Required reporting for accreditation

Interim reports are due by December 1. If December 1 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the reports are due on the first weekday following the weekend. Refer to Accreditation Process, Policies, & Procedures (AP3) and the Biennial Narrative Report instructions below for specifics. The Committee on Accreditation (COA) reviews and responds to the reports at its spring meeting.

Required reports according to program status

Accredited Programs:

  • Biennial Narrative Report
  • Annual statistical reports are due to the Office for Accreditation each fall. Instructions are provided each October. The statistical elements requested include information such as student and faculty demographics and program finances. The COA reviews these reports to analyze trends in individual programs and in library and information studies education in general.

Accredited Programs on Conditional Status:

  • Annual Progress Report - a conditionally accredited program must submit annual progress reports to the COA. The program should use the ERP report, the COA Decision Document, and previous correspondence from the Committee to identify the specific areas and issues of concern that will serve as a basis for the development of a plan to achieve compliance with the standards (AP3, I.13). Refer to the Biennial Narrative Report instructions below for format and submission details.
  • Annual statistical reports are due to the Office for Accreditation each fall. Instructions are provided each October. The statistical elements requested include information such as student and faculty demographics and program finances. The COA reviews these reports to analyze trends in individual programs and in library and information studies education in general.

Programs in Candidacy Status:

  • Annual Progress Report - Each year the candidate program is required to submit a detailed progress report to the COA. This report should indicate what progress the program has made in reaching its objectives, obstacles it has encountered, and its plans to address these obstacles (AP3, I.9.5). Refer to the Biennial Narrative Report instructions below for format and submission details.
  • Annual statistical reports are due to the Office for Accreditation each fall. Instructions are provided each October. The statistical elements requested include information such as student and faculty demographics and program finances. The COA reviews these reports to analyze trends in individual programs and in library and information studies education in general. Programs in precandidacy and candidacy status must submit a subset of the data required for the annual statistical report. 

Programs in Precandidacy Status:

  • Annual Progress Report - Each year the precandidate program is required to submit a detailed progress report to the COA. This report should indicate what progress the program has made in reaching its objectives, obstacles it has encountered, and its plans to address these obstacles (AP3, I.8.5). Refer to the Biennial Narrative Report instructions below for format and submission details.
  • Annual statistical reports are due to the Office for Accreditation each fall. Instructions are provided each October. The statistical elements requested include information such as student and faculty demographics and program finances. The COA reviews these reports to analyze trends in individual programs and in library and information studies education in general. Programs in precandidacy and candidacy status must submit a subset of the data required for the annual statistical report.

   Biennial Narrative Report instructions

Format
Submission
Content
COA review and response
Late reports
Schedule for Biennial Narrative Report submission
Notes
Sample Biennial Narrative Report

   Format:

The Biennial Narrative Report (BNR) should be no longer than ten double-spaced pages, excluding supporting documents.
Provide a running header on each page with your institution name and page number (Page N of N).

   Submission:

  • Send the BNR report to accred@ala.org by e-mail attachment. Consolidate the report and Word formatted electronic attachments into one (1) file.
  • Send five (5) copies of attachments that are not available in an electronic format to to the ALA Office for Accreditation, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611 by U.S. Mail.
  • If the information in your program’s/school’s catalog cannot be accessed on your website, please mail one print copy of the most current catalog to the following address: ALA Office for Accreditation, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611 by U.S. Mail, if available.

   Content:

The narrative report must:

  • Follow the sequence of the Standards. 
  • Respond to COA's specific questions from past correspondence. Review all previous COA correspondence since the last comprehensive review. This includes responses to previous statistical and narrative reports, requests for special reports, and the decision document received after the last comprehensive review. The biennial narrative or special report must specifically address those issues flagged by the Committee by describing efforts the program has made and providing evidence that the program is meeting the relevant areas of the Standards. COA will indicate when reporting on a specific issue is no longer required. Please contact the Office if you need a copy of any correspondence from COA.
  • Address how the program is maintaining compliance with the Standards. The report should inform COA of ongoing self-assessment, planning, and evaluation processes occurring at the school and program. It should provide COA an update on the evolution of the program that occurs between comprehensive reviews. Thus, narrative reports should be developed with the next comprehensive review in mind. By continually building upon previous narrative reports, the amount of time needed to produce the next program presentation document should be reduced because documentation and evidence will have been developed and collected.
  • Describe the results of the broad-based, continuous program planning, development, outcomes assessment, and improvement processes for the ALA-accredited program(s).
  • Identify how and where the program publicly provides evidence of assessment and evaluation of student achievement.
  • Discuss major changes that have occurred, are underway, or are being planned since the most recent biennial narrative report or comprehensive review.
  • Address major challenges the program and school may be facing.

