Institutional Effectiveness

Office of Institutional Effectiveness


Academic Program Review and Planning

Academic Year 2014-15

This page contains all necessary materials for academic program review and planning (APR&P). As the process proceeds, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness will continue to improve the implementation guide and post new frequently asked questions. Please check back regularly for updates.

Page Updated July 2, 2014

Procedures and Self-Study Instructions

Instructions for Completing Documentation

Academic Program Review and Planning Self-Study Guides

Self-Study Templates
Observation Rubric

APR&P Observation Consideration Rubric


Information to Assist in the Review Process

  • List of programs with start dates (Pending)

For Department Chairs and Directors

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs Sorted by Date

June 30, 2014

Since the goal is to have the academic program faculty participate with the department chair or director in completion of the APR&P self-study, when can we get started? I simply cannot wait until Oct 2014!

    Academic units are encouraged to begin to review the APR&P documents during the summer to understand the scope of the self-study and data necessary for planning responses. All APR&P materials are now posted on the Office for Institutional Effectiveness' webpage for Academic Program Review and Planning. In addition, the data sets are available now and may be located through COGNOS accounts. Data being produced by the Office of the Vice President for Research and other University offices (e.g., human resources, grants and contracts, University budgets) will be available in August.

What will happen if my program or department/school has not developed a lot of the formal assessment information being requested in the APR&P? It would take 100s of hours to both develop the assessment material and complete the self-study.

    Keeping the work load for completion of the APR&P self-study to a minimum was one of our priorities. In fact much of the process is built around established data, reports and practices already in place at WMU. The APR&P process should be able to utilize existing strategic plan documents, assessment plans, enrollment projections, faculty data, and recent accreditation or academic affairs program reviews For programs that have not engaged in formal systematic review and data analysis, the review and planning will have the greatest benefit. We hope the APR&P self-study will assist with the ongoing program improvement. In other words if in the program review process we (the program, department, college and provost) discover that a program is not able to respond to the criteria, planning will begin with helping program units strategically manage the information. We plan to hold many work sessions to help department chairs and directors navigate the data collection, not just for the purpose of review but as a tool for your planning. By engaging in the self-study each program is better positioned to strategically plan for quality improvement as well as negotiate the integrated planning of the college and university. Recommendations from the self-study will become part of the department and college strategic plans, your assessment plans, etc. This way we truly have shared governance and stewardship of our academic programs.

Is "research" still considered a program? We have heard conflicting information about this. If so, how are we to separate research from its role in our programs and the unit as a whole?

    All of the updated documents included research as part of the academic program offerings. IT was felt that teaching research and service are all important in the planning of academic units. There will most likely be overlap in self-study reports when it relates to research and creative activities as there will be with service. Each program is encouraged to highlight the unique contribution program personnel and students make to the larger research and service mission of the academic unit whenever possible.

What is the connection between Academic Program Review and potential reallocation of resources? Specifically, where are the savings to come from if not from faculty lines?

    The process encourages each academic unit and college to look at their programs differently. Identify what is valued; what activities are inconsistent with those values, what opportunities should be pursued. Reallocation of resources is just part of the possible outcomes of program planning. If programs are reviewed for their relevancy, cost contribution, opportunities for growth, challenges for long term sustainability, leadership will be in a better position to allocate resources. This is not about cutting and reallocating, more about restoring strategic balance.

How will we know that the process has been successful?

    The academic units will have a well-documented and discussed self-study to work with for the purpose of strategic planning. The deans will have a mechanism for review of programs that align with Academic Affairs Strategic Plan and can assist with university level discussions. The provost will have a standardized process to discuss with deans and department chairs new program options.

Announcements of Upcoming Events

Event Date Time Location Topic
Brown Bag Lunch July 9, 2014 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. 159 Bernhard Center APR&P Criteria A-C
Brown Bag Lunch July 16, 2014 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. 159 Bernhard Center APR&P Criteria D-E
Brown Bag Lunch August 6, 2014 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. 159 Bernhard Center APR&P Criteria A-C
Brown Bag Lunch August 20, 2014 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. 159 Bernhard Center APR&P Criteria D-E

Submit Questions and Queries

Dr. Jody Brylinsky

WMU Strategic Plan Annual Effectiveness Report: Year One 2012-13 is available
Global Engagement Leads WMU Faculty, Staff and Students to Spain
The STARS TAC completed year-long readiness assessment of sustainability criteria outlined in the AASHE guidelines.
WMU Hosts the First Annual Michigan Autism Conference
WMU has begun to further develop the BTR Park with sustainability-minded industries.

Office of Institutional Effectiveness
B-112 Henry Hall
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5253 USA
(269) 387-0399 | (269) 387-4377 Fax
Click to Send Email