Developing Baccalaureate Programs: Letter of Intent

Part 1: Letter of Intent
Dr. Mollie F. DeHart
District Director, Office of Academic Programs
Miami Dade College
Wolfson Campus, Room 1448
[email protected]
The Florida College System
■ Florida college submits Letter of Intent (LOI)
to DFC
10 days
□ DFC forwards the LOI within 10 days to
● State Universities have 60 days after SUS
60 days
Chancellor is notified to submit
alternative proposal or objection to DFC
□ If no alternative proposal is received within the 60
Developing Proposal Approval Process
Florida College System (FCS)
days, DFC notifies ICUF and CIE
○ Regionally Accredited private colleges and
30 days
universities have 30 days to submit
alternative proposal or objection to DFC
□ DFC receives any SUS, ICUF, or CIE proposals
but does not review
100 days after LOI
■ Florida college submits baccalaureate proposal at
least 100 days after submitting LOI
□ DFC receives submitted FCS proposal
and conducts review
30 days
□ DFC notifies the college of deficiencies in writing
within 30 days following receipt of proposal
■ College corrects deficiencies and returns
completed proposal to DFC
□ DFC provides the completed proposal
■ Flo
□ Di
and accompanying materials
to the Commissioner of Education
● Sta
○ Pri
□ Within 45 days following DFC receipt
45 days
◊ Sta
of completed proposal,
the Commissioner recommends to the SBE
approval or disapproval of the proposal
□ DFC provides proposal, alternative proposals,
objections, and related materials to SBE
for consideration
◊ SBE considers the Commissioner’s
recommendation, the college proposal, and any
alternative proposals or objections at its next
◊ If the SBE disapproves of a college’s proposal,
it provides the college with written reasons
■ College must obtain Level II accreditation
from SACS-COC prior to offering its first
baccalaureate degree program, and provide
SACS-COC with notification of subsequent changes
Baccalaureate Proposal Development
Design Committee (
Structure and Process of Proposal Development/Completion
Each Campus should establish a design committee appointed by the
Campus President.
Under the direction of the Academic Dean, the Committee would be
responsible for developing the proposal and Executive Summary, for
understanding and working in accord with the Statewide Course
Numbering System, for coordinating all surveys and business/industry data
requests with Institutional Effectiveness, and for coordinating any other
external outreach activities such as letters of support with the Office of the
College President.
The Academic Dean would serve as the liaison with the Office of Academic
Affairs in establishing deadlines, and providing personalized workshops.
The following membership for the Team is suggested:
Academic Dean, Team Chair
Primary Proposal Author (Originator)
Faculty (2-3)
Campus Registrar and one or more of the following: Student Services
(Director of Retention, New Student Center Director or Director of Advising)
Director, Library
Administrative Dean or Designee
Research Coordinator (possibly a Department Chair)
Department Chair familiar with baccalaureate-level faculty credentials
Note: All documents must be written in “one voice” (checked for accuracy,
grammar, spelling, etc.)
What you need to do…
Prior to Letter of Intent (LOI)
Determine workforce demand and unmet need for the program – VERY
important, as this information must be reviewed and approved by the Board
of Trustees (BOT) and ultimately the State Board of Education to determine if
program development is warranted.
The LOI and complete proposal must include evidence of workforce demand
and unmet need from entities independent of the institution
How can you demonstrate workforce demand and unmet need?
Analyze local/regional/statewide employment data and statistics
Reach out to the community. Contact, hold meetings with, and/or survey industry
leaders, members of the business community, local chambers of commerce, regional
workforce planning boards, etc.
– Gauge student interest in the program (often done by survey in collaboration with
Institutional Research).
– An outside research consultant may be contracted to conduct a workforce
need/demand analysis, if necessary.
Example of LOI can be found at; browse by the latest
proposal implementation date.
• Work with MDC Executive Director of Workforce Education & Partnerships ,
Jorge Guerra, [email protected], Ext. 7-7649.
• Identify business/industry need for the program [letter(s) of support from
industry, OES/AWI TOL, etc.] in collaboration with IR and Workforce
• Occupational Employment Statistics and Wages (OES/AWI):
• Targeted Occupations Lists(TOL):
• Bureau of Labor Statistics:
• O*NET OnLine:
What you need to do…
Prior to LOI submission
• Collaborate with Region 23 postsecondary (public and
private) institutions – crucial! The LOI and complete
proposal must include evidence that the college
engaged in need, demand, and impact discussions
with the regionally accredited postsecondary
institutions in its service district.
• How can you do this?
– Initiate discussions with Region 23 State Universities,
Florida Colleges, and other public and nonpublic
regional postsecondary institutions regarding the need,
demand, and economic impact of the program to
discuss partnerships and/or the possibility of offering an
on-site MDC program.
– Meet in person, conduct phone calls, engage in email
discussions, etc.
• Upper-level administrators [Campus Presidents, Provost(s), etc.]
and/or the college President would engage in these conversations.
What you need to do…
Prior to LOI submission
• Gain the approval of the BOT to proceed with
submitting the LOI
– Submit a description of the program (name,
degree type to be conferred, career path for
graduates, available facilities and resources, etc.),
evidence of workforce demand and unmet need
for program, summary of collaborations with
Region 23 postsecondary institutions, etc. to the
• Upon BOT approval, the college President
submits the LOI to the Department of Florida
Colleges (DFC) via the District Office of
Academic Programs (OAP)
• Example of LOI can be found at .
Example of Letter of Intent
Letter of Intent is produced by the Campus
President & the Discipline Dean. It is then
presented to the College President for
Example of Letter of Intent
The discipline should collaborate with the Executive Director for
Workforce Education & Partnerships and Institutional Research for
back-up documentation. Please be advised that the Division of
Florida Colleges may require additional information.
Additional Resources
State Application
OAP Program Development
Baccalaureate Proposal Development
Bachelor Degree Proposal Checklist
Letter of Intent (LOI) Instructions
Letter of Intent (LOI) Example
Baccalaureate Proposal Timeline
(Developed by Dr. Susan Neimand)
• MDC CASSC Meeting Schedule

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