Section 1. General
1.1. Scope. This rule delineates the procedures to be followed by the West Virginia University at Parkersburg Board of Governors in the review of existing academic programs.
1.3. Effective Date: December 5, 2012
(Replaces version dated September 7, 2001, as transferred from WVU Board of Governors on July 1, 2008.)
Section 2. Basis of Program Review Process
2.1. WVU at Parkersburg shall review at least every five years all programs offered at the institution. Reviews shall address the viability, adequacy, necessity, and consistency with mission of the programs to the institutional master plan, the institutional compact, and the education and workforce needs of the responsibility district. The institution shall conduct periodic studies of graduates and their employers to determine placement practices and the effectiveness of the education experience.
2.2. For the purpose of this document, a "program" is defined as curriculum or course of study in a discipline specialty that leads to a certificate or degree.
Section 3. Assumptions Used in Developing the Review Process
3.1. A rational and comprehensive program review process requires differentiation among levels of degrees. The process, criteria, and standards for associate degree programs will differ significantly from those applied to graduate programs.
3.2. The program review process must be accomplished within the limits of available staff and resources.
3.3. A continuous auditing process allowing for early identification of programs that need particular scrutiny is required to permit changes to be anticipated, appropriate intervention to take place, and corrective action to be accomplished within normal institutional planning efforts.
3.4. A readily accessible computerized data base should be available to support the program review process.
Section 4. Program Review Levels
4.1. The program review process will provide for a review and evaluation of all programs leading to a certificate or degree at the institution. The Senior Vice President for Academic affairs will direct the formulation of self-studies for the programs to be reviewed in a given year according to a timeline established by the institution. The institutional Outcomes Assessment Committee will review the programs in terms of their relationship to the institution's mission and the quality of the programs. The Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs shall identify external reviewers who will also be asked to review program self-studies. The governing board will report to the Chancellor, by May 31, the results of the program reviews conducted each academic year. The Council may modify any institutional action consistent with its authority for review of academic programs.
4.1.1. Program Review by the Institutional Board of Governors - The purpose of the appropriate Board review, conducted on a regular five-year cycle, will be to conduct an in-depth evaluation of the viability of, adequacy of, necessity for each academic program, consistent with the mission of the institution. Comprehensive institutional self-studies conducted in compliance with accreditation or institutional processes and completed within the previous 60 months may be used to provide the base line data for the review, with any necessary updating of factual information or interim reports to the accrediting body. Programs that are accredited by specialized accrediting or approving agencies (for disciplines for which such agencies exist) recognized by the Federal Government and/or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation shall be considered to have met the minimum requirements of the review process with respect to adequacy. For programs so accredited or approved, institutions shall submit: the comprehensive institutional self-study conducted in compliance with the accreditation or approval process, a copy of the letter containing the conferral of accreditation or approval and a documented statement from the chief academic officer regarding program consistency with mission, viability and necessity. In preparing the institutional self-study, each institution will utilize a collaborative process which includes faculty, students and administrators.
4.1.2. Program Review by the Council - The reports on actions resulting from program review at each institution shall be reviewed by the staff of the Council for Community and Technical College Education as described in Series 10.
4.1.3. Institutional personnel, external consultants, and the staff of the Board of Governors will be involved in establishing the criteria, standards, and process of evaluation, and in interpreting the information resulting from the review. It is the responsibility of the institution to assure that the program review process is carried out objectively and that persons external to the academic unit in which the program is housed and/or external to the institution participate in the review. To ensure that each program is reviewed at least once every five years, consistent with statutory requirements, the institution will select approximately 20 percent of all programs for review each year. For each program identified for review, the institution will develop a self-study statement addressing the following items.
126.96.36.199. Viability - Viability is tested by an analysis of unit cost factors, sustaining a critical mass, and relative productivity. Based upon past trends in enrollment, patterns of graduates, and the best predictive data available, the institution shall assess the program's past ability and future prospects to attract students and sustain a viable, cost-effective program.
188.8.131.52. Adequacy - The institution shall assess the quality of the program. A valuable (but not the sole) criterion for determining the program's adequacy is accreditation by a specialized accrediting or approving agency recognized by the Federal Government or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The institution shall evaluate the preparation and performance of faculty and students, and the adequacy of facilities.
