A. A proposed program shall meet a critical and compelling regional or Statewide need as identified in the State Plan.
B. A program proposal shall clearly demonstrate demand and need for the program in terms of meeting present and future needs of the region and the State in general. Four kinds of needs may be identified:
(1) The need for the advancement and evolution of knowledge;
(2) Societal needs, including expanding educational opportunities and choices for minority and educationally disadvantaged students at institutions of higher education;
(3) Occupational and professional needs relative to upgrading vocational/ technical skills or meeting job market requirements; and
(4) The need to strengthen and expand the capacity of historically black institutions to provide high quality and unique educational programs.
C. The Commission recognizes and supports the tradition of liberal arts education and the need for programs that offer individual and societal benefits independent of manpower or market demand considerations. These programs provide immeasurable returns to the State in part by instilling in citizens a capacity for advanced learning and an understanding of the fundamentals of civilization.
D. Market Demand Data.
(1) This section does not apply to programs in the liberal arts and sciences.
(2) An institution proposing a new program shall present data projecting market demand and the availability of openings in the job market to be served by the new program. The types of information submitted vary, depending on the program, but may include manpower and employment projections prepared by the Maryland Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census Data, and the Maryland Department of Commerce as well as professional and trade associations.
(3) An institution shall conduct market surveys that clearly provide quantifiable and reliable data from prospective employers on the educational and training needs and the anticipated number of vacancies expected over the next 5 years.
(4) In assessing demand for a new program, an institution shall also present data showing the current and projected supply of prospective graduates.
E. Identification of Programs Having Market Demand.
(1) The Commission shall identify, on a regular basis, programs that are in market demand in Maryland.
(2) For each program identified, the Commission shall also provide an indication of minority participation rates, identifying those programs where minorities are underrepresented.
(3) Institutions maintaining a role and mission appropriate and consistent with those fields declared as shortage areas are encouraged to develop specific programs.
(4) Proposals submitted in response to a declared shortage area do not need to include additional documentation on market demand and supply data.
F. As an additional indicator of need, an institution shall clearly detail how program success will be defined and measured, particularly if the definition includes measures in addition to the conferral of a degree or certificate.