Step 1: Program Self-Study
A self-study document will be prepared and submitted by the graduate program chair or designates from the program under review. The goal of the self-study is to gather data and information for the analysis of program strengths and weaknesses. The best practice self-study will be reflective and analytical rather than descriptive, will be highly participatory, and will provide meaningful input into the efforts to effect program improvements.While the self-study document will be largely completed by the academic unit whose graduate program is under review, the unit will receive assistance from the graduate program review co-ordinator, theCollege of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Information Strategy and Analytics. They will provide guidance and advice and will supply central program-specific data for the self-study document. A SharePoint document workspace will be created to facilitate the completion of the self-stufy document.
The self-study document will provide a comprehensive set of data for the graduate program under review. The data will be a combination of historic and current graduate program attributes. The historic period under review for each program begins five years prior to the last academic year completed before a graduate program review is undertaken.For example, a program review starting in September 2014 will include historic program data back to the 2009-10 academic year and will move up to the 2013-14 academic year, inclusively.
The nature of the required information for the self-study is described in detail in the self-study Data Definitions. The glossary also identifies which of the text fields or data tables will be:
- Completed by the unit with responsibility for the program under review
- Pre-filled by the graduate program review co-ordinator in association with the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Information Strategy and Analytics
Step 2: Review Panel
A graduate program panel comprised of three senior academics will provide a peer assessment of the program under review.
The review panel will normally consist of one member from the University of Saskatchewan and two members from outside the university; one of whom will be from outside of Canada. Review panel members will have established research reputations and extensive experience with graduate student supervision and graduate program administration.
The appointment of the three reviewers will be made by the Dean of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. The reviewer nomination guidelines provide more details of this process.
The reviewers will examine the graduate program self-study document and will conduct a graduate program review site visit. The panel will be asked to make judgments on the quality and impact of graduate programming in the identified discipline.
Step 3: Reviewer Site Visit
The review panel will typically conduct a two-day site visit of the program between February 1 and April 30. During the site visit, the review panel will view relevant research and training facilities and will meet with the:
- dean of the college or the director of the school or centre responsible for the program under review;
- dean of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies;
- provost and vice-president academic;
- head of the department (for departmentalized colleges);
- graduate chair and members of the graduate/research committee associated with the program;
- faculty associated with the program;
- graduate students in the programs under review; and
- other members of the university community as appropriate.
Reasonable costs associated with the site visit will be covered by a fund managed by Institutional Planning and Assessment.
Step 4: Review Outcomes
The review panel will prepare a joint review report and submit the report to the Dean of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies within 30 days of the site visit.
The review report will indicate whether, in the opinion of the reviewers, the program meets or does not meet the standards of quality for each of the six assessment categories:
- Program Objectives and Curriculum
- Program Enrolment and Student Funding
- Student Outcomes
- Learning Environment
- Faculty Profile
The reviewers are asked to provide a rationale for their assessment in each category.
The review report will also provide an overall or summary assessment of the program indicating whether, in the opinion of the reviewers, the program overall meets or does not meet the standards of quality expected of other similar programs at comparable medical/doctoral and major research universities in Canada and internationally. The reviewers are asked to provide a rationale for their decision.
The review report will also identify the strengths and the opportunities for improvement for the program overall and in each of the assessment categories.