Program Review Frequently Asked Questions
- What is program review?
The departmental program review is a collaborative process that enhances the mission of the Division of Student Life by providing opportunities for departments to assess, share, and improve their impact, services, and quality of work.
- How is program review used at UT?
This process empowers departments within the Division of Student Life to think critically about their work and its impact on the student experience, in turn improving our campus and community. The information gained through the program review process helps shape priorities for the department when developing a strategic plan.
- How long does it take to prepare for program review?
The program review process begins one year prior to the on-site visit by the external review team. See the timeline provided as Appendix
B in the Program Review Guidelines.
- How often do departments go through program review?
Departments go through the program review process every five years as part of their strategic planning. The schedule for program review can be found here.
- What role does OASI play in a department’s program review?
The Office of Assessment and Strategic Initiatives (OASI) organizes and facilitates the program review. The Director of Assessment and Strategic Initiatives (DASI) liaises between the university and the external review team. The OASI also serves as a repository for all information shared throughout the process.
- How much does the program review cost?
The cost to host a program review can vary depending on the number of external reviewers participating, flights, and hotel accommodations. The honorariums are set and provided by the division.
- How does Senior Leadership support the program review process?
Senior leadership makes the program review process a priority by kicking off the on-site visit with a dinner (Supervising Assistant/Associate Vice-Chancellor [AVC] attends) and breakfast (all of Senior Leadership present) to discuss expectations and outcomes of the on-site visit and findings report. The Vice-Chancellor (VC) and AVC participate in the concluding meeting where oral findings are shared by the External review team. Additionally, the VC and AVC advise the department in addressing the recommendations of the external review team as well as the strategic planning process that follows the program review.
- How many external reviewers make up the external review team?
The External Program Review Team (EPRT) is composed of up to three, national and/or regional expert(s) who specialize in the field of the department under review.
- Who pays for the cost of the program review?
The division pays for the external review team honorariums while the departments pay for travel, room and board, and meals.
- Where can I find more information on the process and materials available to support our program review process?
The OASI website, (https://dslassessment.utk.edu/program-review/) has a page dedicated to the program review process where the Program Review Guidelines are provided.
- How are the materials presented to the external review team and senior leadership?
The Division of Student Life has adopted the Compliance Assist module with Campus Labs. Campus Labs has partnered with the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS). The CAS self-assessment guide is used by the departments to complete the self-study process.
- Are there guidelines for the department’s Executive Summary and Response Report?
Templates have been created that are to be used by the department. They can be found here.
- What should the format of the External Program Review Team Final Report follow?
There is a template provided here that should be used by the external program review team.
- How are external reviewers selected?
The head of the department under review submits 5-7 names (Appendix F in the Program Review Guidelines for their external program review team. The DASI and supervising AVC review the names and qualifications for approval. The reviewers are selected based on their participation in professional organizations, publishing and/or experience in the same area under review.
- Who performs the internal review?
The internal review is conducted by the department under review. The staff completes the CAS Self-Assessment Guide applicable to their area of service. After the self-study is completed, the staff will compare the ratings of compliance for each standard and make a collective decision for final judgment. The self-study is then reviewed by the DASI and AVC for approval.
- When does the internal review need to be completed?
The self-study and executive summary are due to the DASI no later than three weeks prior to the on-site visit. This allows ample time for the external review team to review the materials prior to the on-site visit.