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Academic Program Review


Winthrop University has undertaken Academic Program Review (APR) since the 1980’s.  The guidelines for conducting APR were initially developed at the state level by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education (CHE) with input from academic officers at each of the public higher education institutions.  Until December 2000, CHE coordinated a statewide review of academic offerings in disciplines that did not have specialized accrediting entities.  State budget cuts forced the Commission to abandon all such reviews except those related to teacher certification or teacher advancement.  In March 2010, CHE was forced to dissolve its partnership with SC Department of Education and NCATE.

Winthrop continued the practice of program review, conducting both internal and external reviews.  Current guidelines were adopted in 2007 and are updated periodically to ensure compliance with regional accrediting bodies and government regulations.  An excellent monograph entitled, Program Review: A Tool for Continuous Improvement of Academic Programs, published in the Association of Institutional Research Professional File, Number 105, Fall 2007, was used in the development of these guidelines.  It describes the conceptual framework underlying APR and “includes more recent accountability and assessment issues” (p.1).  Portions of the present document have been adapted, with permission, from James Madison University's Academic Program Review Guidelines.

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