Academic Program Reviews FAQs

What is the contact information for the Office for Assessment of Professional and Workplace Learning?

You can contact the Office directly by phone at (609) 633-6271 or by email at apr@tesc.edu.

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What is an Academic Program Review?

An Academic Program Review is a service Thomas Edison State College offers to organizations to determine whether the organization's training and education programs provide college-level learning and can be applied as credit to an academic program at the College.

Depending on the outcome of an Academic Program Review, individuals who complete a training or education program that was assessed by the College can earn credit at the College for that training. The program is cost effective and brings the value-added benefit of college credit to an organization’s training.  The review consists of a team of subject matter experts who evaluate the objectives, content and assessment strategies of the courses being submitted for review.  Working with the Office for Assessment of Professional and Workplace Learning also provides an opportunity for an organization to create an academic partnership with Thomas Edison State College. 

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Who determines whether a training or education program, certification, license or apprenticeship is college-level and can be translated into college credits at Thomas Edison State College?

An Academic Review Team, which is comprised of subject matter experts in specific areas, evaluates the training and education programs to determine whether it is college-level. This team also recommends how many credits to award for the training and at what level (undergraduate or graduate). Thomas Edison State College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and awards college credits for programs that have successfully undergone an Academic Program Review process. 

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What is the Academic Program Review process?

The following outlines the steps for an Academic Program Review:

  • An organization selects the courses, programs, licenses, certifications or apprenticeships to be reviewed and submits an Academic Program Review application to the Office for Assessment of Professional and Workplace Learning at Thomas Edison State College.
  • Typically, four (4) to six (6) weeks are required from the time the application is received to the date the review is conducted. This provides sufficient time to identify review team members and coordinate schedules with all parties.
  • A team, usually consisting of three subject matter experts per subject area and a review coordinator, evaluates materials for the course, license, certification or apprenticeship.   The team determines a credit award. For each course that is evaluated, the team determines a credit award. Thomas Edison State College issues an Academic Program Review report to the organization that details the results of the review.

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What does the team evaluate?

The team will examine course content, the depth and breadth of learning, learning outcomes, instruments used to measure learning outcomes (e.g., exams, term papers, etc.), course materials, required readings, projects or assignments, instructors’ credentials and length of courses.

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What types of questions could the team ask an organization during the review?

Each Academic Program Review is unique, however some common questions include:

  • What is the completion rate for this course and has it changed in the last few years?
  • How does the organization determine whether a course meets the definition of college level?
  • What instrument has been developed to measure students’ learning at the college level?
  • How does an organization ensure quality instruction?
  • What formal evaluation is used by the organization to evaluate instructors?
  • Is there a systematic way for students to evaluate the instructors’ performance?
  • How does an organization ensure that academic standards are maintained?
  • Do students further their education once they complete the course or program?

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How does an organization maintain the validity of the credit award?

To maintain the validity of the credit award after the initial Academic Program Review, an organization must:

  • Participate in the annual review quality control process that consists of filling out a one-page questionnaire for each course once a year. Unless a course undergoes significant changes, the annual review takes very little time and entails a nominal cost.
  • Undergo a program review process every five years. 

The review is valid for a set review period, which is tied to the academic review period of the academic program at the College that the review is linked to.  At the end of the review period, a re-review is required to maintain the credit award.

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What about organizations with multiple sites?

Organizations with multiple sites may have the credit award extended to other training sites where their courses are being taught, provided specific requirements are met.

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How much does an Academic Program Review cost?

Each Academic Program Review is unique and cost varies based on the number and type of programs being reviewed. To get an estimate for what an Academic Program Review for your organization will cost, or for more information, contact us at (609) 633-6271 or by email.

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