L&S Academic Program Review - Guidelines in Effect October 2011 to December 2015
All formally approved academic programs at UW-Madison are required periodically to engage in formal reviews. Reviews convened by the Dean are conducted by teh faculty and reported to the Provost. The L&S Academic Planning Council offers college-wide guidance on the nature and process of program review; members review materials produced in review (self-study narratives and committee reports), and makes recommendations to the program and Dean. The guidelines below were approved by the L&S Academic Planning Council in October 2011; they were superseded by new guidelines in December 2015. In general, reviews convened during that period should follow the process below.
will submit documentation (usually in the form of a brief narrative)
focused on the academic program(s) under review. The documents will
address the Fundamental Questions, will include necessary attachments,
and when required, will respond to focused questions raised by the Dean.
Standard information programs under review should consider:
- Department Planning Profiles for the department, peers within the college, and the Division: https://apir.wisc.edu/deptplanningprof.htm
- Credits Follow Instructor Report (Academic Planning and Institutional Research): https://apir.wisc.edu/instruction-credits.htm
- Graduate Program Profile. Ten-year trend data provided by The Graduate School: http://www.grad.wisc.edu/education/academicprograms/index.html
Undergraduate Program Profiles. Ten-year trend data provided by Academic Planning and Institutional Research: http://apir.wisc.edu/students.htm
- Applicants, Admissions, Enrollments
- Diversity Profile
- Student Funding
- Time to Degree (enrolled terms)
- Degrees Conferred
Enrollment Reports and Student Statistics. Official enrollment information maintained by the Offices of the Registrar: http://registrar.wisc.edu/enrollment-reports-and-student-statistics%20.htm
- Degree and Enrollment Trends
- Time to degree (elapsed calendar years)
- Time to degree (enrolled terms and credits)
Includes such reports as:
Courses offered and enrollments in most recent 5-year period
(undergraduate program) or 10-year period (graduate program). Please
contact Assistant Dean Elaine Klein to obtain these data.
- Degrees Conferred by Gender, Level, and Major
- Course Credits by Department (credits by allocated by subject listing)
- Grade Distributions
Fundamental Questions for Each Academic Program Engaged in Review
- Describe the overall academic program. This must include (but may
not be limited to) formally designated majors and certificates offered
at undergraduate and graduate levels, and the learning outcomes
associated with each program under review. For each program, include
among the attachments (enumerated below) program requirements, materials
used to communicate those requirements to students, handbooks, etc.
- Describe student learning outcomes for the program, how the outcomes
relate to program requirements and program quality. Include among the
attachments information about assessment of student learning with
respect to these outcomes.
- Describe the role of the academic program in the department, in relation to the departmental mission and purpose.
- Describe other aspects of the departmental context in which the
program functions that are relevant to the program. For example:
faculty research; departmental service; administration and operations;
climate; alumni engagement and/or opportunities for development.
- Describe the role of the academic program with respect to institutional and disciplinary goals
- College strategic directions
- University strategic directions
- Contributions to The Wisconsin Experience and Essential Learning at UW-Madison
- Contributions to excellence in graduate-level education
- Contributions to the discipline
- Candidly evaluate program strengths.
- Candidly evaluate program weaknesses.
- After fully considering the program goals, how well students meet learning outcomes, and overall strengths and weaknesses:
Attachments for all programs will include copies of or links to relevant program materials, such as:
- What difference would a 5% increase in resources for this program make?
- What difference would a 5% decrease in resources for this program make?
- What positive changes can you make if resources stay the same?
- What innovations might you try if you had flexibility to reallocate resources in this area?
Some academic programs will be reviewed together because their
interests overlap in some way; each review of this sort will have a
question or series of questions asked of it, in service to that
overlapping interest. The information in the standard review template
provided above should inform discussion of those questions. After
responding to the standard review questions, each group will also
produce a summary report and recommendations in response to the
question(s) asked, and will append to it any relevant documents.
- Program requirements, as they are conveyed to students via advising
materials (including, but not limited to, catalog statements, program
brochures, advising grids/templates, student handbooks, newsletters,
- Current assessment plan and summaries/reports of assessment
activities, including actions taken (e.g. changes in requirements,
course array, procedures).
- A description of the process for preparing these documents, which
will include consultation with all individuals who bear some
responsibility for the program; consultation with students; consultation
with the faculty; and formal review and approval by the curriculum,
program, and/or executive committee.
will be provided with all of the individual program reports, as well as
the summary report and materials. Wherever possible, internal
committees will be convened to examine the reports submitted.
committees will be empowered to conduct any additional inquiries to
allow better understanding of the materials. If deemed necessary by the
deans, external members will be appointed to the committee to provide
expert topical consultation on the question of interest. The committee
will provide a brief memorandum evaluating the individual programs, the
recommendations of the review group and, where appropriate, offering
additional advice, insights, and recommendations on the questions
If the review committee identifies issues requiring the
attention of the Associate Dean or other administrators, the committee
should schedule a meeting with the Associate Dean to discuss those
Associate Dean(s) will review the reports will consult with the Dean
and Senior Staff. If necessary, the Associate Dean(s) will meet with
the committee and with the department chair(s)/program director(s).
Academic Planning Council will review the reports and offer
consultation to the Dean and Associate Deans concerning recommendations
and future progress.
Superseded in December 2015 by new guidelines.
Endorsed by L&S APC October 18, 2011; links updated August 12, 2014
Prepared by: Elaine M. Klein, Assistant Dean for Academic Planning, L&S