Guide to Academic Program Review



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Cal Poly Pomona


A Guide to

Academic Program Review

Revised - Fall 2009

Office of Academic Programs

Division of Academic Affairs


TABLE OF CONTENTS





TABLE OF CONTENTS i

Preface ii

Chapter 1 - Introduction 1

Purposes of Academic Program Review 1

General Principles 1

Chapter 2 - Accreditation 3

Interaction with WASC Accreditation 3

Interaction with Discipline-Specific Accreditation 3

Chapter 3 - Guidelines and Procedures for
Academic Program Review 5

General Guidelines 5

The Academic Program Review Process 6

Guidelines For External Review 8

Department Responsibilities: 8

Academic Programs Responsibilities: 9

Reviewer Responsibilities: 9

Appendix A - General Timeline 10

Appendix B - Guidelines for Program Self-Study 12

Section 1 – Introduction 12

Section 2 - The Program Description 12

Section 3 – Program Assessment 13

Section 4 - Program Quality 13

Section 4.1 Faculty 13

Section 4.2 Student Success 14

Section 5 - Resources 15

Section 6 - Suggestions for Action 15

Section 7 – External Review Report 15

Section 8 - Summary 15

Section 9 - Faculty Participation 15

Appendix C - External Reviewer’s Responsibilities 16


Note: The guidelines for program review may be updated as required by the Office of Academic Programs based on approved changes of campus or system policies.

Preface

Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) and the California State University (CSU) have long-standing policies concerning Academic Program Review. The policy requires that every academic program, undergo some type of self-study and external review every five to seven years. The policy is both flexible and evolving. The requirements for Academic Program Review have undergone a metamorphosis. The idea of ‘program assessment’ as an integral part of Program Review has become accepted by the WASC Commission and is now an area for close inspection during the Educational Effectiveness Review.


Many academic programs have national boards that accredit either the specific discipline or the entire field. Examples of the former are the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) that accredits an Art program while examples of the latter are ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) which accredits the entire College of Engineering and Computer Science programs. Most accrediting agencies have different requirements for renewal of accreditation than the CSU requirements for program review. Therefore, the campus allows the Accreditation Review, to replace much of the Academic Program Review.
It should be stressed that assessment as it is used in this guide means program assessment. It is not course assessment in either a content or pedagogical sense, although it is assumed that any program assessment will ask whether the material in every particular course is necessary, and if necessary, is this material being mastered. Assessment as it is used in this document is not faculty assessment. The requirements for the evaluation of faculty are covered by an existing contract between the faculty and the CSU.
Contact information
For more information and resources, please contact the Office of Academic Programs.


Chapter 1 - Introduction

Purposes of Academic Program Review

The purpose of academic program review (APR) is to encourage excellence in the instructional program. Specific goals include:




  • reviewing and, suggesting improvements in the following:

    • curriculum of the program

    • instruction in the program

    • contributions to student success

    • faculty participation in research, scholarship, and creative activity

    • faculty service to the University

    • cooperation with other academic programs on campus

  • attending to issues of diversity and campus climate

  • assessing student learning in the program for the purpose of program improvement

  • reviewing the use of resources and facilities, and identifying needs for additional resources

  • charting new directions for the program and the department


General Principles

The terms “department” and “program” aren’t necessarily synonymous but may be used interchangeably in this document. Please keep in mind that an academic program (the object of review) may be housed entirely in one department, or may span more than one department. Departments that have multiple programs are encouraged to review them simultaneously.


Although the detailed content of an academic program review will certainly vary between programs, some key principles of program review cut across disciplinary lines.
Most importantly, the review must be a product of the program faculty. They are in the best position to raise and respond to the strategic and operational questions raised by the review. They are also in the best position to use the results to improve the overall program.
Students and graduates participate actively in the program review process by providing comments and other information for use in the self-study and by the external reviewers.

External reviewers, as recognized experts in the field knowledgeable about assessment, are consulted to provide critical judgment, to ensure the objectivity of the process, and to determine how the program compares to others in the region or nation.

