Through its program review process, the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) coordinates a statewide system of review of instructional programs of study provided by community colleges in Illinois. The intent of this review process is to support colleges in making campus-level planning and decisions related to the quality, cost effectiveness, assessment, and improvement of programs. The program review process also identifies programs that should be discontinued or scaled-back as well as best practices and other exemplary innovations that can be scaled internally or externally to fit the college. A program review manual and supporting materials are provided by ICCB to guide the process.


The Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) is conducting an evaluation of the ICCB program review process for career and technical education programs.

OCCRL has four goals for this evaluation study:

  • Improve the efficiency and efficacy of the program review process by identifying challenges, redundancies, and omissions and providing recommendations for refining the process.
  • Examine variations of the program review process across institutional contexts and institutional identities (e.g., rural/suburban/urban; minority-serving institutions/predominately white institutions; small/large student populations) to understand how the process is utilized across diverse institutions throughout Illinois.
  • Identify professional development, technical support, and supplemental materials that could improve outcomes associated with program review.
  • Enhance the application of program review findings in colleges' campus-level programmatic planning and decision-making processes.


Advancing Program Review: Preliminary Results of OCCRL's Participatory Evaluation of the Illinois Program Review Process

In collaboration with ICCB and 49 experts from community colleges statewide, OCCRL conducted a participatory evaluation of the ICCB program review process, with a focus on career and technical education programs. This webinar included preliminary findings from that process such as 1) key environmental and institutional factors that vary among colleges statewide and must be accounted for in the program review design; 2) five critical design challenges and ideas for addressing them; and 3) design considerations for advancing the program review moving forward. OCCRL also shared plans for building on this work.

ICCB Program Review Process Webinar

This webinar provides an overview of the new Program Review manual and its respective review tools. ICCB staff who work in the areas of academic affairs, career and technical education, and student services discuss expectations for program review submissions and provide preliminary feedback and insights from submissions. The webinar also covers how the board is committed to continuously improving the program review process. During the presentation, Dr. Heather Fox, the assistant director of operations, communications, and research at OCCRL, discusses the organization's external evaluation of ICCB’s program review process and introduces efforts to engage the field in this critical and reflective evaluation process.

Program Review Illinois Online Learning Community

The below material in the Program Review Illinois project at OCCRL is part of the online learning community for program review in Illinois. These resources are made possible by the support of the Illinois Community College Board to provide professional development tools to enhance the application of program review findings in campus-level programmatic planning and decision-making processes.

Peer Review Initiative for Illinois Statewide Program Review Training

* This video is intended for Illinois Community College Board peer-reviewer training and specific to the Program Review Illinois grant.

Equity-Centered Rubric for CTE Program Review in Illinois Community Colleges

Equity-centered Rubric for CTE Program Review in Illinois Community Colleges

This rubric has been developed as part of a participatory action research study supported by the Illinois Community College Board as a tool to advance equity-guided program review for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs of study in Illinois community colleges. An equity-guided program review process is defined “as a commitment that is shared throughout the college geared toward fostering systemic and localized changes that improve equity for underserved students” (Fox, Thrill, & Keist, 2018, p. 8). This rubric is designed to be utilized as a self-assessment tool to guide equity-centered continuous improvement in the program review process. Learn more.

Research Team Members
Jewel A. Bourne
Lorenzo D. Baber
Osly Flores
Nina Owolabi
Naomi Simmons-Thorne