Academic Program Review SUMMARY* Clinical Exercise Physiology

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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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.