About the APR

Historical Background

In 1994, the Faculty Senate decided to include undergraduate as part of the APR process, which previously focused on the evaluation of productivity and viability graduate education. In 2002, the commitment and support to include undergraduate education was reinforced by the Provost and the Academic Program Review guidelines were changed to reflect this. The previous full APR cycle spanned ten years starting in the fall of 2005 and ending in the spring of 2015. In 2013, the criteria used for UNM’s APR process were updated to align with the new accreditation criteria adopted by the Higher Learning Commission.

In 2015, the action plan process was revised to align with the APR criteria. In addition, updates were made to the overall process based upon recommendations from an internal audit of the Academic Program Review process. In the spirit of continuous improvement, the policies, principles, and guidelines for the process will continue to be updated as necessary to reflect current practices and align with other university initiatives. The APR Office reviews and evaluates it process, procedures, guidelines, and resources annually which are vetted by the APR taskforce. This taskforce consists of representatives from faculty, staff, and administrators throughout the university.

APR Manual

The APR Manual provides units and reviewers an understanding of the processes and procedures required for conducting their Academic Program Review. Any template or required document mentioned in the APR Manual can be found in the Documents and Templates page of this site.

The APR Manual may be updated annually. Any annual updates made to the APR Manual are reclassified as a new edition. However, units are subjected only to the process and procedures outlined in the APR Manual edition that was active during their APR Orientation Meeting.


 The APR Continuous Improvement Cycle process can be more thoroughly expressed as follows:

  • One year prior to the site-visit, the unit will be contacted by the APR Office for their Orientation to prepare them for the upcoming year.
  • The unit, Dean's Office, and Office of the Provost collaborate in the selection of a review team. The review team usually includes two experienced faculty from other institutions and one faculty from UNM. Due to logistics and planning, reviewers are established as early as possible in the APR process
  • The unit prepares a self-study that addresses the following APR criteria:
    • Introduction and Background Information
    • Teaching and Learning: Curriculum
    • Teaching and Learning: Assessment
    • Students (Undergraduate and Graduate)
    • Faculty
    • Research, Scholarship, & Service
    • Peer Comparisons
    • Resources & Planning
    • Facilities
    • Conclusion & Strategic Planning
  • The initial self-study is reviewed by internal participants and feedback is provided to the unit, generally 8 weeks before the established site-visit dates.
  • The final self-study will be sent to the review team approximately five weeks prior to the unit site visit.
  • Following the site visit, the review team has six weeks to draft their report.
  • The final step will be for the unit and Dean's Office to collaborate in the drafting and approval of the Unit Response and Initial Action Plan. This document is sent to the Office of the Provost for final approval.
  • Unit updates to the Initial Action Plan are required annually and due during the fall semester.
APR Process Infographic
APR Infographic