Manual of General Policy
Policy 1.06 Academic Program Review
1 Certification Review by Campus Bodies
All academic programs failing to meet guidelines for certification review that identify adequate levels of activity and resources shall be subject to a program certification review process through which such programs shall be reviewed by campus bodies responsible for curricula. Programs subject to certification review that are endorsed for continuation at the campus level shall be considered for approval by the Committee on Academic Policy, Program, and Research. Programs that fail to receive the approval of appropriate college authorities and the Board of Trustees Committee shall be discontinued and decertified. After consultation with appropriate groups and governance bodies, and with the approval of the Committee on Academic Policy, Program, and Research and the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor shall issue guidelines for certification review that provide the basis for the certification review process. (BTM,1993,06-28,005,_A)
2 Credit Requirements Review
The Chancellor shall undertake a review, including comparisons with other universities, of the number of credits required for completion of the City University of New York's bachelors and associate degree programs beyond the number necessary for registration or accreditation and report the conclusions to the Board of Trustees by the end of the next academic year. (BTM,1993,06-28,005,_A)
3 Programmatic Review
The following University-wide policy on formal, periodic academic program review is approved (BTM,1994,05-31,006,_E):
3.1 Introduction
Formal, periodic academic program review is a common practice at colleges and universities in the United States. For some academic programs, particularly those in pre-professional or professional fields, such review is part of an accreditation process conducted by an external agency, usually a national professional organization. For other programs, including most undergraduate degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences, program review is a campus-based activity, initiated by campus administrators and carried out by departmental faculty as a means of monitoring program quality and identifying issues that may require college action. In both instances, an academic program review can be regarded as an audit of both qualitative and quantitative data about a particular program. (BTM,1994,05-31,006,_E)
The purpose of academic program review, according to the Association of American Colleges, should be to increase the self-awareness of faculty members and administrators about their educational practices so that they can improve the quality of teaching and learning. To some extent, of course, academic program review is, or should be, a continuous process. As faculty members teach and advise their students, they often think about the effectiveness of what they are doing. In addition, much of what they learn from their students has implications for the further development of their courses. Ideally, they will also consider the implications of what they have learned for the program as a whole and discuss those aspects with colleagues. The result is a continual fine-tuning of courses and modification of the program whenever the evidence suggests that such modification is needed. This policy is intended to supplement this ongoing process by encouraging formal, systematic reviews of all academic programs on a regular basis. (BTM,1994,05-31,006,_E)
3.2 Statement of the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees recognizes that many individual University colleges have a history of conducting academic program reviews. Among these campuses there is wide agreement that this activity should involve (BTM,1994,05-31,006,_E):
a) Substantial input from the program's faculty in preparing a self-study
b) A review and report prepared by external professional peers
c) A shared faculty and administrative responsibility in the college's response to the self-study and the external review, and in making future plans for the program
The Council of Presidents and the University Faculty Senate also endorse these elements of academic program review. (BTM,1994,05-31,006,_E)
This University-wide policy has been prepared pursuant to Board of Trustees policy and takes into account the review practices existing at many University colleges, as well as ideas developed by the Council of Presidents and the University Faculty Senate. (BTM,1994,05-31,006,_E)
3.3 Responsibility for Guidelines
All academic programs shall be subject to a formal, periodic review procedure, including both self-study and external assessment, to be conducted in accordance with guidelines for academic program review to be established by the Chancellor after consultation with appropriate groups and governance bodies and with the approval of the Committee on Academic Policy, Program, and Research and the Board of Trustees. (BTM,1994,05-31,006,_E)
3.4 Responsibility for Procedures
Consistent with the provisions of the guidelines established by the Chancellor, each college shall develop procedures for the formal, periodic review of academic departments and/or programs, under the leadership of the college president and in accordance with the college governance plan. (BTM,1994,05-31,006,_E)
3.5 Frequency of Reviews
Each college should periodically conduct full reviews of all academic departments, programs, and/or clusters of departments and/or programs. These reviews may occur with whatever frequency the college chooses, but should occur at least every ten years. The only exception to this requirement—at the discretion of the presidents—shall be those departments, programs, and clusters, that are subject to formal specific program reviews by a professional accreditation body. In both cases, it would be the college's responsibility to establish a schedule, as of the effective date of the guidelines established by the Chancellor, that ensures the regular frequency of reviews for all academic departments, programs, and clusters and, where desired, of all major academic support services. (BTM,1994,05-31,006,_E)
3.6 Programmatic Self-Study
The guidelines established by the Chancellor should be designed to produce a self-study that (BTM,1994,05-31,006,_E):
a) Encourages members of a department to analyze its curriculum in relation to the goals of the department, the college, and the University
b) Investigates the effectiveness of its curriculum in relation to the desired outcomes as perceived by students, alumni, faculty members, and, where appropriate, to the review of the program by professions, industries, and employers
c) Reviews various characteristics to determine strengths and weaknesses
d) Considers needed changes
e) Evaluates the current levels of resources required for the ongoing program
f) Suggests needed changes in the program, departmental organization, and resources
College procedures may allow for the use of alternative formats to achieve the above; however, all self-studies should include the following elements (BTM,1994,05-31,006,_E):
a) Discussion of the goals of the program in relation to the mission of the department, college, and University, as well as the perceptions and expectations of students
b) Description of the curriculum, including introductory, major, and elective courses, as well as articulation and collaboration with other programs
c) Discussion of measures of program activity in such areas as courses and sections offered and enrollments
d) Discussion of measures of faculty activities in such areas as teaching, research, and professional service
e) Discussion of the design and delivery of instruction
f) Discussion of measures of resources in such areas as operating budgets, faculty, facilities, and equipment
g) Discussion of measures of program results in such areas as retention, degrees awarded, and post-graduation experiences of students
h) Discussion of program quality as reflected in such measures as student course evaluations, external recognition of the program, faculty, and students, and surveys of the alumni
i) Discussion of a plan for the future to include such topics as curriculum development, faculty recruitment, retention, and development, and facilities and equipment development
3.7 External Review
Each formal, periodic academic program review should include a site visit, resulting in a written report, conducted by a team of external peers in the discipline, cluster, or program area. This team should be selected from appropriate institutions and professional organizations. In specific instances, and for good reason, a college president may request a waiver of the requirement of a site visit through the Board of Trustees Committee on Academic Policy, Program, and Research. (BTM,1994,05-31,006,_E)
3.8 Plan of Action
Each college should make provision for a plan of action to be developed in response to the periodic reviews. For example, at the departmental level, the faculty members might prepare written responses to the report of the external peers, correcting factual inaccuracies and responding in detail to the recommendations of the external committee. At the college level, this plan of action might include written responses to the self-study and external report, as well as the preparation—based on the external report and the program's response—of an academic plan for the program, with a proposed timetable, prepared by the college's chief academic officer in consultation with the appropriate faculty, chairperson, and deans. (BTM,1994,05-31,006,_E)
3.9 Reporting of Reviews to the Board of Trustees
The Chancellor shall report regularly to the Board of Trustees Committee on Academic Policy, Program and Research regarding these reviews. (BTM,1993,06-28,005,_A)
Consistent with this, each college president should inform the Chancellor of the programs reviewed each year and also forward to the Board of Trustees, through the Chancellor, a statement summarizing the major points of the self-studies, the college's plans of action, and the external review reports. Upon request, these documents will be forwarded to the Chancellor. (BTM,1994,05-31,006,_E)