Every academic program offered at Southeastern Louisiana University has undergone a thorough review and approval process by the University's faculty and administration. In addition, all academic programs are evaluated in order to improve the quality of the program, to achieve the best use of University resources, and to foster cooperation among academic and administrative units, as well as to measure learning outcomes.
New programs and courses and changes to existing courses, curricula, or degree requirements are initiated at the academic department level and are subject to an extensive review and approval process, as outlined in the University Curriculum Council Guidelines and Procedures for Submitting Catalogue Changes. Proposals are detailed on the appropriate curriculum request forms and submitted for review, signatures, and approvals by the academic department head and the chair of the departmental curriculum council, the dean of the college and the chair of the college curriculum council, the chair of the Teacher Education Council if appropriate, the chair of the Graduate Council if appropriate, the secretary of the University Curriculum Council, and the Dean of Enrollment Management. The University Curriculum Council reviews the proposals and submits recommendations for approval to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Provost approves or denies the request. Proposals that are not approved by the University Curriculum Council are returned to the department where the proposal originated. See Comprehensive Standard 3.4.12 for more details on curriculum development at Southeastern.
Southeastern recognizes the importance of continued review and evaluation of its academic programs and has established mechanisms for achieving this. All academic programs at Southeastern are evaluated either through an external accrediting agency or by external reviewers. Revised in 2002, Southeastern's Guidelines for the Evaluation of Institutional Effectiveness
also provides means for measuring student outcomes in terms of levels of knowledge, values, and skills students have attained.
Program Evaluation by Accrediting Agencies or External Reviewers
At Southeastern, 100% of academic programs classified with a mandatory accreditation status by the Louisiana Board of Regents are accredited. In addition, all those programs with a recommended accreditation status are accredited except for the program in Family and Consumer Sciences, which expects to receive its accreditation in late Fall 2004; the Art program, which is in the process of compiling its self-study for NASAD accreditation; and the Health Education and Promotion program, which is a relatively new program and is not eligible to apply until after the first class has graduated. See Core Requirement 2.5 for more information on Southeastern's degree programs and their accreditation status.
Southeastern has established a system of academic program review for those academic programs that do not have an external accrediting body. Academic program reviews serve as a means to evaluate quality, productivity, need and demand within the University, state and region; to determine effectiveness and consider possible modifications; and to facilitate academic planning and budgeting. Each unit experiences the advantages of assessment from the perspective of peers outside the institution and colleagues from other units within the University. A Summary Document outlining department, college, and university commitments to program improvements is an outcome of the review and follow-up meetings.
Academic program reviews at Southeastern follow an established and approved calendar and procedure. The process is conducted under the auspices of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the appropriate college dean. Graduate and undergraduate programs are reviewed simultaneously according to the Guidelines for Academic Program Review.
Internal Program Evaluation
Southeastern Louisiana University also has a comprehensive program of institutional effectiveness
. Institutional effectiveness is the systematic and ongoing process of collecting, analyzing and acting on data and information related to the goals and outcomes developed to support the University's mission and purpose. For more details on institutional effectiveness at Southeastern, see Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1
Additionally, results of surveys and assessments are prepared on an on-going, systematic basis to monitor program effectiveness and student satisfaction. The following are some examples:
- Major Field Assessments
All academic programs are required to review/update their Major Field Assessment Plan every three years and submit a report every two years.
- Senior Exit Survey
Every student who graduates from Southeastern is required to complete the on-line Exit Survey. This survey contains a set of general questions that are asked of all graduates and a set of questions that are specific to the individual majors. The questions that are specific to the major do not include any general education questions. The results are compiled and reported on an annual basis.
- ACT Student Opinion Survey
Each spring since 2000, Southeastern has participated in the ACT Student Opinion Survey as part of the Board of Regents effectiveness measures. The survey covers a variety of areas and services on campus. Campus units can use the results of the survey for program improvement and institutional effectiveness.
- National Survey of Student Engagement
The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) asks Freshmen and Seniors about their experiences with a variety of educational practices that research has linked to better student learning. Southeastern participated in NSSE in 2002 and 2003.
- Faculty Survey of Student Engagement
The Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) asks faculty how much their students engage in the same type of practices students are questioned about on the NSSE and how important faculty think the practices are. FSSE was first pilot tested in Spring 2003, and Southeastern was one of only 143 schools nation-wide who participated in the pilot.