Agenda Item No. VI. B. 1.

Washburn University Board of Regents

SUBJECT: Summary of Program Review Activities during Academic Year 2004-2005

DESCRIPTION: See attached.


RECOMMENDATION: Board of Regents information item.

_________________ _________________________

Date Jerry B. Farley, President

Summary of AY2004-2005 Program Review

June 22, 2005


For the past thirteen years, Washburn University departments have engaged in a process of self-study and peer review known as "program review." Program review provides the opportunity for every program to evaluate itself and to be evaluated by others on a regular basis. Part introspection and part peer review, Washburn's program review process is an important component of the University's administrative processes.

Every department (academic and administrative) is reviewed on a five-year cycle. Departments that are being reviewed in a given year begin by conducting an internal self-study, looking at mission, goals and objectives, outcomes, strengths and weaknesses, and then suggest plans for improvement over the next five years. This self-study is presented as a report to the Program Review Committee, which is co-chaired by the VPAA and the VPAT, and has a campus-wide representative membership of faculty and staff. The committee reviews the self-study documents, interviews the departments, then prepares a summary report for each department under review. The committee's report includes a rating of the program and recommendations for future action.

Copies of the Program Review Committee's summary reports and the program self-studies are on file in the Academic Affairs Office.

Departments Reviewed in AY2004-2005

Three academic departments and six administrative areas where reviewed in the last academic year. These include:

Academic Departments: School of Nursing, Mathematics and Statistics, and the Bachelor of Integrated Studies.

Administrative Departments: Student Services, Multicultural Affairs, Mulvane Museum, Center for Learning and Student Success, International Programs, and Institutional Research.

Summary of Ratings

Programs may be rated as "outstanding," "operating at an acceptable level," "low," or "significant problems,". In the "grading scale" of the program review process, operating at an acceptable level means that the department is meeting its goals and objectives. In other words, "acceptable" is a good grade. Only programs that are demonstrated to be truly exceptional are given outstanding ratings.

Of the 9 departments reviewed in AY2004-2005, 6 were evaluated to be operating at an acceptable level, and 3 (International Programs, Mathematics & Statistics, and School of Nursing) were rated outstanding. This is an exceptionally high number of "outstanding" ratings, as the Program Review Committee has a history of being slow to award the highest rating to programs.

Summary of Recommended Actions

Three units were asked to do additional work on data collection or assessment. One of those units was asked to give a follow up report in two years, and the other two were asked to provide supplementary information to their program review reports. Two units were "singled out for further development." This recommendation from the Program Review Committee means that special attention should be paid to resource allocation for these units. (Space and staffing are a concern for Student Services, and additional support for International Programs was also recommended.) These recommendations serve as input to the administration as it prepares future budgets.


Academic Year 2004-2005 marked the third year of the third five-year cycle. Program review is an essential activity for the campus, as it requires of each area a time of introspection, and provides all areas with a better understanding of the mission, goals and objectives of each area.

Program Review Committee members 2004-2005

Ron Wasserstein (VPAA) and Wanda Hill (VPAT), co-chairs

Denise Ottinger (VPSL), Chris Leach (Director of Finance), Dean Corwin (Mabee Library), Nora Clark (Nursing), Bill Roach (Business), Jay Memmott (Social Work), David Ryan (Law), Ann Marie Snook (CAS -- Creative and Performing Arts), Bill Wagnon (CAS -- Social Sciences), Cecil Schmidt (CAS -- Natural Sciences and Mathematics), Robert Stein (CAS -- Humanities), Michael Rettig (CAS -- Education and HPEES), Victoria Kattenberg (student), Haley Pollock (student), and Paige Pfannensteil (student).

Program Review Committee Report

Bachelor of Integrated Studies (BIS) Program



The mission of the BIS program is well defined. The Program strives to provide students with a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum that is created to meet their individual interests and needs. The mission statement provides for flexibility within the Program both from the organizational model as well as the individualization of the degree. The Program meets the needs of a key population identified in the University Mission Statement.

