Careful initiation and continued review of academic programs are key to an institution's viability and reputation. Not only does such an approach provide a level of quality assurance to the public, it also contributes to the broader portfolio of the state's system of public universities.
The review process employed by Portland State University serves to track the success of each program and identify its unique strengths. It provides a systematic way to improve programs by examining:
- Adequacy of resources needed to sustain a quality offering;
- Continued ability to address access and market demand;
- Currency of the curriculum within the evolution of the discipline or field; and
- Success of the program in terms of student learning.
Usually conducted through a form of self-study or external accreditation, the process for the ongoing review of existing programs engages faculty, administrators, graduates, and community partners in a thoughtful exploration that parallels many of the same elements reviewed during the program's initial approval. Results help reaffirm an institution's commitment to a program area, confirm the program's linkage with the institution's mission and strategic plan, and provide useful data for the institution's planning cycle.
At PSU, this process includes rigorous review and approval processes for all new programs and certificates, as well as a systematic review of all existing programs carried out at the college/school level.