Program Review - Data/Resources to Support Program Review

Resources that support program review, specifically the preparation of the self-study report.

A key element of academic program review is the writing of the self-study report. The self-study is an opportunity for program faculty to consider all aspects of the program and review/share key data. Examples of information/data typically presented in the self-study are:

  • Degree completion and time-to-degree
  • Career outcomes
  • Course enrollments and grading patterns
  • Graduation and retention rates
  • Graduate student funding

This KnowledgeBase document is designed to direct self-study authors to a variety of data and information resources. Beyond these resources, the director of Academic Planning and Institutional Research (APIR) and the assistant dean of Academic Planning and Assessment (Graduate School) are also available to work with dean’s offices and faculty in support of program review and to assist with the assembly of data in support of self-study preparation.

Data Resources/Websites Providing Standard Reports

Program-Specific Resources

  • The Academic Structure Visualization confirms which programs are associated with each school/college, department, etc. 
  • The Guide is the official university catalog, listing program descriptions, curriculum, learning outcomes, etc. Programs should make use of the Guide entry for the official program description, curriculum, learning outcomes, assessment plan, and other program information. 

Assessment Plans and Annual Reports

  • Every academic program (i.e., undergraduate degree, graduate degree, and certificate program) at UW-Madison is required to have an assessment plan on file with the university. In addition, each program is required to submit an annual report relative to that plan. Typically self-study reports summarize assessment activity, reference assessment plans and reports, and include a reflection on what has been learned through assessment and what changes have been made, if any, as a result of assessment activities. Related resources include:


  • A wide variety of enrollment-related data and visualizations are available from the Enrollment Trends and Topics page of the APIR website. 


Degree and Certificate Awards, Graduation Rates, Time to Degree, Retention, Etc.

  • APIR maintains a Degree and Certificate Trends page on its website that collects various data resources, including a visualization on degrees (recipient demographics, completed majors, etc.), progress-to-degree, etc.
  • There is also an APIR page for Undergraduate Time to Degree with a series of reports and visualizations. 
  • For information on PhD outcomes, refer to APIR's PhD Outcomes page, which has information on PhD retention and completion rates, as well as time to degree. 
  • APIR's Retention and Graduation Rates page features numerous reports related to graduation and retention, including data by freshman/transfer, by race/ethnicity, by residency, for student athletes, etc.

Wisconsin Experience and High-Impact Practices

  • APIR completes an annual analysis that evaluates the proportion of undergraduate degree recipients (by school/college and other demographic and student characteristics) who have engaged in certain high-impact practices. It is called the Wisconsin Experience Report. This information is useful when discussing student engagement, advising and student services, etc. 

Grades and Grading Patterns

Graduate School Explorer

  • The Graduate School maintains a data visualization, the Graduate School Explorer, that provides information about student admissions, enrollment, funding, degrees, program completion, and career outcomes. The data can be filtered by year, student category, school/college, plan, etc. 


  • The Office of Undergraduate Advising maintains a series of advisor tools that could be called upon to assess advising interactions, outcomes, etc. 
  • There is also a visualization, Advisors and Assigned Advisees, that lists advisors and the advisees assigned to them. Graduate and undergraduate advisees can be filtered by plan, career, award category, and last term enrolled.

Graduate Handbook

  • The Graduate School encourages all programs to have their Graduate Program Handbook accessible to staff, faculty, and students. The handbook will be reviewed as part of the program review process by the Graduate Faculty Executive Committee. Further guidance regarding the Graduate Program Handbook, including a template, can be found on this KnowledgeBase document.

Institutional Survey Data

  • The university administers or participates in a variety of surveys that provide information useful for program review, as follows:
    • National Survey of Student Engagement: National survey of college freshmen and seniors designed to assess student involvement in practices associated with high levels of learning.
    • Undergraduate First Destination Survey: UW-Madison survey to learn about future plans of bachelor's degree recipients. 
    • Graduate School Exit Surveys: UW-Madison's web-based exit survey (doctoral and masters) administered each term. Solicits feedback on the academic experience (e.g., program quality, support, advising) and gathers feedback on post-degree plans.

Post-Graduation and Earnings Data

  • APIR's Student Outcome Data page has information on graduate earning and outcomes and is designed to satisfy the Higher Learning Commission's (HLC) requirement to make student outcomes data readily available. 
  • The Graduate Outcomes page collects data resources related to graduate earnings.
  • UW-Madison's First Destination Survey collects information about the future plans of bachelor's degree recipients. 
  • The Graduate School Exit Surveys (doctoral and masters) are administered each term. The survey solicits feedback on the academic experience (e.g., program quality, support, advising) and gathers feedback on post-degree plans.
  • The Alumni Residency APIR page features a visualization that provides the most recent available information on residency of bachelor's degree alumni in the United States. 

See Also:

Keywords:program review, self-study, resources, data, report, viz, visualization   Doc ID:97289
Owner:Karen M.Group:Academic Planning and Institutional Research
Created:2020-01-23 15:55 CDTUpdated:2022-02-03 12:44 CDT
Sites:Academic Planning and Institutional Research
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