Prior to the self-study process in 2007–2008, NMSU reviewed academic programs in combination with the institutional reaccreditation process. When the Higher Learning Commission self-study process was initiated each decade, each academic department received key indicators about their academic programs. The key indicators provided by the Institutional Research Office were reviewed by the faculty and a summary report with recommendations for improvements was prepared and included in the Higher Learning Commission self-study documentation. With the implementation of new criteria for Higher Learning Commission reaccreditation, this practice was no longer feasible, and reviewing so many departments all at one time did not support NMSU’s goals for in-depth academic program review.
With presentation of the 2007–2008 self study, NMSU in 3D: Dedicated, Diverse and Dynamic, NMSU indicated to the Higher Learning Commission that it would implement an academic program review process on a seven-year cycle to assure all NMSU academic programs were reviewed comprehensively (NMSU in 3D, pg. 3-7 to 3-8). Similar processes are common at the NMSU peer and other universities.