Review of Academic Program Productivity Procedures

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Low-Yield Programs

Per the NSHE Board of Regents Handbook (Title 4, Chapter 14, Section 6), these procedures provide the process for the review of all academic programs that are at least ten years old and are identified as "Low-Yield". The criteria to be used for the identification of Low-Yield Academic Programs are set in the Handbook.

  • Associate programs must award at least twenty degrees in the last three consecutive years.
  • Certificate programs in the same field may be considered in the evaluation of the associate program productivity.
  • Annually, all programs at least ten years old will be evaluated by the criteria for Low-Yield Academic Programs established in the NSHE Handbook.

The exact procedures to be followed are:

  1. Annually, TMCC's Institutional Research publishes a FactBook with data on Degrees, Degree Emphases, and Certificates Conferred. The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall annually review the degree and certificate programs to identify those which may meet the above criteria. The grouping of emphases into one single program shall be considered where appropriate in terms of common faculty and resource allocations.
  2. TMCC has in place a process for Program Unit Review (PUR) that is a central component of the integrated assessment/planning process at TMCC. Every program/unit in the college completes a comprehensive self-study on a five-year cycle. The self-study combines self-examination and the use of data to produce an integrated, strategic approach to ongoing instructional development and improvement. The Program Unit Review provides an ongoing assessment of all academic programs and will be the basis for TMCC review of programs under this policy.
  3. When an academic program fails to meet the threshold set by the Handbook for minimum productivity, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall, in consultation with the Faculty Senate and Academic Deans, review the most recent Program Unit Review findings to determine if the program may be exempted from the low-yield designation because it meets any of the following criteria. The program:
    • Is central to the educational mission of TMCC or partnering institutions such as Washoe County School District or the University of Nevada, Reno;
    • Meets a demonstrated workforce or service need of the state, including any projected future needs;
    • Demonstrates an increase in student demand through a pattern of increasing enrollment;
    • Demonstrates productivity in the receipt of external grants and contracts related to the program;
    • Supports underrepresented students or community groups; or
    • Provides skills certificates essential to the workforce needs of the region or the state.
  4. If the program is not eligible to be exempted, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall designate the program as Low-Yield and utilize the Program Unit Review findings and process to determine if the program should be continued or should merge with another program. A period of up to three years after initial identification of a program as Low-Yield may be utilized for program improvements, program elimination, or merger.
  5. Responses by the Low-Yield programs will be addressed and reported to the VPAA annually, utilizing the Annual Progress Report (institutional review process).
  6. The President shall annually report to the Chancellor all programs designated as Low-Yield and the results of the institutional review process, including any recommended program elimination.