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UAS has strategically placed self-assessment at the heart of its activities. Through this commitment to continuous self-reflection and improvement, UAS has developed a culture of assessment that guides decision-making institution-wide. A key facet of UAS’s assessment activities is assessing student achievement of pre-defined learning outcomes. The process starts with the development of learning outcomes assessment plans for each academic program, followed by plan implementation, reporting, and ultimately looping back the insights gained from this process into program improvements. Program reviews, required by Board of Regents policy, are an integral part of our practice to ensure that we meet UAS’s mission. Reviews focus on data-informed evidence of quality teaching and learning, graduation effectiveness, success of graduates in securing employment or advancing their educational goals, community engagement, adequacy of available resources, alignment with related programs at UAS and across UA, and program elements requiring improvement.

Details on this project such as student competencies, and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the companion tabs of this assessment page. You may also download the UAS Academic Program Assessment & Review schedule.

Program Review Procedures

The following program review procedures include an explanation how they are intended to assist faculty and administration decision-making, the different types of reviews conducted, the review process, considerations for reviews of programs with specialized accreditations, the basic review calendar, and format for reviews.

These procedures are based upon the following University of Alaska Board of Regents policy and regulations.

Board of Regents - Academic Program Review Policy (P10.06.010) (04-04-14)

  1. In accordance with P10.04.020, it is the responsibility of the board to review and cause the initiation, augmentation, reduction or discontinuance of programs according to the mission of the university and its constituent institutions. This includes a degree or certificate program approved by the board.
  2. Each MAU will conduct assessments of all instructional, research, and service programs with respect to quality, efficiency, and contribution to mission and goals. Assessments of instructional programs will include analysis of educational effectiveness as an essential part of the ongoing continuous improvement and accreditation processes. Assessments will be conducted at a minimum of every seven years. Occupational endorsements and workforce credentials approved by the president will be subject to review at the MAU level.
  3. Exceptional reviews may be conducted as needed, to respond to issues including but not limited to specific academic or budgetary concerns. An expedited review process tailored to the particular circumstances shall be used for exceptional reviews.

Board of Regents - Academic Program Review Regulations (R10.06.010) (06-22-05)

  1. Purpose

    This regulation suggests the elements each campus of the statewide system should employ in its review of academic programs.

  2. Elements for Evaluation

    The programs of each of the university's major units follow from its respective mission (Policy 01.01); changes in programs should be consistent with and guided by these mission statements.

    The necessary elements that a unit should assess during the program review process include the following:

    1. Centrality of the program to the mission, needs and purposes of the university and the unit;
    2. Quality of the program, as determined by the establishment and regular assessment of program outcomes. Outcomes should be comprehensive, and indications of achievement should involve multiple measures and satisfy the properties of good evidence;
    3. Demand for program services, as indicated by measures such as: credit hour production appropriate to the program's mission, services performed by the program in support of other programs, graduates produced, the prospective market for graduates, expressed need by clientele in the service area, documented needs of the state and/or nation for specific knowledge, data, or analysis, other documented need;
    4. Program productivity and efficiency as indicated by courses, student credit hours, sponsored proposals and service achievements produced in comparison to the number of faculty and staff and the costs of program support;
    5. Timeliness of an action to augment, reduce or discontinue the program;
    6. Cost of the program relative to the cost of comparable programs or to revenue produced;
    7. Unnecessary program duplication resulting from the existence of a similar program or programs elsewhere in the University of Alaska statewide system.

Program review procedures include:

  • an annual audit conducted by the dean/director of the school in which the program is housed.
  • a cyclical review conducted every five (5) years — following guidance from the NWCCU; and
  • special reviews initiated by the chancellor, provost, or academic dean based on empirical data such as the annual audit or other relevant information.

Program reviews assist the faculty, dean, and the university administration in:

  • evaluating the contribution of the program to the mission of the university;
  • evaluating the contribution of the program to the community;
  • evaluating the degree to which the program is achieving its educational goals;
  • identifying the relative strengths and weaknesses of the program;
  • developing plans and priorities for the future of the program;
  • providing appropriate recognition to the program;
  • determining need for change or program improvement; and
  • evaluating the value of the program to the State of Alaska.