Goals and Objectives:

The two goals of the BIS program are to (1) provide an alternative degree for students whose career or life goals are better served by an interdisciplinary degree and to (2) maintain the academic integrity of the BIS degree. Objectives for each of these goals include the ongoing refinement of the application and advising process as well as continued collaboration between academic disciplines throughout the University. Additionally, regular evaluations of coursework, regular faculty advising, and a required capstone experience enhance the degrees integrity.

Statistical Information:

The BIS Program is showing a healthy rate of growth. This is supported by the growth in the number of declared majors as well as the number of graduates from this program. According to the report, the number of declared majors has risen from 15 in 1999-00 to 38 in 2003-04. Based upon the Program's records, there are currently 91 majors as of the 2004-05 reporting period. The number of graduates has increased from 0 in 1999-00 to 25 in 2003-04. Some statistical information is lacking or not available, including expenditures and cost of academic staff. Finally, there is a steady increase in the credit hours generated, however the statistics are confounded because they reflect all IS credit hours, and the statistics do not include the credit hour impact to the other disciplines.

Outcome Measures

Based upon the number of degrees conferred and the growth in declared majors, the Program is meeting the goal of providing an alternative interdisciplinary degree. However, student outcome information is limited. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the program, many of the outcome measures lie with the respective courses that are monitored through the various departments involved. It was noted that three BIS students were finalists for the Sibberson Award and two of those were winners, and there is a capstone experience which might provide data that could be measured.

Program Strengths

The BIS Program Review report lists several strengths: 1) the governing/advisory committee is interdisciplinary in membership; 2) the application process is one that requires a great deal of thought and planning on the part of the student; and 3) the Capstone project provides the student the opportunity to pull and tie together all of the components of the interdisciplinary experience. The BIS is a well-designed interdisciplinary program that relies on existing courses to provide students an alternative learning option.

Program Weaknesses

The weaknesses reported by the BIS Program include: 1) sufficient and timely course offerings for PLAN 2+2 students; 2) faculty advising for off campus students follows a different model than for the one on campus; and 3) organizational challenges perhaps due to no single point of responsibility sometimes create misunderstandings and confusion.

Changes in the Future

The program seeks a designated student advisor to provide better advising for PLAN students, and intends to find ways to streamline and simplify the organizational structure. Additional faculty are needed, according to the report, particularly in the Communication Department.

Program Rating: Operating at an acceptable level

Recommended Action: continue at current level of activity and resources

The BIS Program is a niche program that is serving the University well. The Program will need to address the organizational challenges it has identified and provide a clearer delineation of responsibilities between the contributing entities. Perhaps place-bound students and students with unique objectives should be handled as separate groups with separate organizations. This might be accomplished within the BIS Program or perhaps separately. Follow up with alumni to determine their perceptions of the value of their program is strongly encouraged.

Program Review Committee Report

Institutional Research Office

Spring 2005


The mission of the Institutional Research Office (IR) is consistent with the University's mission, placing its role of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data in the context the institution's focus on teaching and learning.

Goals and Objectives

In the report, IR has appropriately and candidly evaluated its progress toward the goals it established in the previous program review, and integrated those goals which need continued attention into its goals for the next program review cycle.

IR has established six goals for the next five years. Each goal begins with one of the following phrases: "to serve", "to provide", "to collect", or "to coordinate." These word choices reflect the IR Office's clear understanding of its important function within the institution. Objectives for each goal are also established. The report identifies at least one "assessment method" with each goal and objective, but these "assessment methods" are more accurately described as additional objectives.

Statistical Information

Currently IR's expenditures are 2.6% of total WU institutional support expenditures. The number of FTE positions has remained at 3.0 for the last four years. Upgrading of the two professional positions has resulted in an increase in total salaries for FY04, though total office expenditures were actually slightly lower in FY04 than in FY00, when IR expenditures represented some 3.9% of total WU instructional support expenditures. The program review report notes IR responded to 201 requests for information (RFI) (reports, etc.) during FY04. Previous data on reports is incomplete, but IR now has a tracking system which will allow continued measurement of RFI in the future. One of the appendices indicates that IR is involved in responding to over 40 surveys annually, in addition to the RFI noted above.

