Purpose

Purpose of the Program Review

Updated in 2016, the PASSHE Board of Governors Program Review Policy (BOG Policy 1986-04-A) statement lists five purposes for the need for system universities to undertake a program review process:

  1. To assure deliberate and continuous attention to enhancement of the quality and to assess mission centrality of academic and academic programs and programs in support of the student experience within State System universities.

  2. To ensure compliance with regional accreditation standard related to educational effectiveness. Middle States Commission on Higher Education requires assessment of student learning and achievement for all programs, all levels, and regardless of instructional modality.

  3. To ensure compliance with regional accreditation standard related to supporting the student experience. Middle States Commission on Higher Education requires assessment of all programs and services that enhance the quality of the learning environment, contribute to the educational experience, and foster student success.

  4. To analyze and employ quantitative and qualitative data, including student-learning outcomes, academic program sustainability, and program effectiveness related to individual programs which will contribute to both university and State System planning.   

  5. To provide the chancellor and Board of Governors, as well as the council of trustees of each university, with assurance that university programs are being assessed in a systematic fashion and that plans for making continuous improvements are developed, implemented, and communicated.

In addition to the above broad purposes, each academic department or unit should use the process to improve its current programs and develop (or update) the program’s action plan. The Action Plandetails the desired steps needed to address recommendations discovered through the program review process. The action plan details achievement targets for what needs to be accomplished to make programs even stronger.  The expectation is that most actions will be accomplished within existing complement and resources.  Actions to identify necessary additional resources may be appropriately included but must not be the focus of the action plan.