Academic Program Review SUMMARY* Department under review: Clinical Exercise Physiology Date self-study received in Dean’s office : No date provided Date of external consultant’s review: March 10, 2011 Date APR received report: September 6, 2011 APR’S summary of self-study (first two boxes must be completed) APR’s summary of how the academic program attempts to reach its goals and objectives and the extent to which those goals and objectives have been achieved. The Clinical Exercise Physiology Program is a graduate program in the Exercise and Sport Science Department, with approximately 14-19 students beginning per year. The goal of the program is to provide students with the necessary theoretical, laboratory, research and clinical experiences needed for employment primarily in a clinical cadiopulmonary rehabilitation environment. The program’s curriculum is structured into a specific sequence and is typical of similar graduate programs in the United States. In addition, several “hands-on” and clinical experiences are woven into the curriculum. Learning outcomes have been successfully documented through classroom assessments, practical skills in the field, and content knowledge through a successful pass rate on external exams. APR’s comments including: Notable Strengths 1. Identified mission and vision to ground the program. 2. Successful grants by faculty to purchase updated equipment. 3. Faculty engaged in professional development, scholarship and community outreach. An example of the outreach is the Community Program in Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehabilitation that draws 150-200 community members to campus three times per week. 4. Student success: 100% pass rate on external assessments and high GPAs. Students also gaining good practical experience through program opportunities. 5. Program faculty attending to past reviews. Notable Weaknesses 1. Space limitations. This includes both the laboratory and community outreach activities. Faculty have attempted to find solutions with little success. 2. Few assistantships or waivers to attract and retain strong students. 3. Documentation on student learning outcomes within the program needs to be enhanced. APR comments on any/all of the six specific components of the self-study (if applicable) Self Study: Purposes The program has clearly articulated the purpose of the program and this seems to be in line with professional expectations. It also provides some indication of a complex relationship within the Department that includes several undergraduate and graduate programs. Within the Program purpose it is clear what the mission and vision are, but it was not clear to the reviewers how the different programs co-mingle staff and resources. Self Study: Curriculum The program (43 required credits) appears to have a solid training sequence, including hands-on experiences, that prepares students to sit for the American College of Sports Medicine Exercise Registered Clinical Exercise Physiology certification and for entry into the field. Although the program is similar to other Clinical Exercise Physiology programs, it is structured to be completed in approximately 15 months, which includes two full summers, rather than the standard 2 years. Course content has been added as part of a move toward accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Self Study: Assessment of Student Learning & Degree of Program Success Learning outcomes are not specifically spelled out but are identified only as broad areas: practical laboratory skills, ability to interact with participants of the exercise programs and academic performance. One direct measure of student learning is a national examination given in the field. From 2008-2010, CEP students have an impressive 93% or better pass rate on the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP) examination (national average is 77%) and a 100% pass rate on the American Heart Association Advanced Cardiac Life Support examination. There are a number of indirect measures in place, including a CEP program evaluation form where the students can provide comments on each class in the curriculum and provide a number on a Likert scale for their overall UW-L experience, an internship form evaluating the student on their internship, and a letter to the internship supervisor requesting an e-mail with comments or feedback for the program. One example given for this assessment was a coaching certification workshop offered in the fall of 2009 in response to supervisor comments they received. The fact that they then determined that the workshop wasn’t successful, based on negative student response, and that they have come up with a possible different solution, shows that there is some successful indirect assessment going on within the program. The details and extent of the indirect measures, however, are not well documented in their program review. This assessment process needs to be more transparent. Self Study: Previous Academic Program Review and New Program Initiatives It appears that the program is attending to past APRs (e.g., adding course content in response to recommendations) and staying current with professional expectations. There was evidence presented that new and current information was being embedded into the classes. Self Study: Personnel From the Program’s Self Study, it would appear that the program is adequately staffed. There are shared resources with ESS. There is a clear need to maintain two dedicated faculty members for this program. It seemed that the faculty were engaged in a number of research activities and active research programs. The Program faculty are national and international leaders in their field. Faculty are actively pursuing grants for external funding as well as maintaining an active scholarship program. Self Study: Support for Achieving Academic Program Goals (Resources) Multiple reports acknowledged a strong need for additional dedicated space – with a specific need for both research and classroom space. In addition, the program has a successful community outreach program for cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation and exercise. However, due to space limitations and competing with various athletic programs, the program has to use various facilities around campus (including Wittich Hall) and the inconsistency of the location has hurt participation in the past. It was estimated that the Program loses 30-40% of community participants due to shifting locations. In addition, there have been concerns with accessibility for disabled individuals to Wittich. There is a strong need for assistantships to recruit and retain high quality students to the program. A larger concern is the inability to offer out-of-state tuition waivers. The loss of the Midwest Compact to graduate students had a tremendous impact on the program and significantly limited the ability to attract students from outside of Wisconsin-Minnesota. External Reviewer Recommendations APR’s Comments on External Reviewer (if applicable) The external reviewer provided an in-depth analysis of the components of the program as well as prepared a response to several questions posed by the Program. In general, the review was very positive and commented on a number of strengths of the program (i.e., leadership of the Program, student satisfaction, integration of clinical and field based experiences, and the number of practical experiences through practica and internships that are available to the students). The weaknesses identified by the external reviewer were identified as perennial problems and concerns of the program (i.e., space for teaching and community outreach, funding and/or tuition considerations to attract and retain quality students). One new concern identified was with the curriculum and the inclusion of behavior change and nutrition. Department’s response to the Reviewer Recommendations APR’s Comments on the Department’s Response (if applicable) There were four points that the program addressed: (1) lack of Graduate Assistantships and out-of-state waivers; (2) lack of dedicated space that is handicapped accessible; (3) inadequate laboratory space; and (4) curricular modifications. The ones that are out of the control of the Program (i.e., 1-3) have been addressed with College and University officials and have not been resolved. The Program has addressed the curriculum (i.e., 4) by including information infused in the program of study and to the field experiences. Dean’s Letter APR’s Comments on Dean’s Letter (if applicable) The Dean’s letter highlighted the strengths of the program and noted that the strengths of the program far outweigh the weaknesses. It noted that the Program has a rich history of producing quality graduates that are employed in the region. The Dean commented on the strong faculty within the program who provide leadership and teaching excellence to the students. Finally the ability of the program to modify curriculum in light of current professional expectations was noted. Finally, the letter commented that space and resource allocation problems are not new to this program, department or the college and that the degree of excellence demonstrated by the faculty and students with this type of constraint was appreciated. APR’s Recommendations (must be completed) Recommendations: 1. The program appears to be preparing well-qualified students consistent with the expectations of the profession. Therefore, it should continue on its current path. 2. Assessments tended to be somewhat difficult to gauge and should be more transparent to external reviewers as to the scope and meaning. The program is encouraged to use the expected Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA’s) articulated within the profession to evaluate the students. Having an aggregated data set based on the KSA’s would be helpful to the program and the reviewers and as the program pursues accreditation. 3. Space and money are perennial concerns for the program and continue the need to be advocated for within the university. X No serious areas to address – review in next regularly scheduled cycle □ Some areas to address – review in next regularly scheduled cycle □ Some areas to address – department should submit short report on progress to Fac Senate/Provost’s Office in 3 years * APR’s report to faculty senate will consist of this completed form in electronic form.