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Academic Program Review (APR)

Program review and assessment is a requirement of the Idaho State Board of Education and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities accreditation standards.  Academic programs complete regular self-studies and external reviews as part of an external accreditation or using the program review process which exists programs without external accreditation. Non-academic units complete program reviews in a format similar to academic programs which do not have external accreditation.  All academic and non-academic units complete a brief annual report due November 1 of each year.

All academic and professional-technical certificate and degree programs must have meaningful, assessable outcome measures. All courses must have measurable learning outcomes. Assessment is an integral part of accreditation and program review. Programs should “start where they are” with assessment.  Programs with detailed assessment plans can review and revise them.  Programs with developing assessment plans can add detail to strengthen them.  The Office of Assessment is available to review your assessment plan and process to help you formulate and implement a plan that yields meaningful data that can help programs “close the loop” or make changes to enhance how they support student success and learning.

Accreditation reports and program reviews are an opportunity to focus on program strengths and identify areas to improve.  External reviews conducted as part of an accreditation or program review can help programs discover ideas and insights. Finding something that can improve is not a problem, but an opportunity to make meaningful adjustments to a program.

To find your program’s accreditation information, access the Excel spreadsheet of the programs with specialized accreditation at Specialized Accreditation Listing- 9-1-2020

All Academic and professional-technical certificate and degree programs, with specialized accreditation, are reviewed on the timeline required by the accrediting body. Specialized accreditations that are not outcomes-based will need to develop and report program objectives and student learning outcome assessment data similar to programs that are not accredited.

Accredited programs that submit annual reports to their accreditor should also submit that information to the Office of Assessment, assessment@isu.edu. If an accredited program is reporting on action items for Program Health, it should also submit the answer to Question 3 on the Annual Reporting Form (due November 1st).


To find your program’s self-study year, access the Excel spreadsheet that includes a seven-year External Review Cycle at CAL Program Review Schedule Updated 2023, COSE Program Review Schedule Updated 2023 ,College of Technology Program Review Schedule Updated 2023 ,KDHS Program Review Schedule Updated 2023 ,College of Education Program Review Schedule Updated 2023

All academic and professional-technical certificate and degree programs, without specialized accreditation, must be evaluated at least once every seven years using the self-study template ISU Academic Program Review Self Study (Link Under Construction). Programs also provide a brief Annual Reporting Form (due November 1st) in years between reviews. Program reviews should be conducted simultaneously for undergraduate and graduate programs in the same discipline. Colleges and divisions determine how their programs will conduct program reviews although the self-study should follow the template. You will receive notice about your upcoming program review from the Office of Assessment in the Spring prior to your self-study academic year.  

Academic Program Review (APR) is an integral part of Idaho State University’s ongoing efforts to ensure that our educational mission is being met through the delivery of programs that are effective in meeting their goals through curricula that are current and relevant. The process of the self-study, external review, and the response to the review provides faculty and academic units with the opportunity to reflect upon the content of their programs and delivery of the curriculum. The self-study process involves reflecting on the assessment cycle and reviewing the program to evaluate its effectiveness. The program review process includes creating an action plan to maintain or improve the quality of teaching and scholarship at the institution and alignment with core themes.

Further and more detailed instructions and support are available at the following link: ISU Program Review Instructions (4-30-2018).  Support is also available from the Office of Assessment.  The instructions provide information on about the review process including purpose & rationale, criteria for program selection & schedule, review teams, full vs. modified reviews, process & procedures, unit self-study, external reviewers, and reporting: conclusions and recommendations.


Below are links with helpful information for programs.

PIE Workshop Video: Best Practices in Program Review and Assessment 4/14/21.

Institutional Research provides data on programs; enrollment, retention, etc. Contact them to access the relevant information for your program.

Digital Measures reports require that faculty first enter updated information on their activities.  The information on Digital Measures indicates the various methods faculty can use to enter their data and create a vita.  Reports are also available in Digital Measures for Department-Wide Data indicating overall faculty research, service and other activities for the chair of the program review committee or department chair.Please contact the Office of Assessment for help.

Assessment resources are available at the ISU Assessment Web Site

Annual Program Report Template for all programs (Due November 1). Accredited programs may submit the annual report provided to the accrediting body in lieu of completing this template. If you accreditor does not require an annual report, complete the entire template.  All programs without external accreditation that are not currently in the seventh year self-study will complete the annual report template.

Best Practices in External Reviews

Making the Most of External Reviews: Part 1, Inside Higher Ed, Karlyn Crowley, 03/01/19 (How to find a reviewer and frame the self-study process)

Making the Most of External Reviews: Part 2, Insider Higher Ed, Karlyn Crowley, 06/18.2019 (How to strategize and plan a visit)

Making the Most of External Reviews: Part 3, Insider Higher Ed, Karlyn Crowley, 08/29/2019 (Don’t have the review sit on a shelf, use it for meaningful change)


The Idaho State Board of Education (SBOE) and Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) require ISU to focus its efforts on continuous improvement. The cycle has four steps; the development, execution, evaluation, and refinement of the plan (closing the loop). This will be done through annual reports and every five years with development of the Divisional Strategic Plan. 

ASSUR: Administrative and Student Support Unit Review