Academic Program Review Processes and Calendars

Academic Program Review Processes and Calendars

Academic Program Review enables the University to focus attention on academic programs and to ensure that its strengths and resources are used in alignment with the mission. During the program review process, faculty members have an opportunity to reflect on their work as teachers and scholars and to engage in deliberations about strategic planning, improvement, accountability measures, and resources. Thus, program review offers academic program personnel an opportunity to review and evaluate its program(s), reflect on and refine its vision, and exchange ideas and best practices with others in order to strengthen and improve existing programs. Furthermore, ideas for new programs or innovative solutions to long-standing problems may also emerge.

Creighton University's Academic Program Review Policy arises from the University's mission and University Learning Outcomes. Creighton exists for students and learning. Creighton University, as a Catholic, Jesuit University dedicated to excellence in undergraduate, graduate and professional programs, is committed to an ongoing process of program evaluation that includes assessment of student learning, reflection, and action that is consistent with the model of Ignatian teaching and learning.

Systematic program review provides a vehicle for ensuring the following:

  • Evidence of educational quality and consistency with national trends
  • Documentation of student performance and achievement of stated program outcomes within the context of the University mission
  • Evaluation of resources including student support, faculty, space
  • Improvement of educational quality and strategies for improvement
  • An evaluative process which identifies strengths and weaknesses with a forward looking projection
  • Program review results should result in action

Program review assists in identifying strong programs that need to be maintained and may help identify programs that need modification, consolidation, or elimination from the University's academic portfolio.

Academic Program Review consists of five phases: (1) Planning and Preparation, (2) Self-Study, (3) External Review, (4) Summary, (5) Recommendation and Action (see Process Flow Diagram).  The Center for Faculty Excellence serves as the coordinating unit for this program review function.

Phase 1: Planning and Preparation

The Associate Vice Provost for the Center for Faculty Excellence will, in consultation with school/college dean(s), notify the academic program that a review has been scheduled.  Initial planning and preparation includes an orientation meeting, appointment of self-study committee, and nomination/selection of reviewers.  For a list of programs currently scheduled:


Phase 2: The Self Study Report

The Self-Study Report is an interpretive document that uses data to assess current program status and future direction. The university will provide to the unit a standard self-study document template and standard data set.  Data should be analyzed and discussed in relation to the academic program/unit's mission and goals.  College of Arts & Sciences: Self-Study Report Template 

Phase 3: Program Review

The review team will analyze the program self-study document, and as necessary, collect additional relevant information, conduct telephone or video conferences with appropriate faculty, administrators, students, and community groups.  The reviewers (external and internal) will prepare a Program Review Reviewers Report identifying program strengths, concerns, and recommendations. A recommendation will be made with a supporting rationale as to whether the program should be maintained, strengthened, monitored or discontinued.

Phase 4: The Summary

The Program Review Subcommittee of the University Assessment Committee will review the Self-Study and Reviewer Report to check for consistency of process. The Subcommittee will then reaffirm the recommendation being made or propose an alternative in its Executive Summary.

Phase 5: The Recommendation and Action

The Academic Program/Unit head and supervising dean will review all reports and respond by completing the Response Memo and Action Plan to include a plan of action to strengthen, improve or discontinue the academic program. The plan of action will be submitted to the Provost who will review, approve and/or modify the action plan, as described in the Provost Memo.

The Self-Study Report, Reviewer Report, Executive Summary, Response Memo and Action Plan, and Provost Memo, will be considered as the permanent record of the review. These summary documents will be collated and archived by the Center for Faculty Excellence.