Academic Program Review 2009 Executive Summary Department of Education The Department of Education was included in the seventh cycle of academic program review for the 2008-2009 academic year. Included in the review process was the composition of a selfstudy document based on faculty analysis, a department retreat where the data were reviewed and the final two sections discussed, and a visitation by an external reviewer. Dr. Gerald Bowler, served as the external reviewer and read the self-study, interviewed faculty, staff, administration, and students, and submitted a separate analysis. The self-study completed by the faculty and staff is the major document for this department review. This complex document reveals the strengths and challenges through a department perspective and reflects the commitment of the department for self-analysis, reflection, and evaluation. The institutional expectation is that the department and college administration will use the self-study document, the dean’s report, and the executive summary as guides to the faculty, staff, and administration for the next several academic years as the department addresses the recommendations. Since this process requires an enormous amount of time and effort from all of the participants, it is necessary to ensure that the results are used to inform decisions and future course of actions. Therefore, department faculty and college administration will be expected to provide a summary of activities undertaken during the 2009-2010 academic year as a result of the department review. This report will be due to the provost in October, 2010. It should be noted that Bowler’s analysis was detailed and, along with the dean’s report, provide the depth and context for the faculty and administrators to celebrate commendations and also move ahead in addressing noted challenges and recommendations. The self-study document as submitted by the Education department was informative straightforward. It can be determined from reading the self-study report, the observations of the reviewer, and the summary comments of the college dean that the department has several strengths and challenges. It should also be concluded that the department has been integral to college and university mission. Since the time of the review, the Education department has been divided into four new department entities (Department of Educational Foundations and Curriculum (EFC); Department of Teaching Elementary, Adolescents and Young Children (TEACH); Department of Language, Literacy and Special Education (LLSE); and the Department of Advanced Certification (EFC). The following are areas that should be considered and/or addressed to improve the functioning and quality of the new departments: University and Community Impact The Education department has a proud and extensive history in positively impacting the campus and broader community in Central Washington and the state. The new departments will want to continue to be actively engaged with constituent groups across the central Washington region and state to shape policy and practice that benefit teachers, administrators, staff, and children. Leadership and Faculty: The current faculty and chairs of the new departments are characterized by a high level of expertise, credentials, and practical experience in their respective fields. Continued effort should be expended to ensure department prominence and program quality on the Ellensburg campus as well as the Centers where programs are delivered. Assessment: The Education department has made significant progress in its development of assessment plans, methods, and processes. The new departments will need to continue these efforts and assure that record keeping, analysis, and program changes are completed and disseminated to internal and external constituencies. Continuing the completion of yearly reports will be critical in building a strong case for continued accreditation and future state program approval efforts. Research and Grants Although education faculty have been fairly active in presenting research and various topics at conferences, a need still exists to ensure that all faculty engage in research and scholarly writing. The establishment of writing or research teams may be one way to engage a wider degree of faculty in the process. Grant writing is another area where senior and junior faculty can work together in groups to tackle professional and regional problems and increase the impactful nature of the departments and college. Enrollment Management Education related programs have some of the highest retention rates across the campus. This is very positive and should be continued. However, a need exists to increase enrollment in M.Ed. programs. The development and implementation of a recruitment plan for all graduate programs is needed. Student Support Although most students are very successful in completing various education programs, some students continue to struggle in practicum experiences. This is understandable and expected. However, there is a need to have practicum and/or internship experiences earlier in programs and have them evaluated. This strategy may help students avoid determining late in their programs that teaching is not a viable field of study for them. Remediation and support processes need to be established so that students in all programs are given opportunities to improve and meet programmatic and state standards. Facilities and Equipment Although the facilities and building space is current, there is a need to develop individual departmental plans to replace and update equipment, books, materials, and other resources they each deem important. Summary Overall, the Education department has been an important and critical part of Central Washington University since its inception. It is expected that the four new departments derived from the Education department will continue to positively impact the campus and broader community in Central Washington. By focusing efforts on impact, assessment processes, equipment, research, and service linkages, the new departments have great potential in achieving their own goals as well as those of the college and university.