The Academic Program Review for MAPS
The MAPS program underwent a rigorous assessment process in the 2016 spring and fall semesters and emerged with a judgment of the review team that “the MAPS program is by all measures thriving.” Every six years, both academic departments and programs are evaluated by an outside team of experts that come from peer institutions nationwide. The Academic Program Review requires what is called a “self-study”—a document that takes substantial planning, preparation, data collection, and written narratives (resulting in a document of 179 pages). Most important, the self-study must have a consensus of all affiliated faculty participating in the program that the document is accurate and presents fairly the different components of the program. Once approved by the administration, the APR then goes out to an external review committee—determined by the administration— which later assembles on campus for a three-day investigation and analysis of the key points of the self-study. Once their report is completed, the program directors and faculty members meet with the administration to determine how best to move forward in a sustainable way.
We greatly appreciated all the extra time and effort that our terrific faculty extended to the review committee during their time on campus, and for their meetings with the reviewers and administration to discuss the substantial progress of the program and realization of its future goals. Not only that, our current students and recent alumni also met with the reviewers and had complementary things to say about their experience. Quoting from the reviewers’ report, “…the MAPS graduates spoke passionately on the subject of a sense of community and the lengths that faculty had gone for them.” It is hoped that the overall results of the Academic Program Review will lead to an even better program in the years to come.