Educational Effectiveness and Institutional Research

Administrative Department Reviews

  • Purpose of Administrative Department Reviews
    • WSCUC Criteria for Review Standard 4 -- "The institution engages in sustained, evidence-based, and participatory self-reflection about how effectively it is accomplishing its purposes and achieving its educational objectives.
    • 4.1 -- "The institution employs a deliberate set of quality-assurance processes in both academic
      and non-academic areas"
    • 4.3 -- "Leadership at all levels, including faculty, staff, and administration, is committed to improvement based on the results of inquiry, evidence, and evaluation."
  • Template [A DRAFT of this template is undergoing a pilot test. The first official version will be here after the pilot testing.]
  • Schedule

Academic Program Reviews


A table showing the impact of program reviews at Cal Lutheran since 2006-2007 is available.


The purpose of CLU’s Academic Program Review is to improve programs through a focused, in-depth self-study completed by faculty.  A Program Review is a continuous, collaborative process of gathering, interpreting, reflecting upon and using data to inform decision making and culminating in a Program Review Report.  

The Review documents evidence about the extent to which students are meeting learning outcomes.  A combination of CLU’s Mission, Strategic Plan, and Student Learning Outcomes inform the Program Review process.  The actual process of conducting the self-study has been seen by faculty as an invaluable process from which to learn about their program from many perspectives.

A report is written that documents the review of programs approximately once every seven years (see Schedule). A checklist is available to help with sequencing. A PowerPoint version of the sequence is also available.

In summary, the Program Review report:

  • Documents academic quality and the extent to which students are meeting learning outcomes;
  • Demonstrates educational effectiveness by assessing student learning outcomes;
  • Acknowledges program strengths; and
  • Seeks ways of further enhancing the quality of a program.

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Guiding Principles

The Program Review Guiding Principles guide the Review process.  A Program Review is intended to be:

  • Simple and meaningful;
  • Flexible, in order to serve the needs of small to large programs within the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, and School of Education; and
  • Collaborative, involving faculty, staff, administrators, and students. 

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Process and Report

Program Review Process

The Program Review is intended to be a meaningful process.  The overall expectation of our Program Review process is for faculty to be engaged in continuous, ongoing data collection about student performance, student competence, and program effectiveness.  The process is characterized by the following elements:

  • Use of Mission, Strategic Plan, University and Program Learning Outcomes to guide the Program Review. Learning Outcomes describe what the student will be able to perform, under what conditions, and the measurable results or product attained;
  • Involvement of faculty with the CLU community of administrators, students, alumni, and employers;
  • Assessment of educational effectiveness through a self-study of Program and individual courses;
  • Use of multiple assessment methods; quantitative and qualitative data; and student learning outcomes data to document that students are learning what we say we’re teaching;
  • Review and analysis of data to assess progress towards achievement of learning and to inform decision making;
  • Informed recommendations and actions based on analysis;
  • Yearly action plans for the next six years.

Program Review Report

A Program Review is a continuous, collaborative process that results in a Report.  The Program Review Report provides evidence of program planning and our efforts to continuously improve.  Data are continually reviewed and used to inform program improvement decisions on an annual basis.  The accumulation of the annual decisions contributes to the Report written approximately every seven years (see Schedule).

CLU’s Program Review Report documents the review process and is organized into four sections followed by appendices with supporting documents: 

The Program Review process results in the writing of a report with these responsibilities:

  • Program / department chair and faculty to prepare a report as described in this Program Review Handbook and using the Program Review Template.
  • Director of Educational Effectiveness, Dean and Provost to review the report prior to the External Reviewers’ visit;
  • External Reviewer to visit and provide a report;
  • Faculty and Dean meet to review and provide a written response to the External Reviewer’s Report;
  • Provost provides a written response to the reports from the faculty, External Reviewer, and Dean that indicates what University actions will be taken;
  • Presentation of findings at the Annual Assessment Symposium (incorporated into CLU’s Professional Development Day).

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Poster Presentation

Handbook and Template

The Program Review is a focused process and an in-depth study. The Review is supported with the Program Review Handbook and the Program Review Template.   

Program Review Handbook

The Program Review Handbook is designed to provide information and processes for faculty, administrators, and external reviewers in order to guide and support academic program reviews. The Handbook is divided into three parts:

  • Introduction.  The introduction provides an overview of the Handbook, and the Program Review’s relationship to the University Mission, Strategic Goals, and  Student Learning Outcomes;
  • Program Reviews.  Information is provided about the purpose of program reviews; guiding principles; the review process; the program report sections; external reviews; internal readers; post review procedures; and faculty comments.
  • Assessment Design.  This section reviews the Assessment System; Assessment Plan; Assessment for Learning; and the Assessment Symposium.

Reviews of programs occur approximately once every seven years (see Schedule). 

Rounded Rectangle: “CLU has created a good infrastructure for quality assurance.  Particularly impressive is the increasing quality of program reviews and the unusually high level of faculty commitment to meaningful program reviews and quality assurance.  Institutional student learning outcomes are clearly articulated, and there is ample evidence of students’ enthusiasm and deep engagement in their learning processes.”    Educational Effectiveness Team Report, March 2007, p. 44

Program Review Template

The Program Review Template provides an electronic shell to guide the writing of the report. The Template outlines the components of the Program Review Report to be populated by the faculty authors of the review.  Refer to the Program Review Checklist to help with report writing.  A PowerPoint version of the sequence is also available.  A template report is also available for the Dean(s) and External Reviewer.

Program Review data and information for Appendices are found in the CLU Shared Files v-drive "Program Review" folder (see instructions for access: off-campus, on-campus).

Department Chairs have given their permission to provide their Program Review Reports as examples to better enable faculty in the review process to complete their report.  These examples are found in the Data Warehouse

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Reviews of programs occur approximately once every seven years.  Past and current dates of reviews are found in the Academic Program Review Seven Year Schedule.  A checklist is available to help with sequencing.  A PowerPoint version of the sequence is also available.

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History and Achievements

A history of program review processes is available.


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