The practice of engaging in academic review has a long history in academia. For professional and pre-professional programs, reviews are required by external accrediting agencies as part of the periodic re-accreditation process. For non-accredited programs in liberal arts, sciences, and humanities, reviews are initiated by colleges.  At CUNY, the program review process for non-accredited programs has been codified as a requirement by the CUNY Board of Trustees in Policy 1.06. Per this policy, the Periodic Academic Review (PAR) for academic departments and Academic Program Review (APR) for academic programs, including both a self-study and external evaluation, must occur at least once every ten years. At BCC, we have instituted a seven-year cycle for PAR/APRs (a tentative schedule of these reviews can be found below).

Academic reviews are carried out by departmental faculty in consultation with college administrators. To assist faculty in their efforts, the College has developed two complementary sets of guidelines, as described below. These guidelines are intended for use in academic reviews by assisting faculty in (1) writing a self-study, (2) preparing for the site visit by external reviewers, and (3) completing a final action plan. Additional questions about the process should be directed to Associate Dean for Curriculum Matters and Academic Programs, Dr. Alex Ott.

Academic Program Review (APR) Guidelines (requires BCC logon)

These guidelines are designed for faculty who wish to engage in a self-study of a single academic program. This approach may be most prudent when a program has significant enrollment or needs an in-depth review independent of what can be achieved in the context of a broader departmental review.

Departmental Periodic Academic Review (PAR) (w/ Embedded APR) (requires BCC logon)

These guidelines are for programs that wish to engage in a departmental review of all of their programs simultaneously. However, if a department elects to engage in a PAR, they will be required to examine all academic programs in detail throughout the self-study.


Following is a tentative schedule for periodic academic reviews.  Departments and programs should expect the review process to take three semesters:

Semester 1: Planning

  1. Discussion of the Guidelines and review process with OAA/AO.
  2. Discussion on a departmental level with faculty.
  3. Designation of a self-study faculty lead with primary responsibility for drafting the self-study in consultation with the chair and faculty colleagues.
  4. Creation of a small committee of departmental faculty to collaborate with the self-study faculty lead.
  5. Development of self-study questions, if applicable.

Semester 2: Draft the Self-Study

  1. Draft, review, and revise the self-study document — led by faculty in consultation with the self-study committee and chair.
  2. Consultation with and review by OAA/OIE with appropriate feedback and revision

Semester 3: Site Visit and Action Plan

  1. In consultation with OAA, selection of two external evaluators with expertise in the disciplines under review.
  2. These reviewers receive the self-study document, engage in a one-day site visit, and prepare a post-visit review report.
  3. The department responds to the report and prepares the Action Plan for submission to OAA.

Contact Associate Dean, Alex Ott for the Periodic Academic Review schedule

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