In the spirit of Continuous Quality Improvement at the Northern Wyoming Community College District, a new Program Review process was developed in 2007-08.¬† The process covers nine components:¬† Purpose of the program; primary learning goals; enrollment and audience; staff development; facilities and equipment; printed materials and website; recommendations from previous program review; strengths, limitations and opportunities; and a detailed plan for improvement. ‚ÄúPrograms‚ÄĚ are loosely defined. Programs such as welding, nursing and criminal justice are reviewed in a fashion commensurate with relatively self-contained programs. However, ‚Äúprograms‚ÄĚ like Math and English require a different lens for examination. These are best characterized as service programs, rather than self-contained programs of study. Nonetheless, English, Math and Biology are treated as if they are discrete programs and are reviewed by the same criteria and with the same rigor.¬†
Program reviews are conducted by assessment committees and are administered by the Academic Affairs Office. Program reviews at the Northern Wyoming Community College District are truly better described as Program Self-Studies. They are used toward the betterment and strategic planning of programs, for intra-institutional resource allocation towards programs, for peer-review and collegial information-sharing, and for the focusing of professional development activities for faculty. These Self-Studies are therefore used as a development mechanism rather than a performance evaluation system and are not used to make decisions about program discontinuation. ¬†¬†
The schedule of reviews will ensure that every program is reviewed every five years.