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A Step-by-Step Guide to a Comprehensive Academic Portfolio Review

Declining enrollments, shifting workforce needs, and rising public doubt about the value of higher education leave many college and university leaders wondering how to position their institutions to meet the demands of a changed educational landscape. Preparing for a steady future begins with a proactive assessment of an institution’s academic offerings. Colleges and universities must know if they’re offering the right programs to increase enrollment, maximize financial resources, and appeal to shifting marketplace demand. 


Hanover’s 2023 Step-by-Step Guide to Academic Portfolio Review unpacks how to conduct a transparent, data-driven process that will help your institution: 

  • Understand why portfolio reviews are critical to institutional health 
  • Establish a clear purpose and goals for a review
  • Select the right metrics for your college or university
  • Translate the resulting data into actionable insights 

“While some think of a portfolio review as a reactive process — one to be undertaken only when a college or university faces an urgent need for immediate change — portfolio reviews are better completed as part of proactive, long-term strategic planning.” 


A Proven Methodology for Academic Program Portfolio Review

Evaluating existing academic programs and determining when to expand, create, or sunset offerings is a delicate undertaking. Yet it’s one that must take place regularly to maintain the health and viability of any institution.  

Institutional leaders need an equitable process and a reliable methodology to gather data, evaluate patterns, determine fiscal considerations, assess mission fit, and build a viable plan for moving forward.  

Beyond a simple program review, a comprehensive portfolio review process entails a close examination of many metrics to determine how to achieve a balanced, sustainable mix of degree and certificate offerings that will ensure the institution’s future and meet evolving student and workforce needs now. 

This guide will show you how to undertake this process from start to finish, turning complex data into clear, actionable insights.

Develop a data-informed program review and academic portfolio assessment process in six steps

Strengthen Your Program Offerings in Six Steps

Learn the six steps of a data-informed academic portfolio review.

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