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Fort Lewis College Official Seal

Policy identification number: To come...

File: Academic Policies > Academic Program Review Policies

Academic Program Review

Policy Summary

The aim of the Academic Program Review at Fort Lewis College is to improve the quality of its academic programs. All degree and certificate-granting academic programs/majors will engage in program review every 7 years or in accordance with external accreditation requirements.

Policy Owner

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs 

Approval Date

 November 19, 2014 

Effective Date

November 19, 2014 

Search Terms

 pvpaa, a, program, review 

Scheduled for Review

 Fall 2020

Policy Statement

All degree and certificate-granting academic programs will engage in program review every 7 years or in accordance with external accreditation requirements, and will follow explicitly the program review procedures accompanying this policy. Non-degree or certificate-granting programs may go through program review at the request of the Dean or Provost. Externally accredited programs are required to address specific Fort Lewis College program review questions. Academic program reviews that are not part of the 7 year program review, but are at the prerogative of the dean, should not be scheduled at the same time as the 7 year academic program review.

Reason for Policy 

In accordance with Colorado Revised Statute 23-1-107(3) and the Higher Learning Commission accreditation criteria 4.A.1, all institutions of higher education shall engage in systematic review of their academic programs. The Higher Learning Commission accreditation criteria 4.A.4. states that the institution must maintain authority over the rigor of courses and expectations for student learning. At Fort Lewis College this oversight occurs within the program review process.

Failure to Comply

Failure to comply with this policy will result in notification to the Board of Trustees that the program is out of statutory compliance. Sanctions may be applied for noncompliance. 

Scope of Policy

Programs or departments, including all instructional methods (traditional, hybrid, online)

Accountability for Policy 



The academic Dean will be responsible for notifying department chairs of timing and procedures for program review.


Procedures for applying for completing program review can be found in the Faculty Handbook

Responsibility for Procedures

The Provost is responsible for all procedures associated with this policy. 


Credit hour: Consistent with USDOE, HLC and CCHE, one semester credit shall be equal to not less than 1 hour (50 minutes) of direct faculty instruction plus two hours of out-of-class work over the span of 15 weeks (to include final exam week). Academic Credit Hour Policy

Cross-Referenced Policies

Academic Credit Hour Policy

Policy on Rigor and Guidelines on Course Levels

Academic Program Review Procedures

The aim of the Academic Program Review at Fort Lewis College is to improve the quality of its academic programs. The program review provides department faculty, the College administration and the Board of Trustees with critical information about the quality, size, strengths, weaknesses, students, resources, and contributions of each program to the mission of the college. This process facilitates discussion about change and developing strategies for improvement. The Academic Program Review process assesses the current state of a program and focuses on improvement going forward. The aim is to assess what and how well our students are learning in each distinct department, while at the same time achieving the college-wide Liberal Education Outcomes.

There are four distinct parts of the program review process:


To begin the planning process the department chair, program director or APR lead will submit a plan for completing the review to the appropriate Dean (or equivalent). The review plan will identify the faculty responsible for addressing each of the criteria, a schedule for completing activities, and a list of potential review team members.

The department chair, program director, or APR lead and the Dean (or equivalent) review the plan and set the specific steps for completing the review, including organizing the review team. Review teams consist of two members. The internal reviewer is a Fort Lewis College faculty member from a different program. The external reviewer is a faculty member from the same discipline under review and from a different institution. Externally accredited programs may choose to include an individual from the authorizing or accrediting agency on the external review team if they have the other requisite credentials. During the planning process, the Dean (or equivalent) and the department chair, program director or APR lead will discuss specific questions, expectations, and/or issues pertaining to the review process and establish a prioritized list of internal and external review team members. The Dean (or equivalent) will extend invitations to the potential internal and external reviewers and establish the review team. The department chair, program director or APR lead will submit the review plan to the Dean (or equivalent) by October 15 for review and approval. Feedback will be provided to the department chair, program director or APR lead by October 30.


The department or program faculty will complete a comprehensive and evaluative self-study with information focusing on student learning data, alumni data, curriculum, faculty, and resources. Programs are also encouraged to engage in evidence-based long-range planning. Each self-study must address criteria in five areas: program information, student learning, curriculum, faculty, and future goals. The department chair, program director or APR lead will submit the document to Taskstream by January 20.

 All self-studies must include, at a minimum, the following information:

A) Program Information

      • Identify the program learning outcomes.
      • Specify the curriculum for the program, using the format of the catalog description of the program.
      • Include five years of data on students including information on number of majors, minors and graduates.
      • Include five years of data on general education and service course enrollments.
      • Explain the alignment between course and curricular goals, courses, and prerequisites.
      • Describe the methods used to ensure comparable learning outcomes among multiple sections of a course.
      • Explain efforts to assure that required courses and electives are offered on a schedule to meet the needs of various student constituencies.
      • Describe the advisement procedures and the way the department assess advisement effectiveness.
      • Discuss the adequacy of the infrastructure supporting the program: physical facilities, technology, resources, general infrastructure.

