Programs should utilize existing Wayne State University courses as much as possible, although it may be necessary to design a limited number of new courses to meet the educational needs of two-year technical degree holders engaged in baccalaureate study. Program Requirements
  The schools and colleges will establish program and general education requirements for baccalaureate-level Capstone Programs which may differ from those required in other four-year degree programs under their jurisdiction. Students in the Capstone Program must fulfill University requirements for a baccalaureate degree. Although program requirements may be expected to vary somewhat by professional or disciplinary area, the aggregate baccalaureate curriculum (combined lower and upper division course-work) of all Technological/Professional Capstone Programs shall be comprised of three major components: 1) General Education Requirements; 2) Core Curricula i.e., core course requirements which provide a common background for further study in a given field; and 3) Technical/Professional, Cognate and Elective Courses. Given the non-technical nature of the General Studies curriculum, program requirements for General Studies Capstone Programs should ordinarily differ from those of Technological/Professional Capstones by giving greater emphasis to general education requirements, cognates and elective courses. Capstone Programs will not require that all general education coursework be completed at the two-year institution(s) from which a student has transferred. Technological/Professional Capstone Programs will require, however, that at least thirty percent (30%) of the total aggregate semester hours (including transferred credits) required for the baccalaureate degree be derived from upper division course-work. Since the General Studies Capstone Program will give greater emphasis to general education and since these students normally will not have had many lower division general education courses upon which to build, they will have to be provided with some lower division general education course-work. However, at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the total aggregate semester hours (including transferred credits) required for this baccalaureate degree must be derived from upper division course-work. Residency Requirements
  Capstone Program students will be required to meet the regular residency requirements established by the school or college that awards their degree(s). Capstone students must complete a minimum of thirty (30) semester hours of coursework at Wayne State University. Degree Designations
  Capstone Programs will confer a degree whose designation is separate and distinct from other degrees awarded by the school or college. In general these degrees will carry the general designation of Bachelor of Technology with the area of specialization indicated. Evaluation of Capstone Programs
  Capstone Programs shall be subject to the regular program review process of the University. Financial Considerations
  Capstone Program proposals must include a statement of the costs associated with the proposed curriculum, and should also provide assurance that financing of the Capstone Program will not deplete resources needed to maintain existing programs.

Legislative History
Adopted 5-0; Official Proceedings 28:3932 (11 May 1984)

Cross References

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