An electronic version of this guidebook as well as other information about Academic Program Review can
be found on the program review website at http://pres.depaul.edu/aprc.
Table of Contents
I. Introduction and Background …………………………….. 3
II. Purpose …………………………………………………... 4
III. Scope …………………………………………………….. 6
IV. Process …………………………………………………… 6
V. Guidelines for Program Profile, Responding to Data,
Self-Study Plan and Self-Study Report …………………… 14
Welcome to DePaul University’s academic program review process! This guidebook is designed
to provide simple, easy-to-follow information regarding the background, purpose and process of
academic program review at DePaul. It represents the work of the many individuals who have
been involved in program review since its inception at the University in the late 1980s. It also
reflects the commitment of the University and the Academic Program Review Committee
(APRC) to view the implementation of program review as an evolving process—one that will
continue to be refined over time and that will, by design, change as necessary to meet the needs of
Both the Academic Program Review Committee and the University as a whole are aware of the
many pitfalls of academic program review—wastefulness (of time, money, and energy),
cynicism, distrust, etc. Nevertheless, convinced that the benefits can outweigh the liabilities and
that the liabilities can be minimized by attention to a reasoned and purpose-driven process, the
Academic Program Review Committee invites your active and helpful participation as well as
your feedback about the process itself.
Academic program review at DePaul University began during the 1987 North Central Association
(NCA) accreditation visit. During that visit, the NCA team recommended that DePaul develop
and implement a system of internal, university-wide, academic program review. In response to
this recommendation, a Taskforce was convened in 1992 to develop a program review process for
the university. The culmination of this Taskforce’s work—a report outlining processes, procedures,
and the proposed administration of such a system—was submitted in 1992. Subsequently,
however, no action was taken, and the academic review process remained ―on hold.‖
During North Central’s 1997 accreditation visit, the NCA team reiterated the recommendation
regarding academic program review. The team did not prescribe specifics, but was emphatic that
a program review process was critical to the success and quality of the university’s academic
programs and needed to be implemented.
Following North Central’s 1997 visit, DePaul’s Faculty Council created an Academic Program
Review Committee with representatives from all schools/colleges of the University. This
Committee was charged to review, revise as necessary, and implement the recommendations of
the 1992 Academic Program Review Taskforce. The Committee held its initial meeting in
January, 1997 and reviewed both the 1992 Taskforce Report and representative program review
materials from other universities. Upon doing so and after considerable deliberation, the
Academic Program Review Committee decided to simplify the original proposal, develop an
implementation protocol, and launch the process—with the expectation that DePaul’s Academic
Program Review process would continue to evolve and improve with the completion of each
The first cycle of a seven-year cycle of program reviews was initiated in February of 1998 and it
was completed prior to the 2007 North Central Association visit. The cycle was completed with a
review of Academic Program Review itself and in 2005-06 the APRC developed several
recommendations for ways to create a more concrete, sophisticated, and useful process for
improving academic quality. The second cycle (8 years) will begin in Spring, 2007.
DePaul University’s Academic Program Review Process is designed to be a reflective and
analytical process. Its purpose is as follows:
to promote the 1) the continuous quality improvement of 2) academic programs and
the larger University and to do so in a manner that is 3) responsive to the mission, 4)
faculty-driven, 5) focused, 6) collegial, 7) data-based, 8) contextual, 9) adaptive, and
10) results in an accountable plan of action.
Each of these major components is discussed more fully below:
(1) Continuous quality improvement: The improvement of overall academic quality is an
ongoing objective. The intent of Program Review is to support each unit in developing and
maintaining its own continuous, naturally embedded system of academic program review.
Within such a system, the periodic university review serves merely as an opportunity for a
more global consideration of the unit rather than an interruption and/or expansion of the
unit’s regular activities. There is no agenda to downsize, decrease budgets, or take punitive
action through the program review process.
(2) Individual academic programs and the larger University: Quality is systemic. While
Program Review originates at the individual program level, the analysis expands to
incorporate activities and support services at the school/college and University levels. In
addition, multiple programs are scheduled for review per cycle—not at random—but, rather,
with the intent of increasing interaction and reflection between and among various units.
(3) Responsive to the mission: A university in its ideal form is a unity of diversities.
