March 3, 2011
In response to challenge issued by the Governor, Missouri's public higher education institutions identify 118 programs to close because of low productivity
Gov. Nixon receives final report on Statewide Academic Program Review from Higher Education Board
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon today received the final report on Statewide Academic Program Review from the Coordinating Board for Higher Education. The report was released this week by Missouri Commissioner of Higher Education David R. Russell. The comprehensive statewide program review was carried out by all of Missouri's 14 two-year colleges and 13 four-year colleges and universities in response to a challenge issued last summer at a historic higher education summit convened by Gov. Nixon.
The institutions identified a total of 118 programs to be closed due to low productivity, measured by the number of graduates in those programs over a period of time. The Department of Higher Education also recommended that 175 additional programs be reviewed in three years to determine whether student enrollment met the productivity criteria.
"Working cooperatively with all our public colleges and universities, the challenge was to take a critical and clear-eyed look at the performance of every academic program, identify those that were of low productivity, low priority, or duplicative, and see whether they were actually meeting the goals set for them when they were launched," Gov. Nixon said.
The academic program review was part of a broader higher education reform agenda to ensure that state resources are invested effectively in quality education that prepares Missouri's students for success in life and work. The program review was guided by existing policies, established by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education, which stipulate the minimum criteria required for "critical mass" for degree programs.
At Missouri's four-year institutions, 438 programs were reviewed. The review determined that 72 should be eliminated; 48 newer programs should be given more time to demonstrate their viability; and 158 should be given a follow-up evaluation in three years.
At Missouri's two-year institutions, 262 programs were reviewed. The review determined that 46 programs should be dropped; 16 should be put on inactive status; 66 newer programs should be given more time to demonstrate their viability; and 17 should undergo a follow-up review in three years. The reviews for 32 programs are incomplete.
The report also recommended that priority areas, including science, technology, engineering, mathematics, foreign language and teacher education, be strengthened as an investment in the state's future growth and economic development.
"I commend all of Missouri's institutions of higher education for the rigor and diligence they brought to the self-evaluations provided to the Department of Higher Education," Gov. Nixon said. "Their efforts ensured that this process was carried out fairly and effectively.
Working together, we have sharpened our focus on academic priorities; identified effective collaboration among institutions that can be expanded; and put in place a more robust review process that will serve our students, our families, our schools and our state well in the future."
A copy of the full report is available online at www.dhe.mo.gov/AcademicProgramReview.php