Participation of the Academic Senate, and its Academic Programs Committee, is an integral part of the academic program review process. Additionally, the College Dean and the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs can provide support and advice and should be consulted frequently and informed regularly as to the project’s progress and results.


The program review process is forward-looking and provides for follow-up. Each step of the process generates Suggestions for Action. These suggestions should include actions that can be accomplished by the department with existing funds and resources, as well as actions that may require additional funding or resources. The Suggestions for Action resulting from program reviews / program assessment plans are considered in departmental and college budget requests and department college, and university strategic planning.

Chapter 2 - Accreditation




Interaction with WASC Accreditation

The 2001 WASC Handbook of Accreditation focuses on four standards, each of which has implications for academic program review and assessment.




  1. Defining Institutional Purposes and Ensuring Educational Objectives. Both academic program reviews and program assessment plans require the program faculty to examine its objectives and purpose for being. A clear statement of purpose will help the program faculty critically examine courses, faculty needs and expertise, and resource allocation issues.

  2. Achieving Educational Objectives through Core Functions. Program faculty attain their objectives by balancing teaching & learning, scholarship & creative activity, and support for student learning. The program review process promotes faculty dialogue about those core functions.

  3. Developing and Applying Resources and Organizational Structures to Ensure Sustainability. Sound investments in human, technological, physical and fiscal resources are key in helping the faculty achieve the program’s objectives. The review process affords faculty the opportunity to examine their resource needs holistically, in both the long- and short-term.

  4. Creating an Organization Committed to Learning and Improvement. The results of program review and assessment help the faculty create a “culture of evidence” with regard to the accomplishment of objectives. Such results can inform future planning processes.

In July 2008, WASC update the Handbook. The new Handbook places a greater emphasis on an outcomes-based analysis of student learning. It asked its members to incorporate such an analysis into its program review and to integrate the results of the program review into the institution’s budgeting and planning processes. In September 2009, the WASC Commission released a “Guide for ‘Good Practices’ in Academic Program Review” designed to assist colleges and universities with meeting the new program review expectations within WASC’s revised accreditation standards. The WASC guide was consulted during the revision of this guide.



Interaction with Discipline-Specific Accreditation

In accordance with CSU Trustee policy, campuses must seek accreditation for degree programs whenever it is available in the particular disciplines. Accredited programs are subject to rigorous review by the appropriate agencies, which also require evidence of support by the University’s administration.


Discipline-specific accreditation standards, such as those provided by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the National Architectural Accrediting Board, echo the need for faculty to examine their programs thoughtfully with an eye toward maintaining excellence. Academic programs accredited by agencies recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation may establish a program review cycle, in consultation with the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs, to coordinate the program review process with the accreditation process, so as to avoid duplication of faculty effort in report preparation. As departments coordinate the self-study process and the visit by the accrediting team, the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs is available to contribute to the self-study and to meet with the visiting team.
Accredited programs will satisfy the external review portion of program review through a visit and a report by an accreditation team and may satisfy much of the self-study portions of program review through the accreditation self-study document. For each accredited program, the Dean, the Department Chair, and the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs work together to determine a format that meets accreditation requirements and responds to campus program review guidelines. (Please see section 5, Guidelines and Procedures for Academic Program Review.)
The Office of Academic Programs will coordinate reports to the Chancellor’s Office as necessary regarding accreditation of programs at Cal Poly Pomona.


Chapter 3 - Guidelines and Procedures for
Academic Program Review



General Guidelines





  1. Reviews for each degree program are scheduled every five years. In accordance with university and system policy, each year the campus reviews approximately 20% of its approved academic programs.




  1. In addition to degree programs (as required by the Chancellor's Office), certain other academic programs are included in the program review process on this campus: ROTC, CPU courses, certificate programs, and Interdisciplinary General Education (IGE). The review process shall be modified as appropriate in consultation with the AVP for Academic Programs for these additional programs. For example, external reviews are not normally required in the program reviews of CPU courses.




  1. The Office of Academic Programs is responsible for coordinating and monitoring the program review process, and submitting a yearly report to the Chancellor's Office. The Deans and Directors are responsible for ensuring that the self-studies and external reviews are completed by their programs in a professional and timely manner.




