FORMAT FOR APR COMMITTEE REPORTS TO THE FACULTY SENATE

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1 FORMAT FOR APR COMMITTEE REPORTS TO THE FACULTY SENATE 1. The Academic Program Review (APR) Committee makes recommendations about each program that it reviews in written reports to the Faculty Senate. The APR Committee Report to the Faculty Senate should provide constructive feedback that encourages program improvement. APR should provide a report to Faculty Senate using the reporting grid attached to this document. In addition, APR may choose to request a mid-review period follow-up (3 years) to concerns raised regarding the program. 2. All materials referenced by the APR Committee should be in electronic format and are received from the Deans Office. The following materials comprise the report to APR: The APR Self-Study Report provided by the departmental self-study committee (including the annual reports and other important departmental documents contained therein); the unit data sheet provided by the Office of Institutional Research to the department under review the report of the external consultant(s) or accreditation agency; the departmental response to the aforementioned reports; and the dean s summary report, which is prepared by the dean after reviewing the APR Self-Study Report, the external consultant s or accreditation agency s report, and the departmental response to this report. Approved by Faculty Senate 9/28/06

2 Academic Program Review SUMMARY* Department under review ESS Human Performance Date self-study received in Dean s office: August 2011 Date of external consultant s review: November 2009 Date APR received report: September 2011 APR S summary of self-study (first two boxes must be completed) APR s summary of how the academic program attempts to reach its goals and objectives and the extent to which those goals and objectives have been achieved. The ESS: Human Performance program is a master s program, where graduates will seek positions in sport coaching or strength and conditioning of athletes. Experiences within the program include coursework in exercise physiology, biomechanics and motor control, research and practical experiences. Program goals now identified and outlined by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) seem to be met successfully, demonstrated by the high percentage of students passing the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCA) Exam since 2004 (17/17 in the last three years of data included in this report). Many students are also awarded $10,000 grants by the NSCA as well (to fund graduate tuition). APR s comments including: Notable Strengths 1. The ESS: Human Performance program has developed an identified niche that has students making research contributions and being gainfully employed. 2. The program has developed relations to collaborate with other programs to stretch resources (e.g., health professions, strength & conditioning coaches) Notable Weaknesses 1. Learning goals are not really articulated in a manner consistent with assessment and the determination of attained skills. 2. They are stretched for resources. While they are making it, it is tenuous and could negatively impact the program in the long run. 3. GAs need to be provided to help attract students. Currently it is underresourced. APR comments on any/all of the six specific components of the self-study (if applicable) Self Study: Purposes The Human Performance master s program is one of eight programs housed within the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, which has four undergraduate programs and four graduate programs. Beyond the clarity of the degree program, the mission of the program is to develop meaningful active living where the benefits of physical activity are understood, valued and integrated into daily life. (APR, ESS-Human Performance, p. 2). The program has also spent time aligning goals and objectives with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), giving much more focus to courses and preparing students for the certification exam administered by the NSCA. This program is rather

3 unique because of its focus on scientific training for athletes at a high level of performance including high school, college, Olympic and professional sports. Self Study: Curriculum The master s program in Human Performance requires a minimum of 32 credits (generally 30 credits is the minimum for a graduate degree). There are two areas of concentration: the strength and conditioning emphasis and the applied sport science emphasis. The coursework for the strength and conditioning emphasis includes the following: over 200 hours of supervised internship (under a coach/sport of interest for each candidate) within the 18 required credits, 6-12 credits in research, and the balance (2-8 credits) in electives. Because this is clearly an applied program, there is a question as to the necessity of the intense research portion of this emphasis, which is a minimum of 6 credits and can expand to 12 credits. However, the Director of the Human Performance program clarified that the option of 12 credits in research is to aid those students interested in pursuing doctoral work. The coursework for the applied sport science emphasis includes 12 credits of coursework including a laboratory techniques course toward each student s desired expertise, 6-12 credits in research, plus 6 credits of electives. Most students pursue a thesis due to the nature of this emphasis, again probably continuing in doctoral studies. The program would benefit from being able to house a biomechanics course within the Human Performance program. Currently the course in this area is coordinated through Health Professions. The Health Professions have an ESS class that meets the needs of the program. This is an ongoing relationship, but one that is prone to change based on budgets and re-allocation of resources. It is critical that the students in the program continue to have this course. The efforts to recruit the Human Performance program s own PhD person have failed, but there is a need for a PhD to maintain graduate program status as well as to help with the thesis projects. The program has really worked to achieve outstanding internships beyond the campus as well, citing that the master s students are now working with professional organizations such as the Milwaukee Bucks and Seattle Mariners, as well as D1 athletic programs. Self Study: Assessment of Student Learning & Degree of Program Success It appears that the program is grounded in the national goals consistent with the professional expectations. Specific classes have been identified that directly correlate with the national goals. In addition, the program has identified a specific scope and sequence to the courses and having specific prerequisites to classes controls this sequence. The program had developed a rubric of the national goals and the courses that the student was expected to progress through. It was unclear in the review of materials what the association was between specific (course imbedded) learning outcomes and the national goals. There was nothing beyond course grades to indicate that a student was successfully progressing through the sequence of courses. It would be beneficial for the program and the individual students to have certain assessments elevated to provide clear information on how the students are progressing through program material. This information could also be used to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the program and to ensure optimal program delivery. The program provided a number of points indicating student success. There was information on student success in terms of completing research presentations at the state