Outcome Measurement

IR appears to be prodigiously producing reports, responding to surveys and to requests for information, as noted above. All indications are that it does so in a timely and accurate fashion. However, the methods for assessing many of its six goals are not clear.

Unit Strengths

The report lists staff's understanding of higher education issues and its ability to provide broad perspective in analyzing data and responding to requests for information. In addition, IR staff members have considerable technical ability, and have been flexible and responsive in meeting information needs of the Washburn University community.

Unit Weaknesses

The report lists two weaknesses: (1) some potentially useful analyses have to wait due to the volume of requests for information, and (2) dissemination of reports prepared by IR could be improved.

Changes in the Future

Banner reporting will likely become a more prominent activity for the IR Office. IR intends to develop more sophisticated analyses and reports for institutional use, particularly at the executive staff level.

Program Rating: Operating at an acceptable level

Recommended Action: Continue at current level of activity and resources

IR staff clearly understand the role of the Office in the larger institutional context. Work product by IR has been high quality, and the two professional staff members are well-qualified for the important technical work they do.

So that the IR Office will be in a good position to evaluate its progress at the next program review report, the Program Review Committee requests the IR Office rewrite section IV of its program review report by September 30, 2005, to provide clearly stated, measurable assessments of its goals. In the outcome measures, IR should articulate who its constituents are and how their needs are being met. The rewritten section, when approved by the co-chairs of the Program Review Committee, will be substituted for the current section IV, and will therefore constitute the basis for the next program review in five years.

Program Review Committee Report

Office of International Programs

Spring 2005


The mission of OIP is all things international at Washburn University. This mission encompasses:

Recruiting international students

Offering ESL classes for international students

Promotion and management of study abroad programs

Providing support for faculty going abroad

Interfacing with Washburn's 16 sister schools in 9 countries

Providing international programs for the Washburn campus

Partnering the local community in the International Center of Topeka

Maintaining the International House and housing international guest of the University.

Since the last program review, the unit has undergone considerable reorganization.

Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives parallel the mission and call for maintaining relationships with groups that allow OIP to pursue its mission.

Statistical Information

The makeup of Washburn's international student population is almost exclusively non-European. The national origin of the international students has varied significantly over the last 5 years. The number of faculty going abroad has increased from about 10 to about 20 per year. The ESL program appears to be shrinking. Current United States foreign policy makes it very difficult for international students to obtain visas to study in the U.S. The number of international students graduating from Washburn varies from year to year and averages about 19. The number of students studying abroad each year has gone from 41 to 69 over the last 5 years. The change in the OIP structure makes it impossible to track the growth in OIP versus the University for the last five years

Assessment and Outcomes

There are significant gaps in the assessment program of OIP; however, survey results suggest that the OIP is successful on a number of fronts.

Unit Strengths and Weaknesses

As noted in the report, the International Center of Topeka provides community support for the programs of OIP. The OIP is accredited by the State Department to do the processing of F1 student visas. The centralization of all international programs under OIP probably allows better coordination of those programs. The deterioration of the United States dollar vis-à-vis world currencies makes it very difficult to send Washburn students or faculty abroad.

Qualifications of Staff

The staff of OIP have excellent credentials.

Changes in the Future

Increasingly, higher education is internationalizing. Communication technology logically makes education a global enterprise. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is now proposing to regulate education as part of the General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS). The U.S. delegation is playing a leadership role in this movement. The University and particularly OIP need to adapt their strategic plan to this new reality.

OIP needs to adjust its strategic plan for changes in the availability of F1 visas and changes in the strength of the dollar. OIP should adjust its strategic plan for the implications of the Transformational Experience Program.

Program Rating: Outstanding

Recommended Action: singled out for development as an area of excellence.

The OIP is aware of gaps in its assessment program and is taking steps to address them.

Logically, the globalization of higher education and the Transformational Experience Program mean that OIP should be singled out for development as an area of excellence.

Program Review Committee Report

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Spring 2005


The mission statement of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics emphasizes excellence in teaching, thereby enabling students to obtain knowledge of mathematics, as well as the more abstract skills of problem solving, analytical skills, and abstract reasoning. In a rather general manner, the mission statement is consistent with the mission of the University.

Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of the Department remain the same as they were in 1999, the time of the most recent program review. Under each goal, there are separate objectives for each of three groups of students: those taking mathematics courses to meet University general education requirements; those in other majors who take service courses which provide a background in mathematical functions; and those majoring in mathematics and statistics. The Department offers majors in pure mathematics, secondary mathematics education, and actuarial science.

Statistical Information

Student credit hours (SCH) in the Department have increased significantly (39%) over the past five years, while the faculty FTE has decreased slightly (7%) in the same time period, with a decline from 3.1% to 2.6% of the University's instructional budget. This has resulted in significantly greater number of SCH per faculty member. The number of graduates from the Department has ranged between 4 and 9 annually over the five-year period. These numbers represent 0.7% to 1.2% of all degrees conferred by the University; these percentages are in line with national averages.

Outcome Measures

The Department's assessment program is a work in progress. The Department has utilized different outcome measures, depending on the activity being evaluated. Outcomes of some objectives were measured by the percentage of students who received a final grade of C or better in certain classes. The Program Review Committee does not view this as a particularly effective form of assessment. However, other outcomes were measured through surveys of various constituencies, along with comments made by the respondents. These measures were appropriate to the type of activity being evaluated. The measures demonstrated a high student success rate and a high rate of student satisfaction with course content and with the faculty. The use of common exam questions in lower division classes is beginning to bear fruit. The Department is developing a senior seminar/capstone experience.

One area of concern, raised by students and faculty in both the 1999 and 2004 program review documents, relates to the use of technology. The Department will continue to monitor and address this issue in the coming years.

Department Strengths

The Department identified the following strengths: 1) an excellent teaching faculty; 2) a progressive educational philosophy; 3) quality of advising; 4) the Mathematics Tutoring Center; 5) sponsorship of Math Day; 6) sponsorship of Club Mathematica and the local chapter of Kappa Mu Epsilon; 7) fostering a collegial and friendly atmosphere; 8) faculty participation in local, regional, and national professional organizations, and active involvement with area mathematics educational organizations; 9) student participation in the national Putnam mathematics competition; 10) hosting the SumDay mathematics competition; and 11) the Actuarial Science program's designation as an "Advanced Undergraduate Program" by the Society of Actuaries.

Department Weaknesses

The Department identified four areas for improvement: 1) increasing demands for space in the Math Lab and faculty office space; 2) lack of uniform standards for placement in a student's first mathematics course; 3) inadequate communication between evening instructors and daytime instructors; and 4) lack of a senior capstone experience for pure mathematics and secondary education majors.

Changes In The Future

No new programs are recommended by the Department; however, several important curricular issues and other opportunities will need to be addressed in the coming years.

Rating Outstanding

Recommendation Continue at current level of activity and resources

The Department appears to have managed well the enrollment growth it has experienced. Much attention is being paid to the curriculum, particularly at the introductory level, with a goal of meeting students' needs and improving learning. Though much work remains, the Department has shown a commitment to assessing student learning and to improving its courses and programs as the result of assessment. The Program Review Committee recognizes the outstanding effort of the faculty in promoting student research.

Program Review Committee Report

Mulvane Art Museum

Spring 2005


The mission of the Mulvane Art Museum, which is consistent with the University's mission, is to provide the Washburn community, Topeka residents, and visitors and residents of Kansas with an arena to learn about and appreciate art. The Mulvane Art Museum collects, preserves and interprets art for the benefit of all its visitors. An emphasis is placed in offering educational outreach programs to provide art education to Topeka school children. In the oral presentation it was indicated that a current focus is on collaboration with the university and the community and to involve the community in the museum and its programs.

Goals and Objectives

The unit identified seven goals and objectives from the 1999 Program Review. The Mulvane also identified six current and future goals, each with outcomes and methods of assessment. The goals and objectives are consistent with the unit's mission and seem appropriate and attainable.

