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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Academic Program and Discipline Review?

A: Academic Program Review is a systematic, faculty-driven, and outcomes-based evaluation with the specific goal of fostering continuous improvement. Programs reviews use a variety of forms of data, including enrollment, demographic, curriculum, employment and labor market, retention, transfer, and graduation, as well as survey data from from the program to determine areas for improvement.

Q: Why do programs and disciplines undergo review?

A: Academic Program Review provides an opportunity for an in-depth self-study. Specifically, it allows programs and disciplines to develop a strong vision of where the program wishes to be and create actions to get there. Results and recommendations that stem from the program review enable NOVA to demonstrate its commitment to internal and external stakeholders.

Q: Is the Program and Discipline Review process limited to programs?

A: No, both programs and disciplines undergo Academic Program Review. NOVA aspires for continuous improvement in all areas relating to student learning, including programs and disciplines.

Q: How often are academic programs and disciplines reviewed?

A: Degree programs, stand-alone disciplines, certificates, and career studies certificates are evaluated approximately every three years. Programs accredited or approved by external agencies (e.g., the nursing program) are reviewed on their professional accreditation cycle, and through NOVA on an as-needed basis.

Q: What is the Academic Program and Discipline Review process?

A: Each Academic Program and Discipline Pathway Dean and Provost will receive a notification from the Office of Planning and Assessment the semester before a review is set to start, allowing an appropriate amount of time to choose the Review Chair and the review committee faculty members. At the initial “kick-off” meeting, each academic program and discipline will receive a overview of the dashboards they will utilize to analyze data during the program review. OSI will arrange detailed training for each academic program and discipline.

Q: How long is the Academic Program and Discipline Review process?

A: Academic Program Review encompasses one semester. During the review process, the review teams are provided an opportunity to analyze the effectiveness of their current curriculum compared with the demands of the workforce and student populations. In addition, the committee reviews student success metrics, such as course success rates, retention, transfer, and graduation, as well as create and administer student and faculty surveys, supported by the Office of Strategic Insights.

Q: Who is responsible for writing the report?

A: Academic Programs and Disciplines form a review team with the Pathway Dean. The review teams consist of the appropriate faculty subject-matter experts. The team members will decide which members write which portion of the report.

Q: Who reviews the final report?

A: After completing the final draft of the report, programs and disciplines Pathway Dean will review the final report and a copy is sent to the Office of Strategic Insights. The Pathway Dean then submits the report to the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer (VPAA/CAO). The VPAA/CAO will review the final report and accept it in the current state or return it for corrections. In some instances, the VPAA/CAO may require external reviewers to evaluate the report. The VPAA/CAO presents the final report to the Adminstrative Council for final approval.

Q: What is the difference between an Action Plan recommendation and a suggestion?

A: A recommendation refers to actions that must be taken to achieve effectiveness of SLOs and the program/discipline overall. A suggestion refers to actions that should be taken to improve effectiveness. Programs and disciplines will discuss these recommendations and suggestions throughout the report and restate them in the last section of the report, Action Plan for Improvement.

Q: Once academic program review is complete and the report is submitted, how will the Committee know if programs and disciplines are implementing their actions for improvement?

A: After the Administrative Council approves the program or discipline review report and action plan(s), the Office of Strategic Insight will facilitate implementation reports to be completed by the programs and disciplines at the six month and one-year points after council approval.