  1. Self-studies are prepared by the faculty of the program and submitted to the Dean and the Office of Academic Programs. Department Chairs and/or faculty coordinators should ensure that there is widespread faculty participation in the self-study and external review and that faculty are informed of all Suggestions for Action from each level of review. All faculty in the program should certify that they have been involved in the review process and have reviewed the self-study, external review report, and responses to the external review.




  1. The Office of Institutional Research and Planning will provide quantitative data to the program.




  1. All departments are required to have an external review as part of the program review process. The external review report should review the department's Suggestions for Actions, indicating agreement or disagreement with each suggestion and, as appropriate, offer additional suggestions.




  1. Academic programs accredited by agencies recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation must:

  • establish a program review cycle, in consultation with the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs, to align the program review process with the accreditation process

  • satisfy the external review portion of program review through a visit and a report by an accreditation team

  • satisfy all criteria of the program review and accreditation For each accredited program intending to submit a single document, the Dean, the Chair of the Academic Programs Committee, and the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs will work together to determine a format that meets accreditation requirements and clearly identifies responses to campus program review guidelines.


The Academic Program Review Process





  1. The Office of Academic Programs shall initiate the program review via a memo to the Program Chair and Dean.

    1. The Chair and/or program self-study coordinator, the Dean, other interested faculty, a representative from IRAP, and the AVP for Academic Programs shall be invited to attend a meeting.

    2. The agenda for the meeting shall include:

      1. Status of recommendations from the previous self-study

      2. Model for next cycle – Does the program wish to develop a program assessment plan in lieu of one cycle of the program review?

      3. Review of process and timeline




  1. The department shall prepare a self-study according to the guidelines listed in Appendix A. It is important that the self-study include Suggestions for Action. All faculty in the department should certify that they have been involved in the review process and have reviewed the self-study. When completed, the department shall send one copy to the College Dean and two copies to the Office of Academic Programs, including one electronic copy.




  1. An external review shall be scheduled on the campus for the period of at least one day. The review team shall submit a report within 30 days of their visit. The report should comment on the department’s Suggestions for Action, and may contribute additional suggestions.




  1. The department shall respond to the external review report. The department's Suggestions for Action may need to be revised, based on the external review report.




  1. The Dean shall review each self-study and external review report for quality and consistency with the overall goals and directions of the college/school/center. The Dean will comment on the Suggestions for Action and add other Suggestions for Action as appropriate. The Dean then shall submit the self-study, the external review report, and the Dean's comments to the Office of Academic Programs for review and for forwarding to the Academic Senate.




  1. The Academic Senate Steering Committee shall refer the program review to the Academic Programs Committee. The Academic Programs Committee shall review the program review files. The committee shall meet with the Chair, Dean, and other faculty members as needed to clarify points in the program review file. The Academic Programs Committee has two tasks:

  • To examine the program review and to recommend action regarding acceptance of the program review as fulfilling the specific requirements of program review and the general intention that program reviews are to provide critical self-analyses;

  • To review and evaluate the Suggestions for Action, adding suggestions as appropriate, and to recommend that the Suggestions for Action be forwarded to the Vice President for Academic Affairs for consideration in the development of Five Year Strategic Plans and budget requests.




  1. The Academic Senate has two tasks:

  • To recommend acceptance or rejection of the program review as fulfilling the intention and specific requirements of the University regarding program review;

  • To recommend that the Suggestions for Action be forwarded to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for consideration in University and Academic Planning and budget proesses. (Note: The Suggestions for Action are not recommended for approval or disapproval, but for consideration in the planning and budgeting process.)




  1. The President shall respond to the Academic Senate recommendation of acceptance or rejection of the program review as fulfilling the intention and specific requirements of the University regarding program review. The President shall act on the Suggestions for Action by forwarding them to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for use in University and Academic Planning and budgeting processes.




