Academic Program Review
Degree Granting and Other Academic Areas
Degree Granting and Other Academic APRs are reviews conducted internally by undergraduate and graduate degree-granting academic programs or programs driven by student outcomes. Degree Granting and Other Academic APRs follow the guidelines in the Internal Self-Study Report. This comprehensive review seeks assessment and/or evaluative information about the entire program or unit. Degree Granting and Other Academic APRs must be conducted every eight years with an interim report due every four years. The intent of this report is to update program status and examine programmatic issues as outlined in the Internal Self-Study Report.
|Stage One:||The APR Internal Self-Study committee develops a written Internal Self-Study Report at the program level. The development of this report should involve program faculty as well as support staff. The Internal Self-Study should be submitted to the Office of the Provost.|
|Stage Two:||The completed self-study is reviewed by representatives chosen by the Vice Provost for Academic Development. After reviewing the Internal Self-Study Report, these representatives identify specific areas to be addressed and the makeup of the external team.|
|Stage Three:||The external team reviews the documents provided by the university, conducts an on-site visit and submits a written External Team Report (ERT) to the Office of the Provost.|
|Stage Four:||Within four weeks of receiving the ERT, the academic unit head and program faculty develop a formal plan for integrating the results of the APR. The plan is submitted to the dean for review and input. When approved, it is submitted to the provost.|
|Stage Five:||After approval by the Provost, the action plan must be added as an objective into the Planning Database and reinforced in the program's annual report. Stage Five is an ongoing process, and the results should continue to be included in the annual report until recommendations have been addressed.|
Click here for a Microsoft Word version of the Internal Self-Study Report Outline.
The Internal Self-Study Report should conform to the following outline. Writers may supplement the self-study with additional sections that focus on issues most relevant to the program but all sections must be covered.
Use the outline below to construct the Internal Self-Study Report. Subdivide the self-study by sections based on the outline headings. Provide final copies in both hard copy and as a pdf. Include supporting documentation (Section IV) so that the review team has access to it before their on-site visit. Documentation not available online should be provided to the team on CDs or flash drives. Send the Internal Self-Study Report and supporting documentation to the Office of the Provost at least six weeksbefore the scheduled on-site visit. Documents will be sent to the External Review Team at least one monthprior to their arrival on campus.
I. Executive Summary for the Internal Self-Study Report
Include an overview of the self-study. Identify key areas that the program wants to emphasize during the external review. This summary should be no longer than three pages.
II. Academic Unit Narrative Section
A. Academic Unit History and Mission
This section should have input from all undergraduate and graduate programs within the academic unit. It may be updated and reused for each program/major within an academic unit. This section should build on previous reports.
1. Give a brief history of the academic unit.
2. Provide the current mission statement of the academic unit. Explain how the current academic unit's mission statement was developed and who participated in the development.
3. Explain how the mission statement of the academic unit supports the college and university mission statements.
4. Compare the number of students served by the academic unit (not by individual major/program) currently to the number during the previous APR.
a. How have resources accommodated the change in enrollment? Discuss cost-effectiveness related to:
1. Undergraduate or Graduate programs
3. General Education
4. Pre-professional programs
5. Elective courses
b. What significant changes have occurred within the academic unit since the previous APR?
5. Address the adequacy of the staffing level for the academic unit regarding:
a. Classified and wage staff
b. Graduate and teaching assistants
c. Student assistants
6. Evaluate the level of technological support necessary to carry out the academic unit mission.
7. Evaluate the adequacy of non-personnel based support (e.g. operating budget, grants, foundation money) needed to carry out the academic unit mission.
8. Evaluate the adequacy of facilities in the academic unit including instructional facilities and office space needed to carry out the academic unit mission.
9. Based on demands and future projections, make recommendations related to critical areas to achieve the academic unit mission.
III. Academic Program Narrative Section
In this section, describe the degree program/major and as appropriate any minors, concentrations, tracks, etc.
A. Academic Program History and Mission
1. Give a brief history of the academic program/major, building on the last APR.
2. Provide current mission statement of the academic program.
3. Explain how the current academic program mission statement was developed and who participated in the development.
4. Explain how the academic program mission statement supports the college and university mission statements.
B. Program Goals and Objectives
1. Evaluate the program goals and objectives and how they relate to the unit mission.
2. Identify and briefly describe the major activities that have supported efforts in achieving these goals and objectives.
