CCIS-Approved Program Review Process
Adopted by the Board of Directors
with Recommendations bythe Academic Programs Committee
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Brief Description of the Program
- Assessment of Strengths / Areas of Concern
- Recommendation to the PRS
I. RATIONALE FOR CCIS PROGRAM REVIEW
The purpose of the CCIS Program Review process is to facilitate a viable, effective, and efficient system of ongoing organizational review of CCIS-approved study abroad programs. The procedures were developed and piloted by a subcommittee of the Academic Programs Committee during the 1998-1999 academic year. The overall rationale leading to the development of these procedures stems from Principles for Program Review, which were adopted by the CCIS Board of Directors in February 1996:
Recognizing that international education is a field of rapid and multi-dimensional change, CCIS endorses the value of diversity in program design, and therefore does not prescribe a specific program model. CCIS-approved programs are designed to provide access for a broad range of students. Program curricula are usually not targeted toward area specialists or majors in languages and literature, although these student populations may benefit from the programs. Access for a diverse student group will be further assured by making overseas opportunities available at reasonable costs.
It is expected that CCIS-approved program sponsors will state clearly the nature and purpose of their program, the student population for whom it is intended, the anticipated academic and developmental objectives it seeks to meet, the means for achieving these objectives, and the methods of evaluation. While specific program objectives may vary, they will normally include the following:
- Help students develop the skills to function effectively in another culture, to cross linguistic/cultural boundaries, to work in a competitive global economy
- Effect a transformation of self-concept/concept of the world
- Foster an ability to understand/interact/communicate with people from other cultures
- Promote openness, flexibility, creativity, enhanced decision making and problem solving abilities
Of paramount importance in achieving these objectives is a program designed to promote interaction with the host culture; this will probably include all or most of the following features:
- Homestay or some other cultural immersion
- On-site advising focused on helping students take responsibility for their learning
- Structured co-curricular experiences which encourage students to take advantage of the unique resources of the host country and/or to manage their own learning
- Comprehensive on-site orientation, as well as some form of pre-departure orientation
- Procedures for post-program assessment
In order to assess a program's adherence to these principles, CCIS will periodically review programs that have been approved for sponsorship. A subcommittee of the Academic Programs Committee, The Program Review Subcommittee (PRS), will oversee this ongoing task. The CCIS program sponsors will prepare a portfolio as per the following guidelines and each will be reviewed by a team of at least two reviewers.
The portfolio will describe the program, provide evidence of program evaluation (student/faculty questionnaires, site visits, program review visits), and document program policies and procedures. The portfolio will be reviewed by the reviewers and a report summarizing the evaluation of the portfolio will be submitted to the PRS.
II. PROCEDURES FOR REVIEWING CCIS-APPROVED PROGRAMS
The primary charge of the Program Review Subcommittee (PRS) will be to facilitate ongoing, periodic reviews of all CCIS-approved programs through a cooperative effort with program sponsors.
The CCIS Washington office will be responsible for the administrative issues involved in program review, serving as a liaison among sponsors, reviewers, and the PRS in addition to facilitating any post-review action required.
The PRS will consist of three to five members, each with three-year terms. A slate of members will be proposed by the Chair of the Academic Programs Committee and will be approved by the Academic Programs Committee. The responsibilities of the PRS include selecting reviewers from the pool of available candidates, serving as liaison to the reviewers, reading the reviewers' report, reporting to the Academic Programs Committee, and overseeing recommended actions.
The program reviewers will apply through the CCIS Washington office and be approved by the PRS. Reviewers should have international education and program review experience. Whenever possible, reviewers should also have experience with the country and/or area of study to be reviewed. The reviewer may not be directly associated with the program under review. The responsibilities of the reviewers include following the program review timeline, reviewing the self-study materials (i.e. program review portfolio), participating in a site visit (at least one reviewer), and presenting the report to the PRS (via CCIS Washington).
III. PROGRAM REVIEW PORTFOLIO
Each program sponsor undergoing a review will be asked to develop and submit a Program Review Portfolio to the reviewers. Each Program Review Portfolio should include the following elements: Program Self-Study Report, Program Materials, Summaries of Student Evaluations, and a Site Visit Report.
A. Program Self-Study Report:
Each program sponsor will use the Guidelines for CCIS-Approved Program Proposals as a guide in developing a self-study report for the program. Specifically, the self-study report should address (and update) the following items:
1. Location of program and sponsor.
2. General rationale for endorsement of the program by CCIS. Include nature and purpose of the program and the student population for whom the program is intended.
3. Information about the U.S. sponsors(s):
- Principal contact person/program director, including person's background and time devoted to the task. Include e-mail address and fax number.
- Administrative structure that handles finances, records, grades, etc. Statement of commitment that adequate resources will be devoted to handle the administration of the program.
- Involvement to date with host institution, including on-site visits, student and faculty programs, etc.
