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Office of the Provost

Sculptures in the fountain area on the LCSC campus

Program Performance Contact one of the Vice Presidents for more information.

Program Performance

In May 2013, the Idaho State Board of Education (SBOE) directed the universities and Lewis-Clark State College to engage in a Program Prioritization process (Dickeson, 2013), to fulfill the Governor’s 2008 mandate for zero-base budgeting. In 2014, LC State engaged in prioritization where instructional and non-instructional programs were considered and quintiled together. For the next five years, the prioritization results were used to refine institutional processes, merge programs, reconfigure campus units, and reassign vacant staff and faculty positions. Past reports may be found in the left toolbar on the Provost Office web page.

The SBOE later determined that institutions should engage in a prioritization effort on a regular basis (SBOE Policy III.F Program Prioritization). The policy directs institutions to conduct prioritization every five (5) years, and delineates how programs are to be evaluated. All academic (instructional) programs are to be evaluated on external demand, quality of outcomes, and costs and other expenses. Additional criteria may be used; the institution determines the weighting of the variables.

In academic year 2016-2017, the prioritization process at LC State was renamed Program Performance (PP), instructional and non-instructional programs were separated from one another, and teams with campus-wide representation were tasked to develop separate prioritization processes. Each group created criteria and indicators upon which quintiles could be built. These criteria were included in the Unit Assessment Report (UAR) documents, and reviewed, analyzed and responded to annually by program faculty, Chairs, Deans and the Provost.

Instructional Programs

2016-2017 Process. The Instructional Programs PP work group identified three (3) criteria and eight (8) indicators, with the option for programs to add a unique indicator.

  1. Program Quality
    • Graduate and Employer Surveys
    • Program identified outcomes measure
    • Specialized Accreditation (when applicable)
  2. Student Success
    • Graduate Survey
    • Positive placement
  3. Program Impact
    • Completion numbers
    • Retention numbers
    • Enrollment numbers
    • Optional unique program indicator

Over the next three years, the Graduate Follow-up Survey was rewritten to include program performance indicators, data were gathered and reviewed by Divisions, and indicators and their definitions were refined.

Indicators used in 2020 Program Performance Review. In spring 2020, Provost’s Council, with assistance from Institutional Research & Effectiveness, reviewed three (3) years of data for each indicator to determine which could reliably be used to determine quintiles. At the same time, LC State faced serious budget reductions, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In alignment with State Board of Education policy, the following criteria/ indicators were used to prioritize instructional programs and place them into quintiles:

  1. Program Costs [33%]
    • Cost per Student Credit Hour (SCH) calculated by total student credit hours divided by personnel costs, including adjunct/overload expenses and support funds. Other costs such as capital/ infrastructure expenditures and revenues from grants were not included.
  2. Program Completions [34%]
    • Completions were based on a 3 year average of the number of degrees conferred between July 1 and June 30 (SU, FA, SP), for academic years 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019.
  3. Program Enrollments [33%]
    • Enrollment were derived from the IR&E enrollment report [Note: Students may choose up to four (4) active programs]. Data are from census days fall 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Which programs were quintiled? In general, degrees and certificates were reviewed within the context of a program; select minors which represented a unique body of coursework were included as separate ‘programs.’

Delivery of the General Education Core requires a significant percentage of several divisions’ overall faculty workload. In these divisions, faculty workload percentages were separately attributed to General Education, and to the major or program of study. For example, a faculty member who routinely teaches 50% in General Education had the remaining 50% of teaching load allocated toward a degree program or programs. The General Education program was not quintiled as it is not a stand-alone degree or certificate.

Quintiles. A total of 43 instructional programs (academic and career & technical) were evaluated and placed into quintiles. Each quintile is defined and assigned a list of required follow-up actions.

