Board of Governors

Board Members

Meeting Schedule




Higher Education Policy Commission

Shepherd College

Meeting of the
August 14, 2003
Agenda Item No. 4


Pursuant to the Board's statutory responsibilities and also under HEPC Series 10, the Board is required to cause cyclical reviews of all of the academic programs. Under the provisions of Series 10, the Board should make one of five determinations regarding each program reviewed:

5.1.1. Continuation of the program at the current level of activity, with or without specific action; 5.1.2. Continuation of the program at a reduced level of activity (e.g., reducing the range of optional tracks) or other corrective action. 5.1.3. Identification of the program for further development; or 5.1.4. Development of a cooperative program with another institution, or sharing of courses, facilities, faculty, and the like. 5.1.5. If it recommends discontinuance of the program, then the provisions of Higher Education Policy Commission policy on approval and discontinuance of academic programs will apply.

Following are a series of documents related to the 2002-2003 program review process and the program review summaries.

(1) Statement of "Program Review Procedures" is the Vice President for Academic Affairs statement of the procedures to be utilized for the internal, Shepherd College program review process. (2) The "Shepherd College Program Review Annual Report-2002-2003," provides a brief review of the college program review committee's approach to the review process. (3) The "Shepherd College Program Review Schedule" is a statement of the program review process provided by the program review process chair, Dow Benedict, to the department chairs. (4) The "Shepherd College Program Review Rotational Schedule (Revised May 1, 2003)" documents academic year in which each program is to undergo college review. There is one change in this schedule: Political Science will undergo review in 2003-2004. (5) Program review summaries including: (a) B.A. in Education with an accompanying NCATE letter of accreditation dated March 25, 2003; (b) B.S. in Biology with an accompanying State team Biology Report for Shepherd College; (c) B.S. in Economics; and (d) B.S. in Sociology.

Also included, for further background, are the program review portfolios.

The Education Program review was conducted under the auspices of NCATE, the national education accreditation commission. NCATE awarded accreditation to the college education program for the maximum, seven year accreditation period.

The Biology Program was reviewed as part of a state-wide biology program review undertaken under the auspices of the office of the Chancellor. While other issues were mentioned, two major concerns expressed by the review board include: excessive faculty teaching loads and the need to increase student retention. Faculty teaching loads are consistent with state rules. The need to increase student retention is being addressed by the department.

The internal review of the Economics Program expressed the need for economics faculty members to become more active professionally. Concern was also expressed about the need for the department to establish an advisory committee and to bring in additional, part-time, faculty to teach upper-division courses. In addition, the committee recommended that discussions regarding the possible combining of the business-related departments should continue as such an arrangement could lead to "a strengthening of departments that are perceived to be weakŠ."

The Department of Sociology completed its program review after the deadline set by the Program Review Committee. This has resulted in the review process not being completed as of the date of the Agenda Book. It is contemplated that the process will be completed prior to the Board meeting. Supplemental materials for this program may be distributed by email.

Based on this year's program review process, the academic officers have made two recommendations: (1) that there be two external, on-site reviewers brought to the College for each program being reviewed; and (2) that the Board provide explicit guidance regarding the program review procedure. The academic officers regard the current practice of having one external, in-field reviewer provide a written evaluation of a program on the basis of reading a document submitted by the chair of the department of the program under review is too simplistic in approach. It does not provide the College with the in-depth, hands-on review that is needed to ensure that an appropriate critique of each academic program is accomplished. Explicit, documented guidance from the Board of Governors, in the form of a new Policy on Program Review, would more likely ensure adherence to an appropriate timeline and will help the academic departments to bring the necessary attention to the processes. The President will begin the policy-making process immediately after the fall semester begins.

The following resolution is recommended for adoption by the Board:

RESOLVED, That the Shepherd College Board of Governors approves the program reviews for Biology, Economics, Education, and Sociology and the Board adopts the institutional recommendations that each program be continued at the current level of activity. The Board authorizes the President to submit these reviews on its behalf to the Higher Education Policy Commission.