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Program Evaluation

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Statement of Policy

Overview of the Review Process
The program evaluation process at Excelsior College is intended to guide and support a culture of continuous quality improvement in the provision of student services and academic programs. By providing an ample body of evidence, program evaluation contributes to the assessment of institutional goals, provides useful information for data-driven strategic planning and decision-making, and guides the improvement of academic programs.

The College employs a multiple measures approach in its program evaluation, gathering data from multiple sources to triangulate and inform judgments about program effectiveness. The information collected and the reports produced through the process of program evaluation are also used to provide evidence to regulatory bodies, accrediting organizations, and other groups external to the College. Program evaluation at Excelsior College is congruent with the "Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education Eligibility Requirements and Standards for Accreditation" as set forth by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Procedure

A. Each academic program at Excelsior College shall undergo program evaluations at no more than five-year intervals. The nature of this program evaluation is twofold: to provide the School and the administration a clear assessment of the program's strengths and weaknesses; and to provide the School with an opportunity for periodic self-examination.

B. The specific unit of analysis for each program will be the major or area of specialization of the degree or certificate program.

C. Due to the nontraditional nature of the College, there will be two levels of program evaluation. Programs in which Excelsior College offers 50 percent or more of the courses and/or examinations required for the major will undergo a comprehensive program evaluation. Other programs in which students must transfer in the majority of the credits required for completion of the degree or certificate will undergo a modified program evaluation.

D. All programs leading to a degree or certificate will be governed by the following program evaluation plans.

Programs undergoing a comprehensive evaluation must meet the following Excelsior College standards:

  • Congruence with the Excelsior College mission and strategic plan
  • Congruence with the School's mission
  • Well-defined, measurable learning outcomes by which all program graduates are evaluated
  • Commitment of adequate resources to achieve program goals
  • Adequate student support services that are unique to the needs of the program
  • Qualified, professional faculty
  • Current, rigorous, and achievable program curriculum
  • Financial profile
  • Use of assessment results for program improvement
  • Attention to environmental factors, societal need and demand, occupational and market considerations
  • Evidence of student satisfaction

1. The evaluation report includes, but is not limited to, aggregated data collected, analyzed and summarized from reviews of the curriculum and student outcomes, end-of-program assessments, program success data over a five-year period (e.g., retention and graduation rates), course evaluations, graduate follow-up surveys, and employer and/or graduate school advisor follow-up studies.

2. Academic programs that are accredited by a specialized national accreditor conduct program evaluations as part of their accreditation process. Working together with the Institutional Effectiveness office (IE), these programs periodically create a program evaluation report that is submitted to the specialized accreditor. If the accrediting agency does not require a report at least every five years, the program should still conduct internal evaluations on a cycle of at least every five years. Therefore, programs that fall under this category may wish to adjust the timing of their program evaluation to coincide with the accreditation review or they may, with the approval