Academic Program Review - FAQ


Process Questions

What is the purpose of Academic Program Review at WMU?

The main purpose for conducting Academic Program Review is to satisfy HLC Core Component 4.A.1, which states: "The institution maintains a practice of regular program reviews and acts upon the findings." APR is intended to promote continuous quality improvement of academic programs through a process of self-study and review. Results are meant to provide direction for the program's  strategic planning efforts.

What is a “self-study completer?”

This is an individual who is knowledgeable about the program under review; who is not a chair, director, or dean; and who has volunteered or been assigned to respond to the self-study questions in Compliance Assist: Program Review.

If chairs and directors contribute to completing the self-study template(s), can they skip the chair/director review period?

The two phases are significantly different in the type of information being collected. During the self-study phase, department chairs and school directors have access to collaborate on responses to self-study questions along with other self-study completers. During the Chairs' & Directors' Review Phase, however, chairs and directors will be asked to reflect and comment on the information provided in the self-study responses from the larger, department/school perspective.

What information are chairs and directors asked to provide during the Chairs' & Directors' Review Phase?

Chairs and directors will reflect on the responses to each self-study question from the larger, department/school perspective. Chairs/directors will determine whether the information provided shows that the program is meeting or exceeding expectations for a quality program, for the given response, or whether there is need for development. Please note that this section is not meant for critiquing the quality of the wording in the response, but rather for helping the program to plan improvements strategically.

Technical Questions

What system will be used to carry out Academic Program Review?

Campus Labs' Compliance Assist: Program Review will be used.

What do I need to access Compliance Assist: Program Review?

As a third-party platform, the Compliance Assist: Program Review platform uses its own internal credentialing that is separate and distinct from other university-related systems. Individuals who will participate in Academic Program Review as “self-study completers,” “chairs/directors,” or “deans” will need to request access to the platform and provide their Bronco NetIDs (no passwords, no WINs).

How will self-study completers get data about their program to complete the self-study?

Institutional data is available through Cognos for each identified program/program-cluster. Participants with active Cognos accounts can retrieve their customized reports by logging into IBM Cognos Analytics at Click on "Team Content," then on “02.00 Academic Program Review” to open the report menu, then on “02.01 Academic Program Review” to open the report launcher. Select the relevant “Program Review Year” and “Academic Program Group” to generate the data report specific to your program/program cluster, and click "Submit." A step-by-step walkthrough of the process can be found under "Training Information."

Why don't I see anything under the Team Content folder when I log into Cognos?

If you do not see any content, you do not have an active Cognos account. If you have accessed Cognos reports in the past, you may need to submit your WMU Employee Security Reauthorization form. Login to GoWMU; select the "Data Access Center" in your MyWork channel; and, select "WMU Employee Security Reauthorization form." Make certain to check the "keep" box next to Cognos access to reauthorize it. Once the form has been completed and submitted, it will be routed to your identified supervisor.

If you have never access Cognos before or have not done so in the recent past, you will need to submit an application.

How do I apply for Cognos Access?

Login to GoWMU; select the “Data Access Center” in your MyWork channel; and, select “Request Cognos, DegreeWorks, or ImageNow Access.” Once the application has been completed and submitted, it will be routed to your identified supervisor. Further information can be found at

If you have an active Cognos account, and are experiencing technical issues, please contact Jason Jach, director, Office of Institutional Research, at

Program-Related Questions

What is considered a "program" for the purpose of Academic Program Review?

Only degree- and graduate certificate-granting academic programs are reviewed during Academic Program Review cycles. This is to eliminate redundancy as the majority of undergraduate minors and certificates are subsets of undergraduate majors.

What is meant by "clustering programs" for review?

To reduce potential redundant responses between programs that are similar or share resources, the APR work group, in partnership with the offices of Academic Affairs, Institutional Effectiveness, and Institutional Research, allowed departments and colleges to “cluster” similar programs into one template. That way, information that is common to all programs within the cluster can be provided once; while, information specific to individual programs can be highlighted within a single question.

Will APR be used to eliminate my program?

The purpose of Academic Program Review is to ensure continuous quality improvement. It is not intended for program elimination.

Will already-accredited programs have to go through this process, or could we use the most recent accreditation self-study in place of completing the APR self-study?

Accredited programs will be expected to complete the APR process; however, programs are encouraged to use relevant information from their accreditation self-study reports to respond to APR questions.

What happens after the final review of my program?

Reviewed programs will be expected to work with their chairs/directors and deans to develop strategic action plans for addressing recommendations.

How will we know that the process has been successful?

Programs will have action plans that strategically target areas for improvement. In addition to program improvement, these action plans assist in department-/school-, college-, and division-level strategic planning. Academic Affairs will have established a baseline and iterative process for future annual cycles.