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Academic programs inventory released

July 16, 2015

Program prioritization criteriaNIU’s Program Prioritization Coordinating Team has released the academic program inventory, providing the list of academic programs to be evaluated and ranked early next year.

Some 224 degree programs, minors, certificates, course/unit areas and centers will be assessed by a 22-member academic task force beginning in January.  The inventory is the result of several months’ worth of planning and work, including meetings between the Program Prioritization Coordinating Team’s Data Subgroup and the heads of colleges and academic units across campus.

Every academic program will have its own template, pre-loaded with institutional data that addresses eight different criteria.  The data platform used to facilitate program templates and subsequent rankings is Prioritization Plus. Program contacts (or authors, typically academic unit chairs, center directors, deans and associate/assistant deans) will be responsible for writing up narratives about their programs and supplying additional information and data.   The finished templates will then be reviewed by the Academic Program Task Force members, who will assign each academic program to a quintile that has an associated future recommendation for the program.

Similar to the academic program inventory, the Data Subgroup is working on finalizing a related inventory for administrative programs. That inventory will be available near term.

The academic program inventory features the following categories:

  • The academic program name
  • The college, division and/or area to which it belongs
  • The departments housing primary and secondary program “authors,” or those who will write the program narrative for review
  • The CIP (Classification of Instructional Programs) code, where applicable
  • Embedded minors, certificates, and course/unit areas

Academic program inventorying was created using a collection of decision rules, which allowed for degree programs and distinct minors and certificates to be defined as collections of discrete activities/functions. Where applicable, academic centers that housed minors/certificates were defined as academic programs. Similarly, course/unit areas conducting the university mission, e.g. UNIV 101/201, were defined as academic programs.