Assessment and program review are two related but distinct processes aimed at evaluating academic program quality, and both are required in order to maintain UAF's accreditation.
Assessment can take a variety of forms, but is generally a continuous and formal process of evaluating, measuring and documenting educational effectiveness. The purpose or goal of assessment is continual improvement and quality assurance, and it can be focused on the individual learner, an organized group of learners, the institution or the educational system as a whole. Student Learning Outcomes Assessment is an ongoing process undertaken by academic programs to establish measurable expected outcomes of student learning, collect and analyze evidence to determine how well student learning matches those expectations, and use the resulting information to improve curricula.
Program review is a comprehensive evaluation of an academic program for the purposes of improvement and accountability. Reviewing committees evaluate the quality of, need for, and centrality of the program to the university's missions and goals. Since student learning is a fundamental goal of any academic program, the student learning outcomes assessment plan executed by each program is a significant component of the program review process.
Program review and student learning outcomes assessment processes do not require IRB review: Guidance on Research