The Refinement of the Academic Program Review

Program review processes play a key role in the improvement of undergraduate education at CSU, Chico. Such reviews have the potential to systematize a program's approach to academic quality and educational excellence. They provide a framework for quality management in our program offerings and other educational activities. Accordingly, we propose to refine our Five-Year Program Review processes as part of the Educational Effectiveness Review.

More specifically, we will

  • Develop a New Framework for Academic Program Review. The elements of this new framework will align under the strategic priorities of the university, the ten principles of Cornerstones, the principles of the CSU Accountability Process, and the "core commitments" to institutional capacity and educational effectiveness that are embodied in the new WASC accreditation standards. The new review process is intended to refocus programs toward becoming more systematic and intentional about gathering data about the right things -performance and effectiveness-and on using the resulting information to continuously improve what the program does. The first year milestone of this project, involving three degree programs (American Studies, Sociology and Mathematics) as test units for the new standards, has been successfully reached. The continuing "plan-do-assess-revise" analysis of efforts in this area will demonstrate our increasing capacity for assessment, diversity and quality improvement.
  • Enhance Assessment in General Education. The General Education program is the foundation of undergraduate education at CSU, Chico. As such General Education was a special topic in the Report on the Comprehensive Site Visit of CSU, Chico, March 25-28, 1996 as well as in the March 2, 2000 Chico Fourth-Year Report entitled "Progress Toward Reaffirmation in the New Century." Following exhortations in these reports, we will demonstrate our established mechanisms for translating GE assessment information into actual program change as part of the Educational Effectiveness Review. We will conduct an audit of current GE assessment activities, identify "best" and "lesser" practices, and develop studies to improve the "lesser" practices. We propose to present several case studies of GE assessment initiatives that show our commitment to a culture of evidence and a culture of learning. We will include not only long-established assessment initiatives, but also some of the newer initiatives resulting from the audit.