2.02 Academic Program Review

A. Review Process for New or Expanded Programs at Regent Universities

New or expanded program proposals are routinely referred to the Committee on Educational Coordination and the Board Office for review and recommendation. (See Section 1.07A. of this Guide for Committee on Educational Coordination.)

All matters of major importance referred to the Committee on Educational Coordination and the Board Office shall be referred automatically to the Iowa Coordinating Council for Post-High School Education for review and recommendation.

All new or expanded programs being submitted to the Board of Regents should include, along with the complete original institution internal approval documents, a complete response to the following program review questions. For proposed minors, questions 3 and 4 may be omitted, but additional resource needs should be reported.

1. Need
a. How will this proposed program further the educational and curriculum needs of the students in this discipline?
b. How does it further the educational and curriculum needs of other units in the college or university?
2. a. What programs in this field of study are available in other colleges and universities in Iowa?

(Identification of other programs available in this field at other institutions should be made within a broad definitional framework. For example, such identification should not be limited to programs bearing the same title, the same degree designation, having the same curriculum emphasis, or purporting to meet exactly the same needs as the proposed program.)
b. With what representatives of these programs have you consulted in developing this proposal? Provide a summary of the reactions of each institution consulted.
(The complete text of responses should be included.)
c. In what ways is this proposed program similar to those mentioned in 2a? In what ways is it different or does it have a different emphasis?
(In describing program similarities and differences, consider such factors as curriculum, prospective student groups to be served, and career or other types of goals to be emphasized.)
d. How does the proposed program supplement the current programs available?
(In some instances, this question should go beyond how the program will supplement others within the state. If the justification for the program involves special regional or national needs, a description of existing programs within the region or the nation and the relation of the proposed program to these should be provided.)
e. Has the possibility of some kind of inter-institutional program or other cooperative effort been explored? What are the results of this study?
(Consider not only the possibility of a formally established interinstitutional program, but also how special resources at other institutions might be used on a cooperative basis in implementing the proposed program solely at your institution.)
f. Please list the Iowa institutions in which articulation agreements are being developed for the proposed program (NOTE: This applies only to community college degree programs which may transfer students to this program).
3. Please estimate the enrollment in this program for the next five years as follows:
a. Undergraduate
b. Graduate
c. On what basis were these estimates made?
d. What are the anticipated sources of these students?
4. Please provide any available data or information on employment opportunities available to graduates of this program in Iowa and nationally.
(Such information available from U.S. government labor sources as well as many professional associations.)
5. Are there accreditation standards for this program?
a. What is the accreditation organization?
b. What accreditation timetable is anticipated?
(Please provide a copy of the accreditation standards.)
6. Does the proposed program meet minimal national standards for the program, e.g., Council of Graduate Schools or other such bodies?
7. Please report any reactions of the Iowa Coordinating Council for Post-High School Education.

Additional Resource Needs
1. Please estimate the probable marginal increases in expenditures that may be necessary as a result of the adoption of this program for the next three years.
Estimated (incremental) costsFirst YearSecond YearThird Year
a. Faculty   
b. Graduate Assistants   
c. General Expense   
d. Equipment   
e. Library Resources   
f. New Space Needs (est. amt. & cost of new space and/or remodeled space)   
g. Computer Use   
h. Other Resources (please explain)   

2. Describe the nature and justification for the additional resource needs.

3. How is it anticipated that the additional resource needs will be provided? (For programs planning to use external grants, what would be the effect of the grant termination?)

B. Institutional Reports on Academic Program Review

Reports are to be made on an annual basis to provide the Board with more frequent exposure to institutional efforts to improve academic program quality and effectiveness. Reports on institutional reviews shall contain the following elements:

1. A copy of the current policy and procedures utilized by the institution for review of all programs.

2. A copy of collegiate review policies and procedures (if any). (Board of Regents Minutes, April 21, 1993, p. 717).

3. Summary reports on individual reviews for the previous academic year, separating program reviews from other actions such as accreditations, which are reported to the Board separately. Accreditation studies cannot be substitutes for academic program reviews but may be combined with the academic review process so as to complement the academic review process. In such instances the report should specify the components of each part and explain how they are complementary. (Board of Regents Minutes, April 21, 1993, p. 717.)

4. A description of the review process utilized for each program area (if different from university policy), a list of the recommendations and the follow-up efforts at the collegiate and university level to respond to the recommendations being provided.

5. In-depth reports on 2-3 of the reviews to provide the Board with information on a complete review and the results. (Board of Regents Minutes, March 11-12, 1987, pp. 715-719; March 21, 1990, p. 486; April 15, 1992, p. 772; April 21, 1993, p. 717.)

C. Procedure for Academic Program Name Changes

Following review and approval by the Inter-institutional Committee on Educational Coordination and the Board Office of a university's request to change the name of an academic program, the item will be placed on the consent docket for Board of Regents approval at its next monthly meeting. (Board of Regents Minutes June 19, 1991, p. 696)

(Board of Regents, State of Iowa Policy Manual, 6.05)


A. All new or expanded programs, excluding minors, will be subject to a post-audit after five years of existence. These post-audits will include, but are not limited to, responses to the questions below. Recommendations for approval of new programs will include the following statement:

The university is reminded that a post-audit report will be due on this program on [ date ]. It is requested that the university set in place mechanisms for accumulating the appropriate information necessary to complete the Regents' post-audit review questions, so that each question can be fully responded to on this date.

1. Is this program now available in other Regents universities or in other colleges and universities in Iowa?

2. List actual headcount enrollments and credit hours generated by majors and separately for all others in this program for the last five years and estimate these items for the next three years.

 Year OneYear TwoYear ThreeYear FourCurrent YearNext YearSecond YearThird Year
a. Undergraduate        
b. Graduate        

How many dropouts of this program can be identified over the last five years?

What reasons were given for leaving the program?

3. What have been the employment (placement) experiences of any graduates of this program?

a. How many students have graduated (completed) this program (by year)?

b. What has been the success rate for graduates with respect to certification and/or licensure, if applicable?

c. How many undergraduate completers of the program have been accepted into graduate study programs?

d. What has been the success rate obtaining jobs for graduates of the program:

1) in the field or related field?

2) in non-related fields?

3) unemployed?
e. What has been the success rate for obtaining the preferred first job in the field by graduates of the program?
4. Has this program been fully accredited? If not, why and when is such accreditation anticipated?
5. Outline the current FTE staffing of the program and estimate future staffing needs for the next three years.
6. Outline the increases in expenditures that resulted from the adoption of this program, as well as estimate the increases which will occur over the next three years.

Year OneYear TwoYear ThreeYear FourCurrent YearNext YearSecond YearThird Year
Graduate Assistants (other staff)        
General Expense (Excluding Computer use)        
Library Resources        
Space Needs (amt. & cost of new space and/or remodeled space)        
Computer Use        
Other Resources (please explain)        

E. The Committee on Educational Coordination shall file its written reports on proposed, new, or expanded programs with the Board Office at least 10 working days prior to the docket day which precedes the Board meeting at which action on the program is desired. The Board Office shall then review and comment on the proposed new, expanded or post-audited programs. (Board of Regents Minutes, November 12-13, 1970, p. 170; September 9-10, 1971, p. 105; February 13-14, 1975, p. 506; June 25-26, 1975, pp. 804-805; September 18-19, 1980, pp. 184-185)

Board of Regents, State of Iowa Policy Manual, 6.07