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University Academic Programs

University Academic Programs

Our Work


The Undergraduate Council is the faculty governing body charged with the responsibility of formulating policy concerning undergraduate education and reviewing its implementation. Specifically, the Undergraduate Council:

  • Coordinates the procedures of undergraduate degree programs as they relate to degrees at the Bachelor's level;
  • Oversees the configuration of undergraduate academic programs;
  • Monitors the degree to which these programs further the University's mission, avoid unwarranted duplication and meet minimum standards of academic criteria; and
  • Establishes and maintains academic standards and discipline across the undergraduate curriculum.

The Undergraduate Council has three sub-committees: 

  • Academic Standards is charged with reviewing student records to ensure satisfactory progression toward degree.
  • Academic Exceptions is charged with reviewing student petitions requesting exception to current academic policy.
  • The Central Committee is charged with communicating the policies and goals of the Common Curriculum, capacity planning, and coordination of the curriculum. It is responsible for making the elements of the Curriculum function cohesively, and for formulating the overall assessment of the Curriculum.

Institutional Accreditation

University Academic Programs oversees institutional accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association. Institutional accreditation is a voluntary process in which a regional non-governmental agency examines the University's ability to fulfill its mission and provide an acceptable quality of education.

Regional accreditation is the highest standard for post-secondary institutions in the United States and the HLC is one of six regional accrediting bodies recognized by the federal government. The commission sets a standard of integrity for universities, taking into consideration the academic mission, strategy, resources, assessment process, teaching effectiveness, student learning, usefulness of curricula, and community involvement.

Institutional accreditation begins with a comprehensive self-study followed by a site visit with a team of peer evaluators who closely review our:

  • Governance and administration
  • Financial stability
  • Admission and student services
  • Institutional resources
  • Student learning
  • Relationships with internal and external constituencies

Our next accreditation review is scheduled for 2020-21.

Current Projects

As part of the University's strategic plan, DU IMPACT 2025, the Office of University Academic Programs is working on projects that augment the undergraduate academic experience. These projects are in various stages of implementation and planning. We will keep the community updated on our progress here.

Engaged Learning Portfolios

We aim to lead as a high-engagement, high-value university using both traditional and experiential learning to equip our students with the knowledge, skills, and competencies they need to be successful in today's global world and to design knowledge to address the issues that challenge us now and in the future. To accomplish this goal, we must advance programs that help students integrate their learning, from internships, research labs and classrooms, to campus and community-engaged experiences.

In order to have students successfully transfer knowledge and practices, we plan to introduce and implement an e-portfolio system, which will permit students to demonstrate and reflect upon unique skills, abilities, goals, and accomplishments developed while at DU, both inside and outside of the classroom. An e-portfolio encourages and challenges students to:

  • actively map out their curricular plan, an important step towards understanding their own role within their learning
  • specifically define their educational goals
  • consider their co-curricular experiences as part of their overall educational journey
  • articulate how all the pieces of their education have transformed their trajectory or come together as a compelling narrative


  1. Create a four-year engaged e-portfolio program - clarify the program's purpose, identify potential obstacles, and develop an ambitious yet realistic timeline.
  2. Identify the most appropriate support structures to facilitate the adoption of a campus-wide portfolio program that engages students as well as faculty and staff mentors; this could include technical assistance, student mentoring, suggested guiding prompts for reflection and integration, and/or assessment rubrics.
  3. Explore how this integrative navigational process can take our students beyond a "stacking up credits" approach to an integrative approach that highlights the challenges and changes inherent in true learning.
External Fellowships

As a very decentralized institution, we have traditionally assisted students who are applying for external fellowships at the department level rather than through a centralized fellowship office. We are exploring how best to support students applying for external fellowships and plan to make suggestions to the Provost within this academic year. 


  1. Conduct an inventory on current support services available across the University for students applying for external fellowships.
  2. Determine whether those support services should be bolstered or revised.
  3. Make suggestions to the Provost about feasible improvements to further increase the fellowship profile of our students.
Early Engagement & Student Success

The University is moving toward a more collaborative model of early student engagement and success. Our mission is to engage intentionally with every student so that each student is prepared to navigate their DU experience successfully. We will succeed in engaging our students through our partnerships among faculty, staff, peers, and the broader community.


  1. Establish a steering committee that oversees the alignment of efforts and the measurement of success.
  2. Align data gathering techniques across the University so that our analytics are consistent.