L&S Academic Program Review - Resources, or, "Where can we find data about our program?"

When asked to engage in a review of an academic program, it is often useful to assemble data relevant to the program. This will usually include information about program requirements, number of students declared in the program, number of students completing the program, courses offered by various departments, grading patters across multi-section courses, etc. (If visitors to this site know of a site that offers additional useful information, please make suggestions using the "comments" link at the bottom of the page.)

L&S Dean's Office

For most programs engaged in review, the first person to contact will be your Associate Dean.  (See Departments, Programs, Centers & Institutes by Divisional Associate Dean )  The Associate Deans work with the Assistant Dean for Academic Planning.  Contact: 
Elaine M. Klein, Ph.D - 307D South Hall - 265-8484 - emklein<at>ls.wisc.edu

L&S Administrative Gateway Documents


Campus-level Resources

The UW-Madison Office of Academic Planning and Institutional Research (http://apir.wisc.edu/ ) conducts the analyses for the documents below.  On the APIR site, visitors will find a wealth of information about student behavior as revealed by institutional data, including department profiles, enrollment trends, student profiles, trends in degrees and certificates awarded, trends in credits generated, etc. Some data are restricted to chairs (e.g., faculty salary comparisons, department planning profiles) and other data (e.g., undergraduate program profiles, analyses of average time to degree) are publicly available.
  • APIR conducts regular studies of enrollment trends (https://www.apir.wisc.edu/students-enrollment.htm), awards granted (https://www.apir.wisc.edu/students-degrees.htm), student retention and persistence rates (https://www.apir.wisc.edu/retention.htm), time-to-degree (https://www.apir.wisc.edu/ttd.htm - including graduate program comparison to peer institutions), and many other metrics. We strongly encourage departments to consult these data, consider them in light of similar departments/programs, and reflect on whether or not the data reveal any issues that require attention.
  • APIR also conducts regular studies of trends in Faculty and Staff (http://apir.wisc.edu/facultystaff.htm), and is the institutional office responsible for participation in the Academic Analytics project.
  • Department Planning Profiles - https://www.apir.wisc.edu/deptplanningprof.htm  These documents provide access to ten-year trends in all areas related to academic departments – e.g., FTE in various funding categories, majors and degrees (by headcount and by FTE), credits taught, etc. etc. These represent "official" campus level data, and provide a foundation for comparison across terms (comparing Fall to Fall, and Spring to Spring), or among departments of similar size and focus.  
  • For the "big picture" in L&S, it may be useful to know how L&S compares to the rest of campus with respect to student data.   The UW-Madison Data Digest - https://www.apir.wisc.edu/datadigest.htm - contains "official data" for the campus and the various schools and colleges.
  • The University Academic Planning Council Guidelines for Program Review page includes a link to Self-study Guidelines that connect the review process explicitly to institutional outcomes expressed in the Wisconsin Experience.  (L&S programs may choose to use these guidelines, since they are consonant with L&S expectations concerning program review.)  Links on this site take visitors to policy statements related to program review, including policies on low-enrollment programs and 'joint review'.  
  • Salary comparisons are also available through APIR (https://www.apir.wisc.edu/facultystaff-compensation.htm).
The Office of the Registrar houses the official records on programs available and awards conferred in those programs.  This office generates regular reports on enrollments in those programs, including trend and student demographic data. See http://registrar.wisc.edu/semester_enrollments.htm.  (If this link doesn't work, go to registrar.wisc.edu and navigate to the enrollment reports via the "Faculty/Staff" tab - look for "Enrollment Reports & Student Statistics".)   Many reports are available, and the Registrar's Office is notably responsive to requests for assistance locating information about individual programs.

The Query Library is a campus level resource supported by the Division of Information Technology, which offers authorized users access to student data in the Data Warehouse, including a large number of queries focused on Graduate and Undergraduate programs.  (For information about how to gain access to and use queries in the library, consult the Query Library "how to" documents.)

The Graduate School publishes program profiles (https://www.gradsch.wisc.edu/mas/) for all of graduate programs. The program level pages include statistical information on admissions, enrollment, student funding, and degrees for each program. For comparison/context, the Divisional Profiles are also available.  The Graduate School also  compiles a list of campus resources for data relevant to graduate program review (see Campus Data Collections ), as well as a list of federal and national organizations that provide data relevant to graduate programs (see External Data Collections).

L&S Program Review Guidelines (Printable Format)

  • Current Program Review Guidelines - for majors that are combined with degree requirements.  These guidelines are more streamlined; they focus on academic programs, and intersect with department/administrative structures only insofar as those structures have an effect on the academic program.  This distinction is intended to facilitate more timely review of academic programs, to help ensure compliance with policies calling for review every ten years (minimum).  Departments may continue to conduct reviews of other important aspects of departments - administrative structure, personnel, research productivity, etc.  - however, these no longer need to be tied to the program review cycle and may be conducted as needed.  See APCGuidelinesforProgramReview-2011.pdf
  • Certificate Program Review Guidelines - for certificate programs only.  Because certificates are intended to be less resource intensive, a more streamlined process exists to facilitate review.  This is especially intended to help interdisciplinary programs that are not administered within a department.  See Certificates-2012Update.pdf
  • Previous Guidelines - there are no reviews in progress that are subject to these guidelines.  These are provided for historical interest only, since they may be of use to departments/programs undertaking review, for purposes of developing questions to be considered in the course of review.

Strategic Planning Resources

Many departments find it useful to engage professional meeting facilitators to help organize the process of conducting a program review.  The Office of Quality Improvement is available as a resource to the College for this (and other) purposes.  See http://www.wisc.edu/improve/ for more information.

Assessment Resources

For information about assessment of student learning in L&S, please see the following documents:
Assessment of student learning at UW-Madison is conducted under the auspices of the Provost; see http://www.provost.wisc.edu/assessment/.  Links on that site take visitors to the University Assessment Council, a committee consisting of school/college representatives, as well as representatives from key support units and programs (such as University General Education, which has a robust assessment program).  The UAC sponsors an annual assessment grant competition, which often provides key support to departments and programs undertaking program review.  The UAC site also contains links to the UW-Madison Assessment Manual and Assessment Resources.

Finally, no discussion of assessment resources should omit the excellent work of NC State, which makes available an exhaustive, annotated compendium of online assessment resources, including links to other institutional sites, discipline-specific assessment activity, definitions, and tools.

Keywords:assessment of student learning, department planning profiles, data   Doc ID:24892
Owner:Elaine K.Group:College of Letters & Science
Created:2012-06-28 11:14 CDTUpdated:2016-02-12 14:16 CDT
Sites:College of Letters & Science
Feedback:  0   0