Academic program reviews demonstrate our commitment to the quality and continuous improvement of our educational programs and how we promote student learning and success. Program evaluation can help guide effective planning and resource allocation and provide insight into how our curriculum, scholarly activity, and service advance our mission and serve the state, nation, and global communities.
The program review process has been modified to optimize the cycle of alignment of undergraduate and graduate program reviews with one another.
The primary goal of Academic Program Review is the continuous improvement of undergraduate and graduate programs. It provides critical information about the size and stability of a program, its future faculty resources and student market, its strengths and weaknesses, and its contribution to the mission of the institution. It helps set goals and directions for the future and ensures that overall academic planning and budget decisions are based on accurate data and agreed-upon priorities. The information gathered in the review process, particularly the assessment of program strengths and needs, provides compelling evidence of the quality of undergraduate and graduate programs and the foundation on which future improvements should be built.
Use prior APRs, accreditation self-studies (if applicable), and internal and external benchmarks to highlight program achievements and improvements. Address recommendations for change made in the previous APR and assess the extent to which the program has successfully addressed any concerns from the previous review.
Describe clearly the academic planning done by program faculty, including department/program level strategic planning, program choices, budgeting and resource allocation, decision-making processes, governance, program goals, and objectives.
Using relevant data, clearly document the program’s assessment plan for student achievement and the process for implementing change based on assessment results. Demonstrate how the loop has been closed.
Where applicable, APRs will be scheduled to coincide with accreditation activities. When determined by the Dean, VPAA, and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) (for graduate programs), accreditation self-study reports or portions thereof can serve as the basis for components of the APR, and accreditation team site visits can serve as an external evaluation. Programs will be required to enter content from accrediting reports into SPOL, but may do so by appending the accreditation report and providing a reference to the relevant section of the accreditation report under each APR question, as in “See Section One, paragraph two of Accreditation Report.” Any APR questions/sections not addressed by the accreditation report must be answered in SPOL. When undergraduate and graduate programs differ in whether they are subject to accreditation, the Dean has the discretion to work with the VPAA and Dean of SGS to determine how best to reconcile the review process.
North Dakota State Board of Higher Education Policy 403.1.2 requires each institution to review undergraduate programs at least every seven years, graduate programs at least every ten years, and new programs after five years. The UND APR satisfies state-level review requirements and stands as a tool for programs as they engage in academic planning.
In view of changes in methods of instruction and delivery, the evolution of program requirements and outcomes as a function of a changing landscape within higher education and for employment, and the need to align program goals and outcomes with the university’s strategic mission and vision, the UND APR is expected to occur for all programs every five years, although exceptions to this timeline may be requested to the VPAA office to align APR with accreditation cycles.
In conjunction with the VPAA and Dean of SGS, Academic Deans are responsible for scheduling and monitoring the progress of APRs within their respective colleges or schools. Progress evaluation facilitates continuous improvement and alignment with strategic goals and objectives at all levels