4 or national level or first-author student peer reviewed publications. There was also the indication of some success across the two programs in the number of students that found employment 6 months following graduation or were enrolled in a doctoral program. There was no evidence of a capstone assessment of the students (e.g., portfolio, examination, etc.) that was expected for all students to complete. Rather, the certification exam noted in the report was encouraged from some students that were completing the terminal master s degree and not progressing on to a doctoral program. While the students that have taken this examination have all passed, it would be helpful to see that all students could pass some mark of proficiency within their chosen field. Self Study: Previous Academic Program Review and New Program Initiatives In 2004 the program made significant changes with the hiring of a program director. Under the leadership, it would appear that the program has focused its mission on two programs: Applied Sport Science and Strength & Conditioning. Many of the courses were re-aligned to achieving the objectives of both of these core areas as well as the updated national standards. Both tracks begin with foundational classes and move to applied practices. All of these changes were made based on feedback from the national trends, student input and faculty knowledge and skills to deliver an appropriate and effective curriculum. There have not been any major changes since Self Study: Personnel The personnel seems to be set except there is no biomechanic person. This is an issue since the coursework is a requirement for the program, and is dependent upon another department s offering of the course (which may be tenuous with the budget situation). Furthermore, a biomechanics PhD would upgrade the research activity and also aid in acquiring ERP status, which they are very close to having and would be a boost in attracting the best candidates from across the country. Self Study: Support for Achieving Academic Program Goals (Resources) The program appears to enjoy the benefits and the constraints of operating in a Division III school. The most striking benefit is the opportunity to work with athletes. This is not available to students in a training program at a Division I school because of the scholarships and liability that the program would be operating under. The limitation is that the resources are not optimal. While this is acknowledged in the report, there have been some beneficial changes. The recent change to segregate all athletes to the Mitchell Hall training center has allowed better access to the students in this program to work with these athletes. In addition, the faculty are planning to submit a lab modernization proposal to more efficiently use the research space they do have. External Reviewer Recommendations APR s Comments on External Reviewer (if applicable) The Reviewer was fair and positive. Because there are very few programs in human performance, the review praised the program as a good niche and to refrain from making the program more broad in an effort to attract more people to the program. One suggestion for creating more funding for research and other needed resources was to seek external funding for graduate assistantships who would provide more resources for graduate students (i.e., GA s). The program could then take a more aggressive role toward actively recruiting outside of Wisconsin and seeking top candidates for this program. The reviewer advocated more research space and dedicated resources. With the

5 applied science emphasis of the program there may be better ways to do more applied research than with the traditional thesis. The reviewer suggested collaboration with other programs within ESS (such as physical therapy and clinical exercise physiology) to create more opportunities for research and to also provide students opportunities to work with faculty from these fields of study and increase research perspectives. The Reviewer did encourage this program to seek ERP status, as the NCSA, which has over 30,000 members, has direct links to all ERP programs (of which there are approximately 8 in the country). Unfortunately, in order to attain this ERP status, the Human Performance program needs to have a tenure track person in biomechanics, which has failed after two searches and seems to be problematic due to the emphasis on teaching and the small program at a Division III school. There was also concern for the workload of the director. The program director is working the summer to manage student inquires and student concerns as well as chairing a number of thesis committees. For the theses that the director is not chairing, he is serving on most of the committees. There is currently no summer stipend for the director. One of the prime responsibilities of the director is to attract students to come to UW-L specifically for this graduate program. The responsiveness of the director in the summer may be critical to the decision of some students. Department s response to the Reviewer Recommendations APR s Comments on the Department s Response (if applicable) The program has developed a niche market that allows students to work with student athletes and recreation individuals. While there is a growing trend nationwide to offer this type of program, other programs are starting at D1 schools and have limited contact for the students with athletes. The need to rely on Health Professions to supply the content and skills in biomechanics cannot be highlighted enough. This is an integral component to student training and knowledge exiting the program. Without this relationship, the ability of the program to continue without a professor in biomechanics would be cast in serious doubt. Attempts to hire within the program have failed due to lack of applicants and lack of a competitive salary. The relatively recent changes to focus strength and conditioning training in Mitchell Hall has been beneficial for the program and increased the opportunities for the graduate students to acquire practical experiences. The space to conduct research is functional however there is talk to write a classroom modification to expand the research area. The ability to offer graduate assistantships to attract the best and the brightest graduate students on campus is a limitation to the program. Many quality students pass on the opportunity to study at UW-La Crosse, despite the strong practical experiences it can offer, due to the lack of financial support. In essence it is trying to be a golden program on less than a golden budget and resources. Dean s Letter APR s Comments on Dean s Letter (if applicable) The Dean does suggest that there have been additional curricular changes to insure that graduate students are challenged beyond what the undergraduate courses

6 might entail, which was a concern of the External Reviewer. He also says that staffing changes have occurred so that faculty are engaged beyond the teaching portion of the load, which apparently was not happening when there were joint athletic and academic appointments. Overall, he also praises the quality and effectiveness of the program. APR s Recommendations (must be completed) Recommendations: The program has done well to develop a specialized niche market in this competitive field and offers excellent hands-on opportunities for student learning. There has been an established critical relationship with Health Sciences to offer a specialized class that is necessary for the vitality of the program. We would recommend continuing that relationship, but also want to continue to advocate for the program to look for ways to find and fund this critical position within the program array. In reviewing the website for the program, it may need to be improved to attract students to the program. Need to develop learning goals consistent with student evaluation of progress through the program and overall program evaluation. This could be done through elevating some key assignments that demonstrate all students growth and knowledge in the field. There are a number of summer projects that need to be completed. Some are ongoing (e.g., recruiting and responding to student inquiries) and some are finite (e.g., updating the website, developing learning outcomes). Given the current heavy load of the director, it may be important to provide summer support through a stipend to the program director to ensure the completion of these important program requirements. No serious areas to address review in 7 years X Some areas to address review in 7 years Some areas to address department should submit short report on progress to Fac Senate/Provost s Office in 3 years * APR s report to faculty senate will consist of this completed form in electronic form.

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