B) Student Learning

      • Provide specific examples of student learning outcome assessments and results that provide evidence of student learning.
      • Provide follow-up data on graduate placement for the last five years. Indicate year(s) of data collected and total number of student responses: percentage employed in the field, percentage employed elsewhere, percentage seeking employment, and percentage continuing education.
      • Describe the program's activities to enhance the success of freshmen and the retention of students through graduation. Use student data to support your results.
      • Summarize assessment of student learning and alumni survey results and provide evidence that the information is being utilized by the program to make needed adjustments.
      • Provide evidence for digital and online access for student learning in all online courses.

C) Curriculum

      • Describe and evaluate departmental procedures for the development, review, and evaluation of courses.
      • Analyze the effectiveness of the program in achieving its goals and learning outcomes in the discipline and in general education based on annual assessment report data. Describe the procedures, criteria, and methods used to analyze student learning outcome assessment data.
      • Describe the processes used to formulate and implement curricular changes based on yearly assessment of student learning data (e.g. addition or deletion of courses, change in prerequisites, etc.).
      • Include an assessment of the program's strengths and weaknesses making reference to assessment data as available. Explain plans to improve weaknesses.
      • Describe how the program distributes its assessment responsibilities across faculty.
      • All distance education courses will be reviewed every three years and included in the Program Review.

      • All programs with a significant amount of the curriculum delivered via distance education (75 percent) will require additional information (see Distance Education Policy.

D) Faculty

      • Provide a list of permanent program faculty, indicating rank and length of time at FLC. All faculty are required to maintain a current CV in Taskstream.
      • Explain how the training and interests of the faculty contribute to the appropriate breadth of the program. Indicate areas, if any, in which greater strength would be beneficial.
      • Analyze the teaching loads and how they are distributed among faculty by rank, full-, part-time, and teaching assistants (number of courses/number of students).
      • Highlight faculty innovations in teaching.
      • Describe the recent scholarly and creative contributions of the program faculty that are important to the program learning outcomes.
      • Describe the faculty members' service activities to the college, such as committee work, administrative work, public service, and other activities that contribute to the fulfillment of the program's goals in relation to the college and community.
      • Identify the steps taken to assure that faculty members maintain currency in their disciplines and the activities that result in the continuing growth of the faculty.        

E) Future Goals

    • Use the program review results to describe future goals for the program.
    • Propose a timeline for accomplishing the goals and measures to demonstrate that the goals are met.

F) Documents

Include the following documents in the self-study:

    • Most current curriculum matrix
    • 2 and 4 year maps to graduation
    • Annual program assessment reports from Taskstream
    • CVs for all tenured/tenure track faculty and lecturers must be entered into Taskstream. 


The on-site review consists of one and one-half to two days of meetings with faculty, students, department or program staff, the Dean (or equivalent) and the Provost. The program review leader is responsible for working with the review team members, the Dean (or equivalent) and the Provost to set the dates for the on-site review and the review team agenda. The review team will evaluate the quality of the program and submit a report using the template provided. The team looks to see that a critical inquiry was completed and that alignment exists between the evidence and the report findings. By May 1, the review team will submit its report, written by the external reviewer and edited by the internal reviewer, to the appropriate Dean (or equivalent). The Dean (or equivalent) will upload the report to Taskstream.

The Dean (or equivalent) and the Provost will meet with the program faculty during the following fall term to discuss the report and to set the program agenda, including any resource adjustments, for the next several years (goals, problems to address, improvements and advancements desired, assessment measures, and timelines for each).


The Dean (or equivalent) and the Provost will work together to summarize the review activities and prepare a report to the Board of Trustees based on the goal of continuous improvement of our academic programs. Presentation to the Trustees will occur at the May/June meeting. At the request of the Trustees, this summary will include the following elements extracted from the program review:

      • Evidence of student learning and student achievement towards meeting program learning outcomes and institutional Liberal Education Learning Outcomes.
      • An executive summary of yearly assessment results including improvements made by the program.
      • A list of the chair or director and program faculty and staff, including rank/title and how long each has been at Fort Lewis College.
      • A table showing numbers of program majors and program graduates for the last reporting period.
      • Evidence of placement of graduates into graduate and professional programs or employment.
      • A statement of program accomplishments during the review period and problems that need to be addressed.
      • A description of program plans for the future, including assignment of responsibilities and a timeline.
      • An attachment of course listings for the program.
      • Degree requirements for all majors and minors in the program.



October 15

Department chair, program director, or APR lead submits program review plan to the Dean (or equivalent) for review and approval.

October 30

The Dean (or equivalent) will review program timeline and meet with department chair, program director, or APR lead to finalize the review plan.

No later than January 20

The department chair, program director, or APR lead will submit the self-study document to Taskstream.

May 1

The review team will submit its report, written by the external reviewer and edited by the internal reviewer, to the appropriate Dean (or equivalent). The Dean (or equivalent) will upload the report to Taskstream


The Provost or designee presents summary of the findings to Board of Trustees.

Fall term, following academic year

The Dean (or equivalent) and the Provost will meet with the department to discuss the report and to set the departmental agenda for the next several years.

Revision History

The procedures were revised August 19, 2016.