About Academic Program Review at Lane

About Academic Program Review at Lane

This page includes:

  • Purpose and Outcomes
  • Academic Program Review Oversight Committee Working Charter
  • Lane Board of Education Policy pertaining to Academic Program Review
  • Terms and Acronyms
  • Process, Responsibilities and Decision Making
  • Stakeholder Roles and Responsibilities
  • Background of APR at Lane

Academic Program Review is a faculty-led structure for planning and continuous improvement of Lane's instructional programs. The purpose is to collaboratively, systematically, and critically assess Lane’s programs for effectiveness, to identify necessary adjustments, and to provide a mechanism to institute and evaluate changes. Desired outcomes from the program review process include:

  • Enriching disciplinary communities of practice through sustained collaborative engagement in the APR process
  • Clarifying program mission and goals
  • Improving the learning environment and student achievement of learning outcomes  
  • Optimizing program development and improvement
  • Creating systematic links between course-, program- and college-level planning and resource allocation

Academic Program Review Oversight Committee Working Charter

Guiding Principles for Academic Program Review:

This two-page overview describes the APR purpose, self-study, recommendations and implementation phases, structure, process and responsibilities.

Lane Board of Education Policy

Lane Board of Education policy governing Academic Program Review provides high-level guidance for APR.

APR Terms and Acronyms

Groups/Individuals

  • APROC, Academic Program Review Oversight Committee
  • FC, Faculty Council
  • IR, Institutional Research Assessment and Planning
  • D, Dean of division of unit carrying out program review
  • AVP, Associate Vice President 
  • VP, Vice President to whom the Dean reports
  • IEC, Institutional Effectiveness Committee
  • BO, Budget Office
  • PRC, Program Review Committee
  • AMT, Administration Management Team (D + AVP + VP)
  • EPRC, External Program Review Committee
  • IC, Invitation Committee
  • IST, Implementation Steering Team

Process, Roles, Responsibilities and Decision Making

Below is an outline of the Academic Program Review Process, responsibilities and decision making through the Implementation Phase.

PRC – The Program Review Committee consists of the permanent faculty leads in the academic program/department and other faculty colleagues they choose. The PRC will, among other responsibilities, create the program Self Study, and create opportunities for widespread and quality feedback from all stakeholders in the success of the program.

APROC – The Academic Program Review Oversight Committee is a new faculty formation staffed by and affiliated with the Faculty Council. Following any founding appointments, its membership will be formally appointed by the Faculty Council and will include faculty representatives on the variety of academic councils and groups with faculty representation at the college. In addition, it will include three classified staff members involved with career/workforce outlook planning, instructional technology, and academic advising. They bring expertise and signal and ensure commitment to robust stakeholder participation by classified staff.

The APROC initiates the formal beginning of the program review process for the program/discipline and has responsibility for seeing that resources are provided to the PRCs, and monitoring the progress of the PRCs, and raising issues of PRCs failing to get resources or their failing to perform in a timely way and' based on any such problems, initiating joint intervention by the PRC, APROC, and AMT (Administration/Management Team). The APROC chair and the ASA VP will engage in the timely development of guidelines for lead faculty support (e.g. release time). The scheduling will be guided by requests by faculty on behalf of department/discipline units, urgent requests to include department/units by an administration, and considerations of representing academic units across the college and the value that model program reviews can play. The APROC also facilitates the creation and maintenance of the collection of Program Review Guidelines/Standards and Resources provided to the PRCs. Among the resources to support completion of the review process, maintained by the APROC, is a peer faculty network that can provide support to colleagues. The Faculty Council designates the APROC chair, who also serves as the liaison to the Faculty Council and IR.

IR – Institutional Research and Planning provides a centralized, institutional home for regular, routine staff support for academic program review. IR facilitates the collection, distribution, and archiving program review documents, and is a budgetary home for stipends and other forms of compensation that are allotted for program review. IR does not house or function as a leader of program review, the APROC liaison provides IR with timely, transparent understanding of the current status of program review. Support by staff within IR will be determined by the need for support for this crucial but limited role.

IEC – Institutional Effectiveness Committee provides the PRC through IR the following IEC provided data:

  • the college's strategic directions and goals and relevant associated documents

BO – Budget Office provides the PRC through IR the following BO provided data:

  • financial plans and a current best assessment of the financial conditions of the college for the next five years

D – The division Dean provides the PRC through IR with division-level data regarding

  • workloads over the previous decade and any current projections of constraints expected over the next five years
  • courses and sections given throughout the division and comparator divisions
  • financial analysis of the division
  • division-level list of strategic directions and constraints set by the division
  • division-level list of constraints set by the administration on the division or parts of it

PRC provides the AMT and the APROC with

  • a list of one to three PRC issues for in-depth examination in the self-study.

AMT subsequently provides the PRC (copy to APROC)

  • up to two AMT issues for in-depth examination in the self-study, and
  • existing data that drives and frames the motivation for this in-depth examination.

