Accreditation and Academic Program Review

Interaction of Accreditation Reviews with Academic Program Review

[Approved by APACE. 2/18/02]

At Georgia State University, units are required to undergo an academic program review every seven years as mandated by the Board of Regents. The purpose of these reviews is to examine the effectiveness of academic programs within Georgia State’s institutional context. Many academic units also undergo periodic reviews by various professional organizations in order for their programs to remain accredited. The purpose of these reviews, which are often extremely detailed, is to ensure that programs are maintaining the required standards of the field.

Accreditation reviews, however, cannot be considered as substitutes for academic program reviews since their goals may not be the same. At the same time, overlap between the two reviews can and should be exploited so that units do not become overburdened by the requirements of the two processes. The following guidelines specify the ways in which accreditation reviews and academic program reviews can work together.

  • The seven-year academic program review cycle will schedule units taking into account the unit’s accreditation review deadlines.
  • Units will make their own determination about the need to conduct their academic program review before, during or after their accreditation review.
  • Units that choose to submit their self-study for academic program review after undergoing accreditation review will comply with the format specified in the self-study template for academic program review.
  • If an external review for the accreditation process coincides with the external review for the academic program review process, then the accreditation external review might be used as the APR external review. However, at least one of the external accreditation reviewers must agree to take on the task of writing a report according to the academic program review specifications. When the external review report meets APR specifications, no additional report will be required. In all cases, approval for this alternate external review must be obtained in advance from the associate provost for institutional effectiveness.