Sources for Use in the Review of Instructional Programs



Program: [A separate review must be completed for each degree program and level.]

CIP Code:

Date of Most Recent Program Review:

  1. The Program
    1. Program Objectives
      Department information (Be sure that the objectives are addressed in the department's assessment plan.)
    2. Design of the Program to Achieve the Objectives
      Curriculum as it appears in the catalog
      Department information
      Note: For some programs, accrediting agencies may provide guidelines for how courses fit into overall program design.
    3. Relation of the Program to the University Mission and IBHE Focus Statement
      University mission statement
      IBHE focus statement
      Department information
    4. Assessment Process and Results
      Assessment plans for the department's programs, including the department's objectives for student learning
      Major findings from assessment activities that were carried out during the period under review (to be summarized in the review)
      An explanation of the process through which the department reviews its assessment results and makes changes in its programs, policies, or practices as a result of the findings
      Alumni surveys done by the Career Planning and Placement Center and the Office of Assessment Services
      Note: For undergraduate programs, you must include results from the annual state-mandated surveys of baccalaureate degree recipients and the five-year-out and nine-year-out graduates. (Information about how the university's results from the state-mandated baccalaureate surveys differ from the aggregated statewide results is available from the Office of Assessment Services.)
      Graduate programs should use the student satisfaction responses gathered by the Career Planning and Placement Center (beginning with 1993 graduates) as part of its annual survey of graduate degree recipients.
      Other results of assessment activities carried out by departments, including reports from internship or cooperative education supervisors, student evaluations of teaching or other aspects of the program, focus groups, the review of capstone courses or portfolios of student work, results on standardized tests, oral examinations and defenses, juried reviews, etc.
      Deans' designee reports from dissertation defenses (for doctoral programs)
      Results of external reviews of dissertations (for doctoral programs)
      Any other external evaluation or feedback on program quality
    5. Accreditation Results (if applicable) Most recent site visit or final accreditation report
    6. Licensure and Certification Examination Pass Rates (if applicable)
      Departments are generally the only units that would have this information. The availability of state or national comparison data varies by field.
    7. Programmatic Change Resulting from Program Review, Assessment, and Other Review
      Most recent program review and summary, accreditation site visit report, assessment findings, other reviews


