The evaluation of academic programs, as described in the Academic Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual (section C.188.8.131.52.d), enables faculty members to assess the quality of their academic programs and evaluate the unit/departmental operations. The process is critical to how Colorado State University ensures the quality of our degree programs and focuses on continuous improvement. While the faculty manual does not prescribe the schedule for program review, typically, reviews occur every 6-7 years or in accordance with specialized accreditation schedules. The process is overseen by the Vice Provost for Planning and Effectiveness with input from college deans and associate deans. The review process begins in the fall of each year, lasts about 15 months, and includes the following:
1. The unit/department will complete an introspective self-study with broad faculty participation. A template for the self-study is provided to stimulate a thorough reflection and analysis of degree program(s). It is not intended that a unit/department must respond to each and every question; rather, the template is offered as a helpful guide, which is based on past experience with the review process.
2. Peer reviewers (both internal and external to CSU) will provide feedback. One CSU faculty member from outside of the unit/department’s college and representatives from central administration will serve as CSU internal peer reviewers and will provide feedback to the department. A team of 3 external reviewers will also be invited to review the self-study and visit campus to meet with the faculty, staff, and students of the unit/department. Their feedback will also be provided to the department.
3. A strategic unit/departmental Action Plan will be drafted based on the findings of the self-study and peer reviews. That plan will feed up to the college strategic plan which further feeds up to the Courageous Strategic Transformation (CST).
After the program review process is complete, the unit/department will provide updates annually as follows:
1. Program learning outcomes will be assessed. Results and refinements to the assessment plan itself will be documented in the Anthology tool. Use of the tool for this purpose has been optional in the past but will now be required. Training in the use of the tool are available. These updates will be integrated into subsequent program reviews as summative assessment and serve as formative assessment in the interim years.
2. Strategic Action Plan initiatives will be reviewed. Progress and refinements to the Action Plan will be documented in the Anthology tool. Use of the tool for this purpose has been optional in the past but will now be required. Again, training in the use of the tool will be provided. These updates will be included in reporting at the institutional level as they feed the CST initiatives and may also be used in college-level reporting.
Anthology The enterprise system in which the program review and planning processes are documented is hosted by Anthology. The Compliance Assist Module is used for program review and the Planning Module organizes and connects departmental Action Plans with college and institutional strategic planning. The Planning Module also includes templates to organize assessment plans and results.