Academic Program Viability Studies

Annually, all academic program and discipline leads are required to prepare a budget proposal and presentation. Career technical education (CTE) program leads must include a program viability study. The program viability study is intended to provide yearly summative evaluation of a program's sustainability and productivity. It provides the Executive Cabinet with a snapshot of relevant program specific information in order to highlight program trends and issues. 
 
Program Viability Process
The program viability process begins with the drafting of trend charts for each of the programs developed by the Institutional Research. Program trend charts include the following measures:
  1. Cost/margin analysis (CMA)
  2. Completion/graduation rates
  3. Current enrollment
  4. Student course success rates (% DFW)
  5. Labor market data
Once the individual program chart pages have been created and verified, they are sent to the program lead for review. The Dean of CTE will meet with program leads to discuss various actions that they could implement within their programs to improve program performance. Program leads are required to incorporate analysis of the program charts/measures and action plans into their budget presentations. 
 
Program Suspension/Discontinuance
The Executive Cabinet will review all program action plans. Programs that are not deemed viable may be recommended for revision and/or suspension. Programs that have negative CMAs, low enrollment, and low completion rates that are not essential to the College’s mission may be considered for termination.
 
Measure Descriptions and Examples
The individual program reports include five measures which are designed to evaluate a program’s viability. Each of the five measures is provided below along with examples.

Measure 1: Cost/Margin Analysis
Cost/margin analysis reports will be developed at the discipline, program, and division level. Cost/margin analysis reports include staffing, enrollment, and revenue sources. Year-to-year program performance is compared to aggregate performance from all programs.

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Measure 2: Completion/Graduation Rates
Program completion/graduation rates are the total number of graduates under a specific academic program. It will include completion numbers for: industry-recognized certificates, less-than-one-year pathways certificates, one-year certificates, associate degree completers, and reverse transfer completers.

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Measure 3: Current Enrollment
Current enrollment is calculated using the sum of all student course enrollment within the program. This number is a duplicated headcount of students enrolled in the program's core courses and does not reflect the actual number of students enrolled in the associate degree program or its associated certificates.

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Measure 4: Student/Course Success Rates
Student/course success rates are the actual total number of students registered in a course and the final grades received. 

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Measure 5: National, State, and County Trends
Employment trend information is reported at the national, regional, and state level. The source of the information is the Oregon Department of Labor.