Periodic Program Review

Academic program reviews promote and maintain high quality undergraduate and graduate programs that are effective and consistent with the mission and resources of the department and the University. They verify that AUB’s existing programs meet or exceed international standards of academic excellence and also aid in the identification of promising new areas for programmatic offerings. Faculty members, new and returning students and, indeed, the University community as a whole all benefit from a rigorous and effective review process.

A successful review depends on the proper assessment of course and program learning outcomes and the use of assessment results to improve student learning. While such improvements can and should be made on an annual basis, major programmatic changes usually require a formal process of review. During the review, the department prepares a reflective self-study to examine its educational programs and practices, and to evaluate their quality and progress. The self-study also identifies future program needs, directions, and priorities. It is carefully studied by a pair of external reviewers who visit the campus and prepare a separate report, which may lead to modification of the department’s plan for program enhancement, creation, or termination.

Next, the departmental self-study, the reviewers’ report, and the responses of the dean and chair are examined by an internal review committee, which summarizes all findings and the agreed-upon recommendations in a final report submitted to the provost, dean, and departmental chair. The provost presents the plan’s financial implications to academic and administrative heads for their input and asks the Senate to consider and approve its educational aspects. The plan thus forms the basis for all future actions related to planning, budgeting, and program improvement.

Timing of Reviews

  • All undergraduate and graduate programs and departments without professional accreditation are reviewed at least once every eight years. Accredited programs/departments will follow the timeline required by the accrediting body.
  • The Provost’s Office maintains, in coordination with the deans, a schedule for the periodic in-depth review of undergraduate and graduate programs. The schedule lists all undergraduate and graduate programs identified for review during the multi-year cycle.
  • Departments are requested to review all of their degree programs simultaneously and to submit one self-study report. Requests for the separate review of undergraduate and graduate programs require the prior approval of the relevant dean, the Board of Graduate Studies, and the provost.
  • Departments that review programs for professional accreditation by external boards, commissions, or other agencies follow the schedule and requirements of that body for the accredited programs.
  • The academic review process typically follows a 21-month timeline from written notification of program review to the submission of the final Internal Review Committee report to the provost.