Unfortunately, however, as universities evolve, they tend to evolve into specialized parts that,
in time, function more as autonomous entities than as a whole. External forms of review (by
discipline or profession), though critical to a particular area, focus by design more on
professional indicators of quality than those unique to or applicable across a particular
institution. The point of the APRC’s review is to provide balance and, at the same time,
encourage a cross-discipline/cross-profession dialogue and accountability for the University’s
curricular programs as a whole. The APR process will combine the strengths of both types of
review. While internal program review and external professional/discipline-specific review
may overlap in particular areas, the former starts with the local context, i.e., the unique nature
of a particular program at DePaul and its relationship to the DePaul mission. The external
review focuses upon the intellectual currency of the unit’s programs as well as the
scholarship of the faculty.
(4) Faculty-driven: Faculty are responsible for the curriculum. A unit’s faculty are responsible for
the unit’s curriculum; a school or college’s faculty are responsibility for a school or college’s
curriculum; and, a university’s faculty are responsible for a university’s curriculum. Program
Review is, therefore, a faculty responsibility. The Academic Program Review Committee is
comprised of faculty from all schools and colleges. It is formed by the Faculty Council and
charged to oversee the process of academic program review across the
university. The academic program review process also provides for the formation of a
faculty-appointed self-study committee within each unit.
(5) Focused: To be efficient and cost-effective, Program Reviews are conducted within a clearly
limited time frame. Thus each unit is asked to identify important issues during the Program
Review planning stage, investigate them along with those required by the process, and report
accordingly. The aim is meaningful reflection in areas identified by the unit’s faculty as well
as those deemed to be critical across units by the University Academic Program Review
Committee. Complete re-justification of programs or the production of lengthy reports is not
(6) Collegial: The process of Program Review seeks to support and sustain conversations among
various university constituents that lead to the identification and analysis of a particular unit's
strengths and areas for improvement. Initially, these conversations are unit and school-based;
however, as the process moves forward, they also involve perspectives from faculty
colleagues across the University (i.e., the Academic Program Review Committee) as well as
those of academic administrators. The Program Review Self-Study document, developed by
individual units, functions in service to this broadening conversation not as an end in itself.
The inclusion of multiple perspectives is intended to help units share their strengths as well as
evolve an improved university-wide understanding of the varied disciplinary and professional
languages and norms that comprise the University. In addition, the self-study stimulates a
culture of continuous reflection, internal research, and collegial accountability that is both
program-based and university-wide.
(7) Data-based: In a University dedicated to rational inquiry, Program Review seeks to evolve
plans of action supported by analyzed data rather than by anecdote or politicized perceptions.
In so doing, Program Review seeks to support internal research and, through its ongoing
activity, continually refine the University’s academic information systems to support
decision-making at the unit, school/college, and university levels. As much as possible,
claims made at all levels of the process and by all voices are to be supported by data.
(8) Contextual: The review of a particular program seeks to situate it in the context of DePaul’s
unique mission, learning goals, and strategic plan. In so doing, Program Review seeks to
enhance learning within a particular unit and among units and to further the evolution of a
university culture characterized by ongoing institutional self-analysis leading to continually
(9) Adaptive: Just as education is a social process, so also Program Review must be dynamic,
reflective, and evolving. To this end, the overall process is to be kept focused on the
individual unit and regularly monitored to avoid either encroaching complexity or
(10) Accountable plan of action: The point of reflection is improved action. The point of
Program Review is the identification of sound initiatives for improving quality, i.e., initiatives
supported by both data and broad-based understanding. To this end, Program Review results
in a Memorandum of Understanding between and among the program, the school/college, and
the University. This document outlines agreed-upon courses of action for each level of
involvement and, through it, ensures demonstrable results for program review efforts.
The academic program review process will examine, during its eight-year cycle, all graduate and
undergraduate degree granting programs and all certificate programs.
APR will not review Centers and Institutes with the exception of those Centers or Institutes that
have credit-generating academic missions and impacts. They will be reviewed with the linked
academic unit. Otherwise Centers and Institutes will be examined during a separate regular cycle
designed to be appropriate to their issues. However, academic units whose academic issues have
been supported by Centers/Institutes housed within the unit or closely connected with them will
indicate in their self-studies how those Centers/Institutes support effective teaching and learning
and faculty and student scholarship, research and creative activities.
Support units within academic affairs will not be reviewed within the APR cycle. They will be
reviewed as part of the annual performance reviews and through their annual reports. Faculty
will have the opportunity to review the adequacy of the support provided by these units through
their responses to key questions in the unit’s self-study report. Faculty will be solidly represented
in this alternative review process.
