Troy University
SACS Reaffirmation of Accreditation
3.6.1 The institution’s post-baccalaureate professional degree programs, master’s and doctoral degree programs, are progressively more advanced in academic content than its undergraduate programs. (Post-baccalaureate program rigor)
X Compliance   Partial Compliance   Non-Compliance


Troy University is in compliance with this Comprehensive Standard.

The Troy University master’s programs are progressively more advanced in academic content than its undergraduate programs. Troy University offered its first graduate program in 1957 with a master’s degree in education. In 2008 the Graduate School enters the fifty-first year of awarding graduate degrees. The Graduate School has grown to an active graduate student population of more than 8,000 students and offers 37 master’s and six education specialist-level degrees through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Heath and Human services. At this time, the University does not offer any doctoral degree programs.

The stated goals and objectives of the Graduate School provide the contextual basis for the development of graduate programs.

Graduate level work differs appreciably from that of undergraduate programs. Graduate students will find that their programs are geared toward meeting certain criteria. The first of these criteria is that the graduate student should understand the ramifications of research as well as the manner in which it is conducted. Research, the context of graduate study, is conducted in a systematic, thorough, critical, interpretative, and analytical manner—free of preconceived notions and receptive to new ideas; such research attempts to collate and synthesize new patterns of meaning, discover new truths, and correct past errors.

The second component of the graduate program requires that graduate students master their field of study. Such mastery would entail a thorough grasp of the subject matter, literature in the field, theory, and methodology related to the student's field of interest.

Finally, every graduate program must give students the opportunity to demonstrate research skills, knowledge of the field, and opportunity to contribute to the field of study. Thus, a person who wishes to do graduate level work must be prepared to pass examinations, both written and oral, to write coherent papers that reflect the results of research as defined above, and to participate in course projects. (Troy University Graduate Catalog 2008-2009, pp. 4-5)

Each graduate program at Troy University has defined its purpose, described how it is related to the mission of the University, and has established program objectives and student learning outcomes that are documented in the program’s Program Effectiveness Report (PER). Each graduate and undergraduate program’s expected outcomes and student leaning outcomes are available online for purposes of comparison. The links provided in Table 1 will take the reviewer to files that show the expected graduate and undergraduate program and student outcomes.

Table 1. Comparison of Program Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes

Graduate Program PERs

Undergraduate Program PERs

M.S. in Computer Science

B.S. in Computer Science

M.S. in Education – Elementary Education

B.S. in Education – Elementary Education

Master of Business Administration

B.S. in Business Administration

M.S. in Human Resources Management

B.S. in Human Resources

Master of Science in Nursing

B.S. in Nursing

M.S. in Sport and Fitness Management

B.S. in Kinesiology

To make a comparison of academic content at the course level, several examples are provided below for the areas of marketing (MKT 4469, MBA 6661) and counseling (PSY 4402, CP 6600).

A comparison of two courses from the Sorrell College of Business is provided in Table 2. The undergraduate course, MKT 4469 Marketing Management, focuses on marketing management problem solving by applying marketing concepts, procedures and practices learned. The graduate course, MBA 6661 Strategic Marketing Management, focuses on application of marketing concepts, principles and procedures for planning, development, implementation and control of marketing programs in profit and non-profit organizations with an emphasis on the matching of organizational resources and strengths with global marketing opportunities and strategies to overcome environmental threats. The student learning objectives for each course are provided below. The difference in learning expectations is readily apparent.

Table 2: Comparison of Student Learning Objectives – Sorrell College of Business

Undergraduate: MKT 4469 Marketing Management

Graduate: MBA 6661 Strategic Marketing Management

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  1. Discuss customer satisfaction and value.
  2. Gather marketing information.
  3. Describe the marketing environment.
  4. Analyze business markets, customer markets, and buyer behavior.
  5. Craft a marketing segmentation and target marketing plan.
  6. Apply market positioning concepts to a marketing scenario.
  7. Explain the product life-cycle and new-product development.
  8. Make product line and brand management decisions in a marketing scenario.
  9. Craft a pricing strategy and pricing program in a marketing scenario.
  10. Demonstrate how to manage marketing channels and marketing communications, including direct and online marketing.

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  1. Describe the concept of customer satisfaction.
  2. Manage a marketing information system.
  3. Analyze consumer, industrial, and global markets.
  4. Designate market segments, and select target markets.
  5. Diagram the new-product development process and the product life cycle.
  6. Present the concept of managing product lines and brands.
  7. Articulate pricing strategies and programs.
  8. Designate the design and management of marketing channels.
  9. Explain the concepts involved in integrated marketing communications.
  10. Articulate concepts of direct and online marketing.
  11. Apply marketing management strategies to business objectives in an apt scenario.

A comparison of two courses from the College of Education is provided in Table 3. The undergraduate course, PSY 4402 Principles of Counseling, is an overview of theories and techniques of counseling, professional issues, ethical concerns and efficacy are addressed. The graduate course, CP 6600 Professional Orientation and Ethics, provides a historical overview of the counseling profession, professional organization, and credentialing with legal, ethical, and professional standards of care covered. The student learning objectives for each course are provided below and support that there is a significant difference in learning expectations between the undergraduate and graduate courses.

