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Academic Program Reviews - Background and Focus Information

Purposes and Goals

Department review* is integral to effective academic planning at the department, college, campus and university level.  Its major objective is to improve academic programs through ongoing self-assessment as provided for in the AQIP process.  It fosters a strong and positive sense of each department’s identity and contributions to the educational mission of Kent State University.  The primary goals of department review include:

  • Ensure that a department’s mission, goals, and priorities are consistent with the university’s mission and strategic direction; Evaluate program quality relative to institutional standards and in comparison to national norms for the discipline;
  • Assess the quality of academic programs by reviewing existing academic program strengths and weaknesses;
  • Refine the scope of department offerings to optimize student access;
  • Identify areas of department and academic program need and opportunity;
  • Identify needs for new programs; and
  • Assist the institution and department in achieving the best use and allocation of available resources.

*As used hereafter in this document, the terms “department” and “department chair” are intended to include not only departments and department chairs but also schools and school directors.


A comprehensive department review includes examination of the following unit characteristics:

  • Goals and objectives,
  • Curriculum,
  • Faculty quality and productivity,
  • Administrative quality and productivity,
  • Teaching/learning environment,
  • Space needs,
  • Resources, and
  • Program demand.
*  As used hereafter in this document, the terms "department" and "department chair" are intended to include not only departments and department chairs but also schools and school directors.

Background Information


Department review will include the following academic programs and course offerings:

1) all of the department’s degree programs;
2) interdisciplinary programs;
3) service courses; and
4) non-degree granting instructional programs.

Review of interdisciplinary programs not located within an individual academic department will coincide, if appropriate and practical, with the review of one or more related departments.


            Department review will be conducted on a seven-year cycle.


            Department review will be conducted and completed within one year.

Relationship of Department Review to Program Accreditation

Re-accreditation requirements vary widely by discipline. Programs that are externally accredited will submit their accreditation reports as part of their department review. Prior to the scheduled department review, the accreditation self-study requirements will be compared with the program review requirements to determine if additional topics need to be addressed.

Relationship of Department Review to Annual Student Outcomes Assessment

The Annual Student Outcomes Assessment process will inform the departmental review process.

Data Gathering

The basic information and data (e.g. number of majors, course enrollments, graduation rates, etc.) required for the self-study will be provided by Research, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (RPIE).