Methods and Outcomes of Student Engagement in Systematic Program Planning
Systematic planning is a program management technique designed to facilitate continuous improvements to educational programs through evidence-based decision-making. Constituent engagement is an essential component of systematic planning, but little is known about how higher education programs engage students in program planning, assessment, and decision-making processes. To better understand how responsive higher education programs are to student engagement, this study examines the methods and outcomes of student engagement in systematic program planning in library and information science (LIS) programs. A hybrid, problem-driven content analysis of 15 comprehensive accreditation self-study documents found that LIS programs used a variety of student engagement methods – quantitative and qualitative, formative and summative, systematic and ad-hoc – to engage students in systematic program planning. However, these methods did not necessarily result in substantive programmatic outcomes. The results of this study will be useful to higher education faculty, staff, and administrators who are interested in designing more inclusive and responsive systematic planning processes through authentic and meaningful student engagement methods.
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