Review of Low Completion Programs

Review of Low Completion Programs

Curriculum, Program Review, Resources
  • Program Review
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Average: 3.8 (9 votes)
South Dakota Board of Regents (SD)
http://www.sdbor.edu/

The public university system in South Dakota offers associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs to 35,000 students at six campuses and three centers as well as by distance delivery.

  • Institutions
  • Institutions

PURPOSE

Review programs with few graduates to generate savings that can be reallocated to ensure the system provides a range of quality programs for students enrolled.

  • Eliminate programs with limited demand.

  • Eliminate options within programs that constrain course offerings while adding limited value for students.

  • Encourage strategies for intersystem collaboration in the delivery of programs.

  • Identify and retain programs that address critical needs.

  • Reinvest resources saved to develop higher priority offerings.

DESCRIPTION

This tool provides an overview of the processes used to conduct a system-wide review of programs with few graduates. Based on historical numbers of graduates by program, the set of programs targeted for review were identified. Each campus implemented a review of these programs using common strategies and criteria to develop a set of recommendations. These were reviewed centrally, refined, and recommendations were forwarded to the Board for action.

The tool includes: * steps used to identify programs targeted for review * development of a framework for the review * criteria used to arrive at a recommendation for each targeted program including: 1. Retain because of critical need * There is demand for graduates in the state. * It’s the only program of its kind in the state. * There is industry need. * Graduates are getting employment. * Unique opportunities for students. * Mission specific centrality (serving the state, cultural need for the region) 2. Retain with further review required * Mission specific centrality (serving the state, cultural need for the region) may also affect retention. 3. Consolidate with another program on campus; Consolidate with another program within the system * If the consolidation is with another program in the system, the collaborative aspects must (i.e., course rotation schedule) 4. Termination * System level review strategies * Recommendations to the Board of Regents * Implementation strategies

This process is similar to campus-specific program prioritizations. And builds on the set of common strategies used in those endeavors by including a state-level perspective.

RESULTS

  • Number of programs eliminated.

  • Number of programs that were restructured to eliminate requirements that added limited value.

  • Number of courses eliminated.

  • Increased flexibility for institutions as class schedules are developed.

Of the 176 programs targeted for review, 37 were terminated. In addition, the campuses recommended that four sets of programs be consolidated internally and one program that should be consolidated into a multi-campus collaborative offering. Finally, 109 focused specializations within approved programs were eliminated. Strategies to teach-out the terminated programs were approved as were plans to communicate this with students enrolled in the programs that were revised or terminated.

This has helped stream-line the curricular offerings and is requiring the campuses to consider state and national demand as curricular revisions are made. As the recommendations are implemented, campuses will be able to redirect resources freed up to support offering additional sections of core courses, additional courses in higher priority programs, or other similar purposes.

RESOURCES AND LESSONS LEARNED

Communications that established this as a priority effort of the academic enterprise of the system. Commitment by faculty and administrators to complete the required reviews in the timeframe established.

  • Time of participants.

  • It is difficult to balance the public expectation that this process will result in immediate savings when in reality, these savings will be realized over a period of a year or two as the pattern of course offerings changes.

  • A continuous program review process at the system and campus levels that requires faculty to engage actively in the management of the curriculum is much more effective and much less stressful.

  • The campus-based review processes must involve a cross section of faculty, administrators and students.

  • After recommendations are made and accepted, steps need to be taken to implement the curricular actions approved.

The system has an established cyclical program review process. Aspects of this targeted review of programs with few graduates are being incorporated into this ongoing process.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

A summary page is being developed and, once established, the link will be forwarded. Until that time, reference is made to a series of published agenda items. The following agenda items are from 2009-2010 meetings of the South Dakota Board of Regents:

http://www.sdbor.edu/theboard/items/documents/COMMA1009H.pdf
http://www.sdbor.edu/theboard/items/documents/FULLBOR0310H.pdf
http://www.sdbor.edu/theboard/agenda/2010/June/COMMA0610III-A.pdf

The following agenda items are from 2009-2010 meetings of the system’s Chief Academic officers:

http://www.sdbor.edu/services/academics/AAC/documents/09-09AAC_6.O_prog_...
http://www.sdbor.edu/services/academics/AAC/documents/10-09AAC_1_prog_re...
http://www.sdbor.edu/services/academics/AAC/documents/11-09AAC_6.M_prog_...
http://www.sdbor.edu/services/academics/AAC/documents/02-10AAC_6.H_prog-...
http://www.sdbor.edu/services/academics/AAC/documents/AAC03-2010_6.C_pro...

Series of articles in the March 28, 2010 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education provide background and a list of systems and universities that are evaluating programs with few majors and graduates.

Sam Gingerich
System Vice President for Academic Affairs
South Dakota Board of Regents
306 East Capitol Ave., Suite 200
Pierre, South Dakota 57501
Phone: (605)773-3455
Fax: (605)773-5320

samg@sdbor.edu

Sam Gingerich
System Vice President for Academic Affairs
South Dakota Board of Regents
306 East Capitol Ave., Suite 200
Pierre, South Dakota 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3455
Fax: (605) 773-5320

samg@sdbor.edu