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Academic Program Review

Academic Program Review

Authority: 
Academic and Student Affairs
Date enacted or revised: 
Rev Mar 23, 2015

Purpose

McNeese State University seeks to maintain the highest academic program quality and ensure each program meets stated objectives and student learning outcomes. Periodic Academic Program Reviews  are conducted to ensure that academic excellence and appropriate student achievement and success is maintained for each program offered. All programs undergo an annual evaluation of program assessment (program objectives and learning outcomes) as part of continuous improvement processes. In addition, programs accredited by professional accrediting agencies undergo thorough self-evaluation and external review periodically as required by the respective accrediting agency. Programs that are not professionally accredited or for which there is no professional accrediting agency, may be reviewed periodically at the request of the program, the Dean of the College in which the program is house, the Provost, President of McNeese, or McNeese’s management or governing boards but are not part of a regularly scheduled review process.

The purpose of academic program review is to take a comprehensive look at an academic program from the perspective of self-assessment, viability, needs, student learning outcomes, and adequacy of resources (funding, personnel, facilities, etc.). The process is intended to identify opportunities, understand weaknesses, and set a path for future improvements. The culmination of the review should produce a portfolio that is evaluative rather than merely descriptive. The APR should reflect the past and anticipate the future.

Accreditation Review Council

An academic subgroup of the Accreditation Review Council periodically evaluates program and unit Master Plans to ensure that fulfillment of the University's mission is ongoing and appropriate student learning outcomes are being achieved, documented, and reported. The annual Master Plan process ensures academic programs document expectations for student learning objectives, achievement of the objectives, and identifies improvements as a result of analyses of program assessment information.

The Academic sub-group of the ARC will serve as the internal evaluator for any  APRs that may be requested as noted above and will provide guidance to support continuous improvement. The group will determine that the Academic Program has completed the APR portfolio and has fulfilled all of the requirements of the APR. The group will return any inadequate portfolios to the Program Coordinator with instructions for completion within ninety days.

Candidates for Program Review

  1. In certain circumstances, McNeese requires all academic programs to conduct a self-review in order to determine the viability and quality of these programs. In such cases, the institution typically develops a self-evaluation template unique to the review period.
  2. For professionally accredited programs, the program review conducted during accreditation or reaffirmation processes serves as an appropriate academic program review. These programs are still required to submit periodic programs reviews should the institution deem it necessary. In such cases, the program will follow the institutional template for the self-evaluation.
  3. Non-accredited programs, as with all programs, are required to submit annual assessment plans that detail assessment and progress on program objectives and student learning outcomes. Non-accredited programs are not required to submit periodic self-evaluations unless specifically requested by the Louisiana Board of Regents, the University of Louisiana System, the McNeese President, Provost, the Dean of the College in which the program is located, or the program faculty itself.
  4. In cases where institutional reviews of programs are being conducted, non-accredited programs must comply with the standards and forms established by the institution.

The Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, in collaboration with the Office of Academic and Student Affairs, develops program review documents for internal purposes and coordinates any requested institutional or program-level reviews. For accredited programs, the program faculty, department head, and dean are primarily responsible for ensuring compliance with the professional programs’ accreditation standards and reporting requirements.