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Review Criteria

Review Criteria

Following are guidelines programs can use when writing the self-study report. This list addresses the three primary criteria of Program Quality, Program Centrality and Program Management specified in the strategic plan. If the program is in the process, or has recently submitted a report to an external review body the guidelines may be modified. Programs being reviewed for the first time should address all points raised in these guidelines. All other programs should provide information for each major heading (Mission and Vision, National Norms, etc).

Programs should feel free to add additional program specific information which they feel is relevant to the program review process. Some of the review criteria below may not be relevant to all programs. In the case of first-time reviews, the self-study report should explain why those criteria do not apply to the program.

Programs having both undergraduate and graduate programs should evaluate the undergraduate and graduate programs separately and in parallel. Normally, this means that both undergraduate and graduate programs will be evaluated at the same time in order to save effort. However, in some instances a compelling reason to evaluate undergraduate and graduate programs separately may exist. The Provost, Dean, or Chair of the department may choose separate evaluations for undergraduate and graduate programs within a department or school.

Executive Summary Give a brief executive summary of your program review report.


  • Give a general overview of your program and its place in the general University community.
  • What are the stated goals and learning objectives of your program?
  • Describe the recent history of your program to provide background for the rest of your report.
Current State of the Program

  • Mission and Vision of Program and University
    • State your program's mission and vision, explain how they mesh with and contribute to the University's.
    • As appropriate, describe the ways your program contributes to the University goals providing a multicultural, pluralistic learning environment and of providing service to the local community.
  • National Norms and Division of Efforts
    • Describe the national norms for your program. How does your program compare to the national norms?
    • What courses in your program contribute to general education at the University? What percentage of your total FTE do these courses represent?
    • What courses in your program support or are integrated with other programs or majors? What percentage of your program do these courses represent?
    • Explain how your courses are designed to link liberal arts and sciences with programs.
  • Quality
    • Describe the national norms for your program. How does your program compare to the national norms?
    • What courses in your program contribute to general education at the University? What percentage of your total FTE do these courses represent?
      What is your analysis of the quality and appropriateness of the courses your program offers for undergraduate and graduate majors, as well as courses offered for general education and cognates for non-major students?
    • What do you perceive as the strengths and distinctiveness of your program compared to national norms and other similarly placed University programs?
    • What do you perceive as the weaknesses of your program using these same comparison?
    • Describe your program's comprehensiveness with regard to the range and degree of student engagement in learning such as student research, internships, co-curricular and off-campus activities, etc.
    • Describe to what extent the design and diversity of the program contributes to the general intellectual development of the student. This may include such topics as:
      • Coherence and opportunities for the synthesis of learning and integration across courses and disciplines
      • The opportunities for interaction between faculty and students
      • Are the students challenged to use the methods and perspectives of the discipline in framing questions and formulating increasingly sophisticated responses?
      • The variety of teaching strategies and use of appropriate technology in course work
      • Analyze the quality and appropriateness of the advising, both formal and informal
  • Assessment
    • Describe the program's methods of student learning assessment, in light of its goals and objectives, how you are planning to use assessment to improve the program.
    • Describe the appropriateness of expectations for students and alumni achievement within the program and the use of accepted assessment techniques to determine such acheivement.
    • Provide evidence of student learning and an analysis in light of program goals and objectives.
    • (Where applicable) What achievements (e.g., publications, recitals, exhibitions, awards, honors, etc.) have resulted from the efforts of students (undergraduate and graduate)?
    • What methods do you use to assess the achievements of your alumni after graduation? How do you stay in touch with alumni?
    • Describe the outcomes from previous reviews, internal or external, and explain how recommendations were addressed or resolved.
  • Faculty Issues
    • Do you have sufficient number and type of qualified faculty to meet the goals of your program?
    • How do you encourage gender and ethnical/racial diversity of the faculty and students within the program?
    • How does your faculty contribute to the University goal of excellence of teaching and of scholarly activity or artistic endeavors?
    • Describe the standards and expectations of your program with respect to excellence in teaching and scholarly activity.
    • What policies does the program have for supporting and rewarding exemplary teaching, advising, scholarship and artistic endeavors, course and curriculum development?
  • Program and Budget Planning
    • How do you plan your schedule of courses for each semester with regard to courses in the major, general education, contribution to the mentor program?
    • How do you review your curriculum for your major and general education courses considering level of material and current enrollment?
    • Discuss the adequacy and quality of the library, laboratory, studio and/or other resources available to support your program. How is the availability of these resources taken into account in course scheduling, curriculum development, etc?
    • Discuss the number of students in your program in relation to capacity. Could you effectively educate more or do you have too many? Comment on their preparation, abilities and diversity.
    • Does the program use external review in decision making? Who is involved, how are the people selected? How is the input used?
    • Discuss the amount and sources of your program budget. In what ways is it sufficient or insufficient to meet the needs of your program?
    • What is the impact of teaching assistants on resource allocation?
Future Directions for the Program

  • Five Year Plan
    • What are the five year goals and objectives of your program? Describe how your plan was formulated. How were trends in the discipline identified? How are you using these goals to plan strategically for the future?
    • Describe the financial impact on the University of your five-year plan.
    • Where appropriate, have anticipated faculty retirements been taken into account in formulating your five year plan?
  • Marketing and Recruitment
    • Describe recruitment opportunities and plans.
    • Describe the prospective market for graduate placement (including post-graduate study).
    • Considering a five year period how many new student majors exist in relation to (1) inquiries and applications, and (2) optimum enrollment?
  • Program and University Decisions
    • What decisions, emphasis, and efforts does your program need to make in the immediate future in order to reach your five year goals?
    • What decision and/or allocation of resources does the unit and the University need to make in the immediate future in order for your program to reach its five year goals?
Information About The Program (Appendices)

  • Demographics - Students
    • What are the unit's total annual costs (including accounts designated and restricted)? What is the unit's cost per credit unit generated?
    • Admissions
      • Number of freshman, transfer and graduate admissions
      • Describe equal opportunity measures used in admissions decisions at both the graduate and undergraduate levels
    • Describe the process used to monitor changes in demographic trends
    • Retention and graduation rates
    • Enrollments--number of majors, minors, FTEs
    • Course enrollment
    • Number of majors and minors
    • Student ethnic and gender
    • Number/amount of teaching assistant awards given
    • Number of courses and sections of courses and labs taught by teaching assistants
  • Faculty Qualifications
    • Current faculty vita covering the last three to five years
    • Evaluation of teaching effectiveness of faculty
    • Data on gender and ethnical/racial diversity of faculty
    • Description of teaching assistant training for teaching
    • Five-year projection of faculty assignment (e.g., teaching, leave, administrative duties)
    • Retirement dates for faculty where applicable
    • Student advising activities of faculty
    • Service activities of faculty, including a list of committee assignments, professional service, and community service activities
    • Describe the faculty/staff development process within the department or program.
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