SCHEDULE OF REVIEW CYCLES
The comprehensive schedule for Program Review includes an eight-year cycle encompassing all
eight colleges/schools, Liberal Studies, and centers/institutes. Currently, this eight-year cycle is
scheduled as follows:
Cycle 1 (2007-08) SNL: Graduate and Undergraduate
Cycle 2 (2008-09) LA& S: Humanities
Cycle 3 (2009-10) CDM and LA&S: Natural Sciences and Math
Cycle 4 (2010-11) Liberal Studies Program (including Honors)
Cycle 5 (2011-12) Commerce: Undergraduate and KGSB
Cycle 6 (2012-13) School of Education and Theatre
Cycle 7 (2013-14) La&S: Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Programs
Cycle 8 (2014-15) Music, Law, and LA&S: Professional Programs (MPS, MSW, MS-Science)
Cycle 9 (2015-16) Communication and Review and Revision of APR
(2016-2017) NCA Preparation
KEY PARTICIPANTS: DePaul’s Program Review Process includes the following
Academic Program Review Committee (APRC): Committee members are appointed for
three and one-quarter year terms by DePaul’s Faculty Council. Faculty from each of the
University’s colleges and schools are represented. New members are appointed in the Spring
Quarter at the start of a new cycle and are oriented by the APR Chair. The APRC meets
regularly during the academic year to lead the university’s academic program review process
and may from time to time call an executive session of its faculty members.
APRC Director/Chair: The Academic Program Review process is directed by the APRC
Director who also serves as Chair of the APRC. This person is appointed by the Provost of
Academic Affairs in consultation with the members of the APRC and faculty council. This
position is responsible to both the Faculty Council and to the Office of Academic Affairs.
The APRC chair is a faculty member and is also a former APRC member.
APRC Ex-Officio members: In addition to these faculty representatives from each college
and school, the APRC also includes non-voting ex-officio members as representatives from
the following offices: Academic Affairs, Teaching & Learning Resources, the Office of
Teaching, Learning, & Assessment, and the Office of Institutional Planning and Research.
Ex-officio members serve as advisors to the committee as a whole and therefore do not serve
on subcommittees that work directly with units participating in review. Ex-officio members
are chosen at the initiative of the APRC Chair in consultation with the Academic Program
Review Committee and the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs on an ad-hoc basis
to advise the APRC and to share information from their offices as it supports the review
APRC Subcommittee: The APRC regularly forms itself into subcommittees—each of which
is assigned to a particular unit or units scheduled for review during each cycle. (See Key Steps
#2 below.) This APRC Subcommittee is responsible to facilitate the process in accordance
with the APR Guidebook, to assist units with the processes and procedures of
program review, to examine the documents submitted by the unit to the APRC, and to prepare
careful reviews of the document submitted by the unit under review. The APRC subcommittee
mediates between the unit and the full APRC throughout the process and also facilitates the
development of the eventual Memorandum of Understanding.
Office of Academic Affairs: The Associate Vice President (AVP) for Academic Affairs is an
ex-officio member of the APRC and, along with the APRC Director/Chair, serves throughout
the review process as a liaison to the University Provost. The research associate in the Office
of the AVP for Academic Affairs provides research support and assists the APRC
Director/Chair in facilitating the Academic Program Review process. The AVP for
Academic Affairs reviews the unit's self-study plan and suggests any additional issues or
concerns to be explored within the self-study prior to the plan's approval by the APRC (see
Key Steps # 6 below). After the Provost has had this opportunity to suggest issues and/or
raise concerns early in the process, the Provost then, in conjunction with the AVP for
Academic Affairs, the unit dean and APRC, provides feedback on the self-study reports,
attends the meetings to discuss the eventual Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and
signs the MOU. The Provost, assisted by the AVP, is ultimately responsible for the
university- level commitments outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding.
Unit Self-Study Team: Each unit embarking on the program review process forms a self-
study team of generally 3-5 full-time faculty members (tenured or tenure-track) who shall
select a chair. The unit team may include APRC members but not as its chair. At its
discretion, the self-study team may also include part-time faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
In the interest of enhancing the faculty driven nature of review, the team is not to be chaired
by individuals holding administrative appointment within or over the unit participating in
review unless the unit has reason to request otherwise. The team plans and implements the
unit’s self-study, prepares and submits the resulting report, and engages in deliberations
leading to an eventual Memorandum of Understanding pertaining to subsequent initiatives. (See
Key Steps #1 below.)
