Programs in the accreditation process provide annual statistical data by February 15. Instructions are emailed in the Fall to the administrative head of the program and others to be copied as designated by the program.
The Committee on Accreditation (COA) reviews and responds to the reports at its spring meeting (see COA meeting schedule for dates).
Required reports according to program status
Programs with Continued or Initial Accreditation status:
Biennial Narrative Reports (BNR) and annual statistical reporting are due by February 15. See the Schedule for BNR Submission to determine when a program's BNR report is due. For statistical reporting, a program accesses its sheet from the workbook found in the directory page (Directory of ALA-Accredited and Candidate Programs in Library and Information Studies | Education & Careers) to enter the data and returns the sheet to firstname.lastname@example.org. Statistical reporting also includes what a program is to provide on its website landing page: three statistics positioned first among a listing of any other data the program would like to include. The data is to be accessible no more than one click off the program landing page: 1) Retention rate, 2) Average time to degree completion, and 3) Percentage of graduates holding positions relevant to the degree within 12 months of degree completion (which may include further graduate study).
Programs with Conditional Accreditation status:
Annual Progress Reports are required of programs with Conditional Accreditation status. The program should use the ERP report, the CoA Decision Document letter, and previous correspondence from the CoA to identify the specific areas and issues of concern to address. Refer to the Biennial Narrative Report instructions below for format and submission details. This report is due February 15.
Annual statistical reports are due to the Office for Accreditation by February 15. Instructions are provided in 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 with 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. This report is due February 15.
- Annual statistical reports are due to the Office for Accreditation by February 15. Instructions are provided in October. The statistical elements requested include information such as student and faculty demographics and program finances. Programs with Candidacy status should report data for the program under consideration for ALA accreditation. The COA reviews these reports to analyze trends in individual programs and in library and information studies education in general.
Programs with Precandidacy status:
- Annual Progress Reports are due from precandidate programs. This report should detail what progress the program has made in reaching its objectives, obstacles it has encountered and its plans to address them (AP3, I.8.5). Refer to the Biennial Narrative Report instructions below for format and submission details. This report is due February 15.
- Annual statistical reports are due to the Office for Accreditation by February 15. Instructions are provided in October. The statistical elements requested include information such as student and faculty demographics and program finances. Programs with Precandidacy status should report data for the program under consideration for ALA accreditation. The COA reviews these reports to analyze trends in individual programs and in library and information studies education in general.
Biennial Narrative Report instructions
COA review and response
Schedule for Biennial Narrative Report submission
Sample Biennial Narrative Report
- The Biennial Narrative Report (BNR) should be no longer than ten double-spaced pages, excluding supporting documents. Reports that are longer than 10 pages (excluding appendices) will not be accepted.
- Provide the following information at the top of the first page: Name of report (Biennial Narrative, Conditional Progress, Candidacy Progress, Precandidacy Progress), program name, institution name, and date of report. Do not include a separate cover/title page.
- Provide a footer on each page with institution name and page number (Page N of N).
- Use a standard font (such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri) in 11 or 12 pt, with 1" margins.
- Consolidate the report and any appendices into one (1) file (Word or PDF). Paper documents will not be accepted.
- Send the BNR report to email@example.com by e-mail attachment.
- Narrative reports not received by the February 15 due date may incur a late fee.
The narrative report must:
- Follow the sequence of the Standards. Include the Standard name as a section title.
- Respond to COA's specific questions from previous correspondence. The biennial narrative or progress 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 self-study 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 annual statistical reports and biennial narrative reports to monitor changes and trends within programs to ensure continuing compliance with the Standards.
COA’s written response to the program regarding the reports includes COA’s action on the report, questions, requests for corrections, clarifications, special reports, and due dates for future reports. The Committee’s response and an acknowledgement form are sent to the head of the program. The program head must complete and return the form to indicate receipt of the COA response and understanding of any follow-up required.
If the program head has concerns with the Committee’s response, additional documentation may be submitted for COA review or the program head 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 program head with a copy to the institution’s chief academic officer.
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 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. A check payable to the ALA Office for Accreditation must accompany any biennial narrative or progress report submitted after the February 15 deadline. If February 15 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, with a copy to the program's CEO (Dean) and the institution's CAO.
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 by Feb 15
|Odd-number years||Even-number years|
|California-Los Angeles (UCLA)||Arizona|
|Florida State||East Carolina|
|Indiana - Purdue, Indianapolis||Illinois|
|Iowa||Indiana - Bloomington|
|Missouri - Columbia||NC-Central|
|North Texas||Old Dominion|
|San Jose||Rhode Island|
|South Carolina||St. Catherine|
|South Florida||St. John's|
|Texas Woman's||Wayne State|
Sample Biennial Narrative Report (BNR)
Example of BNR (using the 2008 Standards) that was prepared using the format and content instructions above. It is provided for information purposes only. It is not a template. (Last updated Sep 29, 2016)