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Going beyond program review: Utilizing converging data sources to strategically assess departments

January 31, 2023

William Chura

Associate Provost for Research and Educational Effectiveness, Lewis University

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of EAB.

At Lewis University, the Associate Provost for Research and Educational Effectiveness is in an advantageous position to utilize the vast data sources that are compiled from across the institution to amplify department/program assessment. Diving deeper into departmental metrics on an annual basis and more frequent improvements are critical.

The solution identified four hurdles to overcome to be capable of implementing change at a more reasonable pace.

  1. Simplifying the metrics to address data literacy challenges across campus
  2. Creating an annual report to more frequently identify actionable strategies for improvement
  3. Empowering deans and department chairs to make changes
  4. Creating a dashboard for high-level view of departments across the institution were all solution strategies

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Defining the metrics was the first step, followed by creating each department’s annual report. The results were then displayed in a dashboard accessible by department chairs, administration, and the board of trustees. Further data mining within the individual metrics to further answer questions on enrollment, etc. is necessary prior to implementing change. The resources needed are time and coordination of multiple offices across campus.

EAB resources were essential, including Academic Performance Solutions (APS) analytics, Program Analytics, and the instructional IPED direction and template for market share analysis. The capstone experience was excellent because the topics were relevant and supported by several data sources. The facilitators were skilled and brought their expertise to the discussion, which was very helpful.

See the fellows’ blogs from the capstone projects

William Chura and others participated in EAB’s Rising Higher Education Leaders Fellowship in fall 2022

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