Academic Process Review

Higher Learning Commission Open Pathways Accreditation

Core Component 4.A.1 The institution maintains a practice of regular program reviews.

 

ACADEMIC PROGRAM REVIEW

 

The College undertakes regular reviews of each academic program. The purpose of the Program Review is to evaluate the quality, productivity, and role of College programs in the fulfillment of the College’s Mission and Strategic Plan. The process encourages self-study and planning based upon program assessment results, addresses comparability among review reports, and strengthens linkages connecting the College’s strategic planning process with that of individual programs. Information developed during the review process is used in budgetary and planning decisions.

 

Between FY 2009 and FY 2014, CCC department chairs annually conducted program review. The model used was developed by department chairs (DCs) and division deans in 2008 and piloted in FY 2009. A review cycle in which programs would be reviewed in a three- to five-year interval was established in 2010. Each department chair conducted at least one departmental program review annually with an occasional year-long hiatus from the process. The review documented the program’s role in fulfilling the learning and teaching Mission of the College. Items in the review included enrollment patterns, staffing, technologies employed in teaching, and decision making processes. Additional sections of the program review included addressing results from assessment of student learning and programmatic changes as a result of assessment results; frequency of curricular review and curricular updates; the program’s role in meeting College curricular needs, such as general education requirements, multicultural courses, prerequisites or requirement for other programs; and the program’s accomplishments in support of the College’s current Strategic Plan.

 

The data and information for these reviews were gathered by each department chair individually, and the results were shared with Institutional Research and Assessment (IRA) and posted on its website. The results of annual program reviews were also shared with the College President and Board. While the results were used to assess the currency, relevancy, and quality of the programs, the process was time-consuming, and not all of the information gathered proved useful. When the College eliminated department chairs as part of an organizational structure change in FY 15, Academic Affairs began researching a new program review model that could provide departments and divisions with relevant program data without creating excessive burden.

 

Through a collaborative effort between Institutional Research, our HLC Assessment Academy Workgroup, and Finance Department, a reporting framework was developed that requires fewer resources to produce actionable information.

 

This new Program Review template is intended to provide comprehensive information via a reporting practice that is both systematic and sustainable. The primary objective of the report is to examine programs (degree & certificate) by looking at the actual courses taken by students declaring that program. Those courses are divided into developmental, 100 level, 200 level, and subject groupings. Data therein includes: 1) enrollment, 2) course success rates, 3) tuition revenue generated, and 4) overall course expense. This allows for a clear picture of how students in a given major select and perform in the courses that support that major. Identifying how courses relate to programs is vital for those programs that have broad curricular offerings; such as the General Education program. This template accomplishes that goal. We anticipate developing this template to include other relevant information as we continue to develop our new Program Review report. In addition, deans, DCs, faculty, Curriculum Committee, and Articulation Task Forces (ATFs) continually review the currency and relevancy of CCC programs.