The APROC subsequently provides the PRC

  • up to one APROC issue for in-depth examination in the self-study, and
  • existing data that drives and frames the motivation for this in-depth examination.

The PRC invites recommendations and suggestions for peer reviewers, and from these and its own professional connections and expertise selects an External Peer Review Committee along with a summary of expected expertise and disclosure of professional collaboration or friendships. It would be prudent for the PRC to make this selection from a wider list in case some members cannot participate. Given that the choice of peer reviewers has financial implications, the PRC and AMT must agree on expenses beyond established guidelines. The APROC chair and the ASA VP will develop guidelines for such expenses in collaboration with the current PRC chairs in fall 2015. Such guidelines may include models for distant collaboration where appropriate.

IC– The Invitation Committee consisting of the VP (or designee), the PRC chair (or designee) and the APROC liaison (or designee) craft a joint request to a Committee of External Peer Reviewers, the EPRC selected by the PRC to provide high quality feedback concerning the Self-Study with explicit reference to expected in-depth examination of the specific identified issues. If any IC party doubts the ability of the chosen Peer Reviewers to do an adequate job, the letter may request that if the reviewers do not believe they can do an adequate job within the time constraints that they contact the IC about engaging additional support or reviewers.

PRC completes its self-study, which includes preferred strategic options and recommendations for the next substantial period (up to eight years)

  • informed by the up to five explicit issues of in-depth study identified previously
  • informed by, and critically responding to, the list of college strategic directions and plans, and long term financial plans and financial assessments provided by the IEC
  • informed by the data provided by the VP, D, IEC, and APROC, all of which will be combined into a separate data document (without synthesis) by the APROC for distribution to the EPRC
  • informed by professional standards of the program faculty and discipline professional standards
  • informed by strategic directions and the concrete situation of the program

The EPRC will receive the Self-Study having been invited by the IC to visit the campus to meet all parties in a standard protocol developed jointly by the VP, APROC, and PRC, which includes time for in-depth conversations with the PRC and VP and time for exit interviews with other parties directly related to the Self-Study.

The EPRC writes and issues its External Peer Review Report informed by the Self-Study, including the explicit issues for in-depth examination.

Within a short time, the APROC may complete any Amendments, including factual clarifications to the Self-Study, based on the External Peer Review Report. The AMT may also do the same. Based on all the feedback, the PRC will produce a final Amendment. The Amendments and External Peer Review Report added to the Self-Study and IR data report will form the Complete Program Review Document, which will be archived by the Program, Division, APROC, and VP.

Following the completion of this report, the VP-designee and PRC chair will convene an Implementation Steering Team for preparing implementation plans. The PRC will take primary responsibility for summarizing strategic options for moving the program forward that represented a consensus of the Self-Study and the External Peer Review; and the VP-designated members and the PRC-designated members will jointly summarize initial viable financial options and potentially removable barriers based on the initial data provided for the Program Review and the consensus program review recommendations. This will form the initial report of the Implementation Steering Team. Following this, the team will periodically meet to facilitate implementation of the recommendations coming from the Program Review. The meetings and progress in implementation will be regularly reported by the Steering Team to IR and the APROC.

The joint expectation shall be that lack of resources, baring major changes in demand for the program, is the main challenge the IST will need to deal with and that questions of recommendation merit have been adequately settled through the earlier program review progress. To the extent that resource issues are not an issue, implementation is expected to proceed quickly as is feasible. To the extent that resource issues exist, but are local in nature, the team is expected to raise the issues locally among stakeholders, including any relevant Steering Teams, to set priorities for distributing resources and make plans for removing resource barriers.

To the extent that resource challenges are global, the team will raise these issues to the IEC as concrete matters for which there needs to be strategic college priorities set and college financial plans created, which are adequate to deal with these areas of program implementation. Creating such viable strategic priorities and financial plans for implementing the results of Program Review will be the responsibility of the IEC and/or other appropriate bodies. With the clarification or modification of strategic priorities, goals, approach or funding, the feasibility of implementing recommendations may change. In such cases, the IST will have responsibility to consider implementation progress under these new conditions.

The APROC will create and maintain ongoing summaries of the implementation efforts initiated through the Program Review Process. These summaries will be made in consultation with the IST and will be shared with IR, where they will be archived. The APROC may initiate intervention by the VP and PRC if the above processes or the IST process breaks down.


A collaborative assessment of the program review experience will be made by all participants in fall 2016 after the next cohort of PRCs have been identified to begin in that fall.