IR&E Intranet sight http://intranet.lcsc.edu/ir/IRintranet/homepage.html

Category

Description

Q1: Sustainable*

 

  • aligns with the college’s role and mission
  • through efficient and effective use of resources has potential for growth and/ or to consistently maintain capacity

Q2: Sustainable* with minor modifications

  • aligns with the college’s role and mission
  • minor modifications required for sustainability and growth

Q3: Sustainable* with modifications

  • aligns with the college’s role and mission
  • imbalance between enrollments, completions and overall program costs limits sustainability and growth

Q4: Sustainable* with major modifications

  • aligns with the college’s role and mission
  • imbalance between enrollments, completions and overall program costs threatens sustainability

Q5:

Not sustainable*

  • May not be aligned with the college’s role and mission
  • Imbalance between enrollments, completions and overall program costs requires reconfiguration, consolidation, or elimination

*Sustainability:  Ratio of enrollments, completion rates, and Student Credit Hour (SCH) costs indicate that the program is successful with current resource allocations.

Required Action/ Work Plan. Each instructional program is to complete the following actions in the coming year (AY20-21), in lieu of completing the annual Unit Assessment Report (UAR). Division reports and work plans will be reviewed by Division Chairs, Deans and the Provost.

Quintile 1

  • Develop stretch enrollment targets for next three (3) years
  • Develop action steps to maintain or increase enrollments to meet stretch targets
  • Continuously monitor effectiveness of program through program/ division assessment processes, including the UAR

Quintile 2

  • Develop stretch enrollment targets for next three (3) years
  • Develop action steps to maintain or increase enrollments to meet stretch targets
  • Identify resources needed to implement action steps to meet enrollment targets
  • Continuously monitor efficiency and effectiveness of program through program/ division assessment processes, including the UAR

Quintile 3

  • Develop sustainability enrollment targets for next three (3) years
  • Develop aggressive action steps to increase enrollment to meet sustainability targets
  • Identify internal and external resources needed to implement action steps to meet enrollment targets
  • Identify mechanisms to increase program efficiency
  • Continuously monitor efficiency and effectiveness of program through program/ division assessment processes, including the UAR

Quintile 4

  • Develop sustainability enrollment targets for next three (3) years
  • Develop immediate and aggressive action steps to increase enrollment to meet sustainability targets
  • Identify internal resources that can be reallocated to implement action steps and meet enrollment targets
  • Identify steps to immediately increase program efficiency
  • Regularly report on actions and progress to Dean and Provost

Quintile 5

  • Conduct a full program review at all credential levels, including an examination of local and regional industry need, of similar programs offered in the region, of past recruitment practices, reasons students leave the program, employment status and work field/ location of graduates, opportunities to merge with other LC State programs (CTE and/ or Academic), course scheduling opportunities to support increased enrollments, and other critical elements determined by faculty, Division Chair and instructional Dean.
    • Based on program review:
      • develop immediate and aggressive action steps to increase enrollment to meet sustainability targets
      • consider program merger or phasing out, when appropriate
      • Identify opportunities for resource allocation to increase program sustainability.

Non-Instructional Programs

Process. The AY 2016-2017 non-Instructional Programs Program Performance work group focused on program essentiality and institutional value. The following questions, included in the annual UAR, were completed by units then scored by the appropriate Vice President/ President.

  1. Does the program primarily serve to help the institution comply with specific federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations (i.e., the college is required to have the program)? If so, which specific laws or regulations
  2. Does the program support the college's enrollment goals?
  3. Does the program directly generate revenue for the college?
  4. Does the program provide a valuable service to the college's employees?
  5. Does the program provide a valuable service to the community?

Additionally, non-instructional programs completed the Unit Assessment Report (UAR), which includes key performance indicators, three years’ of data, interpretation of results, and opportunity analysis.

Scoring. The appropriate Vice President assigned an overall score of 1 to 5 based on the quality of benchmarks and KPIs used to measure the program. 

  • Score of 5: significantly exceeds benchmarks
  • Score of 4: generally exceeds benchmarks
  • Score of 3: exceeds benchmarks
  • Score of 2: making steady progress toward achieving the benchmarks
  • Score of 1: declining in achieving benchmarks or remaining flat in quantitative measures.

In the coming year, the non-instructional program performance process will be reevaluated.