Program Planning Re-envisioned
Our program review/annual planning process is robust, thorough, and integrated into our planning and resource allocation processes. However, there is widespread sentiment that the annual planning document is in need of improvement. The issues are varied but at the core, the common thread is that the outcomes of the annual plan do not warrant the extensive amount of work required for completion. Furthermore, the resulting plans frequently do not provide the substantive evidence needed for accreditation - one of the driving reasons for the program review process.
The purpose of the 6-year comprehensive program review has also come to question. The original intent was for the annual plan to be significantly simpler and serve as the basis for the comprehensive review. However, over time, the annual plan has evolved to become virtually indistinguishable from the comprehensive review (see a comparison of the two documents). In fact, the only remaining significant differences between the two are: the comprehensive review is presented to a college-wide forum, and, the comprehensive review is submitted to the Board of Trustees as an informational report. It is time to either eliminate the comprehensive review, or to return to original intentions and to greatly simplify the annual plan.
- The required analyses must be useful and meaningful to faculty and planning bodies.
- The required components must meet a program, institutional, or accreditation needs.
- Programs should not be required to submit information that could simply be obtained by running a report from another data source (e.g. TracDat or CurricUnet).
- Any components required in an annual plan should be likely to meaningfully change on an annual basis.
- The resource requests must be reviewed, acted upon and feedback returned in a transparent and timely manner.