UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Program Review and Assessment

Program Improvement Process

History

Background - Recent History and Why We are Using the Program Improvement Process (PIP-PAR)

The Program Improvement Process grew out of earlier campus initiatives related to program prioritization.  This effort is aligned with the university's focus on continuous improvement and providing the highest quality education possible for students.  On Wednesday, October 21, 2020, the Faculty Senate approved a motion to move from program prioritization to program improvement, and this was subsequently approved by Chancellor Connie Foster.

Former Program Prioritization Process (PP-PAR)

The campus community has requested program prioritization for more than a decade.  For example, there were periodic  informal discussions about the need for this type of process during the administration of Chancellor Anne Lydecker.  Subsequently, during the beginning stage of Reach for the Future in 2006, as that strategic planning process was labeled, there were meetings in the River Falls Public Library that included faculty, staff, and administrators; the item that received the most support, by far, was prioritization.  Since then the university community has worked collaboratively to utilize program prioritization.  In 2008-09 the Faculty Senate and Chancellor Connie Foster approved a prioritization process that was used to collect data, to provide evaluations of programs, and to rank them.  The conclusion reached after implementing the effort reads, in part, "Faculty Senate accepts the current program prioritization process as an appropriate and useful exercise that should be seen through to conclusion. . . . Faculty Senate recommends that program prioritization, upon revision, become an ongoing initiative . . ." 

During 2010-2013 the program prioritization process was reviewed by the Academic Program and Policy Committee, an ad hoc Committee on Program Prioritization, the Faculty Senate, and the Administration.  Input from the university community was critical to the collaborative development of the revised plan, and Faculty Senate approved the new program prioritization processes on three separate occasions (May 2, 2012, December 12, 2012, and May 8, 2013), with strong support from Chancellor Dean Van Galen.  The Faculty Senate vote on May 8, 2013 showed 22 votes in favor, 0 opposed, and 0 abstentions, and these votes initiated a "trial year" designed to test the process.

After conducting the first "trial year" of program prioritization some modifications of the process were approved by the Faculty Senate on February 5, 2014 by a vote of 18 in favor, 1 opposed, and 2 abstentions.  Subsequent modifications to the components focusing on the placement of graduates, faculty qualifications, and strategic planning were approved on February 3, 2020.

 

Goals

Program Improvement Process Goals

First, the process is intended to provide useful information to the campus at large, and to departments and programs to help with ongoing responsibilities such as assessment and program improvement.  It is critical to stress that the process is informative for decision makers, rather than deterministic.   

The second goal is to combine the program improvement, assessment, and program audit and review processes. Hence, the label PIP-PAR (program improvement process and program audit and review).

A third goal of PIP-PAR is to integrate program assessment into a single, combined process, creating synergies and efficiencies between program improvement, program audit and review, and assessment.

Information

Program Prioritization Files and Information

PP-PAR files and information are located on the university's T-drive, accessible to faculty, staff, and administrators through Falcon Share.  The files can also be accessed from university computers using the following path: Computer > Campus (\\falconshare.uwrf.edu) (t:) > Collaboration > Program Prioritization-Audit-Review-Assessment.

To determine when a program is scheduled for program prioritization, please consult the "PP-PAR Schedule," which can also be located following the above path.  This excel document is located within the Program Review folder.

 

Key Dates

2020-2021 Program Improvement process Deadlines and Tasks (partial listing)*

Program chairs should access the PP-PAR files on the T: drive for additional information and directions.  The upcoming tasks and deadlines include:

January 21, 2021, Activity Insight Day:  Faculty & IAS load and proof their information within Activity Insight.

February 1, 2021:  Assessment reports and revised assessment plans are both due (email to pip-par@uwrf.edu).

 

2021-2022 Program Improvement process Deadlines and Tasks (partial listing)*

Program chairs should access the PP-PAR files on the T: drive for additional information and directions.  The upcoming tasks and deadlines include:

August 25, 2021 (tentative), Activity Insight Day:  Faculty & IAS load and proof their information within Activity Insight.

September 20, 2021:  Assessment reports and revised assessment plans are both due (email to pip-par@uwrf.edu).

 

* Dates are subject to revision, and appropriate notice will be provided if changes occur.

Programs in 2020-21 PIP-PAR

The following programs are in the 2020-2021 program improvement process cycle. The schedule listing when all programs will be reviewed is available at T:\Collaboration\Program Prioritization-Audit-Review-Assessment\ProgRev

  • Animal Science BS (also PAR), completing the former PP-PAR process
  • Art BS and BFA (also PAR), completing the former PP-PAR process
  • Art Education (also PAR), completing the former PP-PAR process
  • BFA (also PAR), completing the former PP-PAR process
  • Business Administration BS (also PAR), completing the former PP-PAR process
  • Food Science (also PAR), completing the former PP-PAR process

Programs in 2021-22 PIP-PAR

The following programs are in the 2021-2022 program improvement process cycle. The schedule listing when all programs will be reviewed is available at T:\Collaboration\Program Prioritization-Audit-Review-Assessment\ProgRev

  • Agricultural Business BS
  • Agricultural Studies BS (also PAR)
  • Agricultural Education BS (also PAR)
  • Agricultural Education MS (also PAR)
  • Agricultural Engineering Technology BS
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology MS
  • Communication Studies BS & BA (also PAR)
  • Conservation & Environmental Planning BS (also PAR)
  • Counseling MSA (also PAR)
  • Crop and Soil Science BS
  • Data Science BS
  • Early Childhood Education BS (also PAR)
  • Economics BS & BA
  • Health & Wellness Management – Collaborative BS (also PAR)
  • Health & Wellness Management – Collaborative MS (also PAR)
  • Health & Human Performance BS & BA
  • History BS & BA (also PAR)
  • International Studies BS & BA
  • Journalism BS & BA (also PAR)
  • Marketing Communications BS & BA
  • Mathematics BS & BA (also PAR)
  • Social Studies, Broad Field BS & BA
  • Social Work BSW (also PAR)
  • Stage and Screen Arts BS & BA (also PAR)

Questions related to PIP-PAR should be directed to Wes Chapin, 104 North Hall, (715) 425-0629.

Contact Us

Academic Affairs
academicaffairs@uwrf.edu
715-425-0629
104 North Hall