UNC Charlotte Academic Procedure: Academic Support Review

I. Executive Summary

UNC Charlotte’s Academic, Student, and Administrative Support Program Review process is intended to:

  1. Assess quality and effectiveness of Academic, Student, and Administrative support units
  2. Support high quality planning for future improvements
  3. Increase student success
  4. Ensure services are consistent with University-wide strategic priorities

As an institution, UNC Charlotte is committed to continuous improvement. Program Review is an important mechanism towards that goal. Program Reviews provide external feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of units that will inform plans for future improvements.

II. Procedure Statement

At minimum, the Academic, Student, and Administrative support program review process should include: 1) examination of the function of the unit that leads to the identification of keys issues and areas for future improvements; 2) evaluation from individuals outside of the unit; and 3) a strategic plan based on the findings of the self-assessment. The cycle of review continues three years later with a mid-cycle report on actions taken as a result of the review and concludes with a final close-out report that summarizes accomplishments.

Academic, Student, and Administrative support program reviews should be conducted every 5-7 years. Considerations that might lead to a delay beyond seven years include a recent transition to a new director, recent organizational change, or changes to compliance or certification schedules. The Office of Assessment and Accreditation offers consultation and support for all stages of the program review. The program review process will extend, at most, over one year.

General Process

  1. Self-Study – The self-study is the unit’s narrative description of its strategy, strengths, opportunities, and challenges. The most useful self-studies are candid and thorough, yet succinct. The self-study should be informative to experts in the field, but also accessible to internal reviewers who may not have as much experience in the field. A strong self-study provides a concise assessment of the unit’s strengths and opportunity areas, focuses on analysis of identified key issues, utilizes data in support of analyses and recommendations, and is forward looking. The self-study should be prepared by a team that includes broad representation of members of the unit, but can include faculty and students. The self-study should include the following sections: Executive Summary, Overview, Data Summary of Key Areas, Strategic Direction, Identification of Key Issues and Areas of Improvement, Notes, and Appendices.
  2. External Review – As part of the self-study process, units will include feedback from external reviewers. The external reviewers should be from outside the unit and include individuals who have the experience necessary to contribute meaningful feedback. The reviewers can be from other units at UNC Charlotte or from other institutions. The final selection of reviewers is the responsibility of the unit head, who will contact the external reviewers. External Reviewers are expected to: read the Self-Study, talk to members of the unit, and provide a written report that includes an independent assessment of the unit’s functioning and recommendations for improvement.
  3. Strategic Plan – The unit strategic plan will maximize the benefits derived from the self-study by creating a plan to capitalize on unit strengths and minimize unit weaknesses. This section of the report should be created in consultation with the supervisory unit responsible for budgetary decisions (Vice Chancellor, Associate or Assistant Provost, Dean, etc.). When Academic Affairs creates a new strategic plan, the unit plan should be updated to align with this plan. Yearly reporting on the strategic plan will be completed as a part of the Annual Report in the Highlights template.
  4. Supporting Documentation – A final copy of the Self-Study, reviewer feedback, and strategic plan should be submitted to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Office of Assessment and Accreditation. The completed strategic plan should be uploaded into Compliance Assist.
  5. Mid-Cycle Report – The mid-cycle report serves as a means of evaluating progress towards the achievement of strategic objectives. In the report outcome data is used to assess the extent to which performance outcomes have been met and plans are made for the completion of planned improvements.
  6. Close-Out Report – The close-out report serves as a means of summarizing the progress towards the achievement of strategic objectives. This can serve as a starting place for the next round of program review and strategic planning.

III. Definitions

  • Provost – Reporting to the Chancellor, the Provost is the chief academic officer who oversees all academic affairs activities, including research and faculty. The Deans of each College report to the Provost.

IV. Procedure Contact(s)

V. History

  • Established: March 15, 2013
  • Revised: January 6, 2015 [added Faculty President consultation and distribution of recommendations]
  • Revised: December 6, 2018 [integrated with strategic planning]

VI. Related Policies, Procedures, and Resources

Complete instructions are available at https://assessment.charlotte.edu/strategic-planning-and-program-reviews/program-review.

VII. Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where is this procedure referenced?
    The procedure is published on the Academic Policies & Procedures webpage of the Provost website.