Program Review Process
The academic program review process must be conducted within a 10-year time period and, whenever possible, in conjunction with other timely reviews by discipline-specific accrediting agencies or the Louisiana Board of Regents. Each academic unit is responsible for notifying the Office of Institutional Effectiveness of such external reviews. To ensure compliance with this expectation, each academic program review will be scheduled at the eight-year interval, to allow time for any extenuating circumstance that may require a delay (e.g., change in unit leadership). The Office of Institutional Effectiveness will work with the Dean to determine a final schedule for the upcoming academic year. Please note that it is at the discretion of the Executive Vice President and Provost or the Dean to schedule an academic program review at any time, if needed.
Program Review Timeline
|September 20, 2022||External Reviewer Recommendations Due from units to OIE. [See External Reviewer Recommendations Template.] Course/Program Fee Compliance (PS-42) Due: If requested by OIE, submit a completed PS-42 compliance form. Those units with applicable course/program fees will be notified and the required form provided, along with a list of those fees to be analyzed.|
|November 21, 2022||Self-Study Report Due from units; Finalize External Reviewers by OIE.|
|January 31, 2023||External reviewers' reports due. Distribute reports to internal panels, unit chairs/directors, and deans.|
|February 15 - March 31, 2023||Internal panel review held to include: interviews with dean, chair, faculty, and students and/or staff. Exit interview conducted with dean, chair, OIE, and OAA to provide preliminary findings.|
|April 2023||Final Internal Panel reports due to OIE. OIE to send panel reports and draft of action plan to units.|
|November 20, 2023||Action Plans submitted by units to OIE for final review and signatures via OAA.|
The academic unit must prepare a self-study report that addresses the following components for each academic degree program and stand-alone certificate: previous program review actions; self-study development process; overview of the academic unit and program(s); strategic planning; curriculum and assessment; faculty and student information; research productivity; outreach and partnerships; supporting resources; and current overall analysis. Accompanying appendices include the following: action plan from the previous program review; organizational chart; current unit strategic plan; three most recent strategic planning annual cycles; current assessment plan for each program, Program Impact Reports (PIRs), and curriculum map, if applicable; General Education/Integrated Learning Core assessment reports for the last three years, if applicable; and other documentation, as needed. (Self-Study Report Template.)
In accordance with Policy Statement 42: Student Fees, units with applicable course/program fees shall complete a required form, as provided by OIE, to include the following information: revenue and expense reports from the prior three fiscal years; purpose of course/program fee(s); student awareness of fee(s); any significant revenue balances; and any overdrawn accounts. The form must be signed by the department head and college dean signifying compliance with university policy. OIE will provide the signed form and any supplemental information with the Office of Academic Affairs for final review and approval.
Input from an external reviewer is a critical aspect of program review, because it provides an evaluative opinion from a recognized expert in the field, ensures objectivity, helps provide perspectives concerning the program's relationship to the discipline, and lends credibility to the process.
The academic unit must provide the names of at least five proposed external reviewers in rank order (with “1” as the unit’s top choice), approved by the dean, from peer or similar institutions. The unit should also provide contact information and a brief rationale stating the significance of each reviewer’s potential contribution to the review process, as specified in the External Reviewer Recommendations Template. The list of external reviewers is reviewed and approved by the Institutional Effectiveness Council (IEC). The OIE is responsible for contacting the (top-ranked) external reviewer, procuring his/her consultant services, and facilitating a $1,000 stipend for the off-site review of the unit’s self-study materials. (External Reviewer Guidelines and Report Template.)
Program review internal panels are selected for each academic unit reviewed. Recommendations for panel members are provided by the deans with the concurrence of the executive vice president and provost or the provost's representative. Internal panels are typically composed of three tenured faculty members who are not in the same unit undergoing APR: (1) a panel chair, who is a senior, experienced faculty member and who serves on the IEC, or has previously served on the IEC and/or an internal panel; (2) a faculty member from the same college as the unit (or for smaller colleges, a faculty member outside of the college but in an allied field); and (3) a faculty member outside of the college of the unit. At least one of the panel members must have graduate faculty status for review of academic units with graduate programs. Additional panel members may be added, as needed.
The panels are responsible for carrying out the program review and for making recommendations to the executive vice president and provost in a formal report (Internal Panel Template). This review consists of the following:
- Examination of the unit’s self-study report, including any accompanying materials,
and the external reviewer’s report;
tour of facilities, when appropriate;
- Meetings with the unit’s administration, faculty, staff, and students;
- Meeting(s) with the external reviewer, as appropriate;
- Exit meeting (with the unit’s chair/director, the dean, the associate vice provost for institutional effectiveness, and the executive vice president and provost or the provost's representative), which provides a confidential opportunity for the panel members to clarify any remaining issues or questions as well as to provide their preliminary findings); and
- A final, 10-page report outlining the panel’s findings and recommendations.
The program review process concludes with an action plan, comprised of recommendations based on the internal panel and external reviewer’s reports, proposed actions by the responding unit with input from the faculty, and a timeline for completing those actions. Progress toward accomplishing the action plan should be reviewed regularly by the department chair and monitored at least annually by the dean. (Action Plan Template)
An interim status report will be required at the mid-point between the last academic program review and the next scheduled review. Typically, this report will be due four years after the submission of the initial full action plan as approved and signed by the unit, Dean, and the Executive Vice President and Provost. The interim report should clearly document the steps taken to implement the action plan, including use of relevant data for seeking improvement. Units will receive advance notification from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness regarding this report.
A review by an external accrediting agency may be substituted for the internal review process if the external review includes an on-site visit and the specialized accreditation includes a majority of the academic programs. Colleges/academic units must provide the self-study, on-site visit report, and all relevant correspondence to and from the external accreditor with the OIE.
Upon review of the materials attained from the external review, the college/academic unit will be notified if supplemental documentation is needed to fulfill the university’s requirements. An action plan will be developed based on the findings of the external accrediting agency and any supplemental information, as needed. Units will provide an interim report following the implementation of the final, signed action plan. The interim report should clearly document the steps taken to implement the action plan, including use of relevant data for seeking improvement