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Office of Assessment Comprehensive Program Review Overview

Each undergraduate program undergoes a formal review every seven (7) years and each graduate level program undergoes a review every 10 years. The calendar of reviews is determined by Academic Affairs in consultation with the deans. The review process for each unit involves the following steps:

  1. The department head/program coordinator or associate dean recommends to the dean a minimum of three potential external program reviewers. If the program is an accredited program, the department head/program coordinator may use a committee of Clayton State faculty from other disciplines as reviewers.
  2. The dean, in consultation with the Provost, selects a single reviewer.
  3. The dean negotiates the external review with the selected reviewer and arranges for the on-site visit.
  4. The department head/associate dean/program coordinator creates a "Comprehensive Program Review Report," using the Clayton State University Comprehensive Review Template. The report is submitted to the dean, who forwards the completed "Comprehensive Review Report" to the external reviewer.
  5. The external reviewer submits a written report to the dean that addresses the Comprehensive Program Review Report and additional information/materials gathered in relation to the on-site visit.
  6. The department head/associate dean/program coordinator, in consultation with the faculty, submits a written response to the report of the external reviewer to the dean. This response includes a draft action plan to address any identified deficiencies/problem areas.
  7. The dean, following consultation with the department, submits a written assessment of the total academic program review to the Provost. The Dean's response will include a five-year review outcome analysis and an action plan that is appropriate to the outcome analysis.

Comprehensive Program Review Outcomes

The review may lead to recommendations regarding the department or program resources and budget or substantial program modifications. Specifically, the following outcomes can occur as a result of a seven-year review:

  1. Enhance: The department and its programs are operating in a manner consistent with the mission of the university, college/school and department. Enhancement of the department with additional physical and/or human resources could lead to significant improvements from the standpoints of achieving strategic planning goals and student outcomes.
  2. Maintain: The department and its programs are operating in a manner consistent with the mission of the university, college/school, and department. No changes are needed at this time.
  3. Reduce: The department is not achieving its stated outcomes for reasons that cannot be corrected through reasonable enhancements, or the department is no longer operating in a manner that is consistent with the mission of the university and college/school. One or more programs in the department should be reduced or deleted.

Review of Accredited Departments or Programs

Programs accredited by external entities may not substitute an external review for institutional program review, but material submitted as part of an external accreditation process may be used in the institutional review. Institutions may align program review cycles with required external accreditation review, so long as no program review cycle at any level exceeds ten (10) years.

Continuous Strategic Planning

The department head/associate dean is responsible for maintaining and updating the department's strategic plan. Departmental strategic planning sessions are scheduled into each Faculty Planning Week, and should occur as necessary throughout the year. All planning must be connected to the institution's and school's statement of mission and purpose and prioritized Institutional Planning Themes. Each departmental strategic plan should encompass all of the academic programs/majors taught in the department and should include a unit mission statement, a set of goals consistent with the mission statement, objectives that attend to the goals, and intended outcomes for students as well as a delineated Outcomes Assessment Plan.

Unit Mission Statement

The mission of the department should be consistent with and a subset of the mission of the University and School. The department mission should reference input variables (e.g., student levels of preparation, expertise of faculty) as well as outcomes for students.

Goals and Objectives

Each goal is a future state or end product that will help guide and direct the progression of the department's activities. Each goal should:

  • Be in agreement with the institution's mission.
  • Be compatible with the mission of the institution and school.
  • Be divisible into measurable objectives.
  • Have predictable consequences.
  • Have a long-term time-frame for completion.
  • Be consistent with the prioritized institutional planning themes.

Objectives are short-range steps in the direction of attaining a goal. Each objective must:

  • Relate and attend to a specific goal.
  • Be measurable or observable.

Outcomes for Students

Each unit must identify the most important or key outcomes for all academic programs/majors and assess those outcomes. The outcomes for each program/major should be evaluated using an Outcomes Assessment Plan. Each specified outcome must include methods of measurement and criteria for evaluation. Outcomes should be stated in terms of expected behaviors within a set time frame and should be classified in three domains - cognitive (knowledge), affective (attitudes) and skills (performance).