Loyola University Chicago

Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Conducting APRs

A general description of the Academic Program Review process is outlined here.  Units preparing for and undergoing APR should contact the Office of Institutional Effectiveness with questions and concerns.

Confirm guidelines for Academic Program Review

The Provost appoints the Academic Program Review (APR) Committee to be comprised adminstrators, faculty and staff representing university stakeholders from various units. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) provides staffing support to coordinate the APR process by serving as liaison to units and the APR Committee.

At the start of the APR process, OIE and the APR Committee in consultation with the Provost will work with a unit engaged in the APR process to specify the programs (both undergraduate and graduate) on which to focus. OIE and the APR Committee will provide for each unit specific requirements for the APR process and for the Report on its findings.  After the unit’s self-study OIE and the APR Committee will review the Report and make recommendations.

Academic Program Review Self-Study and Report

Each unit’s Academic Program Review (APR) self-study should be a process of candid internal, evidence-based inquiry that describes unit programs and activities and analyzes strengths and weaknesses. Based on these findings, the unit then collaboratively reflects on plans for improvement.  The unit produces a written Report to the APR Committee and Provost.

The data to be used as a foundation for the self-study and Report includes:

  • Portfolio of findings supplied by the Office of Institutional Research including data specific to the unit and its specific undergraduate and graduate programs
  • Findings from unit-directed regularly conducted assessments of student learning outcomes aligned to specific programs and, in some cases, to specific courses, to the core curriculum, and to other learning goals of a student’s Loyola experience.  See Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment
  • Other data collected over time by the unit as part of its efforts to understand student, faculty and alumni experiences--some of these data may be specific to the needs for special accreditation processes

Interpret and gather feedback

OIE and the APR Committee reviews a unit’s self-study APR Report. Then they provide the Provost with their reflections on the quality of evidence considered and the depth of dialogue held within the units undergoing APR.

The Provost provides the unit leadership with recommendations and works with the unit leadership to establish direction and objectives for the unit’s strategic planning.

Strategize and plan

The unit prepares a five-year Action Plan in consultation with its leadership and Office of the Provost.  The Action Plan is provided to the Provost and their Dean.  The plan includes details on the activities to be carried out, the resources to be used in the implementation of the plan, and metrics to be monitored to access progress toward objectives.  The plan should be created collaboratively with input and discussion across the unit.

Implement and monitor Action Plan

The unit implements its Action Plan and collects data to monitor progress.  The unit prepares a report on progress made toward the objectives of its plan according to a timeline determined in collaboration with the Provost.  The report is reviewed by the Provost and the Dean who offer feedback.

The unit will regularly share progress related to the Action Plan at faculty meetings.  In addition to discussing activities relative to the agreed upon goals and objectives of the plan, the unit may propose changes in its Action Plan and objectives based on the experience and the changing realities affecting the unit during subsequent years.

Documenting APRs, Assessment and Improvement

A report management system for archiving and sharing records of Academic Program Review self-study reports, feedback and action plans is under development and will be outlined here when finalized.  This system will also have the capacity to store annual records of programs’ assessment of student learning outcomes.