Program assessment and accreditation

Annual program assessment for all degrees offered at the University of Texas is overseen by the Office of Institutional Accreditation and Program Assessment (IAPA). The College of Fine Arts must comply with institutional requirements established by the University, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).

Assessment, at its core, involves faculty participation and departmental support. The language and structuring of assessment, however, can be confusing for those being asked to provide assessment data.

This document seeks to:
1. Provide a Best Practice framework for COFA academic units to facilitate and comply with institutional assessment
2. Provide helpful information and links for faculty and other stakeholders, aimed at streamlining the process and facilitating continuity of process

The COFA Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Accreditation will provide coordination and guidance for all assessment and accreditation requirements of programs within the College of Fine Arts and centralize helpful information on the COFA website.

Basic information about institutional assessment is provided on the IAPA website:

COFA best practice recommendations:

To create a checks-and-balances system that will facilitate the assessment process and prevent data management falling to one person, the College Of Fine Arts recommends the following:

1. Each academic unit should designate a STAFF person whose portfolio of responsibility includes Institutional Assessment/SACS. This person will be responsible for:
a. Creating deadlines for 1) Assessment Plans, 2) collection of data
b. Attending needed Assessment workshops
c. Entering collected assessment plans, results and actions into TracDat at the end of each semester or as required by the University of Texas
d. Maintaining timely and accessible departmental records on past assessment procedures and data collection
e. Maintaining an ongoing Assessment Calendar for the department

2. Each academic unit should also designate a tenured FACULTY familiar with all departmental programs and degrees to communicate with program heads and other faculty stakeholders. This person will be responsible for:
a. Working with faculty/program leaders as a liaison with IAPA for assessment culture, language and implementation
b. Working with program leaders to modify and update assessment plans
c. Working with program leaders to implement Action items
d. Working with designated assessment staff to support data collection and facilitate date upload into TracDat

Additional information/links may be found in the following documents:  

Guidelines - COFA institutional assessment and accreditation (86 kb pdf)

Annual Program Assessment Template (4mb Excel file)

COFA assessment calendar (49 kb pdf)