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Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness

Academic Program Review Process


Spelman's program review involves the following 4 major phases:

  1. a program self-study and completion of the self-study narrative;
  2. an external review and on-site visit by an external review team which culminates in an external review team report;
  3. a program review response report and follow-up from the program and the Provost;
  4. strategic planning, implementation and continuing program review and enhancement.

The last phase of the process supports institutional, department and program planning, and encourages continuous improvement.

An Overview of the Self-Study Process and the External Review and Onsite Visit

Completion of a self-study and an onsite visit by external reviewers comprise the first and second step of the program review process. An overview of these activities is provided below. For additional details or to review the other steps in the process click the appropriate links in the left navigation bar.

Step 1: Preparation of the Self-Study Document

The self-study document consists of two parts:

Part 1: 
the self-study narrative is the heart of the project and focuses on the assessment of strengths and weaknesses in major aspects of unit operation.

Part 2: an appendix, provides supplementary information to explain further and support section 1.

Part 1: Self-Study Narrative

Cover Page/Program Information Page
 – List all degrees and majors offered, list any centers or initiatives. Identify faculty participating in completion of the self-study report. This will serve as the cover page.

Program Description – Spelman College Bulletin.

Response to Previous Program Review (if applicable) – Summarize the findings and recommendations from the last review. Discuss actions or strategies implemented and the status of any program modifications.

Section I: Program Quality 

This section addresses program accreditation, program mission alignment, program resources (fiscal, human and physical) and the methods and processes for ensuring quality within these areas.

Accreditation (if applicable)
 — List all accrediting bodies & current program status.

Program Mission Alignment — Provide a summary of program history and discuss the program vision, mission, goals, and their congruence with the mission of the college.

Program Resources — Discuss the organization of the unit and leadership roles, outline faculty and staff qualifications, appointments workloads for the past five years including online workloads. Discuss faculty scholarship and recruitment and retention. Discuss the adequacy of budget/financial resources and how the resource allocation aligns with the strategic priorities of the college. Discuss the adequacy of physical resources and facilities that support the strategic priorities of the college and the program.

Section II: Program Effectiveness

This section addresses program content, the curriculum, student learning outcomes, student success measures and program assessment and the extent to which these are effectively delivered.

Curriculum (previously the Academic Program)
 — Discuss the mission and purpose of the program and its curriculum. Discuss the course offerings and requirements and how they ensure students have deep and rigorous content knowledge and the ability to apply this understanding in authentic ways. Outline program requirements and course sequences and how each support effective student learning.

Student Learning Outcomes — Discuss the learning objectives for students in the program, how they are assessed and revised. Summarize annual program assessments results both strengths and weaknesses.

Student Profiles — Discuss enrollment, retention and graduation within each program major and minor. Outline any trends in these areas. Discuss recruitment and retention strategies.

Program Assessment — Discuss the short-term and long-range strategic goals of the program and how these support the College’s institutional goals. Outline program assessment strategies and how these strategies are used to improve student success, teaching effectiveness and faculty excellence.

Section III: Summary & Implications

This section brings together what has been reported in the self-study narrative. This section can be a useful summary for the External Review Team.

Key Findings and Considerations
 — Enumerate key findings from the self-study.

Implications — Provide an interpretation of the evidence in support of the program’s overall quality and effectiveness.

Future Goals and Priorities —  Discuss how program faculty as well as the college can build upon any strengths or perceived areas of growth.

Part 2: Appendices

Appendix A: Faculty
- Include data and information on program faculty covering the past five years.

Appendix B: Students - Include data and information on students within the program covering the past five years.

Appendix C: Academic Program - Provide additional data and information on the academic program. This includes a faculty qualifications list and the program’s curriculum map.

Step 2: The External Review and Onsite Campus Visit

Step 2 of the Program Review process consists of a two day on-campus review completed by an external team of selected scholars and peers from other institutions. This phase is an opportunity for programs to dialogue with colleagues in their respective fields and discuss any strengths, challenges, or areas for growth. The external review and onsite campus visit culminate with a written report from the review team.

Contact Us

Institutional Effectiveness
350 Spelman Lane
Box 1516
Atlanta, GA 30314



Spelman College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Spelman College.