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Washington State University Graduate School

Graduate Program Review

Overview

The Graduate School conducts academic program reviews of all graduate degree programs every three years with support from faculty and the college deans of each academic unit. The Graduate School works with program directors, graduate chairs, and college deans to schedule, coordinate, and disseminate the results of the program reviews. The purpose of graduate program review is to assist college and program leadership in: (1) evaluating how effectively the graduate program is achieving its educational goals, (2) identifying the program’s strengths and weaknesses, and (3) developing plans for improvement and priorities for future directions of the program.

Graduate Program Review Schedule

The Graduate School most recently completed program reviews of selected master’s-only programs in Spring 2016 and all doctoral programs in Spring 2015. Summary reports for the graduate program reviews were distributed to WSU graduate programs, colleges, campuses, and university leadership. WSU faculty and staff can access the discussion guides and program review materials on the Graduate School’s SharePoint site. (WSU network log-in/departmental access required.)

Guidelines for Graduate Program Review

The Graduate School’s program review guidelines include: a review of information provided by each graduate program, a review of data provided by Institutional Research and the Graduate School, and an evaluation of the program’s policies and practices that support graduate students. The graduate review process is intended to help programs: (1) improve the training and education of graduate students, (2) ensure that graduate students are optimally prepared for careers in their field, and (3) increase the overall research capacity of the university.

In preparation for graduate program review, the program director/graduate chair is asked to submit the following information:

  1. Student Handbook — or similar documents describing the program structure, curriculum, policies, and practices
  2. Assessment Plan — including program objectives, student learning outcomes, data sources, assessment tools, and recent assessment or self-study reports
  3. Student Annual Reviews  — for all graduate students in the previous academic year
  4. List of All Current Students — with indication of financial support such as assistantships and fellowships, etc.
  5. List of Recent Graduates — with information describing each student’s placement status since graduation from WSU

While this information is collected, the Associate Dean and the Director of Graduate Assessment at the Graduate School, with assistance from Institutional Research, assembles and analyzes the following data:

  1. Programs of Study — a sample of 10 programs of study for students in the program is reviewed for consistency, adherence to policy, use of conjoint and cooperative courses, and faculty committee composition.
  2. Catalog Courses — courses listed in the catalog were reviewed; conjoint and cooperative courses were noted for discussion during the review meeting.
  3. Program Profiles — compiled by Institutional Research; shows the new enrollment and total enrollment over several years; degrees conferred over that time; avg time to degree for full-time, part-time and overall; cohort performance (retention); graduate assistantships by student and department; and faculty involvement (chairing committees).
  4. Teacher Assignment Data — compiled by Institutional Research; shows the faculty who served as committee chairs for students by major and by appointing department for the previous academic year.
  5. Graduate Committee Data — compiled by the Graduate School; describes faculty participation on graduate student committees from programs of study including chairs, co-chairs, and graduate committee members.
  6. Graduate Student Survey Data — a comprehensive survey of graduate students conducted by the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC) in Spring 2014; academic units receive aggregate data at the degree program level and comparison results from the 2011 Graduate Student Survey and a related peer group, i.e., all doctoral students in the college.

All of the review materials are summarized in a discussion guide used at the program review meeting. Individual review meetings are scheduled for the Dean, Associate Deans, and Director of Graduate Assessment from the Graduate School to discuss the review materials and any recommendations for improvement with the Program Director and/or Graduate Chair for each graduate program. College and campus administrators are encouraged to attend the review meetings.

Updated: 9/6/17.