Program Planning

Program review and planning, as required by both the CSU and WASC, assures integrity and accountability of our programs, and promotes continuous institutional improvement.

At SJSU, program planning is a future-oriented process based on program assessment. Programs use this information to develop five-year action plans guiding decisions in a variety of areas such as curriculum revision and development, scholarship, resource management, faculty and staff hiring, student recruitment and retention, and interaction with the community.

Program planning is required for all SJSU programs every seven years (five years prior to Fall 2017), or the semester after professional external accreditation reviews, if the cycle is seven years or fewer (University Policy S17-11). It is typically done at the department level, but is occasionally done on a program, school, or college level depending on unique circumstances. All programs in the unit must be included in the program plan, including baccalaureate degrees, minors, graduate degrees, certificate, and credential programs.

Planning Process

  1. Determine when plan is due
  2. Writing the Program Plan (Self-Study)
  3. External Review
  4. Program Planning Committee Review
  5. Meet with Provost and Develop an Action Plan

Step One: When is your plan due

Determine when your plan is due via the Program Planning Calendar

Step Two: Writing the Program Plan

  • A program with a certificate program is subject to University Policy S13-10. If an undergraduate program has more than 120 units, an application for the 120 unit exception is required (University Policy S01-5).
  • The completed program plan must be submitted to and approved by the dean of the host college, and then submitted to, along with 3 names and CV's of qualified external reviewers. 

Step Three: External Review

A list of three qualified external reviewers is submitted to along with approved self-study, and the visit is scheduled and coordinated by the Undergraduate Education Office. Further details are found on the UE External Reviewer webpage. This step is not required for programs that are professionally accredited externally and have already undergone external review. The external review typically takes at least a semester, so please schedule accordingly. The external reviewer's report, along with rebuttals, if any, are submitted to

Step Four: Program Planning Committee (PPC) Review

The documentation compiled up until this point undergoes review by the Program Planning Committee (PPC). The PPC prepares the Letter to the Provost summarizing key points of the documentation and appends the committee evaluation and recommendations.  

Step Five: Action Plan and Meeting With Provost

The last step in the process is to schedule a meeting with the department, dean, UE, Academic Budget and Planning, and the provost to discuss results of the program planning process, and the action plan for the department. Faculty are encouraged to attend this meeting as well. The Letter to the Provost will form the basis of discussion. The program planning process concludes when the action plan identifying the top 3-5 priorities with milestones and timeline are agreed upon by all parties. More information of this step can be found on the What to Expect page. The Program Planning Checklist summarizes the steps of the Program Planning Process.

Support Resources for Process

Program Plan Responsibility

Leadership for the program plan belongs to the department chair, but the entire program faculty is responsible for its development. The chair may delegate the leadership as he/she sees fit. Assigned time of 0.2 from UE for one faculty member in the department/unit during the semester the program plan is being written is no longer available due to budget constraints and new University guidelines on release time.

Submission and Communications

The submission of the program plan to the dean and all resulting feedback and communication from the dean, external reviewer, and the department are to be sent via email with the appropriate attachments and links. Please cc on all emails pertaining to submission of program planning documents.

Extension Requests

The first Program Planning Extension Requests on program plans for one semester are automatically granted by the PPC if approved by the dean. Additional requests will be forwarded to the VP of UE for approval.  Extension dates are adjusted on the program planning calendar once the request has been approved.

Other Useful Resources