Normally conducted on a program or unit once every seven years, the academic quality assurance process is designed to be completed in one calendar year through four main phases:
- Self-Study—The Self Study Committee conducts an in-depth examination of the program or unit, focusing on what the program or unit does and how it does it, and collecting a set of required data. The result of the self-study is a Self-Study Report.
- External Review—The Self Study Committee selects an External Review Team of two members from outside the institution who are from a similar discipline to the unit or program under review. The External Review Team does a site visit to gather information on the quality of the program or unit, and presents their findings in an External Review Report.
- Program Response—The Self Study Committee develops a written response to the issues identified in the External Review Report and the Self-Study Report.
- Dean’s Response—The Dean of the faculty in which the program or unit resides develops a written response to the documents produced in the review which addresses the findings from these reports and includes implications for future academic planning.
There are a few concluding steps in the review process, including a sign-off of the review results by the Academic Quality Assurance Committee and a document that summarizes the implementation requirements. Once the process is complete, the main points from the review documents are summarized and released for general communication on this website.
Each review is run by a Program Review Coordinator, a faculty member from the program or unit. The Coordinator is assisted in the review by the Self Study Committee, which has a minimum of three members, full professors in the program or department.
Approved by the General Faculties Council, the Quality Assurance Policy is the guiding document behind quality assurance reviews at the University of Lethbridge. It sets out a policy and a process for quality assurance, moving from higher-level goals and principles to a detailed description of the process to be followed in conducting unit and program reviews.