  1. Following Academic Senate action and the President's response, the resulting reports shall be reviewed in a meeting including the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, AVP for Academic Programs, the college dean and or associate dean, department chair, faculty coordinator and or program review coordinator, and program faculty as appropriate, and a representative of the Academic Programs Committee. Particular attention shall be given to the Suggestions for Action from the department and the comments on, or additions to, these suggestions from the external review team, the Dean, and the Academic Senate. Each of the suggestions will be reviewed and identified as follows:

  • suggestions that will be implemented

  • suggestions that will be implemented if additional resources are provided

  • suggestions that will not be implemented, with justification for not implementing

  • suggestions that have already been implemented

A written record of the meeting(s) will become part of the program review file. This written record will become the starting point of the department's next program review so that the results of the program review process may be assessed.


Guidelines For External Review




Department Responsibilities:


  1. External reviews are conducted by a team of two people for each program, with one of them being from outside the CSU system. The selection of the reviewers is made by the faculty of the department in consultation with the Office of Academic Programs and the College Dean.

    1. The department compiles two pools of potential reviewers, those from within the CSU system and those outside of the CSU system.

    2. The pools, including names titles, and brief backgrounds, shall be forwarded to the College Dean and the AVP for Academic Programs. The Dean and AVP may concur with the pool of reviewers or may exclude, with explanation, an individual nominee.

    3. After this consultation is completed, the proposed pool will be returned to the department so that the faculty can select the external reviewers.




  1. The department shall schedule the external review in coordination with the Dean and the Academic Programs Office.

    1. The reviewers are formally invited to the campus by the AVP of Academic Programs. Academic Programs shall send the external reviewers a copy of the self study, the itinerary, and any other pertinent materials.

    2. The department, in coordination with Academic Programs, shall complete preparations for the visit, including a detailed itinerary.

      1. The department is responsible for collecting materials for the reviewers to review, including: course outlines, advising materials, samples of student work; and for master’s degree programs: student theses, projects and/or comprehensive exams.

      2. Initial and exit meetings should be scheduled with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the AVP for Academic Programs, and the College Dean.

      3. The visit should include opportunities for the reviewers to meet with the department chair, faculty, and students. The external reviewers should also be given a tour of the facilities.

      4. The external reviewers should be given time and a location to review documents and confer before the exit meeting.

    1. There shall be standard honorarium for a single-day review (negotiable for reviews that may extend two to three days). The college is responsible for the honorarium.

    2. Expenses, including reasonable airfare and one night’s lodging at KW, shall be covered by the college. The department shall provide meals and other incidental costs. KW reservations shall be made by the department, and air reservations shall be made by the reviewers.

Academic Programs Responsibilities:


  1. The Office of Academic Programs and the College Dean select the reviewers, ensuring that one is from the CSU, one from outside the CSU, experts in their fields, and knowledgeable about program assessment and review.




  1. The Office of Academic Programs formally invites the reviewers to the campus. Academic Programs shall send the external reviewers, and all parties with whom they shall meet, a copy of the self study, the itinerary, and any other pertinent materials.




  1. The External Reviewers will send a copy of the review to Academic Programs who will distribute the review to the department, dean, and Provost.




  1. While the college and department are responsible for all costs related to the visit, including the honorarium, Academic Programs will be responsible for all paperwork related to the honorarium. The external reviewers receive the honorarium upon the University’s receipt of the external review report.

Reviewer Responsibilities:


Reviewers should bring an informed and unbiased view to the assessment of the program. External reviewers should consider whether the plans of the department are appropriate, considering such factors as the current condition of the program, trends in discipline, the nature of the faculty, and the characteristics of the students and the community the program serves. Reviewers may be provided with a list of questions to be specifically addressed in their report, but they are not to be constrained from covering other issues that might arise during the course of their review.
The report does not need to be in a specific format. However, it is expected that the report will address each of the Suggestions for Action in the self-study indicating agreement or disagreement with each suggestion, and as appropriate, make additional Suggestions for Action. The final report is a single report signed by both reviewers and should be submitted within one month after the completion of the visit. Dissenting opinions should be included when consensus is not reached. The report should be addressed to the AVP for Academic Programs, who will distribute copies to the college dean and the department chair.

