This policy was missed when all college policies were migrated to their current location. Therefore, there is a need to correct this omission and have this policy officially listed in the College’s archives. Further, the current policy is outdated and does not reflect the current structure of SGS, current requirements concerning outcomes assessment, best practices in program review (e.g. SUNY Faculty Senate’s recommendations). The need to revise the current policy was discussed by the SGS division chairs, dean, and associate dean on 09/08/2015 and an ad hoc committee was formed consistent of SGS faculty and associate dean. The ad hoc committee submitted the revised policy to the Grad PPC for feedback and to the grad faculty for approval. The Grad PPC discussed the proposed revision on 03/08/2016 and the grad faculty approved the new policy on 03/17/2016.
The purpose of graduate program review at Empire State College is developmental. The goal is to support the quality and effectiveness of each graduate degree program, and to promote a culture of continuous improvement. Further, the requirement for faculty to review and continuously improve programs are required by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s standards III and V, New York State Commissioner’s Regulations 8 CRR-NY 52.1, and the SUNY University-Wide Assessment Policy (Document # 1150) and Assessment Proce-dure (Document # 1151).
Each program review addresses three areas:
“Curriculum or program means the formal educational requirements necessary to qualify for certificates or degrees. A curriculum or program includes general education or specialized study in depth in a particular field, or both.” (8 CRR-NY 50.1.i)
Graduate program review at the School for Graduate Studies of Empire State College, consistent with the SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees article 10 section 4 in regards to the obligation of faculty to participate in pro-gram development and implementation, is a faculty led process designed to operationalize Empire State College’s culture of continuous improvement. The program coordinator and/or chair will take primary responsibility for organizing the program review process, with program faculty sharing the responsibility for the evaluation, deci-sion making, reporting, and closing of the loop of program review. The SGS Dean’s Office, Decision Support Services, and other college-wide offices will provide assistance and resources to support the process.
The final product of the program review process will be a report drafted by the program faculty that documents the review process and identifies specific action plans for program improvement. These action plans should be based on the findings of the review and include assessable outcomes or benchmarks of success or completion. After program faculty have approved this report it will be forwarded to the Graduate Policy and Planning Com-mittee (PPC), SGS Dean, Provost, President, and other college-wide committees and constituencies as appropriate.
The program coordinator or chair, working with program faculty, is responsible for ensuring that the identified action plans are implemented, outcomes are documented, and the results are evaluated during interim annual re-views and/or at the next program review. The SGS Dean’s Office will work with the program faculty and college-wide offices to identify and acquire the available resources needed to support action plan implementation.
Full program reviews occur at least every five years. Programs may opt for more frequent program reviews in consultation with the SGS Dean. In addition, programs will annually review a rotating sample of their program learning outcomes and the program’s progress in implementing the action plans identified in the previous program review. A report of these activities will be forwarded to the Graduate Policy and Planning Committee (PPC) and the SGS Dean’s Office.
For programs that also undergo external accreditation, a program self-study, site visit, and accreditation report that includes learning outcomes assessment will meet the requirements of full program review. The schedule of these reviews will be determined by the external accrediting body. If the program accreditor requires annual reports that include learning outcomes assessment, these reports may fulfill the annual review component. Externally accredited programs forward their accreditation reports to the Graduate Policy and Planning Committee (PPC) and the SGS Dean’s Office.
A full graduate program review involves the following elements, which serve the purpose of supporting a culture of continuous improvement. These elements will be completed by program faculty with support from the SGS Dean’s Office, Decision Support Services, and other college-wide offices.
In order to ensure closing of the loop on programs’ action plans and continuous improvement, programs will conduct annual reviews. The annual reviews will consist of the following elements:
New York State Education Law Article 8 Section 355
New York State Commissioner’s Regulation 8 Part 52.1
SUNY University-Wide Assessment Policy (Document # 1150)
SUNY University Wide Assessment Procedure (Document # 1151)