3.4.1 Academic Program Evaluation

A. Purpose

The purpose of the policy is to establish procedures for student learning assessment and evaluation of academic programs.  Quality academic programs result from an ongoing, collaborative, and systematic review process by faculty.  Graduate programs undergo periodic external reviews by qualified reviewers with expertise in the field of study and who possess knowledge of generally recognized best practices in higher education, augment the internal practices. In addition, undergraduate programs participating in professional accreditation have external reviews. The results of annual assessments and regularly scheduled external reviews are used by the programs as part of a commitment to continuous quality improvement that emphasize student success.

B. Persons Affected

All faculty and academic administrators.

C. Definitions

Not applicable.

D. Policy

Each academic program will identify a program mission that demonstrates alignment with the UT Tyler Mission and strategic plan.  Faculty shall develop appropriate program level student learning outcomes and assessment methods.  A program assessment plan report shall be updated annually to document how well and to what extent students attain the program learning outcomes and how results are integrated into curriculum and other programmatic planning decisions. 

E. Responsibilities

Faculty and heads of all academic units

F. Procedures

Faculty shall identify student learning outcomes that reflect higher order cognitive skills as applicable to discipline-specific knowledge and skills, and/or values that students are expected to achieve.  Each student learning outcome should be aspirational but attainable, observable, and measurable.  Each course in the program curriculum should relate to the student learning outcomes.  An assessment plan should be in place to determine how well students are performing on each of the identified student learning outcomes. Assessment results should be analyzed collaboratively by the faculty to inform future curricular or programmatic changes or to the revision of outcomes or assessment methods. 

Annual assessment plan reports shall be prepared by the faculty in each program. Internal rubrics are used to evaluate the annual assessment plan reports by assessment liaisons, the Office of Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness, and the appropriate academic college dean. An Institutional Effectiveness Advisory Committee, comprised of representatives from each college, is available to provide assessment resources and support. 

Annually, each college dean shall present a college assessment overview to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Ongoing program improvements that require new funding or reallocation of existing funds are identified and included in the budget planning process.

In addition to student learning outcomes, each academic program should identify program impact outcomes and specified measures indicating student achievement based upon recognized key performance indicators appropriate to the academic program (e.g., student performance on licensure exams, student admission into professional programs, student scholarship, etc.).  Academic programs that are reviewed by professional accrediting organizations should include performance metrics reported to those agencies.  The program outcome results and use of results shall be included in the annual assessment report. 

All master’s and doctoral programs shall be reviewed and evaluated on a seven-year cycle in compliance with Texas Administrative Code Rule 5.52 criteria and procedures.  Additionally, each doctoral program should include the “18 Characteristics of Texas Doctoral Programs” in the annual program effectiveness reporting. The data for each doctoral program should be updated each academic year on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board website.   

G. Review

This policy shall be reviewed every five years or sooner if necessary by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

H. Reference Documents

SACS Commission on Colleges “Principles of Accreditation: Foundation for Quality Enhancement”: Institutional Effectiveness – Educational Programs)

The University of Texas System Rule 50801: Student Learning Outcomes Assessment 

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board “Graduate Program Review”

 Texas Administrative Code – Rule 5.52

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board “18 Characteristics of Doctoral Programs”

Texas Administrative Code – Rule 5.51

The University of Texas at Tyler – Office of Assessment & Institutional Effectiveness “External Program Review” 

ORIGINALLY APPROVED: 12/01/2001

AMENDED: 06/10/2016

AMENDED: 02/2019