Once a department/program has its mission, goals, and objectives in place it can start developing an Action Plan and implementing it. That Action Plan becomes the roadmap for the yearly assessment plans and reports. Implementation of the Department/Program Action Plan is the responsibility of all faculty and staff associated with the program, with the current director or department chair or program director managing its development. Consultation can take place among the faculty body as appropriate, and programs can seek assistance from the Institutional Research & Assessment staff in developing missions, goals, outcomes, tables, graphs, etc., and in the evaluation of assessment results. The implementation process will differ from program to program, yet each of the following components should be addressed:
- Timeline/Schedule: A general outline of what goals and outcomes will be assessed at what points in the next cycle. The schedule should include plans for the full seven-year period before the next Program Review. Because departments/programs will be expected to use data and findings from one year to inform the specific assessment goals of the next year, this outline should be more malleable in the later years and able to take findings and changes into account. Any deviations from this schedule should be noted in the yearly report.
- Tools/Methods: A description of how the assessment will actually take place. Will include details about the outcomes to be assessed, types of tools to be used for each outcome (rubrics, pre/post tests, surveys, course evaluations, and other direct and indirect means of assessment), and specifics about how the assessments will be conducted.
- Responsibilities: A breakdown of who in the department/program will do what. Since all members of a department/program are expected to participate in the cycle (with the chair/program director organizing everything), a clear delineation of responsibilities is needed. These responsibilities will become part of a faculty member’s college service record and count towards their promotion, tenure, or post-tenure reviews.
- Review: A description of how the results will be analyzed, used by the department/program to inform future decisions, and disseminated to the larger division and college community. This is one of the most important aspects of the assessment and program review cycle, since without it the department/program cannot move forward and progress.