3. Identify the degree of participation and involvement of program faculty in carrying out program objectives.
C. Discuss Academic Program Structure
1. Describe the current structure of the program, including a list of the curricular requirements.
2. Discuss the process whereby program faculty work collectively to develop curricula and do long-range planning for the program.
3. Evaluate the program in the following areas:
a. Coherence and integrity of the curriculum when compared to standards of best practice as determined by regional and national learned societies.
b. Responsiveness of the curriculum to societal needs.
D. Discuss Program Viability
1. Evaluate the viability of the program in terms of state, regional and national needs. What is unique about the JMU program?
2. Assess the size of the program regarding need for expansion or contraction. Use regional and national data sources regarding demand for the program and placement of majors in the employment market.
E. Discuss Academic Program Resource Use
1. Compare the number of students served by the major currently to the number during the previous APR. How have resources accommodated the change in enrollment?
2. What changes have resulted from technology implemented for the program?
F. Evaluate the Program's Role in the College and the University
1. Discuss the relationship of the program to college and university-wide efforts including:
a. Undergraduate or Graduate programs
b. General Education
c. Minor offerings
d. Cross disciplinary programs
e. Pre-professional programs
2. Discuss the commitment among program faculty and students to college and university initiatives.
G. Discuss the Role of Students and Alumni in the Program
a. Describe the involvement of students in program affairs including student organizations.
b. Discuss student perception of the program (student evaluations, exit interviews, focus groups, etc.).
c. Describe the academic and pre-career advising system within the program.
a. Describe the involvement of alumni in program affairs.
b. Discuss alumni perception of the program, including program effectiveness (example: alumni survey results, national exams, etc.).
H. Summarize and Evaluate Assessment Findings on Student Learning Objectives
1. In conjunction with your academic unit assessment liaison and CARS assessment liaison, provide an interpretation of assessment findings about the quality of student learning in the program. Focus on interpretation of data, uses of results and dissemination.
a. Include relative strengths and weaknesses of student progress on objectives.
b. Provide the curriculum map from the program's latest Assessment Progress Template (APT) report.
c. Highlight how and to whom assessment results were distributed.
d. Highlight changes made to the program based on assessment results.
2. Interpret the quality of the program's assessment activities:
a. Include the strengths and weaknesses of various assessment elements.
b. Discuss how the quality of the assessment process influences the faculty members' confidence in the program's assessment findings.
I. Discuss the Role of Faculty in the Program
1. Describe program faculty achievements regarding:
a. Teaching and advising
b. Scholarship and research
c. Service and support activities
2. Document the appropriateness of full- and part-time faculty credentials for the courses they are teaching. Include complete justifications of faculty credentials for the courses they are teaching, such as curriculum vitae, which may be exported from Digital Measures or Tk20 (may be included in the appendix or on a CD).
3. Provide an overview of both internal and external professional development for full- and part-time faculty.
J. Evaluate the Quality and Quantity of Academic and Administrative Support
1. Address the adequacy of the staffing level of the program, given academic unit and program mission in terms of SCHEV base adequacy levels. Use discipline norms and best practices for comparisons.
a. Full-time faculty
b. Part-time faculty
c. Classified and wage staff
d. Graduate and teaching assistants
e. Student assistants
f. Advising support
2. Assess the library resources, indicating the levels and quality of access to information.
3. Evaluate the level of technological support necessary to carry out the program mission.
4. Evaluate the adequacy of non-personnel based support (e.g. operating budget, grants, foundation money).
5. Evaluate the adequacy of facilities in the program including classrooms, labs, other instructional facilities and office space.
6. Based on demands and future projections, make recommendations related to critical areas to achieve the unit mission.
K. Strategic Plan/Initiatives
For all sections below, use information from annual reports, action plans and the university planning database.
1. State the program's strategic plan. Describe how it relates to the university, college, and academic unit.
2. Describe the methods to be used to assess and evaluate the plan.
3. Plans for Implementation
a. Describe specific steps the program plans to initiate (e.g., substantive areas to concentrate on, changes in faculty workload, specific efforts to cooperate with other units of the university).
b. How will the academic unit use existing resources to achieve these changes?
c. With additional resources, what priorities will be addressed?
