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Types of Program Review

Institutional Academic Program Reviews

Each academic department shall undergo a comprehensive review of its academic programs at least once every 7 years. The purpose of conducting the reviews on a departmental basis is to assure that the degree programs are assessed in the context of the faculty’s overall workload. Degree programs that are interdisciplinary, or are housed outside an academic department will be reviewed independently. From time to time, institutional reviews may be requested for special circumstances.

Reviews of New Degree Programs

For effective long-range planning and continuous improvement, it is important to monitor the progress of a new degree program soon after implementation. All new academic degrees, options, and certificates shall undergo a first review approximately five years after initiation to assess the health of these programs. The Provost’s office will initiate review. The process is outlined here.

Reviews of Low Producing Programs

When an academic program produces relatively few graduates over an extended period of time, it is often a signal that the program is not performing well and that university resources are not being effectively managed. In general, low-producing programs are defined as those that average fewer than 5 graduates per year for undergraduate programs and 3 graduates per year for masters programs, over a 5 year period. On an annual basis, the Office of the Provost will review degree production for all academic programs. Those that are low-producing, will be required to conduct an immediate review with a report on the status of the program due back to the Office of the Provost within six months. If in the judgement of the Office of the Provost, a compelling case has not been made for continuation, the program will be recommended for discontinuance or reorganization pursuant to UW Regulation 6-43.

Reviews of Programs on Suspended Admissions

Departments may suspend admission into a degree program for up to three years with the approval of the Provost and notification to the Faculty Senate Academic Planning Committee. Within the three-year window, the program faculty must prepare a detailed recommendation on the future of the program for consideration by the Provost. If the decision is made to close the program, the process governed by University Regulations for elimination of academic degree programs will be initiated.

Specialized Accreditation Reviews

Specialized accreditation reviews are conducted by professional organizations and typically require a self-study and an outside evaluation team named by the professional organization. Such reviews are the responsibility of Deans and Program Directors, with the expectation that the Office of the Provost provided with documentation from the reviews and is kept informed of their status.

For undergraduate and professional programs, the accreditation review may meet the requirement for institutional program review, depending upon the nature of the external organization’s review. Because these types of reviews typically do not view a department’s work holistically, especially with regard to graduate degree programs, specialized accreditation reviews are usually not sufficient for meeting the criteria of an institutional review.

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Academic Program Review



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