Subject: Annual Academic Program Report (AAPR)
Last Revised: 2/25/10, 01/11/18, 7/15/19
Corresponding Policy Manual Link: Board of Trustees Policy Section 305.1– Program Approval, Review, & Elimination
The purpose of this Administrative Practice Letters (APL) is to identify the processes and procedures for the annual examination of programs. The Annual Academic Program Report (AAPR) cycle is intended as a proactive mechanism by which to foster broader collaborative discussions among faculty and academic administrators regarding program size in the context of mission, quality, and sustainability. The objective of the AAPR cycle is to contribute to a greater understanding of the health of each University’s academic portfolio. Student success, financial, and other metrics help to inform this understanding.
I. Cycle of Examination
The Examination cycle is intended to be a continuous improvement process that aids University and Institutional leadership as they work together to understand their full academic portfolio, the unique needs of their student body, the evolving nature of the organizational mission, and the needs of the state of Maine.
August – October
In August of each year, the University of Maine System Institutional Research staff will update and compile available Institutional data for distribution in the AAPR Worksheet. This data comprises a number of factors that are outlined in Section II and updated as part of this annual AAPR cycle.
The Chief Academic Officers (CAOs) for each University and the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs (VCAA) will be notified and will receive a copy of this worksheet. CAOs will update the University-level data within the worksheet by November of that year. The updated data will include evaluative assumptions and strategies about the future of each academic program. The program strategies – Grow, Transform, Maintain, and Sunset – are explained in more detail in Section IV.
The updated University-level data will be due to the VCAA in November of each year. At this time, the CAOs will begin one-on-one conversations with the VCAA regarding the elements of the AAPR worksheet. The purpose of these conversations is to confirm the AAPR data and to ensure CAOs are prepared to present at a March or May Academic & Student Affairs Committee (ASA) meeting.
May – July
In May and July of each year, the CAO will deliver a presentation of the year’s AAPR to the Board of Trustees Academic and Student Affairs meeting during the Executive Session. These presentations will be conducted during the Executive Session of the ASA due to the sensitive nature of the topics as well as the potential competitive advantages of the information.
The CAOs will engage in a discussion of action plan outlines developed by each University to address the decisions identified by the AAPR worksheet. CAOs will provide updates on the prior year’s initiatives. The updates will inform the implementation plans of the current year’s AAPR outcomes.
In May of each year, the factors that comprise the AAPR worksheet will be evaluated and updated. Consequently, this APL will be updated to reflect any changing conditions.
From March to August of each year, the CAOs will engage in a process of continuous monitoring, assessment, and revision of the initiatives designed to activate the plans outlined in the AAPR worksheet. This cycle of continuous improvement is intended to enhance the conversations and plans that strengthen each University’s academic portfolio.
II. AAPR Factors
This listing of the factors included in the AAPR worksheet is intended to evolve to better represent the conditions under which each academic program is considered.
The following factors are provided, on an annual basis, by University of Maine System (UMS) Institutional Research:
- Distinct Count of Majors – Using in the corresponding academic year (e.g., Summer ‘19, Fall ‘19, Spring ‘20), how many students were enrolled in a given major (by degree-level). Students are counted only once per major enrolled regardless of whether they were enrolled (as of census) in all three terms or only one term. Students in multiple majors are counted once in each of their majors.
- Degrees Conferred – Using in the corresponding academic year (e.g., Summer ‘19, Fall ‘19, Spring ‘20), how many degrees did a given program/major confer? Data are based on completion term and might not therefore match Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) reporting, particularly when for degrees where the Completion Date does not align with the Completion Term. Data for degrees are updated in mid-July for the prior academic year.
- Student Credit Hours delivered by Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty – the total number of credit hours in the corresponding academic year (e.g., Summer ‘19, Fall ‘19, Spring ‘20) delivered by tenure/tenure-track faculty with an appointment in a given department. The SCHs are tied to the faculty member, thus even if a Faculty member in Department A delivers credit hours for a course in Department B, the Student Credit Hours (SCHs) are counted in Department A. For faculty with multiple appointments, the SCHs are counted based on the Academic Organization of the course.
- Student Credit Hours non-Tenure-Track/ Deans/ Research Appointments – the total number of credit hours in the corresponding academic year (e.g., Summer ‘19, Fall ‘19, Spring ‘20) delivered by tenure/tenure-track faculty with an appointment in a given department. The SCHs are tied to the faculty member, thus even if a Faculty member in Department A delivers credit hours for a course in Department B, the SCHs are counted in Department A. For faculty with multiple appointments, the SCHs are counted based on the Academic Organization of the course. This includes faculty in units such as Cooperative Extension as well as research faculty for whom teaching is not a regular part of their duties but might occur from time to time.