Stakeholder Roles and Responsibilities

Description of the Roles and Responsibilities of Stakeholders within Academic Program Review

PRC, Program Review Committee

  • permanent faculty lead is chair
  • engages with program stakeholders
  • identifies 1-3 issues for in-depth examination in the self-study
  • creates and completes self-study; informed by and responds to: strategic directions, program and discipline contexts, available data (including financial)
  • invites recommendations and suggestions from peer reviewers
  • selects External Peer Review Committee and coordination with AMT to agree on associated costs
  • produces final amendment (as needed) to self-study based on considerations from external peer review report, APROC, and AMT amendments
  • completes Program Review Document: includes summary of strategic options to move program forward and represents consensus from self-study

APROC, Academic Program Review Oversight Committee

  • facilitates procuring resources (i.e. data, guidelines, and support) for PRC
  • appoints IR liaison
  • creates and maintains Program Review Guidelines/Standards
  • facilitates timely progression and completion of Self-Study
  • faculty members are appointed by Faculty Council
  • comprised of faculty and classified staff
    identifies 0-1 issue for in-depth examination in the self-study
  • completes any amendments (as needed) to self-study based on external peer review report
  • meets periodically with IST for progress monitoring
  • creates and maintains ongoing summaries of college-wide Program Review implementation process and efforts: consults with IR and IST
  • initiates intervention should Program Review process break down

IR, Institutional Research Assessment and Planning

  • centralized home for staff support
    collects, distributes, and archives program review documents
  • meets periodically with IST for progress monitoring

BO, Budget Office

  • provides data to PRC: financial plans, current/best financial conditions (5 yr forecast)

D, Division Dean

  • provides division-level data (through IR) to PRN: strategic directions and constraints set by administration and division, financial analysis, courses and sections (with comparators), workloads (historical and projected (5yr))

AMT, Administration Management Team

  • appointed by Executive Team
  • identifies 0-2 issues for in-depth examination in the self-study
  • provides existing data to support issues for further PRC investigation in self-study
  • completes any amendments (as needed) to self-study based on external peer review report

IEC, Institutional Effectiveness Committee

  • provides data to PRC:
    strategic directions and goals and relevant associated documents
  • may develop strategic priorities and plans for program review plan implementation

IC, Invitation Committee

  • consists of VP (or designee), PRC chair (or designee) and APROC liaison (or designee)
  • solicits requests to external peer reviewers

EPRC, External Peer Review Committee

  • provides high-quality review and feedback to PRC; submits report
  • explicitly references all issues identified for in-depth study
  • may include campus visit, meetings, and exit interview

IST, Implementation Steering Committee

  • prepares to implement plans from Program Review Document
  • convened by VP designee and PRC chair
  • generates an initial implementation report: summarizes initial viable financial options and potentially removable barriers
  • facilitates and coordinates discussions with respective stakeholders (local and global) when resources limit implementation of Program Review Document plans
  • periodically meets to facilitate implementation and progress monitoring; reports progress to IR and APROC
  • adapts plan implementation in response to institutional changes in strategic priorities, goals, approaches or funding that impact feasibility

Background of APR at Lane

Many people contributed to creating the organizational space for this system of academic program review in the Lane Community College structure, but the work was centered in the Department Planning Workgroup. It was established in spring 2014 to address and explore issues and opportunities for improving department/program-level planning at Lane. After conducting a college-wide survey, the workgroup explored a variety of resources, research and references, and quickly came to support the development of a Program Review structure at Lane, and started a pilot process with two volunteer academic units. In October 2014, accreditors recommended that Lane fully adopt a comprehensive program review process, giving reinforcement to the direction of the Department Planning Workgroup.

As the workgroup continued into winter term 2015, it recognized the need to define in sufficient detail a structure for academic program review that is faculty-led and provides clear definition of decision-making authority and structures. It was also clear that separate structures were needed to be put in place for non-academic programs. In addition, the interface between strategic planning and program review needed to be defined, so that program review in each academic unit was informed by the strategic and financial directions of the college, and in turn, each self-study would provide important feedback about these strategic and financial directions to improve and refine them.

A subgroup of the workgroup was formed to synthesize what had been discussed in the workgroup over many months. From this input, the subgroup created the final agreements in early April in key documents and first initial steps. Initial steps of implementation were necessary, because while faculty members in the subgroup believed their colleagues would agree to participate, this was not a unanimous belief. This skepticism was encouraged by the difficulty of getting buy-in and participation from many faculty members on existing councils. To meet this challenge, with the consent of the Faculty Council Co-Chairs, an initial Academic Program Review Oversight Committee (APROC) chair was selected – Anne McGrail, English faculty member, who in 2001 was a founding editor of the Community College Moment, Editor and Steering Team member of the college's accreditation self-study in 2004 and the Year 1 report in 2011, and co-wrote a large Title III grant and was its activity director for faculty development on the grant from 2008-2013. Jennifer Steele, who chaired the Department Planning Workgroup and was a subgroup member, was recognized by the subgroup as the staff support for the APROC. In addition, a number of disciplines were identified as ready to begin a self-study by fall 2015 or in active discussion of the possibility, so that there was concrete assurance how the process would take off.

Departmental Planning Workgroup members: Joseph Colton, Barb Delansky, Dennis Gilbert, Jennifer Hayward, Lida Herburger, Christina Howard, Brian Kelly, Cathy Lindsley, Rosa Lopez, Anna Kate Malliris, Siskanna Naynaha, Dave Oatman, Russ Pierson, Ce Rosenow, Bill Schuetz, Jennifer Steele, Kate Sullivan, Sarah Ulerick, Molloy Wilson.