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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
September 2, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence

About Us



The Quality Assurance Office was created in February 2011 to assist academic units in the development of new programs or modification of existing programs, as well as to provide a centralized point of contact and support for the cyclical review process. Since its mandate is to provide both pedagogical and administrative support, the office is housed within the Centre for Teaching Innovation and Excellence and is located on the 2nd floor of 202 Regina St.

Mandate

The Quality Assurance Office facilitates an outcomes-based program development and review process by providing curriculum development and administrative support to academic units with the goal of enhancing and improving the quality of the teaching and learning experience at Laurier.

This mandate is translated into practice by:

  • Promoting the benefits of an outcomes-based approach to program development and review
  • Developing an efficient and systematic approach for these processes
  • Offering customized consultations and workshops (see Services for more information)
  • Supporting academic units throughout the program development and review process
  • Identifying and implementing best practices
  • Working collaboratively with other institutional units to promote efficiency

Services

The Quality Assurance Office can provide the following supports to academic units engaging in program development, curriculum modification, or cyclical review:

  • Orientation sessions held annually at the beginning of each review cycle
  • Templates, support materials and resources 
  • Customized workshops on learning outcomes and curriculum mapping
  • Consultations with individuals or curriculum committees
  • Assistance in the completion of required templates
  • Coordination of external reviewer's site visits  

For more information on any of the above services, please contact Sally Heath, Manager: Academic Program Development and Review at sheath@wlu.ca or ext. 4017.

Transition

Like all other universities in Ontario, Laurier has recently undergone a transition in its quality assurance processes.  The policy and protocol for new program development, program modification, and cyclical review previously contained in Laurier Policies 2.1 (cyclical review) and 2.2 (new programs) are now part of the Institutional Quality Assurance Procedures (IQAP).  Laurierís IQAP was ratified by the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance (OUCQA) on June 20th, 2011.

Previously governed at the undergraduate level by the Undergraduate Program Review Auditing Committee (UPRAC) and at the graduate level by the Ontario Council for Graduate Studies (OCGS), the new IQAP will centralize the program development and program review procedures for both degree levels.

Whatís Changed?

  • Revisions to Policies 2.1 and 2.2 to accord with the Quality Assurance Framework
  • Establishment of a Quality Assurance Office to provide support to academic units in the development of new programs and the review of existing programs
  • Creation of a Program Review Sub-Committee of the Senate Academic Planning Committee to oversee the program development and review processes
  • Move from a 7 to 8 year review cycle
  • Scheduling of undergraduate and graduate reviews as augmented  (combined) reviews whenever possible
  • Annual Monitoring Reports submitted in the years between review cycles
  • Templates and resource materials created for new program proposals and cyclical review self-study to be used at both the undergraduate and graduate levels 
  • Auditing of both undergraduate and graduate programs performed by the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance on an 8 year cycle
  • Increased emphasis on program-level learning outcomes and their achievement
  • Changes to taxonomy of curriculum changes and associated approval processes

For more information on this transition and the phase-in and phase-out of former processes, please consult the Institutional Transition Matters document prepared by the Quality Council.

In November 2011, the Quality Council published the following guide entitled Ensuring the Value of University Degrees in Ontario that outlines the purpose and value of the revised quality assurance processes within Ontario.