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K-State Today

September 15, 2021

An update from the Academic Program Review and Revitalization Task Force

Submitted by Charles Taber and Debbie Mercer

Dear Colleagues, 

We hope you continue to experience a positive return to campus in these first weeks of the 2021-2022 academic year. The following is an update on the work of the Academic Program Review and Revitalization, or APRR, Task Force. 

Over summer 2021, the APRR task force collected and reviewed program review processes from a range of universities across the country. While many universities have centralized program review similar to K-State's current accreditation and KBOR review processes, we discovered that K-State's APRR project aims to achieve something unique in our focus on continual program improvement, adaptation and revitalization. 

As such, we are investigating the question: How can we develop a simple and manageable annual review process to ensure that we meet the changing needs of students with high-quality educational programs? Since our revitalization goal is somewhat unique, the Task Force decided that K-State's process should be researched and developed in collaboration with the faculty and staff who design and run the programs here at K-State. 

The APRR Task Force has designed a universitywide research project to develop the method through which we will run the annual APRR process in the future. The information gathered and shared with our academic departments throughout the 2021-2022 academic year will be used to inform the development of the process by which we will run the annual APRR work beginning in fall 2022.  

The research effort will include three processes for evaluation. First, each academic unit will receive a data set for each of its academic programs from the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. Then each unit will have the opportunity to select one of the various processes to review their programs, including a self-identified "choose your own" option. At the end of the review, a short survey will go out to department heads/chairs to gather feedback on whatever process the department used to review programs. The feedback collected will then be used by the Task Force in designing a single APRR process for our next academic year. 

The steps and timeline for this research project are as follows:

9-10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021: Dean and department head training: "How to Access
Data for Your Academic Programs."
8-10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021: Dean and department head workshops: "Choosing a
Process" and "How to Assess the Process"
November 2021–February 2022 Departments conduct "Pilot" APRR
March 1, 2022 APRR project survey submission
March and April 2022 APRR Task Force reviews results and recommends process
Campus feedback gathered on the Task Force results
May 2022 APRR process and rationale shared
Fall 2022 Workshop: "How can our High-Quality Academic Programs Meet the Changing Needs of our Students?"
Annual APRR commences

The APRR Task Force has designed this process to cause minimal disruption or additional strain on leadership workload, especially given everything we continue to deal with during the pandemic as well as our usual RSCAD, teaching, service and administrative demands. In addition, we have designed this process to transparently provide academic units with the information that we hope will spark curiosity and creativity about their academic programs, and that we hope will energize the campus as we prepare for K-State's future success.  

Sincerely, 

Chuck Taber, Provost and Executive Vice President, APRR Task Force co-chair

Debbie Mercer, Dean, College of Education, APRR Task Force co-chair

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