Unit Department Chair/Program Director: The department chair or program director of the
unit should support the program review process for the unit under review, but the process itself
should be conducted by the self-study team to ensure that the process is faculty–driven. The
self-study team should inform the unit chair/director of their activities and obtain input from
the unit chair/director during the process, especially regarding the content of the self- study
plan and report prior to their submission to the APRC. The unit chair/director will also attend
the MOU meetings, sign the MOU, and oversee the implementation of the initiatives in the
MOU pertaining to that particular unit.
Unit Dean: The dean of the unit will review the unit’s self-study plan and provide input
regarding its content prior to its review by the APRC. The dean will also provide input
regarding the self-study report prior to the MOU meetings. Finally, the dean attends the
MOU meetings, signs the MOU, and is responsible for the commitments for their college
included in the MOU.
External Reviewer(s): When units undergoing review do not already undergo outside
professional or other external review, the self-study team will, in consultation with their unit,
determine the type of external review (on-site review or desk review) most beneficial to them
for the purpose of evaluating 1) the intellectual currency of the academic program, both
undergraduate and graduate, 2) the quality of faculty scholarship, and 3) other areas
determined in consultation with the unit and dean. The self-study team, in consultation with
their unit, will make several recommendations to the APRC of appropriate reviewers.
Ultimately the Provost for Academic Affairs will determine who the external reviewer will be
and will also pay all fees, stipends, etc. for the review. External review will be optional for
units that regularly undergo outside professional or other external review.
1. Program Profile: The program profile provides an opportunity for the unit to summarize
the current status of its academic program and highlight opportunities to further examine
questions of concern or opportunity, many of which may already be in discussion within the
units. The program profile is submitted at the end of May.
2. Respond to Data: The respond to data document guides the unit through an analysis of
data provided by the university with the aim of identifying fruitful questions for follow-up.
This document is due at the end of September.
3. Self-study Plan. As its name indicates the self-study plan, indicates the particular areas
that the unit will focus upon during the self-study, and indicates what additional data will be
needed. The plan will be submitted at the end of September.
4. Self-study Report: The report is a summary of the analyses and findings that result from
the self-study itself. Unlike the program profile, its purpose is not to describe the unit and its
activities but to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the unit and the opportunities and
challenges that it faces as it prepares for the future. The self-study should provide answers to
the questions in the self-study plan based on an analysis of the data and geared towards
informing decisions for ongoing program improvement. This document will be submitted no
later than February 1st.
5. Memorandum of Understanding: This document indicates the actions that will be taken
up by the unit, the school or college, and the university to improve the academic quality of
the unit’s programs. It is based on the findings of the self-study and on an agreement among
all parties about what steps can and should be taken in the immediate future.
6. Progress Report: All parties to the MOU (unit, school/college, university) one year after
the signing of the MOU report on the steps that have been taken to implement the MOU and
what steps have yet to be taken.
The following steps are required for each program under review. On a case-by-case basis, the
APRC Director/Chair takes requested exceptions to the APRC for discussion and approval.
A. Understanding the Purpose & Process of Program Review.
Step #1. (Spring Year I)
• APRC Director/Chair informs each unit of the start of the Program Review Cycle
and asks the unit to form a Self-Study Team to lead the process.
• This Self-Study Team is to be selected by the unit's full-time faculty (rather than
the dean or department chair) and is to include 3-5 full-time faculty (tenured or
untenured). The team shall select a chair from among its members.
Step #2. (Spring Year I)
• APRC assigns an APRC Subcommittee to each unit being reviewed and
identifies a chair to serve as the primary contact person for the subcommittee.
• This APRC Subcommittee is responsible to: (a) facilitate the process of program
review in accordance with the APR Guidebook; (b) review the Program Profile,
the Responding to Data document, the Self-Study Plan and the Self-Study
Report; (c) be the primary channel of communication between the Program and
the full APRC; and, (d) facilitate the development of the Memorandum of
• Based on the Self-Study Guidelines and the unit’s general information, the
Program Profile is developed and submitted.