Table 3: Comparison of Student Learning Objectives – College of Education

Undergraduate: PSY 4402 Principles of Counseling

Graduate: CP 6600 Professional Orientation and Ethics

After the completion of the course, the student should:

  1. Be familiar with basic issues in counseling, including ethics and issues related to the counselor as a person.
  2. Have acquired knowledge about major concepts and practices of contemporary therapeutic systems
  3. Be able to select from the various counseling theories those aspects that can be incorporated into your own developing and personalized style of practice.
  4. Be able to demonstrate the application of various counseling theories to particular cases.

Student Learning Objectives

  1. To familiarize the student with the theory and practice of counseling.
  2. To develop a knowledge of the historical, philosophical, societal, cultural, economic, and political dimensions of the counseling profession.
  3. To familiarize the student with work settings in which counseling is practiced, to include roles, functions, and professional identity. 
  4. To develop technological competence and computer literacy for success in graduate school and career.
  5. To introduce students to the evolution, structure, operation and preparation of credentialing, certification, and licensure. 
  6. To familiarize the student with professional organizations, primarily ACA and NRA, their divisions, branches, and affiliates, including membership benefits, activities, services to members, and current emphases. 
  7. To familiarize students with the ethical standards of ACA, CRCC and related entities, and for students to develop the skills necessary to apply ethical and legal considerations in professional counseling.
  8. To familiarize students with public processes, community consultation and advocacy for use in school settings, agencies, and private practice.
  9. To familiarize students with the advocacy processes needed to address institutional and social barriers that impede access, equity, and success for clients. 
  10. To acquaint students with the implications of the professional issues unique to community counseling, to include recognition, reimbursement and right to practice.
  11. To outline the roles of community counselors in various practice settings and the interactions between counselors and other professionals in these settings.
  12. To furnish students with general principles of community intervention, consultation education, and outreach that is available in local communities.      
  13. To present effective strategies for promoting client understanding of and access to community resources.
  14. Students will practice authentic self-assessment, critical and reflective thinking and the continual monitoring of progress and development (COE Innovation concepts)
  15. To use interpersonal skills (establishment of rapport, active listening, clarification, and summarization) and work effectively in cross-cultural situations.

Admission into any graduate program is contingent upon the student’s completion of a baccalaureate degree, unusually within a common field of study. The graduate curriculum builds upon undergraduate program competencies. Learning is hierarchical, meaning that learning at the higher levels is dependent on having attained prerequisite knowledge and skills at lower levels (Orlich, et al. 2004). Analysis, synthesis, and evaluation are concepts that serve in the development of intellectual abilities and skills at the advanced level. Graduate courses are designed to develop the higher order cognitive domains. Sample graduate course syllabi are provided below.

Establishment of a Common Curriculum

It is important to note that in the summer of 2003, Troy State University began working on merging its three independently accredited institutions within the system into One Great University - Troy University. In accordance with planning for the One Great University merger, graduate faculty members within the common program areas were charged to work together to develop new common graduate programs and course requirements for programs to be offered at multiple campuses and locations.

Beginning in the summer of 2003 and continuing through the summer of 2005, graduate faculty worked in program-specific work groups developing common program missions, expected program outcomes and master syllabi incorporating the new common curriculum changes. Workshops were held to assist faculty in how to write measurable student learning outcomes. The 2005 Faculty Handbook, Section, pages 63 – 64 provides a syllabus template that requires, among other things, clearly stated student learning objectives for all courses. At the completion of the common curriculum project, each newly developed syllabus was reviewed by the department chair to ensure that it followed the University guidelines, e.g., that it contains a graduate course description, a grading scheme, student grievance policy, and student learning objectives that were progressively more advanced than undergraduate offerings. Additionally, graduate courses held the requirement of assuring advanced levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy were integrated throughout the program and course objectives. Every effort was made in order to assure that the new common graduate curriculum was progressively more advanced.


Troy University Graduate Catalog, graduate program objectives, student learning outcomes and course syllabi provide evidence of the more advanced academic content of the graduate curriculum. Troy University is in compliance with this requirement.


Supporting Documentation Location
Faculty Handbook, 2005 Edition
Graduate Catalog, 2008-2009
Graduate Catalog, 2008-2009, pp. 1-5
Program Effectiveness Report - B.S. in Business Administration
Program Effectiveness Report - B.S. in Computer Science
Program Effectiveness Report - B.S. in Education - Elementary Education
Program Effectiveness Report - B.S. in Human Resources
Program Effectiveness Report - B.S. in Kinesiology
Program Effectiveness Report - B.S. in Nursing
Program Effectiveness Report - Master of Business Administration
Program Effectiveness Report - M.S. in Computer Science
Program Effectiveness Report - M.S. in Education - Elementary Education
Program Effectiveness Report - M.S. in Human Resources Management
Program Effectiveness Report - Master of Science in Nursing
Program Effectiveness Report - M.S. in Sport and Fitness Management
Sample Graduate Course Syllabi
The Plan for One University 2003-2005


Last Updated: 08/26/2008