Guiding Principles from Missouri Department of Higher Education
The academic program review process must support the development of those desirable characteristics for Missouri's system of higher education that were adopted by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education in December, 1992.
- Higher education and vocational-training services of the highest quality that are truly competitive on a national and international level;
- A coordinated, balanced, and cost-effective delivery system;
- A range of vocational, academic, and professional programs that are affordable and accessible to all citizens with the preparation and ability to benefit from the programs;
- Differentiated institutional missions and implementation plans, both among and within sectors, designed to meet state needs and goals with a minimum of program duplication; and
- Systematic demonstration of institutional performance and accountability through appropriate assessment efforts.
Rationale for Discipline/Program Review
The review can:
- Help improve the effectiveness of a discipline/program by clarifying its goals, assessing goal achievement, reviewing discipline/program resources, identifying concerns and introducing needed changes.
- Provide an effective orientation to the discipline/program and its activities for new faculty hires, administrators and external entities.
- Stimulate the review of policies, practices, procedures and records and, thereby, help improve its operations.
- Help articulate its needs and justify its requests for discipline/program enhancements.
- Help the institution develop a better sense of a college's discipline/programs and make more informed decisions on curricular proposals, budget requests, and long-term planning.
MCC Definitions of Discipline and Program
- The MCC definition of a discipline is "a subject or field of study in which courses are taught." Each discipline has a corresponding designator. The traditional academic disciplines (philosophy, history, etc.) are not programs. In fact, the typical program will include courses from more than one discipline.
- According to PRP 6.10021, a program is defined by MCC to be "a set of courses leading to an associate degree or certificate." Interpreted more broadly, the program also includes a set of program outcomes, any affiliated FT and PT personnel, specialized facilities and/or equipment, and budget allocations.
- In many cases, particularly in career education, there will be groups of closely related degrees, degree emphasis areas, and/or certificates, which may be handled together for program review and coordination purposes. In such cases, each certificate or degree emphasis included should be given careful consideration during the review.