3-5: Academic Program Review – Procedures

A.   Committee purpose

Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) systematically reviews all academic programs on a four-year cycle to determine the extent to which those programs provide high-quality learning experiences for students, meet the needs of the community, and allocate resources effectively. The review process is aligned with SFCC’s accreditation requirements and includes an analysis of seven distinct categories:


  1. Assessment of student learning outcomes
  2. Program design and program quality of curriculum
  3. Student success
  4. Faculty service
  5. Financial cost
  6. Continuous quality improvement
  7. Strategic planning


Analysis of program review data serves as the basis for recommendations made by the program review committee with the primary goal of improving the quality of academic programs. The specific recommendation made by the committee is then reviewed by the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs and the Assistant Vice President for Office of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness. The two vice presidents then make a joint recommendation to the President for final decision on the outcome of the Academic Program Review (APR) Process.


B.    APR Committee Membership

The program review committee is established jointly by the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and the Associate Vice President for Planning and Institutuional Effectiveness and chaired by the Director of Assessment and Accreditation. The program review committee will consist of a faculty representative from each school as well as representatives from the Faculty and Staff Senates, the Curriculum Committee, the Learning Assessment Committee, Institutional Research, the Chief Financial Officer, and the Deans. The program review committee chair may add additional members at his or her discretion.

  1. Once a year, at the beginning of the fall semester, the APR chair will contact the Deans and Faculty Senate for assistance in recruiting a committee member representing each of the academic schools.
  2. The APR Chair will contact the Faculty and Staff Senates to recruit a representative from each.


C.   Program Review Timeline

All academic programs will be reviewed on a four-year cycle except when an out-of- cycle review is required or when a program is put into remediation. The faculty member who is responsible for completing the self-study is expected to meet with the program review committee six to seven times during the fall semester to make progress on each of the seven categories. The faculty member who is responsible for completing the self- study will be part of a cohort. The cohort will be mentored by the members of the program review committee to assist in answering each of the questions listed under each of the seven categories. During the fall semester it is expected that all seven categories of the program self-study will be completed and submitted to the program review committee. During the spring semester, it is expected that each program will provide a presentation to the committee.


Upon completion of the spring presentation the program review committee will evaluate the program review and recommend either program continuance or remediation/discontinuance to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and the Associate Vice President for Planning and Institutuional Effectiveness. Recommendations shall require a formal vote of the committee where at least a quorum of its members must be present and voting. The recommendation will be based on a simple majority of the members present.


The APR committee chair shall provide formal notice (email, recurring meeting reminder, or other form) of no less than one week, of a meeting wherein a vote is to take place. The committee will strive for consensus in its voting.


D.   Program Review Data

Data for program review will be provided by the Offices of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness and Office of Finance and will include (but is not limited to) enrollment, student retention, awards conferred, faculty and student demographics, funding and cost data, student success rates, follow-up information on student employment, and pass rates for external exams and certifications.

E.    Program Review Process

Programs identified for review through the APR calendar are provided a dataset and a self-study template in order to complete their analysis and recommendations. The determination of what constitutes a program is made jointly by the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and the Associate Vice President for Planning and Institutuional Effectiveness. Programs must also make a presentation to the APR Committee, the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and the Associate Vice President for Planning and Institutuional Effectiveness that covers a specific set of criteria as determined by the committee. During the fall semester of each year the specific cohort of programs identified for that year’s review will meet as a cohort for 6-7 sessions of guided work to complete the data analysis and self-study. Each program chair/director/lead will be assigned a committee member as mentor to provide additional guidance.

During the spring semester, the APR Committee evaluates the study and makes recommendations for general and specific actions to be taken by the program over the course of the succeeding four years. In addition to the general and specific recommendations, a summary recommendation of either Continuance or Remediation/Discontinuance is made to the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and the Associate Vice President for Planning and Institutuional Effectiveness, who will then make a joint recommendation to the President. The recommendation from the vice presidents may be different from that of the committee, in which case both recommendations shall be presented to the President for resolution no later than May of each year. By the following fall semester the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs will communicate whether the program is in the continuance, remediation, or discontinuance status to the appropriate dean and the faculty chair/director/lead who developed the program self-study.

A recommendation for continuance means that the program will continue but is responsible for completing the embedded strategic plan and the specific and general recommendations for improvement(s) communicated in the letter.

F.    Program Remediation or Discontinuance

In the case of a decision for remediation, the program will be required to undergo remedial or corrective action based on formal review of the self-study and the presentation. The recommendation for remediation will address specific concerns derived from the APR process. Following a recommendation of remedial or corrective action, a program faculty member identified by the dean will create a remediation plan in consultation with their academic dean. The period of the remediation plan shall be no longer than two years, at which time an additional academic program review process shall occur.

If the second APR process leads to a determination that the program still needs significant improvements to meet SFCC standards of quality, the APR committee shall recommend program discontinuance to the vice presidents.

In the case of a decision for discontinuance, the recommendation shall be made to the President, who has the final decision. The President’s determination that a program should be discontinued is not subject to challenge (see Policy 4-40 Special Circumstances Employment Actions). The decision to discontinue a program shall provide for teach-out of current students who have declared the major, budget planning, and the publication of the course-catalog and schedule. Program discontinuance does not preclude the reallocation of resources to other academic programs for academic and/or educational reasons. When applicable, Policy 4-40 Special Circumstances Employment Actions shall guide the process.

G.   Out-of-Cycle Program Review

Policy 3-5 provides for “out-of-cycle” program review, which may be requested by a dean, a program leader, the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, the Associate Vice President for Planning and Institutuional Effectiveness, Chief Financial Officer, or the President. The out-of-cycle review may consist of the comprehensive process outlined above, or it may consist of an accelerated process that would consider criteria such as community impact, enrollment, and program costs.


Contact: Jill Carlson, Director of Assessment and Accreditation
505-428-1715, jill.carlson@sfcc.edu


Updated:                    4/24/2017

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