The community college planning & research organization
(ccpro) supports and endorses a process of peer review, which provides
for the review and examination of Institutional Effectiveness (IE) and
Institutional Research (IR) processes for North Carolina Community
College System (NCCCS) institutions. It does so to serve the
1. To respond, in part, to Section II (Core
Requirements) and Section III (Comprehensive Standards) of the
Principles of Accreditation as established by the Southern Association
of Colleges and Schools (SACS), which requires that “the
institution engages in ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide
research-based planning and evaluation processes . . .” and that
“the institution defines expected outcomes for its educational
programs and its administrative and educational support services;
assesses whether it achieves these outcomes; and provides evidence of
improvement based on analysis of those results;
2. To improve the practice of IE and IR among the NCCCS institutions in a collegial, constructive environment;
3. To provide an in-depth, substantive professional
development experience for those hosting a peer review and those
serving on review teams; and
4. To further cultivate working relationships among professionals in the fields of (IE) and (IR).
What a CCPRO Peer Review is
A CCPRO Peer Review is an elective process initiated by NCCCS
institutions interested in having a review conducted at their location.
Host institutions may elect to engage in a peer review for
(1) Internal motivations for self-improvement,
(2) Preparation for the SACS-COC internal analysis of compliance with the principles of accreditation,
(3) Baseline IE assessment for new planners, and
(4) IE awareness building among institutional faculty and staff.
To initiate a peer review, a host institution identifies an
individual within the institution to coordinate the peer review process
with CCPRO peer reviewers. This individual may or may not be a member
of the institution’s IE or IR staff and may or may not be a CCPRO
member. (hereafter, all references to host institution will refer to
the designated host institution’s peer review coordinator
What a CCPRO Peer Review is not
Participation in a peer review is not a mandate from an
external agency, a condition of accreditation, or a condition of
membership in CCPRO, and while participating in a peer review may be
helpful in preparing for a SACS-COC reaffirmation of accreditation
visit, it does not serve as validation of institutional compliance with
established SACS-COC principles of
accreditation. Furthermore, host institutions are under no
obligation to implement peer review recommendations. CCPRO will
recognize only those peer reviews conducted according to the
requirement set forth in this document.
The following conditions or requirements must be met in order
for a host institution to receive a CCPRO letter of compliance
officially recognizing successful completion of the peer review
1. The peer review team will consist of three members
of CCPRO currently practicing in the field of IE or IR in the
North Carolina Community College System.
2. The peer review will include an onsite visit of the host institution.
3. The peer review onsite visit will consist of a
series of evaluation activities organized by the host institution in
advance of the visit. The evaluation activities will be developed
in consultation with the peer review team. These activities may
include, but are not limited to, interviews of faculty and staff, focus
groups, group interviews, examinations of planning and research
products, meetings with committees, etc.
4. The peer review evaluation activities will be listed
in a printed agenda to be shared with the team and all participants at
the college prior to the site visit.
5. The peer review will culminate in a brief report of
two to four pages, excluding appendices and will include eight (8)
required sections as listed in item 6, A-H below:
6. Of the eight required peer review report sections,
the host institution is responsible for sections A-D, G, and H. the
peer review team is responsible for sections E and F:
A. A description of the comprehensive planning and
evaluation process used by the institution to regularly evaluate
institutional effectiveness and research, including the frequency with
which the evaluations are conducted;
B. A statement of the purpose of the peer review;
C. A listing of peer review team members and the date of the onsite visit;
D. A listing of the evaluation activities conducted by the team;
E. Key findings of the evaluations, to include a listing of strengths and weaknesses;
F. A list of recommendations for improvement;
G. Original and dated signatures of the peer review
team, including job titles and the names and locations of institutions
to which they belong; and
H. An appendix, which will include the peer review
agenda, evaluation instruments used, anonymous written recordings from
qualitative research, results of quantitative analyses and all other
supporting documentation used to identify strengths, weaknesses and
recommendations for improvement.
7. Upon receiving sections E and F from the peer review
team, the host institution will assemble all sections (A-H) to compile
a final report. The host institution will submit within 30 calendar
days of the onsite visit two (2) copies of the final report to the
CCPRO president for review by the executive board: (1) A complete
original copy including signature page and appendices mailed by courier
or USPS and (2) A partial copy (sections A-G only) submitted by email.
8. Once the CCPRO executive board certifies that the
review meets all peer review process requirements, the CCPRO
president will forward an official letter of compliance (addressed to
the individual coordinating the review from the host institution)
within 30 days of receiving full and partial copies of the final
report. The president also will forward a copy of the compliance letter
to the CCPRO secretary.
9. If the executive board finds that the review does
not conform to all peer review requirements, the host institution will
be so informed by its CCPRO regional director. The host
institution will have 30 days after notification to correct and
re-submit copies of the amended final report using the procedure
described in item 7 above.
10. Upon receiving the letter of compliance officially
certifying the peer review, the host institution will disseminate
copies of the letter of compliance and the final report to all parties
it deems appropriate (e.g. faculty, staff, administrative team, peer
review team, etc.).
Responsibilities of the executive committee
1. The executive committee will provide oversight and leadership to the peer review initiative.
2. The executive committee will examine the final
report for evidence of compliance with the aforementioned
“requirements” and will respond to the host institution
with either a letter of compliance or a notification of non-compliance
within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving the final report.
