UCAR is responsible for reviewing master’s programs at USC. The goal is for every program to be reviewed every 5-7 years (see schedule of master’s reviews). However, due to the large number of master’s post-codes (ca. 300 in 2019), it is not feasible to review the programs associated with each post-code separately. Instead, related post-codes will be aggregated (e.g. MS in Gerontology and MA in Gerontology). The post-code with the largest enrollment will be reviewed, and this review will be considered representative of the related post-codes. To allow time for program development, new master’s program will not be scheduled for review for 5 years.
Reviews are based on information supplied by the program, as well as data from the graduate school. To give each program time to prepare the requested information, program directors will be notified of an upcoming review at least 6 months in advance.
The goal of preliminary master’s reviews is not to detail program excellence or to make specific recommendations about program improvement. Instead, UCAR aims to discriminate those programs that appear to be meeting expectations for delivering a quality education experience from those that require further evaluation by the school and university administration.
The program provides program information in check boxes and short answers. The graduate school provides program data in a table summarizing data from the past 5 years.
The information is reviewed by UCAR members using a review sheet. UCAR discusses each program, and makes a recommendation to the Provost’s Office. The recommendation is either that the program meets expectations, or does not meet expectations and is referred for further evaluation. After the UCAR meeting, programs will receive written notification from the Provost’s Office. For programs that are considered to have met expectations, no further action is required.
Programs that are referred for further evaluation will receive specific information on areas of concern. They will have the opportunity to respond to those concerns in a memo to the Provost’s Office. The program response will be reviewed by a UCAR subcommittee. If this response satisfies the original concerns, the program will receive a second memo, and no further action is required. If the program response is not considered satisfactory, a meeting with the program director, department chair, dean’s representative and representatives from the Provost’s Office will be convened.
Last updated October 2020