Types of Reviews

Annual Audit
All programs shall be reviewed annually by the dean/director.
Program Review
Provides for evaluation of degree or certificate program approved by the Board of Regents, a discipline, a minor, a distinct option, emphasis, or track within the academic program, or a sequence of specific academic requirements leading to another type of credential or certification.
Special Program Review
The Chancellor, the Provost, or the program’s Dean may call for a Special Program Review prior to the Annual Audit or the regular Program Review if events trigger the necessity. The same committee structure as that for the regular Program Review will be used.
Departmental Self-Study
Like a program review, except all programs within a discipline undergo cyclical review simultaneously.

Process and Deliverables

  • At the beginning of the review process, the School Dean will appoint a Lead Person to conduct the review. This person should be a faculty member familiar with the degree program(s) under review.
  • UAS Institutional Effectiveness (UAS IE) will work with the Lead Person to generate a Program Review Packet containing the data called out in the various sections of the Review Format below and to generate other data to enhance the review process.
  • The department undergoing review will use the Format for Review section to prepare a packet of materials for each program being reviewed. This will be reviewed by the School Committee which will consist of the faculty and key staff members involved in the program(s) delivery, and at least one student well along in each program under review. The Lead Person will submit a draft based on the School Committee’s input to the School Dean.
  • The Provost will appoint an Institutional Review Committee (IRC) including three reviewers from the program, two others from the university community and one reviewer external to UAS with expertise in the discipline.
  • The Institutional Review Committee will review the program(s) and write a report that addresses the program(s) strengths, weaknesses/deficiencies. The IRC will provide one of the following recommendations: continuation without change, continuation with change, or discontinuation. Any recommendations to discontinue a program must provide rationale consistent with BOR Policy and University Regulation 10.04.02C, including appropriate review and recommendation by the UAS Curriculum Committee or Graduate Committee.
  • The departmental faculty will review and respond to the IRC’s report.
  • The Dean will write a response to the report indicating what actions, if any, will be taken at the department level and any recommendations for university action.
  • All materials will then be forwarded to the Provost for final review. The Provost will respond, indicating any university actions that will be taken.

Accredited Programs

Program reviews for programs that hold professional accreditation will be conducted simultaneously with development of the accreditation self-study whenever possible.

At the discretion of the departmental faculty, any degree program that holds professional accreditation may be reviewed by an alternate process if a substantive accreditation evaluation has been conducted since the last comprehensive review. In this case the departmental faculty may elect to use the report of the accreditation evaluators instead of a report issued by the review committee.

Review Calendar

The deadline dates will be established by the Provost as reviews are commissioned and review committees are appointed. This calendar shows the months in which various review actions are to take place. Current proposed schedule for FY18 submitted by Faculty Senate leadership and agreed upon 9/13/17. 

Review Calendar
March 15, 2017Dean/Directors identify lead person
September 1, 2017Institutional Effectiveness provides date for all programs
November 14, 2017Program committee completes initial detailed program review document and materials; submits to department chair
November 28, 2017Department Chair submits to Dean/Director for completeness
December 5, 2017Dean/Director forwards to Provost's Office. Provost forwards to IRC for review.
February 5, 2018IRC sends report and recommendations to Provost. Provost forwards to Program committee
February 19, 2018Program committee review of the IRC Report is submitted to Dean/Director for review
March 12, 2018Dean/Director sends program and IRC report reviews to the Provost
April 2, 2018Provost provides final recommendations to Chancellor based upon program review process

* Institutional Review Committee selected by the Provost

Format for Review

The data used in the review shall consist of the materials from UAS IE, and:

  • dean’s annual audit reports (if any written reports were done)
  • outcomes assessment plan and results
  • significant changes since the last comprehensive review

The following outline should be followed where it contributes to the clarity of the review. It should be considered a guideline subject to modification where necessary to communicate the review findings. Review should be short and effective.

