Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Data Driven Decisions Regarding New Programs

As I see the number of specializations that are being requested for the UTRGV M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, I wonder what data supports these requests. In the past, whenever we have requested a new program, the question asked is usually, "have you done a needs assessment to determine that the program or specialization is needed or will survive the test of time?" Why? Because we don't want to tie up financial and human resources trying to keep a non-viable program.

As faculty, we have a responsibility to do our homework and demonstrate that their is a need for these new programs. Everyone should be held accountable to providing this data and no program should be created that doesn't have a substantiated need. Every new program or specialization must meet this test.

We should look at programs that have been requested, as well as, look at the number of students that enroll in our current specializations. Without this critical inspection, we are hurting our students and our university. We cannot support programs or specializations that will not support a healthy enrollment.

I'm recommending that those programs with low or near low enrollments ratchet up their recruitment efforts and provide a rationale for keeping them in our inventory. At the same time, any new program or specialization must meet the same requirements from the out-set.

Think about this idea and consider it as we consider new UTRGV programs and specializations.

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