MONTANA BOARD OF REGENTS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Policy and Procedures Manual
ITEM 127-108-R0505 FINAL AND APPROVED
SUBJECT: ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
Policy 303.3 – Program Review
Effective November 18, 1999; Issued December 10, 1999
1. In order to ensure program quality and effective stewardship of resources, every campus of the Montana University System shall conduct regular internal reviews of all of its academic programs. Those reviews shall include all programs listed in the “degree and program inventory” maintained by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, and shall include options and minors associated with those degree programs and certificates of more than 30 credits listed in the inventory.
2. This policy shall not apply to the three community colleges associated with the Montana University System. Internal program review will be left to the local governing boards of those institutions.
3. Each campus will review all of its programs at least once every seven (7) years. The campuses will prepare a schedule of review for all of its programs, and file that schedule with the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education. That schedule will be updated, when new programs are added to each campus’ program offerings. In preparing the schedule, the campuses may use program accreditation reviews to satisfy the provisions of this policy, and the self-study prepared for that accreditation visit will serve as the internal review expected under this policy.
4. Each campus will report the results of its internal program review, for the preceding year, at the November meeting of the Montana Board of Regents. Those reports will focus especially on the decisions associated with the future of each program, following its review.
5. The annual reports will include additional information and explanation for programs that do not meet the criteria set out below, especially if the campus decision is to retain or continue the program. That criteria is as follows:
a. for undergraduate programs:
1. at most of the campuses, a graduation rate that averages less than five (5) students, on a rolling average, during the three years preceding the internal campus review. For The University of Montana-Missoula and Montana State University-Bozeman, that graduation rate, on a rolling three-year average, is less than ten (10) students; and
2. the student-faculty ratio in the 300 and 400-level courses that are the responsibility of the program is in the bottom third of student/faculty ratios on the campus; and
3. the average credit hour figure in the 300 and 400-level courses that are the responsibility of the program are in the bottom third of credit hour figures on the campus.
b. for masters degree programs, a graduation rate that averages three (3) or fewer students on a rolling average, during the three years preceding the internal campus review.
c. for doctoral degree programs, a graduation rate that averages two (2) or fewer students on a rolling average, during the three years preceding the internal campus review.
d. In addition to the programs identified above, the provisions of this subsection shall apply to any program where overall enrollments – as measured by majors and overall student credit hours generated – has decreased by 20 percent or more since the last time it was reviewed.
e. the criteria described in 5a., b., c. and d. above shall be included as part of the information concerning each program that is part of the annual report submitted to the Montana Board of Regents.
6. Upon receipt of the annual report, the Montana Board of Regents has the authority to ask for additional information, to justify the campus decision concerning a particular program. The Board also has the authority to change the decision made by an individual campus, based on its internal program review process.