3. Contingent upon compliance, a letter from
the CCPRO president, on official stationary, will be mailed to the
peer review coordinator at the host institution. the letter will
certify that the review was conducted according to the requirements of
this policy statement. The CCPRO president will forward a copy of
the compliance letter to the secretary of CCPRO and to the
appropriate CCPRO regional director.
4. Should the report not meet the requirements,
the CCPRO president will notify the appropriate CCPRO
regional director, who will notify the host institution. the host
institution will have thirty (30) calendar days after notification of
non-compliance to correct and re-submit the final report.
Responsibilities of the CCPRO regional membership
1. The peer review process is an elective process that will be implemented at the regional level.
2. Each March, CCPRO regional directors will make
annual calls to institutions within their regions for the purpose of
scheduling peer reviews in the upcoming twelve months. If no peer
review requests are made, regional directors may identify and contact
selected institutions they feel might benefit from a review.
Considerations when identifying such institutions include the following:
A. An institution’s willingness to be reviewed;
B. Scheduled SACS reaffirmation of accreditation visits;
C. Year of last evaluation of institutional effectiveness and research;
D. IE/IR issues facing the college; and
E. Longevity of the IE/IR staff.
3. Upon receiving the annual call, interested host
institutions will contact regional directors to be placed on the peer
4. Regional directors will explain peer review policy
and procedures to interested institutions and, if so requested, will
assist the host institution in selecting peer review team members.
5. Regional directors will communicate dates of scheduled peer reviews to the CCPRO webmaster.
6. In the event a peer review report is deemed
incomplete or in non-compliance by the CCPRO executive committee,
the CCPRO president will notify the appropriate regional director
who then will notify the host institution of non-compliance. The host
institution will have 30 days of notification to correct and re-submit
the final report.
Responsibilities of the host institution
1. The host institution will identify an individual
within the institution to coordinate the peer review process. This
individual may or may not be a member of the institution’s IE/IR
staff and may or may not be a CCPRO member. (References to
“host institution” in this document are used synonymously
with the designated peer review coordinator within a host
2. The host institution will select the peer review
team from among the regional CCPRO membership. If no members
are available within a region or if an institution wishes to go outside
the region, reviewers from outside the region may be selected. If
requested by the host institution, the regional director will assist in
the peer review team selection process.
3. The host institution will issue peer review team
invitations to selected reviewers as early as practicable, giving
reviewers at least two (2) weeks to prepare for onsite visits.
(Accepting an invitation to participate as a peer reviewer is left to
the discretion of the CCPRO member; however, once an invitation is
accepted the CCPRO member is expected to make a good faith effort
to fulfill their peer review responsibilities as outlined in this
4. Tthe host institution will establish the date of the
onsite visit and will develop a printed agenda of the evaluation
activities to occur during the onsite visit. To the extent
appropriate, the evaluations will be developed in consultation with the
peer review team. The final agenda will be shared with the peer
review team and all others involved in the review at least two (2)
weeks prior to the onsite visit.
5. The host institution will manage all evaluation activities conducted during the site visit.
6. The host institution will accommodate all needs of
the peer review team to facilitate an efficient and productive onsite
review. Accommodations may include, as necessary, subsistence,
provisions for overnight stays, transportation, etc.
7. The host institution will facilitate the completion
and submission of the final report by completing, compiling, and
disseminating within thirty (30) calendar days of the onsite visit two
copies of the final report to the CCPRO president for review by
the executive committee as follows: (1) A complete (required
components A-H) original copy of the final report including signature
page and appendices mailed by courier or USPS and (2) A partial
copy (components A-Gg) submitted by email. Upon examination of the
final report by the CCPRO executive committee, the CCPRO
president will issue a formal letter of compliance to the host
institution. The letter will certify that the review has been conducted
in accordance with CCPRO peer review “requirements” as
defined within this document. Should a review fail to comply
with the requirements, the CCPRO president will notify the appropriate
regional director who then will notify the host institution of
non-compliance. 30 calendar days of notification. A host
institution will have thirty (30) calendar days after notification of
non-compliance to correct and re-submit a final report.
8. The host institution will distribute copies of the
final report and the CCPRO letter of compliance to all parties it deems
appropriate e.g. faculty, staff, administrative team, peer review team,
Responsibilities of the peer review team
1. CCPRO members who accept an invitation to serve on
peer review teams will devote the necessary time, energy, preparation,
and forethought to the evaluation.
2. Peer review team members will commit themselves to
conducting a constructive evaluation that will lead to the improvement
of the institution.
3. Peer review team members will be punctual by
arriving for all meetings ahead of time and completing all assignments
by agreed upon deadlines.
4. The peer review team will be responsible for
conducting all evaluation activities as specified by the host
institution on the onsite visit agenda and will complete required peer
review components E, A listing of strengths and weaknesses, and F,
Recommendations for improvement, for inclusion in the final
report. The report will include all elements prescribed in the
5. The peer review team will complete and submit
required components E and F to the host institution within two (2)
weeks of the onsite visit.
Suggested criteria for evaluation of institutional effectiveness & research
1. The following items are suggested as criteria to be considered in conducting a CCPRO-sanctioned peer review.
2. Principles of accreditation, Southern Association of
Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (at least sections II.5
3. Current and former guidelines for institutional
effectiveness plans as issued by the system office of the North
Carolina Community College System.
4. Other planning-related requirements of the system
office of the North Carolina Community College System (i.e. diversity
and technology planning).
5. Locally developed criteria.