Academic Program Review Process Overview

All academic units that do not undergo a specialized or professional accreditation by an external accrediting body will participate in the university’s Academic Program Review process. APR occurs on a seven-year cycle. The process takes place over five phases.

Phase One: Planning & Orientation

The review process begins with notification and an orientation for the academic unit from the APR office. The unit will be asked to work with the Dean to reviewers and determine potential site visit dates (pdf). Programs should submit their peer reviewer nominations and site visit date requests to their Dean’s office for approval by February 15th before the AY of the review.  Completed nominations should be submitted to the APR office by March 1st.

Phase Two: Self-Study & Data Collection

Following the guidelines, the academic unit prepares a self-study report, used to guide the review. The self-study asks the unit to consider many aspects of its current state and future plans.  Programs should expect to spend at least a few months on the self-study document and should include as many stakeholders as possible to participate in the self-study process. The self-study document will be shared with the APR evaluation team, the Provost’s office, and will be shared on the APR website.

Phase Three: Site Visit

External and internal evaluators meet with administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other constituents and stakeholders of the program. Reviewers can observe program facilities and the general campus. The site visit, including travel time, takes place over the course of three days. The virtual site visit will take place over two days. Site Visit Guidelines  Virtual Site Visit Guidelines

Phase Four: Post-Review Reports

The internal and external peer review teams each submit a report after the site visit. The Chair or Director and the Dean then use those reports to develop an Action Plan report.  After the Action Plan is drafted, a meeting will be held to discuss the implementation of the plan with the Provost’s office, Dean, Chair/Director, and Graduate School (if applicable). All reports produced through the APR process could be shared (in parts or as a whole) with other campus constituents. The main points of the action plan will be shared in an annual APR report which will be shared on the APR website.

Phase Five: Implementation and Regular Re-evaluation of Action Plan Goals

 The APR & Accreditation Office will check in with programs in years 4 and 6 of their APR cycle to request an update on the implementation of the Action Plan. The Office of Assessment may also do a mid-cycle check-in with programs to discuss their assessment plans. Action Plan goals can be reassessed and revised as needed throughout the process to ensure they continue to meet the needs of the unit.