Introduction

Foothill College utilizes an annual program review process for all departments. In 2010-2011, there are two updated sections addressing Learning Outcomes and Resource Allocation for Programs to update. The goal is to achieve ongoing deep reflection of programs and link program planning to program goals, institutional goals, strategic initiatives, student learning outcomes, resource allocation, accreditation, and the educational master plan.

According to the Educational Effectiveness Framework produced by WASC, highly-developed program reviews are systematic and institution-wide, with learning assessment findings a major component. Findings are used to improve student learning, program effectiveness, and supporting processes, and close linkages exist between program planning and institution-level planning and budgeting.

WASC’s rubric for assessing the integration of student learning assessment into program review includes five major dimensions:

  • Explicit self-study requirements: Faculty have clear requirements for evaluating program’s student learning outcomes, annual assessment findings, benchmarking results, subsequent changes, and evidence concerning the impact of these changes. Plans are presented for the next cycle of assessment studies. 
  • Self-study review: well-qualified internal and external reviewers evaluate the program’s learning outcomes, assessment plan, evidence, benchmarking results, and assessment impact. Reviewers provide feedback and suggestions for improvement, and the department uses the feedback to improve student learning.
  • Planning and budgeting: The campus systematically integrates program reviews into planning and budgeting processes
  • Annual feedback on assessment efforts: A well-qualified individual or committee provides annual feedback on the quality of outcomes, assessment plans, assessment studies, benchmarking results, and assessment impact. Departments effectively use feedback to improve student learning and follow-up activities enjoy institutional support.
  • Student experience: The unique student perspective on a given program of study is collected and incorporated into program review, for example through review of student work, portfolios or capstone projects, and opportunities for students to discuss and evaluate what they learned and how they learned it.

A highly effective program review is sustainable, continuous quality improvement, with ongoing and systematic processes used to assess and improve student learning and achievement. Program review processes are disseminated, reviewed, and discussed to undergo ongoing institutional review and refinement to improve institutional effectiveness and program practices, resulting in improvements in student achievement and learning.