Outcomes-Based Academic Program Review
Academic Program Review is a systematic, comprehensive evaluation of academic programs and disciplines, led by the faculty with administrative support. The purpose of the program review process is to evaluate the effectiveness and progress of academic programs and to identify the future direction, needs, and priorities of those programs. The goal of a program review is to establish an agreed-upon action plan for further development of the academic program. A systematic program review process ensures excellence in program quality and is supported by the Southern Association of College and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV), and the Virginia Community College System (VCCS).
All degree programs at NOVA (along with their related certificates and career studies certificate), as well as “stand-alone” certificates, career studies certificates, and disciplines, are to be reviewed according to a periodic schedule. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Student Success, in consultation with the Pathway Provosts and Pathway Deans, coordinates the schedule of reviews and notifies programs when they are scheduled for review. The Program Review Evaluation occurs as follows:
- Degree programs, certificates, and career studies certificates are evaluated every five years.
- Disciplines are evaluated every seven years.
- Programs accredited or approved by external agencies (e.g., nursing) are reviewed on their professional accreditation cycle.
NOVA’s Academic Program Review process is outcomes-based, data-driven, user-friendly, and comprehensive. An electronic template is provided to the faculty teams with data on key components of the program, including the program’s enrollment, viability, student success, student learning, labor market analysis, etc. Faculty teams provide evidence-based analysis which leads to action plans to improve the program or discipline.
Administrative support for program review is provided by the Office of Academic Assessment, Institutional Research, and other appropriate university units. The completed review is evaluated by peer reviewers and approved by the Curriculum Committee and Admin Council.