Step #3. (Spring-Summer Year I)
• APRC Subcommittee meets with the unit’s Self-Study Team, Unit
Chair/Program Director and relevant dean to orient them to the program review
process in general and the Program Review Guidebook in particular. This
orientation will include a representative from OIPR or other similarly trained
individuals to introduce the units to program-level data maintained by the
University and instruct them about what they are receiving and how they can
gain access to other sources of data.
• Based the Self-Study Guidelines and the through the analysis of institutional data
provided by the University, the Responding to Data document is submitted.
B. Developing a Plan to Guide a Unit's Self-Study Process.
Step #4. (September Year I)
• Self-Study Team submits its Self-Study Plan to the APRC
Director/Chair, who distributes it to the APRC Subcommittee, the
APRC, the unit’s dean, and the Provost and AVP for Academic Affairs.
For ease of distribution, the Self-Study Plans are to be in electronic
• Those units undergoing external review suggest 3 – 4 names of external
reviewers to the APRC Chair who discusses the selection with AVP
acting as a liaison to the Provost for Academic Affairs.
Step #5. (October Year I)
• The APRC Director/Chair solicits feedback on the plans from the
appropriate dean and Provost, including any issues beyond those
identified by the APR Guidebook they wish to have explored in the
review process. The APR Director/Chair will share this feedback with
the APRC, the APR Subcommittee, and the unit review team. (Note:
This is to make certain that all parties identify issues or concerns early in
the process so that they may be given full consideration during review
and so that major new issues are not introduced for the first time late in
the process.) As necessary, the APR subcommittee, APR Chair, Self-
Study Team, dean, and other relevant parties will meet to discuss the
Step #6. (Fall Year I)
• APRC Subcommittee reviews the Program Profile, Responding to Data,
and the Self-Study Plan, along with the feedback from the dean and
Provost, and prepares a written response to the documents. The APRC
Subcommittee submits its response to the full APRC for comparison with
other plans under review and for the APRC’s approval. Once approved,
the Chair of the APRC sends the response, including suggested
amendments to the plan as needed, to the Self-Study Team.
C. Implementing the Self-Study Plan & Preparing/Submitting the Self-Study Report.
Step #7. (Fall-Winter Year I)
• Self-Study Team conducts its Self-Study according to its plan as
approved/amended in Step #6 above.
• Throughout the implementation and writing phase, regular communication
between the Self-Study Team and the APRC Subcommittee is strongly
encouraged to keep all aware of the direction being taken and of the progress
being made, and to protect all parties from major and potentially disrupting
surprises at the end of the process.
Step #8. (February Year I)
• Self-Study Team submits its Self-Study Report by February 1st to the APRC
Director/Chair, who distributes copies to the APRC Subcommittee, to the dean of
the unit, and to Academic Affairs. For ease of distribution, the Self-Study Report
(excluding the appendices) is to be submitted in electronic format. For those
undergoing external review, the Team also submits its report to its external
reviewer when it submits its Self-Study Report. If the unit undergoes a regular
professional/discipline specific accreditation visit, it will submit a copy of the
latest report from the accreditation team. In cases where elements of the report
should be kept confidential, the dean will discuss the portions of the document
that should be excised.
• This Report is to be no more than 15 single-spaced pages, plus any additional
attachments or appendices. Appendices may, along with other materials, include
documents from recent external reviews that address issues raised in the Self-
• For those units undergoing external review, the review is to be scheduled
between February 1st and March 10th. The report for the external reviewer should
be received by April 10th. The reports should be sent to the Chair of APRC who
will distribute it to all relevant parties.
D. Deliberating on the Self-Study Report.
Step #10. (April Year II)
• The APRC Chair/Director solicits from the dean of the unit’s college feedback on
the unit’s self-study and invites the Provost to provide input during the latter part
of the APRC’s Spring meeting (see next item);
• APRC meets for an initial review of all Self-Study Reports. Prior to this meeting
the APRC subcommittees develop drafts of responses and suggestions for MOU
items for the unit(s) assigned to them and submits the drafts to the Chair of
This Review includes the following:
1. identification of areas of the Report (if any) that: (a) are in need
of clarification; (b) seem to be at variance with the unit's
approved Self-Study Plan, including the Self-Study Guidelines;
(c) make claims without sufficient supporting data; and/or, (d)
have been addressed, but with no suggestion of possible
initiatives, if needed;
2. identification of areas the self-study should have addressed but
did not; and
3. discussion of the larger context surrounding the programs under
review, including any issues affecting several units that should
therefore be addressed at the college and/or university level.