Examples of topics to include in the report:

  • New or revised mission, goals, and objectives
  • New or substantially revised curriculum
  • New degree programs
  • New distance education initiatives
  • Names and brief vitae for new full-time faculty members
  • Names and competencies of new adjunct faculty members
  • Substantial enrollment changes
  • Budgetary issues in the state/province or university affecting the program
  • Significant changes in physical facilities or resources
  • Plans for or completed alteration in governance and/or administrative structure
  • Major institutional changes that will potentially affect the program or school       

   COA review and response

At its spring meeting, COA reviews and discusses ALISE annual statistical reports and biennial narrative reports to monitor changes and trends within programs to ensure continuing compliance with the Standards. COA takes action on the reports following its review. The Committee’s actions may include accepting or not accepting the report, deferring action, or requesting that a program clarify or provide additional information about the statistical or narrative reports.

COA’s written response to the BNR includes COA’s action on the report, questions, requests for corrections, clarifications, special reports and due dates. The Committee’s response and an acknowledgement form are sent to the dean, director, or chair of the program (“dean”). The dean completes and returns the form to indicate whether the program accepts the Committee’s analysis and conclusions or whether there are concerns with COA’s response.

Unless the program responds within one (1) week that it does not accept the Committee's response, the Office will send a copy of COA’s letter to the institution’s chief academic officer.  If the dean has concerns with the Committee’s response, additional documentation may be submitted for COA review or the dean may request a meeting with COA. Based upon meeting dates and COA’s agenda, the Committee will review the information or meet with program representatives at either the ALA Annual or COA Fall Meeting. After that meeting, COA will send a response to the dean with a copy to the institution’s chief academic officer.

   Late reports

Because COA dedicates the spring meeting to reviewing and taking action on each program’s reports, timely submission is essential. The Committee levies a $250 late fee for late reports. A check payable to the ALA Office for Accreditation must accompany any statistical, biennial narrative, or special report submitted after the December 1 deadline. If December 1 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the reports are due on the first weekday following the weekend.

If a report is more than 14 calendar days late without explanation, the Office will send a late notice to the program. A letter about the late report will also be sent to the institution's Chief Executive Officer.

COA may either defer action on or not accept any report received fewer than 14 calendar days before the first day of the spring meeting.

   Schedule for Biennial Narrative Report submission

Biennial Report Schedule

Due in even-numbered years

Due in odd-numbered years

Alabama Albany, SUNY
Buffalo, SUNY Arizona
California-Los Angeles (UCLA) Alberta
Catholic British Columbia
Dominican Clarion
Drexel Dalhousie
Florida State Denver
Hawaii Emporia
Iowa Illinois
Kentucky Indiana
Long Island Kent State
Louisiana State Maryland
Missouri-Columbia McGill
NC-Greensboro Michigan
North Texas Montreal
Oklahoma NC-Chapel Hill
Pratt NC-Central
Rutgers Ottawa
San Jose Pittsburgh
Simmons Puerto Rico
South Carolina Queens
South Florida Rhode Island
Southern Mississippi St. Catherine
Syracuse St. John's
Texas Woman's Tennessee
Valdosta Texas-Austin
Washington Toronto
Western Ontario Wayne State
Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wisconsin-Madison

 

 

   Notes

  • The Committee waives submission of the biennial narrative report for the academic year in which the program submits the Program Presentation.  These programs must still submit the annual statistical report.
  • COA does not waive the biennial narrative report simply because a program presentation is in progress.
  • Programs in precandidacy and candidacy status are not accredited and therefore are not listed on this schedule. These programs submit an Annual Progress Report rather than a biennial narrative report.  These programs must also submit a  subset of the data  required for the annual statistical report.Programs with conditional status submit an annual progress report in lieu of a biennial narrative report.  These programs must still submit the data required for the annual statistical report.

Sample Biennial Narrative Report (BNR)

Example of BNR that was prepared using the format and content instructions above. It is provided for information purposes only. It is not a template.

Last updated December 9, 2013