In May 2016, PRAC began gathering feedback on the existing program review process, including the template and its content, the timing of the process, and the length of the program review cycle. Considerable feedback was obtained from academic department chairs and coordinators, deans, and others. Consensus feedback was that the template is difficult to use, the questions in the template do not adequately encourage meaningful departmental discussions, data need to be consistent and provided within the template where possible, and the program review process is increasingly seen not as a means of improving program performance (as intended and outlined in the 2009 Senate MOU), but rather as a way to simply request resources.
With this information in hand, an initial re-drafting of the program review template was undertaken. Examples from other California Community Colleges were reviewed and iterations were presented to chairs and others for additional input and feedback.
Final recommendations from PRAC, which were approved by the Academic Senate in Spring 2018, include:
- Move from a three-year to a six-year program review cycle (understanding that CTE programs will need to continue to complete certain portions of the program review on a two-year cycle);
- Develop ‘Program Review Teams’ composed of faculty, an administrator, and staff from outside the department to review and provide feedback on the completed program review;
- Departments will annually review updated data within the template and document progress. This will make the completion of the six-year program review that much less of a daunting task;
- Crosswalk the ‘Objectives and Activities’ proposed within the program review to the annual budget request process, thereby keeping the program review process focused on program improvement, but aligning it with a redesigned budget request process;
- Utilize the eLumen platform to auto-populate data to be used for program review, and provide that data both for the program and for the institution as a whole for comparative purposes;
The primary purposes of program review are to:
- Document discussions and plans for improving student success within a program;
- Link these plans to decisions about resource allocation;
- Share program information with the College community.
There are four primary sections within the program review:
- Basic Program Information
- Student Success Trends
- Program Planning
- Feedback & Assessment
Sections have pre-populated data for both the program (as defined by the department) and the institution. The questions and prompts posed within each section are designed to spur discussion and aid in the development of plans for program improvement. The program review process is most useful and meaningful when faculty across the department engage in these discussions on a regular basis. These sections are designed as a base from which to work. Each program review cycle (now six years), departments will have an opportunity to identify and include additional data points, questions, and other relevant information. Each year departments will review updated data and document progress.
Feedback and Assessment
- Chair coordinates the annual review of data and compilation of departmental discussions/planning in the template (departmental discussions occur at meetings throughout each year)
- Chair coordinates completion of program review at year six and sign-off on the program review submission (the program review submission is a summary compilation of the content from the template)
- The program review routes to the dean/supervising administrator. Feedback may include the identification of strengths/successes of the program, any areas of concern, and possible recommendations for edits/changes.
- Any feedback is provided for further discussion and consideration by the department.
- At the conclusion of this feedback loop the program review is submitted to a Program Review Team (composition likely to include faculty, administrator, and staff from outside the department) for review and further feedback.
- Once all feedback is complete, the Program Review routes to the Planning & Resource Allocation Committee (PRAC).
- PRAC uses program review content in planning and resource allocation recommendations.
On an annual basis, academic-division presentations to PRAC that incorporate objectives/activities from the ongoing program review process are prepared and presented by the dean/supervising administrator and discipline faculty.