THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA
ACADEMIC PROGRAM REVIEW
Form 1: Background

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Background:

The 1984 Plan for Progress for the University included as a goal the development and implementation of a system of program review as an integral part of the overall planning process.  A calendar that combines governance, accreditation, program reviews, and leadership evaluations was established in 1984, and a regularly scheduled review of programs was initiated.  Coincident with these developments, the Alabama Commission on Higher Educa­tion (ACHE) implemented a policy requiring regular review of all existing programs of instruction, research, and service.  Moreover, the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) requires regular review of all academic programs.

Based on a recommendation by the Council of Deans, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs revised the review of existing programs for the five-year period 1989-90 through 1993-94.  The schedule combined, to the maximum extent possible, reviews for accreditation and governance with the internal program reviews. 

 

In 1996 the Provost and academic deans effected two changes in the program review process.  The first was to alter the typical review cycle of “full” reviews from five years to eight years for programs that are not subject to external accreditation.  The second was to initiate the “modified” review of programs subject to external accreditation, with such reviews occurring at the same time that an accredited unit is conducting the self-study for its accreditation site visit.

 

The goal of review is continuous program improvement. Program review committees and external consultants identify program strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities, and they offer specific recommendations to assist programs in their efforts to improve. 

 

As of 2000 each department undergoing full review formulates an Action Plan in consultation with the dean’s office to which the department reports.  For each recommendation in the report of the program review, the Action Plan must state what action(s) will be taken, who is responsible, and what the timetable is for completion.   Three-year, required follow-up reports began in May 2006 for reviews completed in May  2003.  The Action Plan and the department’s three-year follow-up report on the Plan are integral components of the University’s ongoing Institutional Effectiveness initiatives.  Materials developed for program reviews are presented to the Chancellor’s Office in the form of an executive summary and are an important component of the University’s Compliance Certification for SACS reaffirmation, as are the UAOPS unit profiles and degree-program profiles that the department revises for the review and attaches either to Form 2 (for full reviews) or Form 2M (for modified reviews).

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For more information please contact Dr. John Schmitt: jschmitt@ua.edu

Background | Procedures | Timetable | Master Schedule | Accreditation Summary | Review Forms