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Program Alignment and Review Update By Jan Biros, EdD, Senior Vice Provost, Budget, Planning & Administration
Office of the Provost

The PAR process enters its fourth year this year with the plan to review 15 academic programs.  Self-study groups have begun their work, and external reviewers are being selected for spring visits.  Including the five pilot reviews done the first year of PAR, we have reviewed 51 academic programs.

Action plans have been developed for 25 of those programs thus far and many accomplishments have occurred in the implementation of these plans. The 25 programs currently implementing action plans have accomplished the following changes:

  1. These 25 programs collectively launched 54 distinctive curriculum initiatives as a result of their self-study, external review and action plan. Illustrative examples include, but are not limited to:
    1. CoAS Anthropology - Re-design of the BA program and the creation of an MA program each with a focus on Community engagement.
    2. Engineering Chemical Engineering - Developed new curriculum including the redesign of the laboratory sequence.
    3. Westphal Design & Merchandising - Documented curricular course and program items to consider based on PAR internal and external analysis is in process. Proposed graduate programs are being reconsidered within the context of the departmental changes.
    4. CoAS Physics - Adopted learner centered methods in its classrooms resulting in an enriched student experience.  They also assessed the optimal size of lab groups and the frequency of lab sessions in their non-major courses.

  2. These 25 programs launched 35 distinctive alignment initiatives as a result of their self-study, external review and action plan. Illustrative examples include, but are not limited to:           
    1. CoAS International Area Studies - Brought IAS into greater alignment with the University’s “One University” policy, through joint appointments with other departments.
    2. LeBow Business & Engineering - Established a learning community. Identified the need for students to get to know the faculty and staff of the program better, so they have hosted an Open House breakfast, are planning an event for alumni weekend, and will be working with their current majors to employ them at their tutoring center.
    3. Engineering Chemical Engineering - Created a standing departmental safety committee, a PAR recommendation.
    4. Westphal Design & Merchandising - Retail Leadership Certificate is now under D&M purview.
    5. CNHP Health Sciences - Revised the program mission statement and Program Level Outcomes to mirror Drexel’s mission and Student Learning Priorities.

  3. These 25 programs launched 47 distinctive staffing/workload initiatives as a result of their self-study, external review and action plan. Illustrative examples include, but are not limited to:
    1. LeBow Business & Engineering - Appointed a liaison from CoE, as a result of the PAR recommendations. If the program growth outlined in the PAR report is to be reached, there needs to be additional administrative support for the program, which is also limited by budget issues.
    2. Westphal Film & Video – To encourage student festival submissions faculty have been reassigned to work with students on this challenge.
    3. CoAS English - Developed action plan for faculty governance, invigorating scholarship/creativity in the department, and greater collegiality and sense of team.
    4. Westphal Screenwriting & Playwriting – As per PAR recommendation, in the process of giving adjuncts greater voice in program strategic planning.

  4. These 25 programs launched 33 distinct economy and efficiency initiatives as a result of their self-study, external review and action plan. Illustrative examples include, but are not limited to:
    1. COE Engineering Management - Restructured department staff - one business manager now supports scheduling and finance for all 5 programs.                    
    2. CoAS Criminology & Justice Studies – Required teaching faculty to teach in the online program "in-load," thus reducing some of their reliance on adjuncts. Starting AY15-16, they will replace at least 3 adjunct faculty across 5 classes with their incoming teaching and TT faculty.
    3. CoAS Criminology & Justice Studies - Starting AY15-16 combine the usual 2 sections of Criminology (CJS200) into 1 “super” section. Besides reducing sections, this restructuring has the added benefit of freeing up 2 faculty members, who can now teach other courses in the curriculum.
    4. CoAS Mathematics - Developed efficiencies for core Math 100, 200 level courses through technology/staffing. To date the department has changed the core course of Math 102 Introduction to Analysis II and converted it to a lecture/recitation delivery mechanism thus avoiding the need for additional sections of instruction as well as teaching staff.
    5. Biomed Biomedical Engineering – The school is developing a rational utilization plan for its limited resources.  This recommendation is being implemented with the development of a complete set of parameters defining the cost of education, featuring a breakdown per program, expenses and revenues.