Approval

1. Applying for Short Program approval 

In order to have your intended Short Program approved for development and delivery, there are two templates that must be completed: a Short Program Approval template and at least one Course Statement template. More detail on these documents is provided below.

Note: if you are offering bespoke or consultancy professional development offerings, then these approval documents do not apply. Instead, please discuss your professional development offering within your academic unit. 

Before jumping into filling in these templates, you might be wondering, why do I need to fill out a Short Program Approval template when I only have a single course? What is this Short Program all about?  

You may only be applying for a single course, however a requirement of the Program and Course Management Software (PCMS) used by UniSA is that all courses, short or long, must be attached to a Program. This is a straight-forward process for any award courses as they will belong to a larger degree program. On the other hand, a stand-alone short course is not directly attached to any award bearing degree programs. As such, applications for a single Short Course must also include the details required for the creation of an associated Short Program.  

You may also want to build a Short Program containing a series of 2 or more Short Courses. This means that students would need to complete the series of courses before they would receive their certificate of completion. This option should only occur if the volume of content cannot be easily contained within a single course (see Conceptualisation Unit Equivalency Table).

2. The paperwork you need 

There are at least 2 forms you will need to complete in order to have your Short Program application approved. 

The two templates you will need to complete for the approval process are: the Short Program Approval template and at least one Course Statement template (staff login required). Much of the information you’ll need for these should have been considered as you worked through the Short Program Conceptualisation tool , such as your course objectives, what assessments you will be using, who the market is for your course, and your budget/costings for the course. If you haven’t already worked through this stage, we recommend you head back and work through the prompts and tools provided.  

The Short Program Approval template is the first of the two templates you must complete in order to have your application approved. Within the first section titled Purpose, we recommend you include the following sub-headings to aid the approval panel in making their decision. The remaining sections are quite straight forward, but if you have any questions, please contact your School’s administrative staff. 

  • Overview of the Short Program: the background relating to the content that will be taught in the short program and a brief outline of the need for this kind of course (e.g. professional development in your field, bridging course)  
  • Market: Who are the target audience for this short program, and is there an appetite for this kind of learning experience? Are other courses like this offered elsewhere, what is your unique selling point? How will you market your course to this audience, how will they know about it? This is where you can identify existing networks that will assist in your marketing. 
  • Potential: What future potential does this short program have? Is there an intention to scale up enrolment, or perhaps to develop further short programs in response to market needs? 
  • Enrolment: How will students enrol in your course? What mechanism will you use for students to enrol and pay, and have you identified administrative staff within your local area of the university to facilitate this process? Will you have any restrictions/prior knowledge required for enrolling students and how will you determine whether students meet these criteria, or will your course be open to anyone in the public domain? Also, at this stage you’ll need to contact your local administrative staff to determine how your Academic Unit manages student enrolment and payment. 

The Course Statement template is a much shorter document and relates more to planning the course curriculum, like the course objectives and assessments. Details such as the aim of the course and a description of the content that will be covered are also found in this template. As mentioned above, if you have worked through the prompts and tools available on the Conceptualisation page, you will likely have much of the information you need for this template already.  If you plan to apply for a series of 2 or more courses in your short program, you will need to complete a separate Course Statement for each course.

3. Approval Process – who is involved?

There are typically two levels of approval that must be sought 

  1. Academic Unit Board
  2. Executive Dean approval

Please check with your local area regarding meeting dates for the Academic Unit’s Academic Unit Board.  

Once approved, administrative staff will enter your short program into PCMS, and your course will ‘go live’ with a course site in LearnOnline created for you to begin using. 

What’s next? Design and Develop your course! 

Once you’ve had your application approved, the next stage is to get stuck into designing and developing your course. The next page will now take you through the different components you will need to complete in order to get your course written and ready to deliver!