Conducting a Program Review, Part 2: Assemble and Educate the Team
Now that the rationale for conducting a program review has been defined and the timeline for the process has been established, determine what stakeholders will be involved in the self-study. According to the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS), a review team should consist of 3–5 members for a particular program area or 8–10 for a broader division review.
When conducting a review of a program area within the college union or student activities, all staff members of the program should participate in the initial planning stage to outline to goals of the self-study process. With the full staff engaged, there is shared ownership from the beginning of the process and an informed group will exist to help with collecting documentation and providing feedback as the timeline progresses.
Next, establish a smaller team to actually conduct the review. This team should:
Be chaired by an individual from outside the program area being studied to aid in greater objectivity through the process.
Include a member from the program area being studied.
Consist of additional members with valuable perspectives on the program area, such as support staff, faculty members, and active students.
Once the review team is assembled, it is important for all members of the group to begin the process with a common familiarity and understanding of the CAS functional area standard being used. Before making any individual evaluations, the full team should carefully examine the standard and resolve any questions of varying interpretations of the standard. The onboarding process for the smaller program review team also is a useful time to establish ground rules and group norms for how the team will approach discussions throughout the self-study.
In the next issue, the process of identifying and collecting evidence for the program review will be described.
ACUI members have access to relevant functional area standards here.