The Academic Issues Committee (AIC) requires licensed New Jersey institutions to engage an independent external consultant to conduct a site visit to review the institution’s proposed new academic degree program. The external consultant must qualify based on certain criteria and must also prepare a written report following the guidelines provided by the AIC. This website is designed to provide institutions and consultants with resources to assist with the review process.

Consultant Criteria

The AIC has established 12 specific criteria which apply to the selection of an external consultant for purposes of evaluating a proposed new academic degree program. For 3+1 programs, the qualifications of consultants and the program features evaluation by consultants will vary from those appropriate for other new academic programs. Restrictions regarding conflicts of interest still apply. For more details, you can view the criteria below.

Consultant Selection Criteria
Consultant Responsibilities

The external consultant must prepare a written report following the guidelines provided by the AIC in the Consultant Evaluation of Standards for New Academic Degree Programs form. Consultants are encouraged to comment on each item to support and contextualize their evaluation by providing comprehensive feedback, justification, and explanation. For more details, download the form below.

Consultant Evaluation of Standards for New Academic Degree Programs
Institution Responsibilities

The institution must select an external consultant using the Consultant Selection Criteria as described above. In addition, the institution will establish the expectations of the consultant’s site visit and review, including the report, deadlines, payment and reimbursement procedures.

Institutions considering a virtual site visit should consult the AIC Manual for current requirements.

If a consultant was contracted by the institution previously for another type of service, it is acceptable to utilize them to evaluate a new academic degree program.

The institution must respond to the consultant report and make appropriate adjustments to its new academic degree program proposal, if applicable.

Academic Issues Committee Responsibilities

For new academic degree program proposals and for licensure proposals, the Academic Issues Committee (AIC) conducts a quality review to assess and validate the consultant report, considering the following questions:

  1. Is the consultant appropriately credentialed and experienced?
  2. Is the consultant’s report a thorough and thoughtful analysis of the program proposal?
  3. For new academic degree program proposals, does the consultant’s report respond to all elements required in the New Academic Degree Program Standards Form and respond adequately to the new academic degree program standards outlined in N.J.A.C. 9A:1-2.10 through 2.14? For licensure requests, is the report responsive to licensure standards?
  4. Were the consultant’s recommendations responded to appropriately by the institution?
Additional Roles of Consultants

Please refer to the AIC manual, section II, for more details and information related to the use of external consultants.

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