Academic Affairs

Program Review Process

The Program Review process is completed to provide the College with an accurate and current evaluation of the programs of an academic unit and to agree upon intermediate and long-term goals. This review is also meant to be a meaningful exercise for departments to facilitate discussion of past accomplishments, current trends, and to help departments develop realistic plans for the future.

There are 5 distinct parts of the program review process:

  1. PLANNING FOR THE REVIEW. The Department and the Dean set the specific steps and timeline for completing the review; questions and issues are determined; the Department will submit its plan to the dean by October 15 for review and approval; the plan will then proceed to Academic Affairs for review and approval. Included in the Academic Affairs approval process will be identification of specific issues related to assessment, enrollment management, and other issues that are relevant.
  2. SELF-STUDY. The Department will complete a self-study with information about past activities and performances as well as specific plans and goals for the next seven years. The self-study must address the needs and interests of the department, its majors, the non-majors it serves, and College strategic themes as well as assessment of student learning, enrollment management issues, the general education program, and effective use of College resources. Included will be goals for the future, a timeline for accomplishing those goals, and follow-up plans for addressing problems identified in the review process. The self-study should be completed by January 20.
  3. REVIEW OF THE PROGRAM AND SELF-STUDY. An internal and/or external review group will evaluate the program, its self-study, and plans for the future. A report of the review group will be submitted to the department, dean, the director of assessment, and VPAA.  Plans for assembling the review group will be part of the planning process, #1 above.  The review report will be completed by March 20.  The School Dean and a designee of the VPAA will also evaluate the program, its self-study with the plans for the future, and will prepare and submit a report to the VPAA by April 20, with a copy sent also to the FLC Assessment Office.
  4. In consultation with the department, the reviewer(s), and the VPAA, the Dean will summarize the results of the review and set the departmental agenda for the next several years (goals, problems to address, improvements and advancements desired, timelines for each).
  5. REPORT TO THE TRUSTEES. The Dean and VPAA will work together to summarize the review activities and prepare a report to the Board of Trustees based on the goal of continuous improvement of our academic programs.  At the request of the Trustees, this summary will include the following elements extracted from the departmental review:
  • A list of the chair and departmental faculty and staff, including rank/title and how long each has been at Fort Lewis College
  • A table showing numbers of departmental majors and departmental graduates for the last reporting period
  • Evidence of  placement of graduates in graduate and professional programs or employment
  • A statement of departmental accomplishments during the review period and problems that need to be addressed
  • A description of departmental plans for the future, including assignment of responsibilities and a timeline
  • An attachment of course listings for the department
  • Degree requirements for all majors and minors in the program

Following is a summary of additional elements included in this review process:

  1. The Deans will be responsible for organizing the program reviews in their School. All review processes need not be exactly the same; in fact, we are more likely to have meaningful reviews if the process is custom designed for each program/department.
  2. The program review will address all relevant areas, including service to majors as well as service to non-majors and general college goals. The Department and the Dean will work together to define the program review process and to determine the issues that need to be addressed. They will submit a proposed work plan to the VPAA by November 1 for approval.
  3. Completion of all work on each program review must be completed by April 20 so that the final report can be presented to the Trustees and the entire process can be completed within a single school year. We should aim for presentation to the Trustees at the May/June meeting.
  4. Included in each program review will be a critical review of the documentation and the results of the self-study by (a) an objective review group, internal or external and (b) the school dean.
  5. External reviews will be funded for a limited number of reviews each year depending on the budget available and the justifications given for such expenditures.
  6. All self-studies must include:
    1. A list of department faculty, their rank, and length of time at FLC
    2. Data on students including information on numbers of majors and graduates
    3. At least three years of data on FTE production
    4. Honest analysis of program strengths and weaknesses
    5. Assessment results and evidence that the information is being utilized by the program/department to make needed adjustments
    6. Directions and goals for the future; evidence of realistic departmental planning
    7. The department’s contribution to the Fort Lewis General Education Program
    8. Departmental contribution to the success of Freshman and the retention of students through graduation.
    9. Other issues as determined by the Dean and the VPAA
  7. Conversations with the dean and the VPAA need to be built into the process so that this can be a meaningful discussion and not simply a plea for more resources.

Revised 4/27/10