Appendix A - General Timeline

While the timeline for individual Academic Program Reviews may vary, the Office of Academic Programs suggests following the timeline below. The responsibility for maintaining open lines of communication about the status of the project rests principally with the program faculty, who often delegate the responsibility to a department chair or faculty coordinator. At every step in the process, the faculty’s designee should communicate with both the Office of Academic Programs and the College Dean or designee.


Using the timeline below, a program completing an APR for the five year period ending Spring 2010 would complete the pre-APR activities in Spring 2010, the Year 1 activities from Fall 2010 to Spring 2011, and the Year 2 activities from Fall 2011 to Spring 2012.


Pre-APR Activities

Spring

Pre-APR meeting scheduled by Office of Academic Programs. Attendees are Department Chair or Faculty Coordinator, interested program faculty, and AVP for Academic Programs.




Year 1 activities

Fall

IRAP sends data to department for analysis

Fall / Winter

Program faculty write Self-study and may send electronically to the AVP for Academic Programs for preview and comments.
Program faculty make any necessary changes and send:

    1. One electronic copy (on disk, CD, or via e-mail) to Academic Programs

    2. One electronic copy to the College Dean

Early Winter

Program faculty nominate external reviewers to Dean and AVP for Academic Programs. Dean and AVP approve reviewers.

Early Spring

Visit of External Reviewers – May be one or two days.

Within 30 days of visit

External Reviewers submit report in electronic and printed formats to AVP for Academic Programs.

Within 7 days

AVP forwards External Review in electronic form to Program and to Dean for their response.




Late Spring


Program response and Dean’s response to External Review to External Review submitted electronically with signature page to Office of Academic Programs




Year 2 activities

Fall/Winter

Academic Program Review is submitted by Office of Academic Programs for Academic Senate review

  1. Academic Programs (AP) Committee adds comments in generic response matrix as appropriate and submits recommendation for approval to Academic Senate

  2. Senate reviews AP Committee report and makes recommendation to President

  3. President acts on Senate recommendation

Spring

Follow-up meeting scheduled by Office of Academic Programs. Attendees are Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, AVP for Academic Programs, College Dean or Associate Dean, Department Chair, Faculty Coordinator and/or Program Review Coordinator (as appropriate), Program faculty, and a representative of the Academic Programs Committee.


Appendix B - Guidelines for Program Self-Study




Section 1 – Introduction


          1. Describe the program, including in which department and college it resides, the degree granted, and any emphases or options within the program.

          2. List the mission and goals and discuss their relationship to those of the college and University.

          3. Review of previous self-study, its recommendations, and resulting changes.



Section 2 - The Program Description


This section should fully describe the program and its role in helping the University achieve its overall mission.

          1. Review the units to degree. If the degree program being reviewed is deemed to require more than 180-quarter units, academic reasons for continuing such practice should be presented.

          2. List the curriculum (core, directed electives, emphasis areas, minors, etc.). Updated expanded course outlines (no more than five years old) for all courses must be on file in the department office and available to reviewers.

          3. List the service learning and honors courses that have been incorporated into the curriculum. Discuss their role in the program.

          4. List GE or other service classes offered by the department that are not part of major program. Discuss their role in the department in relationship to the major program.

          5. Compare the curriculum in terms of content and distribution of units with comparable programs at other CSU and non-CSU institutions.

          6. Discuss any major curricular changes made in the past five years.

          7. Discuss the anticipated evolution of the curriculum. Describe the external needs/demands for the program. Describe how new ideas, directions, and technical advances have been incorporated into the curriculum. Discussion should include comparisons, as relevant, to college, university, CSU, and national trends and needs.

          8. Discuss any curricular bottlenecks and efforts to alleviate such problems.

          9. Include a table indicating often required and elective courses have been offered in the four years preceding the program review. Explain the reason for any courses that have not been offered at least every two years. (See example below)




Course

F’xx

W’xx

Sp’xx

Su’xx

Comments

CPU 100

3

3

2

1

In winter, one section is offered at night

CPU 201

2

2

1

1




CPU 205

1

1










CPU 301

1




1

1




CPU 401




1










CPU 402







1







CPU 425

1













CPU 435

(1)










