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Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Academic Program Review

Program review is a vital process at North Park University and within higher education. It provides the opportunity for NPU faculty and staff to demonstrate educational effectiveness to themselves, to students, to accrediting agencies, and to the various communities that the institution serves.

Academic program review also informs the future direction of the program by facilitating regular assessment and discussion regarding program effectiveness. It is a faculty and staff directed process that produces objective information that is useful for decision-making at every level—divisional, school or college, program, department, and for the University as a whole. Consequently, program review is an essential, systematic, and periodic process in which all academic programs participate.

Accrediting Bodies for NPU Schools and Programs

Academic Programs for Review

The following programs are up for review in 2020–21:

Non-specialized Accreditation Programs

College/School Program
HASS Global Studies
HASS Languages
HASS Media Studies
HASS Philosophy
HASS Politics and Government
HASS Scandinavian Studies
HASS Sociology
HASS Spanish
Sciences Biochemistry
Sciences Chemistry
Sciences Engineering
Sciences Mechanical Engineering
Sciences Physics
SPS Counseling Psychology
SPS Criminal Justice
SPS Digital Marketing
SPS Location Intelligence

Specialized Accreditation Programs

College/School Program
SMAT BA Theatre

Program Review Process

All academic programs that confer a degree and that are not included in the scope of review conducted by an external special accreditor are required to participate in NPU’s program review process. A program must have had the authority to confer degrees for at least five years prior to its first review. In addition, select programs that do not confer degrees and are not subject to an external accrediting body will be expected to participate in program review.

Outlined below are the processes and procedures for Academic Program Review. The five-year program review process assumes the administrator and faculty of each unit have developed and maintained a program plan and collected data during the period since the last review of the program.

  1. The Office Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) notifies the program administrator (the person within the program responsible for coordinating the program review, usually the program chair/director) and appropriate dean of a scheduled review one year in advance.
  2. The program administrator, after consulting with the faculty, provides the Director of Academic Assessment, Evaluation, and Achievement with a list containing the names and contact information of at least three potential reviewers. The list of potential reviewers should satisfy the following criteria:
    • the list is comprised of potential reviewers located within a one day drive of the campus,
    • the potential reviewers are listed in order of preference, and
    • the list should contain the names of at least three
  3. Upon request from the program, the Program Review Committee (PRC) will review and offer feedback to the program regarding its draft self-study provided that the committee receives the draft two months before the scheduled external reviewer.
  4. The program administrator and faculty complete a final draft of the self-study, including both a written report and a summary presentation of evidence/data. One month before the external reviewer’s visit, the program administrator distributes copies of the self-study to the external reviewer, the PRC Chair, the Provost and to the appropriate
  5. The program administrator and faculty host the reviewer’s visit. The program administrator in consultation with the external reviewer sets the visit agenda. The visit includes, but is not limited to, individual meetings with the Provost (or Associate Provost), the appropriate dean, and the PRC.
  6. As part of the external reviewer visit, the external reviewer will participate in an “exit” group meeting with the program chair/director, the appropriate dean, and the
  7. The external reviewer submits to OIE an evaluation report preferably within one month after the visit; copies are sent to the program administrator, the appropriate dean, the Provost, and to the PRC.
  8. The program administrator shall prepare a response to the external reviewer’s report within one month of receipt of the reviewer’s report. The program administrator then submits the self-study, the external reviewer’s report, and the program’s response to the PRC.
  9. In a timely manner within the academic year, the PRC reviews all three documents and prepares a response; discusses its response with the program administrator and faculty; and submits the response to the Provost, the appropriate dean, and to the program chair/director.
  10. Within one month after distributing the committee’s response, the PRC Chair calls and hosts a meeting with the program chair/director, the corresponding dean, and the Provost to discuss the program’s
  11. Approximately 3 years prior to the next scheduled review, the PRC via OIE solicits updates from the program chair and appropriate administrators regarding action items identified in the PRC’s response to the program’s review. Updates shall be reviewed by the PRC at its next scheduled meeting.

Program Review Timeline

Phase Task or Process Due on or Before
AY Prior to Program Review
Preparing for Program Review Programs scheduled for review during the next academic year are notified by OIE. March 15
Programs provide OIE with a list of core courses that are included in the assessment plan. April 15
OIE provides to program all available, required data.

Program selects an external reviewer (if applicable). OIE completes contracting process.

May 15
Program Review AY
Preparing the Report Program receives from OIE any final data needed to write program review. September 15
Program faculty provides materials to external reviewer and write the Program Review Report.  September 15 – April 15
Submission and review of Report Program Review Report, with required signatures, is submitted to the OIE. April 15
AY Post-PR
Approval of the Report  PRC reviews and makes recommendations to the program. Program reviews used for future budgeting discussions for YEAR 4. August 15 – December 15
Programs continue to assess student learning outcomes and institutional capacities as part of their annual assessment plan. August – May 15
Implementation AY
Follow-Up Report & Continuous Quality Improvement Programs implement recommendations with action steps and assess the effectiveness of program changes. August 15 – May 15
Post-Program Review Annual Report Programs submit a follow-up report identifying progress made toward achieving program outcomes, as well as any remaining challenges. April 15 each year till next PR

Program Review Five-year Calendar

Program Review Calendar