All existing degree programs and approved certificates are reviewed once every eight-years. From start to finish, the entire process generally takes four semesters to complete. The following section briefly describes the benchmarks that units are expected to meet in each of the four semesters. For detailed information, please access the program review manual for programs.
Note that degree programs may use findings from specialized program accreditations and other reviews as a basis for the program review as long as the findings are not more than two years old. When these programs are called for the IBHE review, they do not need to go through a review process but are required to submit documents used for specialized accreditation reviews to APRA.
Programs Outline for Program Review
Step 1: Hold Informational Meeting
- Invite appropriate Deans and Department Heads.
- Introduce to academic program review process, its purposes and guidelines.
Step 2: Form Self-Study Committee
- Form Self-Study Committee consisting of three-or more junior and senior faculty and/or related staff.
Write Self Study
Step 3: Write Self-Study
Self-Study gives an opportunity to showcase accomplishments while also identifying strategic areas for improvement. The department should write/develop a self-study document that focuses on :
- Quality of resources and processes.
- Effectiveness in achieving the program’s mission and objectives.
- Addressing UIC’s strategic priorities.
The suggested length is 15-25 pages plus appendices. It should be shared with faculty and staff and approved by the Dean of the college.
External Reviewer Selection
Step 4: External Reviewer Selection
The external reviewers help units to discuss challenges and ways to address them with respected, knowledgeable, and experienced colleagues from the field. The external review team consists of two or more members. The department submits five recommended reviewers to APRA who then selects the final two reviewers.
External Review Site Visit and Unit Response
Step 5: External Review Site Visit
Over a two-day site visit the external reviewers
- Analyze the self-study report
- Conduct interviews with faculty, staff, students, Dean, Director, Department Head, alumni etc.
Within three weeks of the visit, the external review team submits a report of findings, observations, and recommendations to APRA.
Step 6: Unit Response
Step 6: Unit Response
Within six weeks of receiving the external review team report from APRA, the program and college submit a joint written response in which they can corroborate, challenge, or expand on any of the reviewers’ observations and conclusions.
SCEP Recommendation and Follow-up Meeting
Step 7: SCEP Review and Recommendation
The Senate Committee on Educational Policy
- Reads the self-study report, external review team report, and unit response.
- Meets the department head or his/her designee.
- Provides feedback and recommendations to programs about strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.
- Recommends one of three review outcomes ‘In Good Standing’, ‘Flagged for Priority Review’ ‘ Considered for Suspension’.
Step 8: Follow-up Meeting
Following the SCEP recommendation, the Vice Provost, Dean, and Department Head meet to consider the recommendations and to discuss potential links between the review findings and strategic planning.
Step 9: IBHE Reporting
In the summer following the completion of a review, APRA submits a two- to three-page summary report of the findings to the IBHE.
Drawing from the unit’s self-study report, external team report, unit response, and SCEP’s recommendations, the summary comprises the following sections:
- Major changes in the program since the last review
- Major findings and recommendations
- Actions taken since the last review
- Actions to be taken to as a result of the current review
- Institutional decision on the outcome of the current review
Follow-up Report (if applicable)
- Programs with a review outcome of “flagged for priority review” are to submit annual interim reports to APRA until the status of “good standing” is achieved.
- Programs with a review outcome of “program suspended” must submit an annual status report to APRA.
- Programs with a review outcome of “in good standing” with a follow-up requirement are expected to submit their report to APRA at a due date decided by SCEP.