Academic Program Review

The need for academic program review is based on multiple criteria to ensure each program’s centrality, currency, relevancy and effectiveness in supporting institutional mission, goals and accountability processes.  Academic program review is helpful in supporting decisions involving program effectiveness and resource allocation.

A periodic evaluation of academic programs enables a self-study of how each program is performing in terms of demand by students (enrollment trends), student success (retention, progression, and graduation), resource needs (human and materials), centrality to institutional mission, and overall trends in response to social, political, economic, demographic, and environmental changes (such as technological innovation).

In its Principles of Accreditation (2018), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) states in section 7 (Institutional Planning and Effectiveness) that:

“Effective institutions demonstrate a commitment to principles of continuous improvement, based on a systematic and documented process of assessing institutional performance with respect to mission in all aspects of the institution.  An institutional planning and effectiveness process involves all programs, services, and constituencies; is linked to the decision-making process at all levels; and provides a sound basis for budgetary decisions and resource allocations.”

Thus, section 7 (1) of the Principles of Accreditation requires that institution engages in ongoing, comprehensive, and integrated research-based planning and evaluation processes that (a) focus on institutional quality and effectiveness and (b) incorporate a systematic review of institutional goals and outcomes consistent with its mission.

NSU embarks on a periodic review of all its academic programs.  All undergraduate programs are reviewed on a five-year cycle and graduate programs are reviewed on a seven-year cycle. The current cycles for both undergraduate and graduate programs begin in fall 2021 semester (Academic Program Review for AY 2022-2028).

The review process takes two semesters to complete, beginning in fall and ending in spring. The template for completing the self-study with instructions is provided here (Academic Program Review Template).

In the academic year when a program is due for review, pertinent data needed for the self-study will be provided from the Office of Institutional Research through the Provost’s Office.

Programs with no disciplinary/specialized accreditation will submit their final self-study report to an appointed external reviewer for feedback through the Provost’s Office. Programs with disciplinary accreditations will use their accreditation report in lieu of the self-study report. The Provost will provide the final recommendation on each program review.