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Department of Educational Leadership and Policy (ELP)

Mid-Program Review

as of October 26, 2018

The Mid Program Review is a requirement of all doctoral students in ELP. The following is a Q and A about the process. Please read the full details on the process on our ELP Website.


Please contact your Faculty Program Advisor with any questions.


What is the Mid Program Review? The Mid Program Review replaced the Comprehensive Exam as a requirement for graduation in all ELP Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs. The Mid-Program Review was adopted to provide a meaningful, holistic assessment of student progress by the end of the student’s second year in the program, and to provide an opportunity for intervention and support if needed.


How does the Mid Program Review Process Work? When students are at the appropriate juncture in their program (at the end of their 2 year in the program), they will make an appointment with their faculty program advisor. (Note: the faculty program

advisor is the student’s assigned advisor in their respective program area. This is not the ELP Graduate Advisor.) Two weeks prior to the appointment, the student will submit a portfolio that includes:

  • a writing sample,
  • a program plan with courses completed and grades received,
  • a detailed plan for completing remaining milestones, and
  • a Curriculum Vita (CV).


The faculty program advisor will evaluate the materials and meet with the student to discuss the review and to convey their assessment (see the “Mid Program Review Process” on the ELP website).


How is the Mid Program Review graded? Students are graded according to a rubric (see “Mid Program Review Rubric”). This rubric is intended to serve as a guide to both students and faculty regarding expectations for progress. Students will be evaluated holistically, using the multiple sources of evidence about their progress (program of work, grades, CV, and writing sample). Based on these materials, the student’s faculty advisor will assign the student a rating of “Satisfactory,” “Needs Improvement,” or “Unsatisfactory/Consider Termination.” The rubric serves as a guide, but the ultimate decision about a student’s rating is up to their faculty program advisor.


What if I receive a “Needs Improvement” rating? Students who receive a “Needs Improvement” rating will be provided with remediation steps by their faculty program advisor that must be completed with a re-assessment date.


Remediation steps could include: attending sessions at the Graduate Writing Center; re- taking a course; taking an additional course as deemed necessary, etc. Those students who fail to complete those remediation steps by the set date may be given an “Unsatisfactory/Consider Termination” rating. Students must be found to have made satisfactory progress to be able to proceed with the Specialization Paper/SQE milestone.

When will I be required to complete the Mid Program Review? Students should complete their Mid Program Review by the end of the second year of their doctoral program of studies (after 4 long semesters). At that point, they are to make an appointment with their advisor to conduct the review.


What if I am past the 2nd year in my program and have not completed the Mid Program Review? Those students should complete their Mid-Program Review as soon as possible.


What are the consequences of failing to complete the Mid Program Review in a timely fashion? Students will not be eligible to submit their Specialization Qualifying Exam (SQE or “specialization paper”) unless they have both completed the Mid Program Review process and found to have made satisfactory progress during their Mid-Program Review.


Where can I find all relevant Mid Program Review Documents? These documents (the process, rubric, and form) can all be found on the ELP website.


ELP Process for Mid-Program Review


The mid-program review for ELP doctoral students should occur by the end of the Spring semester of the student’s second year in the program.


The process will entail the following:

1. At the end of the Spring semester of the student’s second year in the program, students will initiate a formal in person meeting with their assigned faculty adviser to review their overall degree progress to date, and to discuss their plans for completion. Most students already meet with their faculty adviser on a regular basis, but this formal meeting will be an opportunity to review and document each student’s remaining path toward degree completion.

2. Two weeks prior to the meeting, students will submit, electronically, a portfolio that includes:

  1. A writing sample --a sole authored paper from one of their courses that they feel demonstrates their writing capability. The exact nature/length of the paper should be decided upon in consultation with the faculty adviser.

b. A program plan filled out with names of instructors, and grades received in courses taken to date.

  1. A written plan for the remaining milestones. This includes: remaining courses in their respective area of specialization, SQE exam, preliminary defense, advancement to candidacy, and final oral exam. Use of the appropriate “program plan” document is strongly encouraged for this purpose.
    1. Curriculum vita
    2. During the formal in-person meeting, the student and faculty adviser will review the materials together and discuss progress to date.