CPU 435 alternates with CPU 425



Section 3 – Program Assessment


  1. Summarize the accreditation status or other external assessment of the program.

  2. List the programs’ student learning outcomes

  3. Include a matrix showing how courses in the program meet the student learning outcomes. (See example below.)







LO 1

LO 2

LO 3

LO 4

LO 5

CPU 100

I, A

I










CPU 201

D




I

I




CPU 205

D

D







I

CPU 301

D




D

D




CPU 401

D

D

M, A




D

CPU 402

D







M, A




CPU 425

M

M, A







M

CPU 435

M, A

M







M, A

I = introduced; D = developed and/or practiced; M = demonstrated mastery; A = Assessed


  1. Describe the process used for assessing the learning objectives, courses and curricular structures.

  2. Evaluate the procedures for collecting and analyzing evidence that program goals and objectives are being achieved.

  3. Summarize the assessment performed in the last five years, conclusions from that assessment, and any changes to the program based on that assessment. (You may use a table format. See example below.)




Student Learning Outcome

Place in Curriculum where Outcome is Addressed

Assessment Procedures, Methods, Strategies

Summary of Findings

Use of Findings for Program Improvement

List any outcomes that were revised, assessed, had results of assessment analyzed, or caused some action.

Indicate course or step in program this outcome is addressed. Include level it is addressed: introduction, development, mastery.

List assessment procedure, direct or indirect method or strategy. You may wish to attach rubrics, surveys, etc.

Include findings on what students are doing well as well as those that suggest an adjustment or improvement.

Did faculty discuss findings, make suggestions for change, carry out change?



Section 4 - Program Quality




Section 4.1 Faculty


This section should include both description and self-appraisal of the following:

          1. Assess the quality of teaching. This section must include the computer-generated discipline averages of course evaluations as well as a copy of the questionnaire and an evaluation of the results, with particular attention to the most important questions on the questionnaire. The section may also include other indicators such as distinguished teaching awards.

          2. Summarize faculty research and scholarly activity. Include in an appendix the resumes of the faculty or a list of research, scholarship and creative activity.

          3. Include a table describing the typical annual workload (not including summer) for each tenure track faculty member and full time lecturer. (See example below.)




Faculty member

Teaching WTU

Assigned WTU for Research

Assigned WTU for Service

Administrative WTU

Total WTU

Joe Smith

28

8

0

0

36

Carla Cruz

24

0

12

0

36

Su Yen

12

0

0

24

36




          1. Summarize faculty participation in the department, university, profession and community. Include evidence of collegiality, interdisciplinary activities, committee involvement, and faculty development activities.

          2. Describe the department involvement in civic engagement and other community outreach (not including service learning) and discuss any plans for increase or decrease in such activities.

          3. Describe the department involvement in service functions for other programs such as involvement in interdisciplinary, certificate, or credential programs for undergraduates. Discuss any plans for increase or decrease in such activities.



Section 4.2 Student Success


    1. Describe the departmental advisement program and evidence of quality (for example, assessment plan of advising program, faculty involvement in special advising programs such as CARES or SEES, advising awards, and the student persistence rates provided by the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning.)

    2. Assess the learning environment. Include indicators such as special department events, department publications, and faculty involvement in student clubs or other extracurricular activities.

    3. Summarize and assess the steps taken to implement a First Year Experience Program.

    4. Discuss student commitment, motivation and satisfaction. Include surveys of student opinions regarding the program outcomes and quality. This section also may include discussion of special student contributions to the work of the department.

    5. Discuss co-curricular learning experiences that are relevant to the program goals (such as internships, research experiences, study abroad); include the number of students that participate in these experiences.

    6. A summary of the following data should also be included:

  • Number of graduates employed in a field or job requiring the degree(s)

  • Number in graduate schools

  • Numbers taking and passing licensing exams

  • Other accomplishments by current and former students that reflect on program quality.

    1. Discuss alumni opinions regarding the program and its quality. (The Office of Alumni Affairs should be asked for assistance in compiling names and addresses of alumni.) These may be based on survey results, interviews or opinions of graduates invited to campus to give their views on the program in small discussion groups or panels.



