Program Review Guidelines

The goals of this Department/Program Review process are:

  • to assure that department/program assessment plans and reports are part of a strategic planning process that includes student learning outcomes but also encompasses department/program missions, resource needs, and action plans;
  • to provide evidence of the quality of our academic programs—to current and prospective students, to the higher education community, to our accrediting agency.

Although all departments and programs are at different places in their assessment and review efforts and will start at different places in the cycle, the cycle itself will be the same for all:

1) Establishing the Building Blocks
All departments and programs should have a concrete mission statement, goals, and learning outcomes. These elements are of course interconnected, and should also relate to the college's Educational Goals and General Education Goals of the college. If they have not already done so, departments and programs should begin working on a curriculum map, which is the bridge that connects the mission, goals, and learning outcomes to specific courses and syllabi.

2) Annual Assessment Reports and Plans
Until the next round of reviews produce an Action Plan, the yearly assessment reports and plans should be guided by the building blocks outlined above. Once the Action Plan is established this document will guide future assessment reports and plans.

3) Review Year: Self Study
During the department or program’s Review Year, they will not turn in an assessment plan or report but will instead start a self-study, emerging from the building blocks outlined above. The self-study is a candid assessment of the department or program’s current state. This will be based in part on the past years’ assessment plans and reports and will address the curriculum, student learning, and program resources.

4) Review Year: Optional External Review
After the department or program has completed its self-study, an external review can be requested by the department/program chair or the dean.

5) Review Year: Action Plan
After the completion of the self-study (and, if requested, the external review) the department or program will create an Action Plan for the next six years of the cycle. This plan will consist of a general schedule of what the department or program will work on in the upcoming years, the tools and methods for their assessment, a breakdown of responsibilities, and a plan for how yearly results will be analyzed, used to inform future decisions, and shared with the community.

Assessment & Department/Program Review – Seven-Year Cycle

Seven-Year Cycle

Years 1-6:  Implement Action Plan by assessing outcomes according to schedule included in the Action Plan. Revise plan and strategy as needed based on each year’s data and findings. The current format of reports and plans will be used, and the Academic Assessment Committee will continue to use the assessment rubric developed over the past few years to evaluate and provide suggestions for improvement.

Year 7:  Create a self-study based on data from previous six years of annual reports. After reviewing the study with the Dean and Associate Dean, a new Action Plan will be created for use during the next seven-year cycle.