Statistical Information

Information on exhibition and program statistics were provided. However, no other statistical information was presented in the program review document. In the oral presentation it was indicated that staff salaries are approximately $200,000 and that unit funding comes from various sources including Friends of Mulvane, gifts and Washburn University. It was indicated during the oral presentation that there are currently six staff members employed

Strengths of the Unit

The program review document listed six strengths for the unit: Both an eclectic permanent collection that is accessible to university classes and exhibitions that bring new ideas, issues and stimuli to campus for discussion have led to growing awareness of and participation by university staff and students in museum activities. The museum contributes to the quality of campus life. Well established outreach programs that serve a broad segment of the population are provided by a creative, hard working staff and a core of dedicated volunteers. The museum provides an opportunity for the university to give back to the community by offering valuable services at no cost to the community. The Mulvane Art Museum is one of six art institutions in the state accredited by the American Association of Museums. The renovated museum will provide opportunities for internships for art education and museum studies.

Weaknesses of the Unit

The unit identified two weaknesses; a small staff that has growing responsibilities and the museum staff do not have an adequate amount of time to provide sufficient direction and training and to meet volunteer needs. It was indicated that the staff size was identified as a concern during the museum re-accreditation by AAM.

Suggestions For Change And Future Work

The unit is requesting an additional staff member who would serve as a development officer and volunteer liaison. In addition, it was requested that a more permanent way of paying the museum registrar's salary be found.

Program Rating Operating at an acceptable level

Recommendations Continue at current level of activity and resources (including in "current" the resources associated with the newly renovated facilities to be opened next year)

After many years, the Mulvane is poised to take great steps forward as a result of its new facilities. Staff and administrative leadership are strong, and community interest and support appears to be high.

For completeness and for the benefit of the next program review, the Mulvane should work with the Institutional Research Office to obtain appropriate statistical data for inclusion in its report, no later than August 15, 2005.

Program Review Committee Report

School of Nursing

Spring 2005


In two clear sentences, the School of Nursing describes an emphasis on preparation of life-long learning in the nursing profession and on collaboration with the community that fits well with the University's mission. The report further elaborates on the relationship of the School's mission to the University's mission, and indicates the School understands well its role and place within the institution.

Goals and Objectives

The report articulates in detail the results of the School's efforts to achieve the seven goals it set in the previous program review report. The data provided indicate the last five years have been highly successful ones for the School of Nursing.

For the next program review cycle, the School has reorganized and consolidated its previous seven goals into five goals, and added two additional goals. Assessable objectives have been established for each goal (2-6 objectives per goal).

Statistical Information

School of Nursing credit-hour enrollment has increased each year in the five years covered by this program review. In the previous program review report, a note of concern was expressed about the ratio of full-time to part-time faculty (11:11 in the 2000 report). In FY05, the School reports a 16:3 ratio of full- to part-time faculty. School expenditures as a percent of total WU instructional expenditures has been in the 4.4%-4.9% range during the last five years. The School generates about 3.5% of the University's total credit hours, but about 11% of all Washburn baccalaureate degrees are conferred to School of Nursing graduates.

Assessment and Outcomes

The School of Nursing has a clear strategy for assessing student learning outcomes, and it has not only implemented that strategy, but has completed the feedback loop by making changes based on its assessments. While NCLEX passing rates provide an end-of-program assessment, which provides a widely-used measure of success, assessment during the program is of particular interest to the School. In Fall, 2000, the School began to administer the HESI mid-curricular exam to its students, but the results were of minimal use because there were no consequences associated with the results of the exams. Since 2003, HESI exam performance has been included in course expectations in two courses. Low scores result in remediation opportunities. Employer surveys are also used. Internal evaluation activities include linking course objectives with program outcomes, mapping course assignments with program outcomes, and verifying inclusion of course content with the NCLEX-RN test plan.

Unit Strengths

The unit identified 16 strengths. Some of these were: qualifications of the faculty, relationships with clinical sites, curriculum and assessment, the new Learning Center, strong scholarship endowments, and excellent reputation.

Unit Weaknesses

The School identified seven weaknesses, some of which were: low faculty salaries and low operating expense budget, low percentage of Ph.D. faculty, and insufficient minority representation.

