The annual planning cycle for most academic programs and administrative units begins in July and ends the following June. This cycle aligns with the college’s budget planning cycle, allowing academic program and administrative unit managers to use the results of these evaluations as part of their process for justification for budget requests.
In the 2004-2005 academic planning cycle, the college began an initiative to integrate extensive assessment of student learning outcomes in the annual academic program assessment process. Program managers have identified student learning outcomes appropriate to each academic program, and have developed and implemented evaluation strategies.
Additionally, all academic programs assess their performance on a series of program ”vital statistics.” These indicators include headcount enrollment, number of graduates, and job placement/college attendance rate for graduates. Additionally, all programs that have a required credentialing/licensing exam for their graduates use pass rates on these exams for evaluation. Program managers may add additional program-specific assessment measures if they choose. The Office of Institutional Research is responsible for providing the data for all program vital statistics.
Program managers use the results of these assessments to identify program strengths and weaknesses and develop plans for improving areas with poor performance. The college reports the results of academic program assessments to the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education for its required Instructional Program Review, as well as to the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education in compliance with the South Carolina General Assembly’s Act 255 (1988), Institutional Effectiveness.