Purpose of Program Review
The purpose of academic program review (APR) is to improve degree programs through a systematic, cyclical review process that is meaningful and contributes to the overall quality of departments and the university.
The information gathered throughout the process provides critical internal data about the size and stability of a program, current and future needs, market demand, equipment and space needs, strengths and weaknesses, and how the program contributes to the mission of the institution. From an external perspective, the assessment results provide a mechanism for demonstrating accountability and assist in efforts to garner financial, philosophical, and political support.
APR is also an essential component in demonstrating the university's compliance with SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges) regional accrediting standards including the following:
- Core Requirement 7.1. The institution engages in ongoing, comprehensive, and integrated research-based planning and evaluation processes that (a) focus on institutional quality and effectiveness and (b) incorporate a systemic review of institutional goals and outcomes consistent with its mission. (Institutional Planning)
- 8.2.a The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of seeking improvement based on analysis of the results...[for its] student learning outcomes for each of its educational programs.
The value of the program review process rests on its process, outcomes, and usefulness. Because the process and outcomes are developed for purposes of improving educational opportunities, curriculum quality, and program relevance, it is essential that the university make appropriate use of the results.