Conducting a Program Review Part Five: Creating an Action Plan

After the team has completed its process for judging performance and establishing ratings for each of the areas involved in the program review, the next step is to develop recommendations for specific actions that could be taken to improve the success in achieving program outcomes. This stage can continue to use worksheets from the self-assessment guides created for each functional area by the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS).

With the ratings completed, the review team should now have identified areas of program strength, areas of program weakness, and any areas that require additional follow-up. Focusing on the areas that were categorized as “Insufficient Evidence/Unable to Rate,” “Does Not Meet,” or “Partly Meets,” ensure that the rationale for these ratings is specifically identified with reference to statements from the standard and the related evidence reviewed.Action plan graphic

Then the review team should begin to list actions items that would be required for the program to implement in order to improve performance in that component area. Consider the importance and achievability of these items to help prioritize the action plan, reflecting the areas most in need of attention.

The action planning process should help to clarify answers to questions such as:

  • What resources are needed to achieve these program adjustments?
  • When should the enhancements be implemented?
  • Who is responsible for completing the action items?
  • What evaluation plans or future self-assessments should be put in place to track progress?

Within areas of program strength, the results of the action planning process can also highlight successful practices that could be further enhanced or more widely utilized throughout the program. 

In the next issue, the process for finalizing a written report and closing the loop on the program review will be described. 

ACUI members always have the access to relevant functional area standards.

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