• The full APRC is expected to read all of the executive summaries of the reports
that have been submitted while the subcommittees are responsible for reading the
full reports of the units assigned to them.
Step #12. (April Year II)
• On the basis of the discussion with the full APRC, dean, Associate Vice President,
and the Provost, the APRC Subcommittee revises its written Response to the Self-
Study Report and submits it to the Chair for final approval. Once approved, the
Response is shared with the Self-Study Team, Program Chair/Director (if
applicable), dean and Provost. The unit’s Self-Study Team is to provide copies of
this response to the unit’s full-time faculty.
• This Response is intended to: (a) provide feedback regarding the Self-Study
Report; (b) offer comments/suggestions regarding the major issues raised within
the Self-Study Report; and, (c) serve as a starting point for conversations leading
to the Memorandum of Understanding.
E. Developing the Memorandum of Understanding
Step #13. (Spring Year II)
The Sub-Committee’s response to the Unit’s Self-Study Report is to be the starting point
for conversations, meetings and, as desired, the exchange of written communications
between the two committees and, as needed, with the unit’s administrators and dean
aimed at identifying the specific areas the unit should address during the coming year to
remedy weaknesses or gaps in current programs, to improve current programs, to take
advantage of new opportunities facing the unit, and, in general, to sustain and improve
the quality of the academic program. While APRC generally does not prescribe for units
precisely how certain goals should be accomplished, the two committees should try to
identify the kinds of initiatives that might be taken in these areas and that can become
part of the MOU. It is hoped that through these interactions, the two committees will
arrive at a largely shared list of initiatives to bring to the MOU meeting (see Step 14
below), although in some cases each committee may wish to submit its own list of
Step #14. (Spring Year II)
The office of the APRC Chair arranges a meeting for each unit to include the APRC sub-
committee for that unit, the Unit Self-Study Team, Unit Program Chair/Director (if
applicable), dean, Associate Vice President and Provost, and the APRC Director/Chair
(who presides), to draw from the Self-study, the Response and subsequent exchanges, the
items for the eventual Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Step #15. (Spring Year II)
• The office of APRC Director/Chair drafts the Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) from minutes taken during the previous step’s
meeting. As soon as all parties to the agreement have approved it, all parties
sign the MOU.
• The MOU is a 2-3 page document that includes a summary of key findings/
implications of the Self-Study as well as goals and actions to be taken (by the
program, the school, the college/school, the University, etc.). While some budget
issues may be raised, that is not the MOU’s primary focus. Upon completion, the
MOU becomes the unit’s plan for the next year and is a public document.
Specifically, the MOU includes the following:
a. an introduction;
b. brief review/acknowledgements pertaining the unit’s self-study efforts;
c. common issues that affect several units under review in the current cycle
and which therefore call for University-level commitments;
d. agreements on areas to be addressed and actions to be taken by all parties
to sustain and improve the quality of the academic programs of the unit
e. agreements on areas and issues involving the unit requiring further
investigation and continuing conversations;
f. endorsing signatures: Chair of the Unit’s Self-Study Team, the Unit’s
Department Chair/Program Director, the APRC Chair on behalf of the
APRC, the APRC subcommittee members, the dean of Unit’s
College/School, Associate Vice President and Provost.
F. Implementing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Step #16. (Fall Year II)
• APRC prepares a Comprehensive Summary Report on the review cycle
just completed, including general outcomes of the cycle, any particular
difficulties met, and feedback on the process itself. This Report is
submitted to the Provost and posted on the APRC website for the
University community. (See Appendix G for sample Comprehensive
Step #17. (Fall of Year II through Summer of Year III)
• Unit faculty and administrators, School/College administrators, and
University administrators implement their respective portions of the
Memorandum of Understanding.
Step #18. (Fall of Year III)
• To celebrate accomplishments and to ensure accountability, unit faculty
(Self-Study Team) and administrators, School/College administrators, and
University administrators prepare progress reports on the steps taken to
fulfill their respective portions of each MOU and submit them to the
APRC Director/Chair and to each other. The Director/Chair will bring
discrepancies among reports and/or the non-fulfillment of MOU
specifications to the APRC.
