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  • Policy Number: SP.06.013
  • Version: Revision 1
  • Drafted By:
  • Approved By: Dr. Richard R. Rush
  • Approval Date: 02/20/07
  • Effective Date:
  • Supersedes:


Program review encourages the improvement of programs by thoroughly and candidly evaluating:

  • the mission and goals of the program and their relation to the mission of the institution
  • the curriculum through which program mission and goals are pursued
  • the assessment of student learning outcomes, the program revisions based upon those outcomes, and the plans for future assessment activities
  • the range and quality of scholarship and creative activities, emphasizing those involving students
  • the quality and diversity of faculty and staff and their contributions to program mission and goals
  • the quality of entering and graduating students
  • the library and other educational resources
  • physical facilities
  • service and contributions to the community

These reviews provide information allowing faculty to highlight program strengths and achievements, to identify needed improvements, and to address these needs through long-range plans that will endure through short-term administrative changes or budget constraints. Program reviews are integral to planning, resource allocation, and other decision making within the university. Regular program reviews also allow the university to account publicly for its use of public resources and to develop support among its various constituencies.

Program reviews include evaluation of all undergraduate and graduate programs offered by the program.


Periodic program reviews provide a mechanism for faculty to evaluate the effectiveness, progress, and status of their academic programs on a continuous basis. It is an opportunity for the program to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses within the context of ongoing and emerging directions in the discipline at the regional and national levels and in the context of the mission of California State University Channel Islands. Academic program review is mandated by Chancellor's office memorandum AP 71-32 which asks each campus to "Establish a formal performance review procedure for all existing degree programs on your campus in order to assess periodically both the quantitative and qualitative viability of each undergraduate and graduate program in the total context of your offerings."









Academic Program Review Components

Academic program review will include the following three components:

    1. Academic Program Self-Study and Recommendation
    2. External Review and Recommendation
    3. University Review and Decision-Making

Academic Program Self-Study and Recommendation

    • At the start of the process for a given academic program, representatives from the academic program, the Division of Academic Affairs, and the Program Assessment and Review Committee (PARC) will meet to discuss substantive and procedural questions. Those attending should indicate any specific areas or issues needing to be addressed, so that these may be given special attention in the review process.
    • Every academic program which offers baccalaureate, Master's, or joint doctoral degrees (other than those subject to periodic accreditation review) shall prepare a self-study that will serve as a basis for all subsequent reviews and recommendations. In this self-study, the academic program should describe and assess each degree program it offers. Program chairs should assure that there is widespread faculty participation in the self-studies and that the faculty are made aware of all findings and recommendations.
    • The academic program shall forward its completed self-study to the Division of Academic Affairs and to the Dean for their respective review and signatures indicating that the self study is complete and ready for external review.

External Review and Recommendation

The purpose of external review is to help each academic program improve the quality of its degree programs and to add an additional perspective to the recommendations made in the self-study. It is anticipated that the external reviews will provide evaluative assistance and support for program goals.

Typically, the review will be conducted by a team of two members, representing both a CSU and a non-CSU perspective.

The program faculty and the Dean, working together, shall choose the potential reviewers. The Dean shall forward their names and addresses to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for his/her concurrence. Reviewers will receive a copy of the program's self-study and supporting documents and are expected to spend two days on the campus interviewing students, faculty, and administrators and to prepare a report of findings and recommendations. Copies of this report shall be sent to the program chair and to the Dean, both of whom will be invited to respond in writing, commenting on recommendations made and adding recommendations as needed. The report and responses will become part of the program’s review file evaluated by the Program Assessment and Review Committee and the Division of Academic Affairs. Upon receipt of the report, the University will pay the reviewers an honorarium (in addition to travel costs and other expenses).

University Review and Decision-Making

In order to provide a University-wide faculty perspective and assist in University wide planning, the Program and Assessment Review Committee will carefully review each program's self-study, external review report, and responses to the external review. PARC may choose to designate a subcommittee from among its members for this purpose. PARC will meet with the Dean and program faculty to ensure that PARC fully understands all recommendations made. PARC will accept additional data and recommendations from the programs at this time. It will then proceed to evaluate all recommendations and send its report to the Chair of the Academic Senate and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for transmission to all in rested parties. PARC should review all recommendations in a timely fashion land submit its findings to appropriate programs as expeditiously as possible! PARC will also send any policy recommendations and its annual report to the Academic Senate.

After the faculty of the academic program, the Dean, and the Division of

Academic Affairs have had an opportunity to study all reports and recommendations, representatives of these three areas will meet to discuss recommendations and agree on actions to be taken. This agreement will be embodied in a memorandum of understanding which will be in effect until the completion of the next review cycle. This memorandum of understanding will be kept on file in the Divisions of Academic Affairs and the Academic Senate.

Accredited Programs

For programs that are state or nationally accredited and undergo periodic accreditation review involving a campus visit by an accrediting team, the accreditation review will normally substitute for academic program review with the following exceptions:

(a) Following receipt of notif\ication from the accrediting body that a program has been re-accredited, representatives of the academic program, administration, and Division of Academic Affairs will develop a memorandum of understanding embodying agreements reached in the accreditation review. This memorandum of understanding will be in effect until completion of the next accreditation review and will be kept on file in the Divisions of Academic Affairs and the Academic Senate.

(b) Upon special request of the program, Dean, and/or Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, an accredited program shall undergo academic program review in addition to accreditation review. In this event, the self-study prepare for accreditation may be adapted or substituted, as appropriate, for the purpose of program review, and the campus visit by the accrediting team may be substituted for the external review.

The Program Assessment and Review Committee

PARC is an Academic Affairs committee composed of a faculty representative from each major, plus the Director of Institutional Research, AVP for Academic Programs and Planning, and the Chief Assessment Officer. PARC is charged with overseeing program assessment within the division and contributing to an effective program review process. 

Program Review Schedule

Academic programs will be reviewed on a five year cycle. The Dean should assure that the academic programs are reviewed in a timely fashion and that there is appropriate dissemination of information and recommendations. General Education programs shall also undergo review on a five year cycle.



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