Changes in the Future

Ideas for change are provided for each weakness identified. Some of these include: market salary adjustments to correct salary compression, reassigned time and/or sabbatical leave for faculty to complete Ph.D. degrees, increased operating budget, and continued efforts to increase recruitment of minority faculty and students.

Program Rating: Outstanding

Recommended Action: Continue at current level of activity and resources (recognizing that significant resources have been added to the School for both its graduate and undergraduate programs in the last two years)

The School of Nursing has fully matured as an academic program, particularly with the addition of the MSN program beginning this fall. The School has successfully increased the size of its undergraduate program with no sacrifice to quality, and looks forward to its first graduate class in August. The reputation of the program in the community is excellent. School faculty credentials are sound, though the number of Ph.D.-qualified faculty will need to increase, and the School benefits from strong administrative leadership. Concerns about salaries and operating expense budget will need to be monitored by the School and by the University administration.

Program Review Committee Report

Center For Learning And Student Success (CLASS)

Spring 2005


The mission of CLASS, which has been updated since the last program review, is consistent with the mission statement of Washburn University. The unit's stated mission is to provide educational enrichment through academic advising, personal and vocational counseling, and career development and job search.

Goals And Objectives

Program goals and objectives are organized according to the three programs within CLASS: Academic Advising; Career Services; and Counseling and Testing. Unfortunately, the goals and objectives are stated exclusively in terms of what staff members will do rather than in terms of client outcomes. For example, under Academic Advising the first stated goal is:

[To] provide accurate and current information to students regarding university degree requirements, policies, procedures, rules and regulations.

Given its service orientation, CLASS would be better off stating its program goals and objectives in terms what clients (e.g., students, alumni, faculty, staff, employers) will be able to do after receiving services from CLASS. To this end, the above-stated goal might be re-written as:

As a result of CLASS advising, student advisees will be able to articulate accurate and current information regarding university degree requirements, procedures, rules, and regulations.

Statistical Information

According to data collected by CLASS, student contacts for Academic Advising increased from 5,507 in 1999-2000 to 26,836 in 2003-2004. For Career Services, student contacts grew from 9,944 in 1999-2000 to 17,803 in 2003-2004. Counseling and Testing saw more a more modest gain of 6,409 in 1999-2000 to 7,495 in 2003-2004. Overall, this is a 238% increase in student contacts from 1999-2000 to 2003-2004.

Assessment And Outcomes

Both quantitative and qualitative data are gathered to assess student, alumni, faculty, staff, and employer involvement and satisfaction with Career Services. Although not clearly articulated in the report, it appears CLASS employs the same program evaluation strategies in assessing the effectiveness of Academic Advising and Counseling and Testing. The report does suggest that counts and retention data are used to assess the effectiveness of the Academic Advising program. Faculty and student satisfaction survey data appear to be the primary data source for evaluating the effectiveness of the Counseling and Testing program. The absence of supportive data makes it difficult to determine whether CLASS is actually meeting its stated goals and objectives.

Unit Strengths

No summary was provided in the report of the strengths of Academic Advising.

High ratings from career fair and workshop attendees indicate that Career Services is providing valuable services to student and employer clients. Learning Skills workshops offered by Counseling and Testing have increased annually, and students rate this service highly.

Overall, CLASS evidences a number of strengths. It is a "one stop shop," providing easy referral and inter-unit collaboration. The unit is cost effective because the three programs share physical space, equipment, and supplies.

Unit Weaknesses

In the program review report, co-directorship is cited as a unit strength because it allows for better advocacy outside the unit and better communication within. However, there is a perception shared by Washburn faculty and administrators that the current leadership model is ineffective, confusing, and disorganized. This suggests that the existing administrative structure needs to be revisited to determine if it promotes or hinders program effectiveness and efficiency.

Because of the constant influx of new students and turn over of faculty, CLASS has had some difficulty marketing its services and maintaining communication with internal stakeholders (e.g., the Admission, Registrar, Financial Aid, and Business offices). In addition, it is not clear how the Educational Opportunities Program should be incorporated into CLASS.

Changes In The Future

To correct weaknesses, CLASS indicated it would like to increase coverage and provide more workshops and presentations. To strengthen existing programs, CLASS said it needs to educate the Washburn community better regarding the nature of its counseling services, possibly through greater use of the Review and MyWashburn.

Through its Counseling and Testing program, CLASS intends to expand the use of psychometric instruments to help students choose or change their academic majors. The unit also stated a desire to offer a more effective program for improving learning skills.

Program Rating Operating at an acceptable level (however, see note below)

Recommended Action Continue at current level of activity and resources.

CLASS has indicated that a major challenge is sufficient staffing to manage growing student demand for services, and an increase of 238% in student contacts over a five year period supports this contention. However, other outcome data are not as compelling. There is a need to restate goals and objectives in terms of client rather than staff outcomes to facilitate gathering the type of data that can support proposals for future unit and program development.

The Program Review Committee requests a follow up report from CLASS in two years addressing: (a) outcome measurements (restating outcome measurements as noted above, and collecting, analyzing and acting on these measurements), and (b) a thorough review of the leadership structure to determine if a different model is appropriate.

The University needs good data and thorough analysis to understand its effectiveness in assisting conditionally admitted students.

Program Review Committee Report

Multicultural Affairs Office

Spring 2005


The Multicultural Affairs Office mission is well defined. It complies with the university's mission of "offering higher education to a diverse population" that requires it makes "a special effort to help individuals reach their full academic potential" by promoting a positive atmosphere of support for differences and inclusion of all cultures.

Goals and Objectives and Statistical Information:

Relying on conventional categories for culture, African-American, Native-American, Hispanic, and Asian, enrollment of these groups over the past decade has shifted. The numbers of Black and Native-American students have remained level, but numbers of Hispanic students has declined as have the numbers of Asian students. However, since beginning to keep records of student use of the Office's facility in Morgan Hall, the numbers have increased overall, with heavier use in the fall semester than spring or summer.

Multiculturalism entails more than these categories of race and ethnicity. Others might be covered by other agencies, and are not reflected in this report. For instance, International Programs handle foreign students and CLASS handles socio-economically identified students. However, a growing factor facing the Office is the rapidly increasing numbers of enrolled students who do not identify themselves as belonging to any race or ethnicity, currently one-third of the student population, up from four percent in 1994. While the current leadership of the Office is aware of this trend, the implications for future Office services have not been fully factored into the plans for the Office.

Under new leadership in 2001, the Office has effectively reviewed the previous program review assessment and revised goals and objectives accordingly.

Outcome Measurements:

The Office has no assessment tool in place to evaluate its programs. It uses the Student Life Satisfaction Survey, but has reservations about how the survey is distributed and the effectiveness of responses to evaluate its overall programs.

Strengths of Unit:

The Office's facility and budget are adequate for its current level of operations. Its staff is highly qualified and committed to inclusion of all groups into university life. The director's involvement with community organizations gives it heft in promoting multiculturalism in the name of the university and an effective outlet for student community involvement. The Office participates readily in student recruitment and new student orientation. Its resource materials and atmospheres are conducive to a gradual increase in student usage. The club organization of services around particular racial and ethnic groups of students gives those who want to be so identified a ready network to bolster identity and confidence in the university community.


Turnover of staff has been a recurring problem for continuity of services. The Office has not been able to generate interest among Asian students for its services, which may be accounted for in the overall decline in the numbers of foreign students from Asia entering the United States since 9/11/01. However, the unit provides services to Asian American students as well as to foreign/international Asian students. While it gets feedback from those students using its services, Office plans to contact potential members of various cultural groups not already participating are indeterminate.

Changes in the Future:

The unit has identified recommendations to correct the weaknesses it identified, recommendations to strengthen existing programs, and recommendations for new programs. A seven week leadership program for multicultural student organizations is a major thrust for the Office. Additional effort with Asian American and Native American communities is envisioned.

