Graduate Program Evaluation Plan

One of the goals of The Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research (DEGI) is to ensure that the campus’ Graduate Programs provide a standard of university education that is nothing short of excellent. DEGI’s Office of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs is therefore committed to continually improving the various master’s and doctoral programs offered by the campus, employing the evaluation and accreditation of its graduate programs, and the assessment of student learning as key elements toward achieving this goal.

With this goal in mind, the Office of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, incumbent on devising strategies with guaranteed substantial benefit for our university, has taken on the challenge of implementing two very important plans: the Graduate Program Evaluation Plan; and the Graduate Learning Assessment Plan. The Graduate Program Evaluation Plan is a systematic model developed to inspire each program’s conformity to a culture of self-reflection that is conducive to academic and investigative excellence, aimed not only at facilitating each program with the means by which to identify its strengths and any areas in need of attention, but also at developing forward-mobilization strategies to assure achievement of the highest level of performance. The Graduate Learning Assessment Plan, on the other hand, incorporates Learning Assessment, Self-study, the Evaluation of Research Centers assigned to each program, and any other self-reflection process that would come into play during the course of each evaluation cycle. In this sense, the evaluation process itself, embodies the concept of reflection and continual transformation.

 

Introduction

The main objective of the Graduate Program Evaluation Plan is to create an institutional culture of continual evaluation which facilitates the empowerment of the individual components of each graduate program throughout the evaluation process, and thereby, using those results to improve the way they are managed, both academically and administratively.

In keeping with the various certifications governing the operations of the university system—Certification 38, 2012-2013, Certification 76, 1988-1989 and Certification 64, 1989-1990 of the Río Piedras Campus’ Academic Senate, Certification 80, 2005-2006 and Certification 43, 2006-2007 of the Board of Trustees—the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research (DEGI), in collaboration with the Advisory Council on Graduate Studies and Research (CEGI), has designed and launched an Evaluation Plan for the campus’ graduate programs, which is distinct from  prior initiatives due to:

  • Its implementation logistics, which takes into consideration the annual evaluation of graduate programs, performed systematically to ensure that upon completion a of a 7-cycle period, all the  graduate programs of the campus would have been evaluated
  • The identification of areas of evaluation common to all the graduate programs of the campus, with guiding questions and standards of excellence for each one of these said areas
  • Its uniformity and complexity, in the sense that all the graduate programs can be evaluated according to the same criteria and standards, while at the same time, taking into consideration the distinctive features of each discipline or area of study
  • Its alignment with the evaluations conducted by the agencies, through which our graduate programs attain their professional accreditation
  • External evaluation conducted by peers
  • The formulation of a Development Plan for each program evaluated, aimed at responding to any strengths or shortcomings manifested therein