4. After this meeting, faculty advisers will assess the students according to the rubric, and complete the form indicating their evaluation of progress for their advisee as follows:

  1. a.  Satisfactory Progress
  2. b.  Needs Improvement (with remediation steps outlined as needed). Students will need to ensure completion of these remediation steps before continuing in their program of study.
    1. c.  Unsatisfactory/Consider Termination (only on rare occasions, and only after remediation steps are unsuccessful)

5. The student will sign the review form acknowledging receipt of their review. The faculty adviser will provide the Graduate Adviser with the signed review form, and the Graduate Adviser will review and also sign the document.

  1. Finally, each students’ written plan to degree as well as his/her faculty adviser’s recommendation will be filed with the Graduate Adviser’s office.

7. The final decision on satisfactory progress will be communicated to the student by the Graduate Adviser in writing, no later than one month after his/her formal meeting with assigned faculty adviser.


PLEASE NOTE: Any ELP doctoral student who has yet to complete the “comp” exam will be eligible to “opt-in” to this new mid- program review process. However, they should complete their review ASAP, and at the latest by the end of the Spring 2015 semester. Students should consult with his/her faculty adviser on this matter. Also, students must complete the Mid-Program Review Process and achieve Satisfactory Progress before taking the SQE.



The ELP Doctoral Mid-Program Review is a holistic faculty review of student progress in the doctoral program. This rubric is intended to serve as a guide for faculty evaluation of students in the mid-program review process. To meet a designated rating, students should meet at least 2 of the 4 criteria in that category. However, the final rating is up to the discretion of the faculty adviser.




Needs Improvement

Unsatisfactory/ Consider Termination


Strong writing quality, caliber satisfactory for

progression to other milestones

Writing needs improvement to meet standards of academic

writing and successfully pass other milestones

Serious deficiencies in writing quality, doubtful

student could pass other milestones

Course Completion


0 to 1 incomplete


2 or more incompletes


3 or more incompletes

Progress (pace of course-taking)


Taking at least 2 courses per semester


Taking one course per semester


Taking no courses for one semester or more

Other evidence of merit

Attendance/participation at conferences, participation in graduate organizations or professional associations; involvement on student committees within the college/department.



No participation in any local or national conferences or professional associations




*Note: Student grades will also be evaluated by the student’s faculty adviser as part of the mid-program review process. Student grades should meet the requirements laid out by the graduate school.

 Note: Effective Jan. 2015, per approval at 12/5/14 EDA GSC Meeting

How to Submit Mid Program Review


  1. Complete the Mid Program Review Submittal form via DocuSign linked:

    Once the Submittal Form is completed and submitted, it will be automatically sent electronically to your advisor for their review. In order to submit the form, you will need your advisor's UT EID, which can be found in You will be asked to format your advisor’s email in the following manner: Please submit your Mid Program Review up to 14 business days prior to your Mid Program Review meeting with your faculty advisor to allow time for review of the materials.

    Be sure to have your 1.) writing sample, 2.) program plan filled out with names of instructors, and grades received in courses taken to date, 3.) written plan for the remaining milestones, and 4.) curriculum vita ready to upload.

    You can review the uploaded materials by scrolling to the end of the DocuSign document. If you need to make modifications to the uploaded materials, please do so at this step in the submission process. To modify, click the paperclip icon on the DocuSign form and add or delete materials. Once you click the “finish” button and route materials to your faculty advisor, no modifications can be made.

  2. Schedule a Mid Program Review meeting with your Faculty Advisor.

    Your faculty advisor will complete the evaluation and electronically sign the Mid Program Review form after the scheduled meeting.

  3. Sign the Mid Program Review Form.

    After you meet with your faculty adviser, your signature will be required to acknowledge receipt of the evaluation. You will receive an email message to request your signature from after your faculty advisor completes the evaluation. A password is required to access the document to protect the confidentiality of the enclosed evaluation and grade information.

    Please visit Stache to access the password: The UT Information Security Office (ISO) created Stache to provide secure storage and sharing of sensitive data like passwords, encryption keys, lock codes, and personal identification numbers. To log on to Stache, please use your UT EID and corresponding password. Multi-factor authentication, Duo, will also be required to access most online services that require a UT EID.

    The Mid Program Review form will be signed by the Graduate Advisor after your signature is obtained. Once all parties have signed the review, you will receive an email notification from the DocuSign system to download a copy of your Mid Program Review for your records.




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