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.
Programs With External Accreditation
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 which are not accredited.
Accredited programs that submit annual reports to their accreditor should also submit that information to the Office of Assessment, email@example.com. 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 - document pending approval (due November 1st).
Programs Without External Accreditation
To find your program’s self-study year, access the Excel spreadsheet that includes a seven-year External Review Cycle at Academic Program Review Schedule
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. Programs also provide a brief Annual Reporting Form - document pending approval (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. Submit an answer to question 3 on this template along with the annual report to your accreditor if Program Health requires annual reporting. 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)
Non-Academic Unit Review
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 either have external accreditation or they complete a program review. The institution’s non-academic units contribute to the support of institution and complete program reviews similar to academic programs but with a focus on their unique service roles. Some programs, for example, Student Affairs, may have programs that complete direct assessment of students’ performance or work.
A non-academic unit review is an opportunity to focus on program strengths and identify areas to improve. Academic Affairs creates a review team that evaluates the self-study and provides feedback to the non-academic units. Feedback recognizes strengths and provides insight into areas for improvement. The goal of the review is support non-academic units as they engage in meaningful change that benefits the institution and our students.
All non-academic units are required to complete a review every seven years. In most cases, reviews occur at the subunit level and cover programs, services, and student support housed in the unit. In some cases, reviews will focus on distinct programs within larger units. NAURs will consider the full range of the unit. Units complete reports and submit them to unit leadership which considers and reports their impression of the most salient aspects of the units.
Units will submit a brief annual program assessment report on November 1 to their unit’s leadership and the Office of Assessment. The report is designed to support continuous improvement by identifying trends, issues, and solutions between the 7-year self-study period. Academic programs complete a similar annual report.
The NAUR Review team will have a minimum of three members. Any review team member from ISU must be from a unit or program other than the one under review. Review teams typically include a faculty member. Reviewers from outside the unit who have any recent connections with the unit currently under review should be avoided if at all possible. If this is not possible, full disclosure of potential conflicts of interest should be identified.
Below are links with helpful information for non-academic programs.
Assessment resources are available at the ISU Assessment Web Site
NAUR Documents: Overview Instructions, Template for Units and the Template for the Overall Program (typically completed by the VP or unit leadership)
NAUR Annual Program Report Template for all programs (Due November 1)
Assessment Commons: Assessing Administrative and Support Units
Creating S.M.A.R.T Goals: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth