Institutional Effectiveness is a component of the University’s planning process. The process is a joint effort by the University’s academic programs, the Faculty’s Institutional Effectiveness Committee and the Office of Institutional Research. Each academic program carries out an in-depth evaluation of its success in meeting program goals and mission. Plans for modifications and/or changes in the program’s goals and mission are made based upon the yearly findings. The Faculty’s Institutional Effectiveness Committee reviews the reports each year, provides an evaluation of the quality of the report, and makes suggestions for improving the value of the studies. The Office of Institutional Research maintains the reports and provides support for data collection, analysis, and measurement by the authors of the reports.
These studies result in a variety of actions ranging from minor adjustments in courses to the total revision of a program. For example, the Department of Psychology found results that lead to a complete revision its entire curriculum in terms of course offerings, prerequisites for courses, course goals, etc. The new curriculum was then assessed for a generation of students who had taken only the new curriculum. The results indicated that the intended improvements were obtained. This work required over four years in planning and implementation. Sometimes only individual courses are changed and/or smaller revisions in curriculum are made as a result of the reports. For example, the Department of English completely revised the structure and nature of the freshman composition courses. The Office of Retention made major adjustments in the Freshman Orientation program.
After making changes in a program the effects of the changes are evaluated after an appropriate time period and the cycle is repeated.
The ongoing cycle of program effectiveness studies insures that the University maintains high standards in all programs and makes continuous efforts to improve the quality of student learning.