Program Rating: Operating at an acceptable level

Recommendations: Continue at current level of activity and resources

The club organization of services around particular racial and ethnic groups of students appears to have declining appeal if trends in self-identification are indicative of the future. Extrapolation into the future suggests that Washburn University in time will become a color-blind community, in contrast to the growing ethnic and racial diversity predicted by census demographics. Will there be a need for the Office in such an environment? In the meantime, the Office needs to develop an effective program assessment tool, which not only determines individual satisfaction of current participants, but of potential clients as well if it is to meet its comprehensive goals for the university.

Program Review Committee Report

Student Services

FY 2004-2005


Under the auspices of Student Life, Student Services is an umbrella unit that offers an assemblage of services to students who are veterans, to students with disabilities, and to non-traditional students. It also sees itself as a resource about such services to faculty, staff, and persons of the community. Its particular program mission is consonant with the mission of the University.


The Program Review neatly and clearly articulates the goals of its 2000 report in terms of their specific objectives, their assessment methods, their assessment results, and consequent developments and changes. In addition, the current Review articulates three new goals to achieve over the next five years: (1) Providing training for faculty/staff regarding disability awareness /etiquette and the legal requirements of serving students with disabilities; (2) establishing an Advisory Board; (3) sponsoring and/or organizing events for veterans and non-traditional students to network and connect with peers.

Statistical Information

The 2000 Report anticipated an increased demand for student services, particularly by students with disabilities. The statistical overview for the past five years evidences increased services for veterans and for students with disabilities. The Review notes an increase of 29 percent in the number of students who use such services and highlights the military's stepped up recruiting activities and the number of students with disabilities using in-class note takers and testing accommodations.

Outcome Measurements

Color-coded Student Life Satisfaction Survey cards brought only a very modest response from students who used the unit's services. No significant dissatisfactions were reported. In addition, the unit crafted an evaluation form to survey staff helpfulness, knowledge and availability, and service provision. The survey was mailed to registrants in Spring, 2004. Of 305 evaluations mailed, 40 were returned, representing a cross section of veterans and students with disabilities. The very satisfied constituency strongly prevailed and the comments/suggestions were all positive. The Review notes the unit also collected and reviewed data about its overall costs of accommodations from 1999-2003 as part of an effort to determine available resources within the University and the community. One result of this assessment was a budget increase several years ago.

Unit Strengths

For veterans, the unit now uses VA Once to organize its VA database, maintains accurate and current files, presents Veterans Day, undertakes purposeful and appropriate services for veterans, maintains contact with its clientele, and works closely with Financial Aid. For students with disabilities, the unit has introduced protocols to track test pickup and delivery in a timely manner, provides support services on individual request, has developed a web page, sends a Student services E-letter, coordinates training programs with other institutional facilities, and collaborates with Career Services/Class. As an advocate for its clientele, the unit nominates both veterans and students with disabilities for Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. The unit has mature. experienced, and effective leadership.

Unit Weaknesses

As noted in its report, current facility/space is severely limited in accessibility for persons with disabilities, the increase in clientele makes for difficulty tracking student progress, little opportunity exists to present workshops, non-traditional student programming is very limited. Availability of and access to assistive technology resources for students with disabilities needs to be implemented in selected areas on campus. Currently services are only in Mabee Library (the ADA self-study committee report of July 2004 supports this last finding).

Proposals For Change

Recommendations to correct current weaknesses: Move to a larger, more accessible location; hire an additional staff member.

Recommendations to meet identified needs or opportunities: Conduct a campus-wide disability awareness activity, such as a disability awareness day (moderate projected cost); conduct a disability recognition program acknowledging the efforts of exemplary students, faculty, staff, and persons in the community (moderate projected cost); work with Shawnee County Transition Council to present a Resource Fair (moderate projected cost).

Program Rating

Operating at an acceptable level.

Recommended Action

Singled out for further development in terms of space (and staffing).

Growth in the University and change in the nature of the student population has led to increased demand for student services. Administration will need to monitor space and staffing needs for the services.

[ WU Home ] [ Directory ] [ A-Z Index ] [ Sitemap ] [ Contact WU ] [ Statements & Disclosures ] [ Accessibility ] [ Search ]
© 2014 Washburn University, 1700 SW College Ave, Topeka, Kansas 66621 (785) 670-1010
Contact with questions or comments.