- Procedures used to evaluate and monitor the program.
- Evidence of on-going participation in CCIS meetings.
4. Information about host institution/study center abroad:
- General information including history, size, present student composition, accreditation, degrees offered, and experience with international students.
- Principal contact person/program director, including academic background and time devoted to the task. Include e-mail address and fax number.
- Size and nature of physical plant, including housing, library and classroom space.
- Academic focus of the program. Include catalog and other printed materials.
- Courses available for CCIS students and language of instruction. Include representative course descriptions and syllabi.
- Extent of on-site academic advising and support services available to CCIS students, including medical services.
- Housing options available for CCIS students.
- Faculty used in the academic program.
- Co-curricular and extra-curricular activities available (field trips, cultural visits, tours, etc.)
5. Program costs. Include breakdown into components as well as policy on refunds, penalties and financial aid.
6. Travel information/arrangements.
7. Health and safety information. Give a brief overview of the health and travel conditions for the proposed country/region. Make reference to information from the Center for Disease Control and the State Department Consular Information Sheets. Also include a copy of emergency procedures manual(s).
B. Program Materials:
This includes orientation and application packets, course descriptions, and other relevant materials distributed to students both in pre-departure and on-site orientation. These materials will be reviewed in light of the program's initial proposal and current practices.
C. Summaries of Student Evaluations:
In order to monitor student feedback, sponsors will be asked to supply a summary of student evaluations covering, at a minimum, the last two program terms. The PRS recommends that the CCIS Evaluation Form (approved in 1994) be used, as it will allow all program sponsors to report the same factors about their programs. However, the sponsor may use their own evaluation forms as long as these forms contain the basic elements found in the CCIS Evaluation Form.
D. Site Visits: Provide documentation from both sponsor and external site visits.
1. Sponsor Site Visit Reports: The sponsor will prepare a written report of any site visit he/she has made within the past year. The CCIS Overseas Academic Program Site Visit Report may be used as a guideline for the Sponsor Site Visit Report. However, sponsors are encouraged to conduct the site visit and corresponding report with as much depth as needed.A compilation of these reports will provide material for the PRS to observe trends in program operations and program quality.
2. External Site Visit Reports: The sponsor may comply with the required external site visit in a number of ways:
- A site visit by one of the program reviewers.
- A site visit by other international educators. As many members, advisors, and faculty members visit CCIS programs throughout the year on an informal basis, their feedback may be beneficial in the review process. Site visits from 'program users' may reveal the "real story" about any given situation at the host institution. Their input is vital, as users of the program. Sponsors may provide their own questionnaire or report format for these visits; however, a Site Visit Report Form/Questionnaire is available from CCIS. Sponsors should maintain a file of site visit reports and submit these reports as part of the program's portfolio.
Additional note on external site visits: The PRS reserves the right to require a site visit by a committee member should evidence of the necessity emerge from the program review.
IV. REPORT ON PROGRAM REVIEW
The reviewers will conduct the above paper review of each program's portfolio and will report its findings to the PRS prior to the spring meeting of that academic year. The report will contain the following elements: a brief description of the program, an assessment of strengths and/or areas of concern, and a recommendation to the PRS.
A. Brief Description of the Program
The report will summarize the nature and purpose of the program and list information such as host and sponsor, location, type of host institution, type of program (isolated, integrated, or combination), and highlights and strengths of the program (i.e., why students would want to study there.)
B. An Assessment of Strengths and/or Areas of Concern
The report will highlight whether and how well the program is accomplishing the following:
- Meeting its stated objectives
- Demonstrating a high quality of instruction, management, and delivery of services to students
- Fully utilizing local resources to ensure an intercultural experience
- Assessing student outcomes through program evaluation
- Adhering to the principles contained in Guidelines for CCIS-Approved Program Proposals and Principles for Program Review
C. Recommendation to the PRS
- Recommend for continued sponsorship without conditions or reservations
- Recommend with conditions
- Not Recommended for continued CCIS sponsorship
- Program Review Not Completed (attach explanation and expected timeline for compliance)
V. GENERIC PROGRAM REVIEW TIMELINE
Spring Governance Meetings/Annual Conference
- Announce programs to be reviewed (based on the master review schedule)
- Announce 'Call for Reviewers' for upcoming cycle (due early May)
Announce reviewer selections. Sponsor contacts reviewers.
Sponsor has portfolio available and submits to reviewers by July 1.
June to August
The program reviewers review the portfolio. Sponsor(s) and host institutions begin planning the site review with the site reviewer.
August to December
Site review is completed. Site and paper reviewers collaborate on the production of the final review report.
Site and paper reviews are due in CCIS Washington office.
Spring Governance Meetings:
- The PRS reports to the Academic Programs Committee and makes recommendations based on the final review document.
- The Academic Programs Committee takes action on the reports.
- The Chair of the Academic Programs Committee will report to the full board.