With the ever increasing rate of change in our society, academic institutions look carefully at the suite of degrees and certificates to ensure that they are meeting the future needs of the workforce and taking advantage of opportunities to develop new curriculums. While institutions are very adept at adding to their academic offerings, they seldom scrutinize existing offerings on a regular basis to ensure continued viability.
Adding new a new program or certificate requires careful analysis due the substantial investment in additional resources to ensure successful implementation. In most institutions this is normally delegated to those who are developing the new curriculum and thus have a predisposition to a positive outcome. Program review processes both internal to the institution and external agencies require certification that due diligence has been performed which demonstrates the need for a new curriculum both for employment prospects and potential student interest as well as considerations of market saturation. Often these studies are less than optimal and geared to the desired outcome of the driving faculty, department or school. An independent analysis of program viability would provide greater assurances of success because of the impartial nature of the detailed study. This study would serve the institution well in determining whether to advance this initiative and assign appropriate scarce resources as well as provide greater credence to external review entities that due diligence had been performed prior to submission for final approval.