Overview of Academic Program Review

Why We Do It

Program review at UC Merced is intended to ensure students are learning what the faculty intends to teach, that a program's educational efforts are appropriate to a diverse student body, and that the benefits of scholarly inquiry inform educational processes and outcomes. In design, program review is intended to be both formative, in that it shapes the actions of a program in its ongoing development, and summative, in that it identifies particular issues and problems that may need to be addressed and identifies actions required to address such issues and problems.

All academic programs engage in periodic program review, including undergraduate majors, free-standing minors, and general education and graduate programs. Academic program review is a long-standing practice in the University of California system.

How We Do It

Academic program review is a nearly two-year process that begins with the program's official notification in the spring before the review begins. Key stages in the process include the program's development of a detailed self-study, a site visit by the external review team and resulting report, discussion of the team's findings, and the development of an implementation plan by the program and administration. The timeline is organized to enable the integration of next steps into the annual program and school strategic planning process during the review's second year.

Annual program assessment findings constitute an important line of evidence in evaluating each program's achievement of its educational goals, and for formulating plans going forward. Other equally important considerations include changing patterns in scholarship, student demographics and societal needs. 

Academic program review policies, procedures and schedules are available on the Academic Senate's website

Program Review Schedule

Academic programs engage in program review once every seven years. The current program review schedule can be found on the Academic Senate's website.

Support for Program Review

Program review is overseen by the Academic Senate Program Review Committee and coordinated by the Academic Senate analyst for program review.

Institutional Research and Decision Support (IRDS) provides a standard data set and supports surveys conducted in connection with the review. School assessment coordinators support programs with relevant data gathering, by reviewing the results of related annual assessment reports, and, as necessary, in revising program multi-year assessment plans.