Section 5 - Resources


  1. Enrollment. Discuss five-year data supplied by the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning. The discussion should include trends in numbers and retention of students by gender and ethnicity, and should include comparisons, as relevant, to college, university, CSU, and national trends and needs.

    1. Describe the department’s involvement in student outreach and recruitment. Explain any steps to encourage transfer students to enter the program or to assist transfer students to make a smooth transition.

  2. Faculty. Discuss the use of faculty resources, retirement projections, plans for hiring new faculty, and trends in numbers of faculty by gender and ethnicity. The discussion should include comparisons, as relevant, to college, university, CSU, and national trends and needs.

  3. Library Resources. Discuss data supplied by the University Library.

This section should include both a description and self-appraisal of the following:

  1. Staff

  2. Operating Budget

  3. Space and Facilities

  4. Computing Resources

  5. Scholarships, brochures, websites, other efforts to support recruitment and retention

  6. External funding – contracts, grants, gifts, etc.



Section 6 - Suggestions for Action


The Suggestions should include actions that can be accomplished by the department with existing funds and resources as well as actions that may require additional funding or resources.

Section 7 – External Review Report




Section 8 - Summary


A brief, substantive summary of the major findings and revised suggestions for action in response to the External Review.

Section 9 - Faculty Participation


All department faculty responsible for the program should certify that they have been involved in the review process and have reviewed the full academic program review report. A copy of this certification must accompany the program review report.

Appendix C - External Reviewer’s Responsibilities

External reviews are conducted by a team of at least two professionals for each program, one from another CSU campus and one from a non-CSU institution, or from business, industry, or the public, as appropriate.


The purpose of academic program review is to encourage excellence in the instructional program. Specific goals include:

  • reviewing and suggesting improvements in the following:

  • curriculum of the program

  • instruction in the program

  • student advising

  • faculty participation in research, scholarship, and creative activity

  • faculty service to the University

  • cooperation with other academic programs on campus

  • reviewing the assessment of student learning in the program for the purpose of program improvement

  • reviewing the use of resources and facilities, and identifying needs for additional resources

  • attending to issues of diversity and campus climate

  • charting new directions for the program and the department

The program review process is forward-looking and provides for follow-up. Each step of the process generates Suggestions for Action. These suggestions include actions that can be accomplished by the department with existing funds and resources, as well as actions that may require additional funding or resources.


External reviewers, as recognized experts in the field, are used to provide critical judgment, to ensure the objectivity of the process, and to determine how the program compares to others in the region or nation. More specifically:


  1. Reviewers are expected to bring an informed and unbiased view to the assessment of the program. External reviewers should consider whether the plans of the department are appropriate, considering such factors as the current condition of the program, trends in discipline, the nature of the faculty, and the characteristics of the students and the community the program serves. Reviewers may be provided with a list of questions to be specifically addressed in their report, but they are not to be constrained from covering other issues that might arise during the course of their review.




  1. The external review team’s itinerary will be established by the Department concerned in consultation with the Dean, the Office of Academic Programs, and the reviewers. External reviewers are expected to meet with designated University and College/School administrators, department chair, departmental faculty and students, and others as appropriate.




  1. To help orient the reviewers to the campus and the review process, the team will first meet with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs, and representatives from the college. The Department Chair or Department Program Review Chair may attend this meeting.




  1. During the team’s visit, time will be provided for the reviewers to tour facilities and review documents. The department shall provide course outlines, advising materials, and samples of student work. For master’s degree programs, student theses, projects/ and or comprehensive exams will be provided.




  1. Prior to the reviewers’ departure from the campus, a one-hour exit interview will be conducted to answer any final questions the team may have and to receive an oral report on any preliminary findings, assessments and conclusions they may have reached. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs will be present at the exit interview.




  1. Although the report does not require a specific format, it is expected that the external review report will address each of the Suggestions for Action in the self-study, indicating agreement or disagreement with each suggestion, and as appropriate, make additional Suggestions for Action. A single report signed by both reviewers should be submitted within one month after the completion of the visit. Dissenting opinions should be included when consensus is not reached.




  1. The final report of the external reviewers should be sent to the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs, addressed to the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.




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