Program curriculum change is a critical part of ensuring that Durham College programs are current, relevant and meet students' and employers' expectations and needs. The CAFE team supports academic schools by facilitating major and minor program change processes. This includes providing advice on if a change is major or minor in nature, providing curriculum change advice, supporting broad consultation through the Program Proposal Review Committee (PPRC), reviewing submitted change forms and seeking final approval of major and minor changes to programs of study. Our team also supports the submission of program change proposals to various external stakeholders (e.g. Credentials Validation Service).

What is the process for Program Change?

Step One: The Faculty Member / Coordinator / Administrator/ will complete a Major or Minor Program Change form.

Step Two: Completed forms are submitted to the School’s Executive Dean for review and approval.

Step Three: Following sign-off by the Executive Dean, completed forms will be submitted to the CAFE. Please email to Manager, Program Review and Renewal (emma.thacker@durhamcollege.ca).

Step Four: The Manager, Program Review and Renewal will review forms, provide feedback and consult collaboratively across the College (e.g., curriculum specialists, scheduling).

Step Five: This step differs by program change type (minor or major).

Minor changes are approved by the Manager, Program Review and Renewal, in consultation with the vice-president, Academic (VPA) as needed.

Major changes are presented for review to the Program Proposal Review Committee (PPRC). PPRC (see FAQ) will review and make recommendations to the VPA. The VPA will review recommendations and provide approval or communicate that approval was not granted.

Step Six: Following final approval of minor and major changes, the Manager, Program Review and Renewal will communicate the changes to the Office of Reporting and Student Information Systems for implementation.

Step Seven: The CAFE will send a communication memo to college stakeholders with the relevant program change information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Are there deadlines associated with program change?
A: Major and Minor changes must be approved by June 15th or 15 months prior to the academic term effective date. Exceptions require approval by the VPA.


Q: What is the difference between a Minor and Major Change?
A: Minor changes refer to changes to courses that will not significantly impact students or the learning outcomes of the program. Minor course changes include:

  • changes to course numbering and titles;
  • changes to course pre-requisites, co-requisites; and/or
  • change of course sequencing and/or a course delivery method.

Updating course content to maintain relevant curriculum (i.e., textbooks, assessments) that do not impact the above, do not require approval as a minor change.
A major change is a more substantial change to the program and typically will impact students entering or re-entering the program in future years. Major program changes may require submission of the change to the Credential Validation Service (CVS) or the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MEASD). Major program changes include those that have an impact on financial/budgeting and also include the following: 

  • changes to marketing and recruitment initiatives;
  • changes to admission requirements;
  • changes to program delivery methods (e.g. fast-track, online);
  • changes to number of courses, credits, semesters and/or hours of delivery;
  • changes to program learning outcomes;
  • changes to work integrated learning experiences (e.g. placement/practicum, research projects, co-op);
  • program title modification; and /or
  • changes to credential or stemming from new program standards.

Q: Why does Durham College use this process?
A: As a public postsecondary institution, Durham College is accountable to demonstrate quality assurance mechanisms that oversee change to our programs of study. The policy ensures our responsibilities to comply with the Ministers’ Binding Policy Directive, the Qualifications/Credentials Framework and other key regulations. The process and associated timelines provide opportunity to assess risk, respond to resource requirements, and implement change in a timely, transparent way for Durham College students.


Q: What is the role of the Program Proposal Review Committee (PPRC)?
A: The purpose of the PPRC is to ensure compliance with the Minister’s Binding Policy Directive – Framework for Programs of Instruction and the Ontario Qualifications Framework and/or Credentials Framework in the development of new programs and modification of existing programs.  PPRC will review new program and major change proposals and make recommendations for preliminary approval to the VPA in accordance with the college’s Strategic Mandate Agreement and quality assurance policy and processes.


Q: What Durham College Policy and Procedure outline this process?
A: The Program Change Policy and Procedures (ACAD-124, ACAD 124.1) outline the purpose, definitions, responsibilities and procedures for this process for all credential programs.


Questions about Program Change? Please contact:
Emma Thacker, Manager, Program Review and Renewal
E: emma.thacker@durhamcollege.ca
T: 905.721.2000 ext.2736