* * * * *
V. GUIDELINES FOR THE PROGRAM PROFILE,
RESPONSE TO DATA, SELF-STUDY PLAN & SELF-
The goal of program review is to enlarge the unit’s understanding of and imagination about its
activities, as well as what it can and/or should be doing to engage in continuous improvement of
its programs. The following guidelines create a template for systematically reviewing and
questioning the components of a unit’s academic program. The Program Profile provides an
opportunity for the unit to summarize the current status of its academic program and highlight
opportunities to further examine questions of concern or opportunity, many of which may already
be in discussion within the unit. The Response to Data guides the unit through an analysis of data
provided by the university with the aim of identifying fruitful questions for follow-up. By
reflecting on the status of the unit’s academic program and by continuously asking how we know
that the unit is providing the best program it can to its students, the unit will identify those lines
of inquiry that they are most concerned with and/or that show the most promise in improving the
quality of the academic program. The descriptive Program Profile and the analytical Response to
Data then provide the foundation for the Self-Study Plan which focuses on specific questions of
interest to the unit within an institutional framework, and indicates what additional data will be
needed. The Self-Study Report should provide answers to these questions based on an analysis
of the data and geared towards informing decisions for ongoing program improvement.
This process for systematically reviewing, questioning and investigating the unit’s academic
program allows for input at various stages from constituencies including the APRC, the unit’s
Dean, Academic Affairs and outside experts from the unit’s discipline. This process allows the
APRC to support the unit in its investigation of questions of interest as well as to consider the
issues the unit faces within the context of the University and across the universe of programs
within the discipline.
PROGRAM PROFILE: WHO YOU ARE (10-15 pp single-spaced; due at the end of the
a. Provide unit’s mission statement
b. Discuss the relationship of the unit’s mission to the college and university Missions
2. Curricular Offerings
a. Provide a short narration describing all degree programs, majors, certificates, and other
formal programs currently offered. Please explain the reasons for the structure of each
program and its central requirements. Provide in selective appendices representative
syllabi, curricular descriptions, brochures, bulletins, or other descriptive material, if you
b. Indicate the unit’s program goals and learning outcomes.
c. Explain how the unit assesses the direction and currency of curricular offerings/outcomes
relative to the state of the discipline and strengths of the unit. Describe any new curricular
d. Identify possible issues/questions, if any, that the unit feels may be important for the self-
study that are related to this section
3. Student Support
a. Discuss how students are advised in the unit.
b. Discuss how your unit supports students who are academically under-prepared and/or
historically underserved as well as advanced students or students in Honors Programs.
c. Describe the co-curricular and extracurricular activities that the unit provides to support
and engage its students.
d. Discuss the steps that the unit has taken to consider academic quality and raise the level
of academic challenge as called for in VISION twenty12.
e. Identify possible issues/questions, if any, the unit feels may be important for the self-
study that are related to this section
4. Faculty Teaching and Research/Scholarly Work
a. Indicate scholarly/creative activities, specializations, etc. of the unit’s faculty and discuss
collective strengths and limitations in relation to the unit’s purpose and academic goals.
Indicate how faculty are evaluated in this area.
b. Indicate the methods used to evaluate and provide continuous improvement to instruction
for both tenure-stream and contingent/part-time faculty.
c. Comment on faculty service (to the unit, the school/college, the university, the
community, and their professional organizations). Indicate how faculty are evaluated in
d. Provide information on how the unit nurtures and encourages faculty members
(especially new and part-time faculty) in their professional development. Describe how
faculty, in the recent period, have continued to develop their skills and to expand their
e. Indicate the extent that the unit’s faculty members collaborate with other units in the
university in the offering of courses, programs, etc.
f. Provide number of staff and where appropriate specializations, scholarly/creative
g. Identify possible issues/questions, if any, the unit feels may be important for the self-
study that are related to this section
5. University Engagement
a. How does the unit serve students in the Liberal Studies program and in other
programs/majors within the university?
b. How does the unit interact with other units within the university? How do these
interactions benefit students who major within the unit?
c. Identify possible issues/questions the unit feels may be important for the self-study that
are related to this section
6. Community Engagement
a. List and describe major community engagement initiatives and their contributions to
b. Identify possible issues/questions, if any, the unit feels may be important for the self-
study that are related to this section
7. University Support: Consider how the unit could better use any of the following support
systems as they relate to the quality of the academic program (embedded links provided).
