Module 1


What’s the difference between Program Assessment, Program Review, and Accreditation Review? 

PROGRAM ASSESSMENT should be formative and the ‘homework’ for PROGRAM REVIEWS & ACCREDITATION REVIEW, which are more akin to the summative assessments, exams and projects, you give your students. Program Assessment informs Program Reviews. Program Assessment and Program Reviews provide evidence of our continuous self-improvement processes to our accreditors. 


Academic Program Assessment is a continuous self-improvement process that helps determine whether students can integrate learning from individual courses into a coherent whole and graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities outlined in the Program’s learning outcomes. Academic Program Assessment Reporting is done by faculty who report annually for undergraduate programs, biennially for graduate programs.  Oversight and development of the process is done by Assessment and Outcomes Committee which includes faculty and the Assistant Provost Chair. Academic Program Assessment website is located at 


Academic Program Review, on the other hand, is a summative process of all degrees, minors, and certificate programs as well as the full range of departmental student-oriented activities.  Program reviews are a Montana University System-required process.  The reports are submitted to the Board of Regents to show that our programs are effective. Our programs are staggered in their cycle so that only a handful of programs are being reviewed in any given year. Academic Program Review Reporting is done by faculty who develop a departmental report once every seven years Faculty also visit with external reviewers during an on-site review.  Oversight and development of the process is done by the Vice Provost for Curriculum, Assessment, and Accreditation. The Academic Program Review website is located at 


Accreditation is a process of recognizing educational institutions for performance, integrity, and quality that entitles them to the confidence of the educational community and the public. Accreditation Reporting is done by the Provost’s office reports over a seven-year cycle in years 3, 6, & 7.  The seventh year of accreditation includes a site visit in which faculty, staff, students, and administrators meet with reviewers. Oversight for reporting is done by Vice Provost for Curriculum, Assessment, and Accreditation.  MSU’s accreditation website is located at Our Accreditor’s website is located at