184.108.40.206. Necessity - The dimensions of necessity include whether the program is necessary for the institution's service region, and whether the program is needed by society (as indicated by current employment opportunities, evidence of future need, rate of placement of the programs' graduates). Whether the needs of West Virginia justify the duplication of programs in several geographic service regions shall also be addressed.
220.127.116.11. Consistency With Mission -The program shall be a component of, and appropriately contribute to, the fulfillment of the institutional and system missions. The review should indicate the centrality of the program to the institution, explain how the program complements other programs offered, and state how the program draws upon or supports other programs. Both institutional aspects of the program should be addressed. The effects (positive or negative) that discontinuance of the program might have upon the institution's ability to accomplish its mission should be stated.
4.1.4. Special Program Review - the Board of Governors may request at any time that special program reviews be conducted for a given purpose. Formal strategies for conducting such reviews will be developed, consistent with the purpose of the review.
Section 5. Possible Outcomes
5.1. Institutional Recommendation - The Board of Governors’ five-year cycle of program review will result in a recommendation by the institution for action relative to each program under review. The institution is clearly obligated to recommend continuation or discontinuation for each program reviewed. If recommending continuation, the institution should state what it intends:
5.1.1. Continuation of the program at the current level of activity, with or without specific action;
5.1.2. Continuation of the program at a reduced level of activity (e.g., reducing the range of optional tracks) or other corrective action.
5.1.3. Identification of the program for further development; or
5.1.4. Development of a cooperative program with another institution, or sharing of courses, facilities, faculty, and the like.
5.1.5. If it recommends discontinuance of the program, then the provisions of Council policy on approval and discontinuance of academic programs will apply.
5.1.6. For each program, the institution will provide a brief rationale for the observations, evaluation, and recommendation. These should include concerns and achievements of the program. The institution will also make all supporting documentation available to the Council upon request.
5.2. The President or designee will present the college recommendations for each program reviewed to the Board of Governors, normally by May 15.
5.3. The Board of Governors will review the recommendations and may request additional information or further review before making decisions. The Board of Governors will send the results to the Chancellor of the Council for Community and Technical College Education by May 31.
5.4. If the program disagrees with the outcome of program review, it may appeal the decision to the Board of Governors by sending a memo to the Board, copied to the President. The memo should describe the basis for the appeal and should include supporting information.
Section 6. Programs of Excellence
6.1. As part of the WVU at Parkersburg Board of Governors program review process, programs can request to be considered for the designation, “Board of Governors Program of Excellence.” A program being considered for the excellence designation should meet the following criteria.
6.1.1. Distinction: The program must be one of distinction. It should have received state or national recognition or some other clearly defined indicator appropriate to the mission of the program. External validation of high quality by a nationally recognized body will strengthen the case.
6.1.2. Curriculum and Assessment: The program must have clearly defined and measurable curricular goals and objectives and must regularly assess student learning outcomes. Evidence of a strong assessment plan that utilizes assessment data to improve the program must be included. The program should hold national or specialized accreditation if available and all accreditation criteria must be met fully
6.1.3. Graduates: Evidence of success of graduates in career placement and or in continuing higher education must be documented.
6.1.4. Faculty: Faculty should hold terminal degrees or have equivalent professional experience. For faculty who teach in certificate and associates programs, alternative credentials such as work experience in the teaching field may be appropriate. There should be documented evidence of faculty achievement and scholarly activity. Evidence of innovation in instruction should also be included if appropriate.
6.2. The self-study document should provide a convincing statement and include adequate supporting data. Documented evidence of high quality is required. Mere assertion of quality or lists of accomplishments will not suffice. The case will be much stronger if placed in the context of national benchmarks.
6.3. Requests for the Board of Governors Program of Excellence designation will be considered by the Outcomes Assessment Committee, which will nominate those programs it feels are worthy of this designation. The President will review the nominations and endorse those that are appropriate. The Board of Governors will consider the nominations endorsed by the President and certify those that they deem appropriate as a Board of Governors Program of Excellence.