EAPR – Self-Study

Accredited programs follow the self-study specifications established by their accreditors. All others follow the guidelines posted here.

At the heart of a useful self-study for program review is a question: What is the program’s performance in relation to its purposes/goals and its intended outcomes/objectives? To answer that question, a program offers evidence and analysis in support of conclusions reached on the basis of agreed-upon criteria. It stands to reason that the value of the conclusions reached will depend on the soundness and persuasiveness of the evidence offered and the analysis performed. The self-study requires identification of external reference points and disciplinary/professional best practices to ensure an appropriate context for the evidence, analysis, and evaluation.

Note: The order of elements in this outline is not required in detail; it has, however, been chosen to provide a reasonable progression of information, ideas, and evaluation. The ADHE document “Existing Program Review: Institutional Self-Study Guidelines” outlines specific information that must be included as relevant to the program (see ADHE Self-Study Guidelines). UCA’s EAPR processes allow for additional components or materials as a program sees fit. Evidence for conclusions drawn should include the views of as many constituents as is appropriate to the particular matter being considered.

  1. Title Page
  2. Introduction
    • Program history, purposes, and description, including alignment of the program with university mission/purposes and core values
    • Program’s student “outputs” over time: number of majors and minors, number of graduates, information about graduates’ placements (e.g., graduate or professional school, discipline-related employment, etc.). This sort of information is generally reported as annual numbers during the years covered by the self-study.
    • Summary response to the last program review
    • Identification of the program’s external reference points and disciplinary/professional best practices supported in the literature. External reference points might include benchmark programs at other institutions, published professional standards, and government-/foundation-sponsored (e.g., NSF) criteria.
  3. Physical and Financial Resources
    • Description
    • Evaluation in relation to external reference points and best practices
    • Conclusions: strengths and concerns
  4. Faculty and Staff Resources
    • Description (See ADHE Faculty Information Guidelines for specific information required for full-time faculty.)
    • Evaluation in relation to external reference points and best practices
    • Conclusions: strengths and concerns
  5. Curriculum
    • Description
    • Evaluation in relation to external reference points and best practices
    • Conclusions: strengths and concerns
  6. Assessment of Program Outcomes, Including Student Learning Outcomes
    This is the evaluative heart of the self-study, focusing on the program’s performance in relation to its intended outcomes or objectives and informed by the program’s established continuous improvement plan and results of its use.
    • Description of continuous improvement plan and processes
    • Results of assessment
    • Conclusions: strengths and concerns
  7. Evaluative Conclusion: Program Improvement
    This section brings together in one place the evaluative material from all the other sections of the self-study, presenting in summary format the strengths and concerns identified in those evaluations and outlining the program’s planned responses. The outline of planned responses should clearly set forth a plan for action for each area of concern, including specific information about steps to be taken, their sequence, a projected timetable for action, how outcomes of the plan of action will be evaluated, and person(s) responsible for action.