      Department information about program changes
      Note: It may be helpful to compare the catalog in force at the time of the most recent program review with the current catalog to be sure that you have picked up the important changes. It is appropriate to describe any curricular changes in the works.
  2. Program Context
    1. Occupational Demand and/or Societal Need for the Program
      Occupational Outlook Handbook (Bureau of Labor Statistics) and
      Occupational Outlook Quarterly (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
      Occupational Projections: 2005 (Illinois Department of Employment Security)
      Supply and Demand Report from the Illinois Occupational Information Coordinating Committee (IOICC)
      Note: Both IDES and IOICC have web sites in addition to the materials available in the University Libraries. The URL for IDES is, and the URL for the IOICC is
      These are sources that are used by the IBHE in its statewide analysis. Be sure to review the IBHE report carefully to see that these sources are used accurately. We have had instances in which the IDES or IOICC data was based on faulty assumptions, such as the level of preparation needed to enter a field or the likely fields of employment for holders of specific degrees.
      Some professional organizations in individual disciplines conduct studies and make projections of occupational demand.
      The Career Planning and Placement Center (CPPC) compiles an annual list of job titles and the names of employers of graduates of each degree program for the use of students. It is available in the CPPC, but the Provost's Office makes copies of past lists for the departments preparing reviews. The annual Graduate Follow-up Reports prepared by CPPC provides placement information in general categories, but the specific list of titles and employers can help you determine the range of positions in which graduates of your program find employment.
      Additional department information about career opportunities for graduates of your programs
    2. Relationship to Other University Programs
      Information from the University Honors Program
      Induced Course Load Matrix (distributed with the other reports from the Office of Institutional Research)
      [shows how many departmental credit hours are generated by majors from other departments, and breaks this information down by department]
      Department information on contributions to general education, interdisciplinary programs, Focused Interest Groups, Residence Hall Interest Floors, etc.
      Productivity Table 3, Credit Hour Production by Fiscal Year (available this summer)
      Note: At the summer meeting you will receive a set of comparative tables prepared by the Office of Institutional Research. The information in these tables does not become available until the late spring and cannot be provided in time for your completion of the first drafts. These tables will be referred to in the remainder of this document as "Productivity Tables" to distinguish them from the Institutional Research reports you already have. (the ones with the abbreviations in the upper right-hand corner of the report, e.g., PGMRVWl)
    3. External Programming and Public Service Activities of the Program
      Reports prepared by the Division of Continuing Education
      [includes off-campus course, credit hour, and enrollment data by fiscal year and by community college district, courses offered in special formats, and a list of specific courses offered off-campus by semester for the period of the review]
      Information from the college's external programming directors [especially on non-credit activities]
      Faculty Service Reports and other department information
  3. Students
    1. Characteristics of the Program Majors
      The following reports from the Office of Institutional Research:
      Student Resident Type (PGMRVW3)
      County of Origin (PGMRVW6)
      GMAT (PGMRVW7GMAT) - if applicable
      Student Profile (PGMRVW8)
      [includes ethnicity and race, gender, full-time and part-time, transfer and non-transfer, and age information]
      NIU catalogs (for admissions information)
      Department information
  4. Student Learning
    Department information
  5. Student Achievements
    This information has to be collected by the department. The University Honors Program may occasionally have some information about achievements of undergraduate majors who are also active in the honors program.
    Admission to competitive graduate programs may be an appropriate indicator for baccalaureate programs.
  6. Placement
    Graduate Follow-Up Reports from the Career Planning and Placement Center for both baccalaureate graduates and alumni of graduate programs. Information about how NIU undergraduate placements compare with those of all state public universities is available from the Office of Assessment Services.
    Joy title/employer list compiled by the Career Planning and Placement Center (recent years will be sent out by the Provost's Office).
    Department records
  7. Alumni Achievements
    For the most part, this information will have to come from department records. In some cases, colleges gather some of this information through alumni newsletters.
    • Faculty
      1. Characteristics of the Program Faculty
        Faculty vitae
        Other department information
        Most recent program review (to compare the current composition of the faculty to that at the time of the previous program review)
      2. Instruction and Other Faculty Interaction with Students
        Department information
      3. Faculty Recognition
        Office of Sponsored Projects report of grant applications and awards
        Faculty service reports
        Faculty vitae
        Other department information
    • Program Support
      1. University Program Support
        Library report
        Computing resources
        Development and University Relations, e.g., the Telefund
        Other department information
      2. External Program Support Scholarships, internships, etc. provided by companies and agencies
        Donations of funds, equipment, etc.
        Other department information
    • External Measures of Program Quality
      1. Quality Comparisons
        To establish a sense of benchmark programs or practices, program review writers might use such sources as:
        Information from the discipline's professional organizations
        National rankings
        Accreditation standards
        The IBHE has designated a group of comparative universities in which it has placed NIU, and many programs have used it to establish an appropriate comparison group for bench marking. A list of the institutions in NIU's comparison group is available from the Assistant Provost's office.
        To draw direct comparisons among the similar programs in the state, writers should use:
        Catalog copy from the public universities
        Information that departments may have about programs at other state universities
        IBHE state-wide analysis (usually more quantitative than qualitative)
        External reviews of portfolios, projects, or other student work
        Feedback provided by the external reviewers of doctoral dissertations (Although these reviews won't usually be specifically comparative, the point of using external reviewers is to establish that the quality of NIU dissertations is consistent with national norms of excellence.)
        Internship reports (if applicable)
        Input from advisory boards, focus groups, etc. (if available)
      2. Employer Feedback
        Employer surveys
        Internship or cooperative education evaluations
        Information about companies that repeatedly hire program graduates
        Employer or professional advisory groups
        Any other department information, even of an anecdotal nature
    • Program Productivity
      1. Program Majors
        Credit Hour Report (PGMRVW1)
        Productivity Table 1, Comparison of Majors, will show the number of majors at all Illinois universities and the percentage of the total enrollment that the NIU program generates (available this summer).
      2. Retention and Degree Completion
        Fiscal Year Degrees Conferred (PGMRVW2)
        Productivity Table 2, Comparison of Degrees Awarded (available this summer)
      3. Credit House per Instructional Staff Year
        Productivity Table 5, Credit Hours Per Instructional Staff Year (available this summer)
      4. Program Costs
        The productivity tables provided by the Office of Institutional Research during the summer meetings include two comparative cost calculations. Productivity Table 4, Instructional Cost Per Credit Hour, shows the lower division, upper division, graduate I, and graduate II costs per credit hour for all instruction delivered by the department to all students (majors and non-majors) for the last five years. It compares those costs with the state average for similar programs at all Illinois public universities and also for only the five public universities with doctoral programs (NIU, UI-UC, UI-C, SIU-Carbondale, and ISU). The table also shows the comparative ratio with all NIU credit hour costs and with the college average. These last two figures may be useful for internal purposes, but we do not include them in the program review.
        Productivity Table 6, Program Major Costs, shows the cost per credit hour of educating majors in the program in courses in your department and elsewhere in the university. These are the figures used by the IBHE in its comparisons of program costs and thus the ones you should use in this section of the review.
    • IBHE Statewide Analysis
      Statewide Analysis for Public University Program Review (September 1, 1998)
    • Conclusions to be Drawn From the Program Review
      1. Program Strengths
      2. Program Areas Needing Improvement
      3. Planned Program Changes or Developments