Academic Program Review at Truman
Truman reviews approximately 20% of its programs each year. While this percent comes from an agreement with the Missouri Department of Higher Education, we use these reviews primarily for internal improvement, identification of longer-term issues, and as an opportunity for reflection.
The five-year program review has as its primary audience the program leadership itself, for its own self-study and planning purposes. Programs evolve over time, and the program review provides an opportunity to not just consider what new initiatives are needed, but what can be streamlined, aggregated, or even discontinued. It also provides an opportunity to ensure that important program information is properly collected and available, including Faculty CVs and Course-level Syllabi.
Please note that the document also will be read by leaders of the School and University. In addition, the Missouri Department of Higher Education may receive a copy, and an abridged review report must be presented to Faculty Senate.
Some Truman programs have external program reviews mandated by national accreditors or other sources, and these internal guidelines are flexible, so that both reviews can be done with minimal repeated work. Other programs with unique issues may request similar flexibility.
A good executive summary should be useful to external audiences as well as Faculty Senate.
What is reviewed?
Although flexibility is given to schools and departments, the review should not only focus on the major, on related minors, contribution of the program to the LSP, and other activities of the department. A few departments participate in multiple five-year program reviews (most notably Classical and Modern Languages), but all department activities should be reviewed on an approximate five-year rotation.
Although LSP components are also reviewed on a schedule mandated by UGC and Faculty Senate, they are not considered programs and this document is not meant to guide those reviews.
The fundamental goals of the five-year program review are to allow a program to periodically:
- Review and report on progress made in existing programmatic mission and goals;
- Ensure that student learning and quality teaching remain the top priority at Truman;
- Examine the relationship between the program and Truman’s liberal arts and sciences mission, Strategic Plan, and other campus-wide initiatives;
- Identify and review strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and current or potential areas of concern;
- Encourage and support innovation and progress;
- Ensure that documents such as faculty CVs and course-level syllabi are updated and readily available as needed;
- Support the program’s ongoing process of goal-setting and achievement by inviting an open exchange of ideas, methods, and improvements among program stakeholders: reviewers, faculty, staff, students, and administrators; and,
- Create a plan of action (goals) for the next five years.