- Student Credit Hours Graduate Assistants/ Staff/ Temporary employees – the total number of credit hours in the corresponding academic year (e.g., Summer ‘19, Fall ‘19, Spring ‘20) delivered by instructors whose human resources information system (HRIS) data suggest their appointments are either not “Regular” or not “Faculty” appointments, including graduate assistants, staff, and instructors with temporary appointments. Unlike Tenure and Non-Tenure-Track (Regular) appointments, courses delivered by those with Temporary appointments are counted based on the Academic Org assigned to the course rather than HR information (which cannot be tied to an individual course). Importantly, when a regular faculty member at Institution A teaches a course for Institution B (not a cross-campus course), those credit hours are counted in Institution B under Temporary. Credit hours among those teaching as a “Person of Interest” are counted under “Temporary” appointments.
- Student Credit Hours Total – The sum of the student credits hours listed above by faculty/instructor appointment type. Note: Credit Hours include those taken by both majors and non-majors, as well as those in departmental programs not shown, including minors, associates, and certificate programs, as well as non-degree students (excluding early college). These credit hour totals might include credit hours taught by faculty in other departments (particularly in the case of cross-listed or Honors courses), or by temporary instructors. Therefore, attempting to derive a “Faculty Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) to Student Credit Hour (SCH)” ratio or other alternative measure across these two columns would not be appropriate.
- Adjusted Faculty FTE – Per Human Resources (HR) data as of December 31 of each year, this number indicates the total FTE of regular faculty actively teaching in a given program. Note that for University of Maine (UMaine), this includes only Tenure-Track and Tenure-eligible, per the preferred data source already available. These counts are based on the same numbers used in the most recent iteration of Programs for Examination per discussions between System and Campus Institutional Research (IR) and other appropriate stakeholders at each University (prior to the release of last year’s AAPR data in the corresponding Summer). Note: that research faculty who are tenure track are counted under non-tenure track appointments, where the credit hours they deliver are also counted.
- Adjusted Faculty FTE Tenure/Tenure Track – Per HR census in Fall and Spring terms, this number indicates the total FTE of regular faculty in a given program whose status is listed as Active (that is, they are not on leave, either paid or unpaid). Only those whose tenure status in HR is listed as “Tenured” or “Non Tenure On Track” are included here. Faculty with temporary or permanent appointments as deans and in other administrative positions are excluded (unless HR data indicate a split FTE). The FTE here is reported as “Adjusted” as it takes into account a faculty member active in one term but not another (e.g., a faculty member with an FTE of 1.0 in Fall who is on leave in Spring is counted as 0.5). Only “Regular” appointments are included (for example, tenured faculty who return to teach temporarily are excluded and their credit hours reflected in the Temporary column). Those designated as Research Faculty are included in the Non-Tenure/Tenure Track so that this FTE can be used to derive a more accurate measure of Faculty FTE to SCHs. Note that these FTE do not account for teaching overloads or instances where faculty are listed as the instructor of record but overseeing a graduate teaching assistant (as sometimes happens with labs).
- Adjusted Faculty FTE Non-Tenure/Tenure Track – Per HR census in Fall and Spring, this number indicates the total FTE of regular faculty whose tenure status is blank, “Not Applicable,” or “Not on tenure track.” This figure also includes research faculty or administrators who might teach occasionally (and whose FTE is adjusted here based on their course load).
- Percentage of Faculty with Terminal Degree in Field – For all active, regular faculty with instructional duties currently part of the department, what percent have a terminal degree in their field/discipline?
- FTE Regular Faculty excluding unpaid leave – This field takes the FTE of faculty for whom salary information (defined below) was derived and sumed their FTE. Because the salaries of faculty on unpaid leave are excluded from the “Total Salaries of Faculty (HRIS),” the FTE of those faculty is also excluded from this FTE total. FTE is calculated as the average of Fall and Spring as of HRIS Census dates (October 31 and March 31 of the same academic year).
- Total Salaries of Faculty (HRIS) – The budget office provides salaries for all regular faculty in the department (regardless of tenure status and/or tenure eligibility). Please provide the sum of their salaries as of the current Fiscal Year (benefits excluded).
- Overload Pay (Regular Faculty Appointment) – Finance data separate faculty salaries into multiple categories, including those coded “Faculty Salary overload.” The data presented in the AAPR spreadsheets represent the sum of expenses flagged as “Faculty overload” which are disaggregated by department.
- Expenditures: Maintenance/Operations, Travel – Excluding salaries and facilities, for the current fiscal year, what was the department/unit’s allocated budget for the delivery of its programs? This includes travel, departmental professional development, supplies and services, technology needs, laboratory updates, and other line items submitted for approval. This excludes research, which is reported separately.
- Average Undergraduate Lecture Size – For courses delivered in the corresponding academic year (e.g. Fall ‘19, Spring ‘20), this field calculates the average size of a section for Lectures, Seminars, Studio, Physical/Exercise courses, Music courses, and those listed as Web (using the Course Component field). This field takes into account combined sections as well as sections that include both graduate and undergraduate students (in courses where both undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled in a course, these courses are included in the class averages for both Undergraduate and Graduate class size). Importantly, the following (again, based on Course Component) are excluded from these calculations: Independent Study, Labs, Recitation, Field Experience, Clinical, Travel, Research, and Thesis.
