Academic Program Review

Working groups from each academic program conduct reviews, with support from administrative departments. The SPH Curriculum Committee is primarily responsible for ensuring the integrity of the assessment process, and results are reviewed by School leadership, Department Chairs, and Doctoral Directors.

Key questions that should be addressed in a programmatic self-study include:

  • How is effectiveness of this program defined?
  • What data is or should be collected to demonstrate effectiveness? How is it collected and analyzed?
  • How will stakeholders (faculty, staff, current students, alumni, employers, community partners) be engaged to gather input on our program?
  • How are we using data and stakeholder input to inform and strengthen programs?
  • Are our programs aligned with University and School mission and goals?
  • Are our programs complainant with professional and regional accrediting bodies?
  • How will we organize an external review of our programs by professional peer reviewers?

Minimum data elements provided by the Office for Institutional Research include:

  • Curriculum requirements
  • Applicant pool and admissions data
  • Student population: cohort sizes (FTE and HC), length of program, graduation rates, employment rates
  • Student and alumni survey results
  • Course evaluations in aggregate
  • Samples of student assignments and culminating projects
  • Faculty list (FTE and HC): qualifications, courses taught, advising assignments, scholarly activity
  • Fieldwork sites, project titles, student feedback, preceptor feedback

Developing an Academic Program Mission Statement

The program’s mission statement should define the program’s educational purpose and its stakeholders. When developing a mission statement for your program, consider the following:

  • What are the academic and professional goals of enrolled students?
  • What is the faculty expertise?
  • Are there any distinctive features of the program?
  • How does the program help the School to achieve its mission?
  • How is the program distinct from other program’s at CUNY SPH?

Program mission statements should:

  • Align with institutional mission and goals
  • Be clear and succinct
  • Identify the program’s distinct purpose
  • Identify stakeholders
  • Represent the programmatic vision of its faculty
  • Be realistic and achievable

Model of a Mission Statement for an academic program:

The mission of [Program name and degree] is to [primary purpose] [stakeholders] by providing [primary functions or activities]. [Additional clarifying statements as needed.]

Examples of Mission Statements of Academic Programs:

The mission of the Lefferts University Physician Assistant Program is to foster the development of engaged learners into well qualified Physician Assistants through intellectual rigor, leadership, and scholarly activity.

The Austin Street College Secondary Education Program is committed to preparing students for a career in secondary education. The program accomplishes this through a comprehensive program of classes in pedagogy, critical theory, and experiential learning opportunities.

Mission Statement of the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy:

The mission of the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy is to provide a collaborative and accessible environment for excellence in education, research, and service in public health, to promote and sustain healthier populations in New York City and around the world, and to shape policy and practice in public health for all.

Developing Program Competencies and Goals

Competencies define the skills and knowledge that students are expected to attain by time of program completion. In addition to core competencies prescribed by the School’s professional accrediting body, The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), each concentration within a degree must define a minimum of five distinct competencies. Often, programmatic accrediting bodies will prescribe these.

Competencies should:

  • Be clear and succinct
  • Be measurable
  • Embody a single skill or knowledge (avoid multiple verbs)
  • Be distinct from other program competencies
  • Be realistic and achievable
  • Be broad enough to break down into learning objectives

In addition to competencies, a program may set additional goals if appropriate. For example, students earning a credential for which the program leads to.