Idaho State Board of Education Policy V.B.11 requires institutions to incorporate program prioritization into the annual budgeting and program review process, and to provide annual updates to the Board. SBOE Policy III.F outlines the requirements for program prioritization, including criteria, timelines, and reporting requirements.
In 2014, Idaho State University (ISU) transitioned its Program Prioritization Process into a Program Assessment/Program Health Process with the goal of supporting growth and ensuring programs demonstrate the need for new, increased, or reallocated resources.
A committee of representatives from each college, the Faculty Senate co-chairs, staff from Academic Affairs, Institutional Research and the Division of Finance began the process in 2018 with the following charge:
A Program Health and Sustainability assessment model should be aligned with the institutional mission, while evaluating student demand and providing indicators of quality. It should include measures for efficiency and effectiveness and ensure sufficient resources. Finally, it should be flexible and change as necessary over time.
The Program Health model designed by the committee was approved by the Faculty Senate in April, 2020, and by Leadership Council in June, 2020. The model was implemented in September, 2020. Programs had 16 weeks to complete the process and submitted their narratives, score sheets and quintiled lists in January, 2021. Academic Affairs compiled a master document that was reviewed by the Faculty Senate, Council of Deans, and Administrative Council. Feedback was compiled for the bottom 40% of programs and distributed back to the departments in March 2021. Using this feedback, faculty, chairs, and deans completed Action Plans by May 2021. The Administrative Council reviewed the Action Plans and Academic Affairs submitted the Program Prioritization Report to the SBOE in June 2021.
Phases of the 2020-2021 Program Health Model Process
Communications from the Provost:
Moving forward, and in line with the goal of continuous improvement, the process will adhere to the following steps to ensure successful implementation, assessment, and further decision-making for programs in the bottom two quintiles and those that are triggered for evaluation:
- ISU’s Administrative Council will review program action plans and provide suggestions for improvement by August 20th;
- Academic Affairs will work with college and departmental leadership to ensure clear and direct communication with regard to action plan expectations;
- Programs will submit a mid-term report on action plan progress for review by Academic Affairs and Administrative Council by November 15th (with dean approval);
- Programs will submit a year-end report on action plan progress including key outcomes for review by Academic Affairs and Administrative Council by April 15th (with dean approval);
- As required by Policy III.F., Program Prioritization, annual program prioritization updates will be provided to SBOE by May 1st;
- This process will be completed annually for all programs in the bottom two quintiles until the next Program Prioritization Report submission in July of 2026.