L. Potential Areas for Additional Review/Consulting
1. Identify two to three areas (in rank order) in which external consulting could benefit the program. These should not be generalities – the program must identify specific needs that will result in measureable outcomes. For example, the program may need assistance in developing a master's program, managing enrollment or developing hybrid-type instruction. List the areas and provide a brief (two-three paragraphs) justification for each.
The following documents are possible resources of information for the Internal Self Study. Extensive data should be stored on CDs or flash drives and referenced within the self-study.
1. Program requirements and curriculum design, including course descriptions
2. Alumni surveys
3. Number of declared majors and minors – a four-year retrospective summary (provided by the Office of Academic Affairs or academic unit records)
4. The service role of the academic unit – a four-year retrospective of overall enrollments including changes in student-faculty ratio as well as race/gender information provided by the Office of Academic Affairs and from academic unit records
5. Academic Unit Budget Information – salary and non-salary as a five-year retrospective from academic unit records or the Office of Academic Affairs
6. External support and sponsored research – a four -year retrospective (provided by Sponsored Programs)
7. Faculty vitae/information from Digital Measures or Tk20
8. Equipment and facilities – description and evaluation of facilities and equipment available as needed
9. Assessment Progress Template (APT)/ summary of assessment data collected annually in collaboration with CARS
10. The academic unit's current strategic plan and annual reports that provide a history of program changes
11. Course syllabi
12. All reports related to external accreditation
13. University planning database information on program objectives
14. University undergraduate and graduate catalogsFour Year Interim Report
If completing a Degree Granting and Academic Support APR, you must also complete a Four Year Interim Report.
|Stage One:||The academic unit head or designee(s) develops a written Four Year Interim Report addressing issues related to the previous APR. The Four Year Interim Report should be submitted to the Office of the Provost.|
|Stage Two:||The completed Four Year Interim Report is reviewed by representatives chosen by the Vice Provost for Academic Programs. After reviewing the Four Year Interim Report, these representatives will recommend further action(s) as needed.|
|Stage Three:||If further actions are recommended, an external team reviews the documents provided by the university, conducts an on-site visit and submits a written External Interim Team Report (EITR).|
|Stage Four:||Within four weeks of receiving the EIRT, the academic unit head and program faculty develop an action plan for integrating the results of the Four Year Interim Report. The plan is submitted to the dean for review and input. When approved, it is submitted to the Office of the Provost.|
|Stage Five:||After approval by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the action plan must be added as an objective into the Planning Database and reinforced in the program's annual report. Stage Five is an ongoing process, and the results should continue to be included in the annual report until recommendations have been addressed.|
Click here for a Microsoft Word version of the Four Year Interim Report Outline.
Use the outline below to construct the Internal Self-Study Four Year Interim Report. Subdivide the self-study by sections based on the outline headings. This report should be brief and address only the topics listed in the outline. The entire report should not exceed 10 pages.
I. Status of the Program
A. Compare the number of students served by the academic program currently to the number during the previous APR, including each of the areas below:
1. Student enrollment
2. Graduation rates
B. Compare the current resources to the resources from the previous APR, including:
1. Instructional Resources
3. Support Services (i.e., administrative assistance, technology support, etc.)
C. Compare the status of program graduates to those from the previous APR, including:
2. Certification Pass Rate
3. Graduate School
II. Status of Progress on APR Recommendations
A. Review of Recommendations from the previous APR
1. Based on the action plan created as part of the previous APR, evaluate the success of the action plan-related objective (from the Planning Database).
2. What were the main concerns raised in the previous APR?
3. What steps have been taken to address them? How successful have they been?
III. Modifications to Strategic Plan
A. Evaluation of current and future needs
1. What are current issues facing the program?
2. What new issues do you anticipate the program to encounter before the next external review?
B. Need for External Review
1. Identify two to three areas (in rank order) in which external consulting could benefit the program. These should not be generalities – the program must identify specific needs that will result in measureable outcomes. For example, the program may need assistance in developing a master's program, managing enrollment or developing hybrid-type instruction. List the areas and provide a brief (two to three paragraphs) justification for each.
C. Review of Additional Areas (Optional)
1. The Provost Office, with input from the supervising vice provost and deans, may select specific areas to address in a full report.