Graduate Program Review

The School of Graduate Studies and Research has a long history of program review and review of graduate programs remains a requirement of the Ohio Board of Regents and Higher Learning Commission. Most importantly this process provides a mechanism for assessment and continuous improvement for our graduate programs. In the fall of 2014, a task force (See Appendix) was assembled to focus on the program review process, and revise procedures to make the process as useful, effective and efficient as possible. The new format and procedures for review of graduate programs is a result of this faculty-driven work.

Evaluation and improvement of graduate programs is expected to be ongoing and continuous. The program review is a scheduled opportunity to review each program. Programs will be scheduled for review approximately every seven years (see program review matrix) unless more frequent review is determined to be necessary by the graduate program review committee. There are two main parts to the scheduled review process: 1) Self-Study and 2) Review of the self-study and evidence provided by a team of reviewers. In concluding the scheduled review process, a meeting of the review team with key program personnel is held to discuss the evaluation and clarify any part of the evaluation or evaluation process and issue a composite review of their evaluation.

Program Directors, faculty and other key personnel play an important role in the continuous assessment and improvement of graduate programs. Program directors and key personnel should complete the self-study by reflecting on and responding to the items in the Graduate Program Review Rubric and providing the evidence, or evidence and plan as indicated for each graduate program being reviewed.  Completion of the self-study will meet the need of a graduate program review process for the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR), while providing opportunity to reflect on and strengthen graduate programs.  The Examples of Evidence section that follows will support your efforts in completing this self-study.



 A.     QUALITY of Program 

  1. Faculty level of productivity and professional commitment is adequate given their qualifications, scholarship, and other creative activity as determined by their discipline.
  2. Program graduates since the most recent review are satisfied with the program and have demonstrated accomplishments in their field.
  3. Program Vitality is evident through a professional learning community that reviews its curriculum on a regular basis and meets the degreed requirements of the profession.
  4. Program collaboration is seen between the graduate program in my department and other graduate programs within the university and/or across the state and nation to support program effectiveness and contributions to the field.
  5. Continuous assessment of learning outcomes and analysis of data linked to these outcomes is done for program quality and student learning, through both ongoing and aggregate review processes.


B.  NEED of the Program

  1. The graduate program within the department has demonstrated a clear demand and/or need.


C.  RESOURCES to Support the Program

  1.  Essential resources (both financial and material) are available to support and sustain the program.
  2.  Diversity of program faculty and students with the program is evident.


D. Opportunities and Threats that could impact the direction and therefore the status of the program. Reflect on the current position (that of strength or that of weakness) of areas A thru C as reported above. Do this with the intent of identifying opportunities that might strengthen an area as well as threats that could weaken an area. This analysis can be the foundation for establishing strategies, goals and actions to prevent, limit or close the gap between where the program is (desirable or undesirable) and where it might go (desirable or undesirable).  


Examples of Evidence for Review of Graduate Program

Evidence is seen through the department’s analysis of various forms of data and/or documentation that align with the following Quality Standards as identified by the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) and seen in the YSU review of graduate program evaluative rubric.


A1 Faculty: active scholarship, creativity and innovation activities, professional recognition, external funding, graduate faculty reviews as seen in vitae, program review requirements, graduate school reviews


A2 Student satisfaction and accomplishments:  graduate surveys, questionnaires or focus groups seeking opinions/facts related to the following;

  • program marketing
  • program support
  • time taken to complete program
  • employment rates of graduates in program
  • success stories


A3 Dynamic programming may include interaction experiences between faculty and students beyond typical course encounters, conference presentations by faculty with graduate students, dates of curriculum reviews and changes, how program has met accreditation requirements


A4 Program collaboration among and between university programs, and/or state and national programs

  • Collaborative grants
  • Interdisciplinary courses within the program
  • Interdisciplinary team-taught courses
  • Graduate presentations at state or national conferences
  • Collaborative publications between program faculty and/or students


A5 Assessment of learning outcomes and analysis of data for continual program improvement: external accreditation reports, university assessment reports, data collection methodology of key program assessments



B1 Need and/or Demand for Program Enrollment numbers since the last review, graduate application ratio, extent that the program meets community and/or societal needs



C1 Essential resources may include a listing of resources provided for the students in the program including; library materials, labs, financial support as graduate assistantships, scholarships.  It may also include enough faculty for programming, ability to market program, resources to help support distance education opportunities.

C2 Diversity of faculty and students: demographic information, search committee records



Graduate Program Review Task Force 

Graduate Program Review Rubric (completed by Program Director and Key Program Personnel)*

Graduate Program Review Rubric For Review of Self –Study (completed by Graduate Program Review Team)*

Excerpt of the Chancellor’s Council on Graduate Study (CCGS) Guidelines and Procedures for Review and Approval of Graduate Degree Programs*

CCGS Annual Report 2017

CCGS Annual Report 2016

CCGS Annual Report 2015

CCGS Annual Report 2014