1.0 Program Profile
  1. 1.1. Degrees, diplomas, certificates, and/or minors and the mission and goals of each. Source: UAS Catalog, UAS IE
  2. 1.2. Brief history of program. Sources: UAS Catalogs, Program internal documents
  3. 1.3. Summary of strengths and deficiencies, and recommendations of previous reviews. Source: Previous reviews
  4. 1.4. Program consistency with institutional mission and goals. Sources: UAS Strategic Plan and School/Program Plans
  5. 1.5. Interactions and/or duplication with other programs on campus (support for other majors, general education, etc.). Sources: Program internal documents
  6. 1.6. Transferability to and from similar programs at other University of Alaska institutions.
  7. 1.7. Statewide implications or mission. Source: UA Board of Regents Strategic Plan
  8. 1.8. List program student learning outcomes, describe how they are assessed, and summarize how well students are meeting the outcomes. Sources: Assessment plan and reports
  9. 1.9 Alignment, correlation, and integration of the program with respect to accomplishment of core theme objectives. Source: Metrics from UAS IE, narrative from faculty
  10. 1.10 Continuous improvement review: Analysis of coherent program design, breadth, depth, sequencing of courses, and synthesis of learning. Source: Assessment Plan
  11. 1.11. Other appropriate data from department records
2.0 Faculty Profile
  1. 2.1. Headcount and instructional full-time equivalent (FTE) for full and adjunct faculty for each of the past five years. Source: UAS IE
  2. 2.2. A profile of unit faculty with degrees, areas of specialization, rank and tenure status, years of experience, gender and minority composition. Sources: UAS IE and program internal documents
  3. 2.3. A program profile of the productivity of the faculty, including teaching, service, research and creative activities, and administrative responsibilities for each of the past five years. Sources: UAS IE and program internal documents
  4. 2.4. Average student credit hours (SCH) per full-time equivalent (FTE) faculty per academic year for each of the past five years. Source: UAS IE
  5. 2.5. Comparison of student credit hours (SCH) per full-time equivalent (FTE) faculty for the program with similar programs at peer institutions, as comparative data become available. Similar programs and peer institutions may be suggested by the faculty of the program under review, the dean of the college, and/or the Provost. Source: UAS IE
  6. 2.6. Average class size by full-time and adjunct faculty. Source: UAS IE
  7. 2.7. Student/faculty ratio. Source: UAS IE
3.0 Student Profile
  1. 3.1. Student credit hours (SCH) generated for each of the past five years. Source: UAS IE
  2. 3.2. Special admission standards or other measures of selecting students, if applicable. Source: Program internal documents
  3. 3.3. Number of admitted students including pre-majors in programs, where applicable. Source: UAS IE
  4. 3.4. Annual number of graduates by completion level (certificate, diploma, degree) for each of the past five years. Source: UAS IE
  5. 3.5. Retention Profile for the past five years. Source: UAS IE
  6. 3.6. Completion Profile for the past five years. Source: UAS IE
  7. 3.7. Analysis and commentary on enrollment trends and attrition or retention rates. Source: Program internal documents
  8. 3.8. Quality of graduates (criteria used by the program in their self-study and/or by reviewers should be clearly defined). Source: Program assessment plan documents
  9. 3.9. Employment demand for and placement rate of graduates for each of the past five years (This may include informal data gathered by the programs). Source: UAS IE
4.0 Program Costs
  1. 4.1. Direct instructional costs per student credit hour (SCH) for each of the past five years.
  2. 4.2. Comparison of cost per student credit hour (SCH) to other programs (if information is available).
5.0 Program Support
  1. 5.1. Adequacy of library holdings. Source: Egan Library Reports
  2. 5.2. Adequacy of facilities, technology, laboratory and other equipment, including plans for equipment maintenance and replacement. Sources: Program internal documents and peer data when available
  3. 5.3. Adequacy of professional development funds. Sources: Program internal documents and peer data when available
  4. 5.4. Adequacy of staff/student support. Sources: Program internal documents and peer data when available
  5. 5.5. Adequacy of budget. Sources: Program internal documents and peer data when available
  6. 5.6. Other
6.0 Qualitative Information
  1. 6.1. Special departmental characteristics, including, for example, unique features,  benchmarking with other programs and program simulations. Sources: Program internal documents and materials from other higher education reports
  2. 6.2. Programs with advisory committees should provide a list of members of the advisory committee, the business/industry each member represents, and results of committee activities concerning curriculum, equipment, and faculty. Sources: Program internal documents
  3. 6.3. Innovations in pedagogy, professional development, application of technology, etc. Sources: Program internal documents
  4. 6.4. Comment from program advisory committees for those programs that have them. Sources: Program internal documents
  5. 6.5. Other
7.0 Review committee recommendations and comments
  1. 7.1. Program strengths
  2. 7.2. Program weaknesses/deficiencies
  3. 7.3. Recommendations for change
  4. 7.4. Recommendation for continuance/discontinuance
8.0 Departmental responses to the recommendations of the review committee.
No action required after submission.
9.0 Dean/director’s responses to the recommendations of prior reviews
No action required after submission.
10.0 Provost’s response to dean/director and prior review.
No action required after submission. No action required.

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