- Average Graduate/Law Lecture Size – For courses delivered in the corresponding academic year (e.g., Summer ‘19, Fall ‘19, Spring ‘20), this field calculates the average size of a section for Lectures, Seminars, Physical/Exercise courses, Music courses, and those listed as Web (using the Course Component field). This field takes into account combined sections as well as sections that include both graduate and undergraduate students (in courses where both undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled in a course, these courses are included in the class averages for both Undergraduate and Graduate class size). Importantly, the following (again, based on Course Component) are excluded from these calculations: Independent Study, Labs, Recitation, Field Experience, Clinical, Travel, Research, and Thesis.
- Undergraduate DFWL Rate – Based on the same data used to derive counts of credit hours, this metric includes the total number of D, F, W, or L grades as a percent of all grades attached to a given program/department. These rates are calculated for Undergraduates only.
Each University is asked to provide detail on the remaining factors in order to complete, to the best of our ability, the full picture of academic programming:
Campuses are asked to provide the detail for the remaining factors which should reference the current academic/fiscal year (e.g., Summer ‘19, Fall ‘19, Spring ‘20):
- Budget: Research – Excluding grants, federal or state contracts, donor funds, and University matching, what was the department/unit’s budget for research?
- Number of Faculty Advisors – Currently, how many regular faculty in the department are available to advise both undergraduate and graduate students in the programs/majors?
- Number of Professional Advisors – Currently, how many professional advisors (excluding those counted as faculty advisors) are available to students in the programs/majors? This includes advisors who serve an entire college/school in addition to a specific department.
- Number of Major PreRequisites – For required courses within a given major, how many prerequisite courses are there? This number should reflect the most recent catalog year and exclude any remedial/developmental coursework. For example, in University of Maine at Farmington (UMF)’s Mathematics Major, MAT 141 (Calculus 1) counts as one prerequisite, MAT 142 (Calculus 2) is also a prerequisite. Exclude non-graded components, and also exclude non-course specific prerequisites such as those related to grade point average (GPA), background checks, candidacy, junior/senior standing, Praxis tests, etc. If a major has several concentrations with differing numbers of prerequisites, simply include the lowest number.
- Number of Major Co-Requisites – For required courses within a given major, how many individual courses are required (regardless of rare exceptions) to be taken concurrently? Exclude non-graded components such as labs. This number should reflect the most recent catalog year and exclude any remedial/developmental coursework. Count each co-requisite course separately. For example, in UMaine’s Electrical Engineering bachelor program, MAT 126 (Calculus 1) is a co-requisite, as is PHY 121 (Physics 1), as these two courses are typically required to be taken in the same term.
- Curriculum Map on Department Website? – If there is a Curriculum Map/List of Requirements available for students on the department website (one that illustrates not only the requirements for the major but also any course sequences/prerequisites/co-requisites), place an “X” in this cell. This could include a direct link to the major in the course catalog from the department website.
- Learning Outcomes on Department Website? – Does the department’s website provide a list of (or a direct link to) the learning outcomes that the department has documented for a given major/program via the program assessment/review or some other formal process? If so, place an “X” in this cell. These learning outcomes need not go down to the course-level, but should be a reflection of what students are expected to learn having attained a degree in this particular field/discipline.
- Name of External Accreditor (if applicable) – For any program with an external accrediting body, please list the name of that organization in this cell. If the accrediting body is the same for all programs, please list it in the last cell in this column. In cases where there might be multiple accrediting bodies, please list them in the row for each program/major. If there is no external accrediting body, please place an “N/A” in the cell.
- Self-Assessment Strategy – based on the academic leadership’s knowledge of each program, please select a recommended strategy from the drop-down menu, which includes the following:
- Date of Last UMS Program Review – When was the most recent Term/Year during which each of the programs listed for the department underwent a formal academic program review at the University? The following fields are maintained by the VCAA office.
- Program Review File Date – The date the last program review was completed by the University and received by the VCAA office.
- Program Approval Reference – the file location or link to the last program review documents.
- Program Approval Date – the date the program was originally approved by the Board of Trustees or last approved by the Board of Trustees, in the case of substantive changes.
III. AAPR Strategies
The strategies are as follows: Grow, Transform, Maintain, Sunset.
These strategies are available on the AAPR worksheet in a pull-down item for each academic program. The selection of a strategy is intended to inform the full conversation about the health of each program. When selecting a strategy, please refer to the following definitions for guidance:
- Grow: Plans are in place to enhance programmatic performance and value to the student. Plans to grow may require new or additional resources.
- Transform: Plans to dramatically change the program from its current state in an innovative way (e.g., modality changes or new collaborations).
- Maintain: The aim is to keep the academic program operational without requiring new or additional resources.
- Sunset: A phased plan for programs in long-term or significant decline.
IV. AAPR Workflow