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Phase 4: Action Planning

Action Planning Overview

The final phase of program review generally begins winter quarter of year 6. It affords departments the chance to reflect on the findings of the self- and peer reviews, and to address areas of weakness and plan for improvements and new opportunities through the development of an action plan. The document should include action items, responsible parties, and a timeline for implementation. A finalized plan, with signatures of the department head or chair, associate dean, dean, interim dean of graduate education (when appropriate), and senior vice provost of academic programs and planning is due by end of spring quarter.
Phase four

Drafting an Action Plan

Following the receipt of the finalized reviewer report, departments have 30 days to formulate a draft action plan guided by the reviewer’s recommendations and any insights gained during the self-review. A template is provided to help guide the process. Action plans should identify goals that are reasonable in number, realistic, and primarily focus on direct actions the department itself can take (as opposed to entities outside the department). Each goal should be broken down into further actionable S.M.A.R.T. steps:
  • “S” Specific: answers the question “what will be done?” and describes the results
  • “M” Measurable: addresses the question “how will we know we’ve achieved it?” and defines an objective using assessable terms (such as frequency, quantity, quality, etc.)
  • “A” Achievable: looks at time frame, resources, and opportunity and answers the question “do we have the capability of achieving this?” with a yes
  • “R” Relevant: addresses the questions “should it be done? And why?” and considers the impact of the results
  • “T” Time-bound: addresses the question “when will it be accomplished?” and considers not only the end point but also milestones/check points
Once developed, the draft plan should be shared electronically with the college dean and associate dean, as well as the Academic Programs & Planning office via

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Action Plan Meeting

Once a draft plan is developed, a meeting is scheduled that includes program faculty and staff, the college dean and associate dean, senior vice provost, academic programs and planning faculty associate and the program review coordinator. The purpose of the meeting is to openly discuss the proposed goals and action steps, timeframes, and potential resources required before the plan is declared final. Most departments utilize their regularly scheduled departmental meeting time for this discussion. The department head or chair should work with the program review coordinator to schedule the meeting.

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Finalized Action Plan

Following the action plan meeting, the department chair or head incorporates any additional items or revisions into the action plan. Once final, the plan should be signed by the department chair or head, the associate, dean, and senior vice provost. A copy of the finalized plan is kept on file by both the Academic Programs & Planning office as well as the department.

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