What additional resources will be necessary to meet the future goals of the unit, if any?
a. Faculty development (Office of Faculty Development & Research, which includes the
b. University Writing Center (UCWbl)
c. Office of Teaching, Learning & Assessment (TLA)
d. Teaching and Learning Resources (TLR)
i. University Libraries
ii. Instructional Design and Development (IDD)
iii. University Museums
e. Steans Center for Community-based Service Learning
f. Career Center (University Internship & Cooperative Education Program)
g. Blackboard, i-clicker, faculty labs, etc (Instructional Technology Development)
8. Unit Specific Issues and/or Initiatives. Describe and discuss any unit specific issues and/or
initiatives not addressed in the preceding sections.
9. Faculty Curriculum Vitae. Please provide a recent curriculum vita for each full-time
faculty member in a separate appendix.
RESPONSE TO DATA (~ 10 pp single-spaced; due end of September)
1) Findings from Last Review
a. Provide a brief summary of the findings, recommendation, actions resulting from the last
b. Identify any unresolved areas of concern from the previous Academic Program Review
2) Faculty Profile
a. Using data provided by the University, assess and discuss the demographic profile of
b. Identify possible questions for further study.
3) Student Information
1. Using data provided by the University, assess and discuss:
i. Patterns of enrollment in degrees/concentrations.
ii. The diversity of the undergraduate student profile.
iii. Degrees conferred and graduation rates for your program(s)
iv. Persistence/retention patterns
v. Course hours taught for majors and non-majors students in majors courses,
service courses and general education courses provided by the department
vi. Marketing share (patterns of interest by enrolling students)
2. Identify possible questions for further study.
4) Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
a. Review each program’s learning outcomes. Are they clear, concrete, measurable? Do
they get at the deepest levels of learning the program is designed to achieve?
b. Explain how the unit knows whether or not its students are achieving itslearning
c. Based on a review of the Annual Assessment Reports filed with the Office of Teaching,
Learning and Assessment, summarize the strengths and weaknesses in student learning
reflected in the reports Include a brief discussion of actions taken in light of those
d. Identify possible questions for further study.
5) Student Perceptions of the Quality of their Academic Program
a. Using data provided from the University surveys and the National Survey of Student
Engagement (NSSE), assess and discuss:
i) Student satisfaction with the quality and rigor of their academic program and its
preparation for life after DePaul.
ii) Student satisfaction with advising.
iii) Student perceptions of their acquired work-related knowledge and skills:
communication (verbal and written), quantitative and analytical skills, etc.
iv) Student engagement in community service, internships, extra-curricular and co-
curricular opportunities, research with faculty, etc.
v) Student perceptions about their exposure to diversity.
vi) Student perceptions about the challenges they face to succeed in their academic
programs and competing priorities.
b. Identify possible questions for further study
SELF STUDY PLAN (2-3 pages, due end of September)
1) List the names of the members of the Self-Study Team.
2) Identify the major questions from the Program Profile and the Response to Data that will be
addressed in the Self-Study in order to help the unit improve the quality of its
academic program. These questions can include investigating areas of concern
remaining from the previous program review. Provide a short recap of why these are
questions of interest/concern and how an answer to these questions will help you
improve the quality of your academic program. Then, for each question, identify
data collection and analysis techniques that will be used to address it. Be as specific
as possible (if a focus group will be used, who will be the audience, what will be the
goal of the session, what are some questions that may be used, etc). Include possible
survey questions as appropriate.
3) In a separate appendix, provide an annotated list of 4-6 external reviewers. Please include
contact information. Bear in mind that the purpose of external review is to assess the
intellectual currency of the academic program and the quality of faculty scholarship,
and to provide the unit with outside resources as they reflect on issues of importance
to them. Identify issues about which the unit would particularly benefit from the in-
put of external reviewers.
SELF STUDY REPORT (15 pp. single spaced plus appendices; due Feb 1)
1) Executive Summary (2-3pp.) Provide a short summary of each of the sections below
2) What did you find out? Describe methodology, present and analyze data, and draw
conclusions as you investigate each of the major questions of the self study. Provide enough
data in the body of the report to support the inferences you draw. Include additional data as
necessary in an appendix. Be selective and include as appendices only those items that
expand on what has been said in the self-study in truly helpful ways (this will also help keep
your appendices to a manageable length for the APRC which is dealing with multiple self-
studies in each cycle).
3) How will you use what you learned to help you improve the quality of your academic
4) Discuss what you see as your most important challenges and opportunities as your look
toward the next five or ten years as well as how your unit will contribute to realizing the
college’s and the University’s Strategic Plan.