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CAP 4-Year Review

What is the 4-Year Review process for CAP courses?

The CAP 4-Year Review process is an opportunity for faculty members and departments to reflect on a CAP course and consider student learning in that course. Faculty members are asked to re-examine the course as it was initially conceived and proposed to determine if the course is still being delivered that way and whether or not students are learning what faculty members strive for them to learn in the course.

Simply put, the 4-Year Review process asks: 

  • Is the course being delivered as proposed for CAP?
  • Are students learning?
  • How is that learning discerned?

By providing an opportunity to reflect, this process enables faculty, departments, and the broader campus community to focus on learning and communicate with others about the learning that is occurring as part of the Common Academic Program.

Download Overview, Timeline, and Outcomes for the 4-Year Review Process (PDF) >>HERE.

Download Frequently Asked Questions about the 4-Year Review Process (PDF) >>HERE.

What is the point of the CAP 4-Year Review?

The CAP 4-Year Review process is intended for faculty to reflect and determine if the course that is being taught is aligned with initial learning aims of the course, demonstrate that learning is happening, and consider any changes for the future.

What the CAP 4-Year Review is not:

Words such as "review" can provoke fear and reluctance, so it is important to point out what the CAP 4-Year Review is not. This process is not about:

  • Collecting evidence that will be conveyed by the CAP Office to unit- or institution-level tenure and promotion committees;
  • Telling faculty members how to teach or what to teach; or
  • Using data to thwart course offerings.

Recommended elements of a course assessment plan:

The CAP Committee (CAPC) developed recommendations that a course assessment plan should identify the following elements:

  • System for administering assessment (e.g., rubric)
  • Who will conduct the assessment (e.g., instructor of record, outside instructors, etc.)?
  • Who will be assessed (e.g., every student or random sample)?
  • Frequency of assessment (if appropriate depending on how often the course is offered)
  • Thresholds for achievement (e.g., 70% proficiency)
  • Process or method for interpreting and using results from assessment to enhance student learning in the course (i.e., closing the loop)

If the course is part of program assessment (perhaps for an academic unit and/or external accreditation), please look for ways to align the 4-Year Review with that process.

Completing the 4-Year Review Report

Departments are asked to provide information about each course undergoing the CAP 4-Year Review process by completing a form (download information follows). Departments will need to refer to the Course Inventory Management (CIM) system to complete the form. Additional information, documentation, etc. is encouraged, but please include answers to each question on the form and refer only to other documents for supplemental information.  

Download the 4 Year Review Report form (Word) >>HERE.

4-Year Review Timeline: 2019-20 Academic Year

The following timeline applies to departments with courses that will go through the 4-Year Review process during the 2019-20 academic year. Departments will be notified with significant lead time about the timeline applicable to courses that will go through the process in subsequent academic years.

  • Departments and faculty members are reminded of the upcoming 4-Year Review process

  • September workshop is offered for departments and faculty members regarding review process and examples of assessment methods for course reflection
  • Faculty members who teach the course continue conversations among themselves about Course Learning Objectives (CLOs), Institutional Learning Goals (ILGs), and CAP components
  • Faculty members compile information about the course and student learning
  • Draft responses to the CAP 4-Year Review Report queries 
  • Submit draft 4-Year Review Report to department for input and dialogue (CAP Office will remind departments and deans' offices of this timeline)
  • If a department requests a two-year deferral for a course up for review because it has not been taught since it was approved for CAP, please notify the CAP Office no later than October 15, 2019
  • If a department and faculty members choose to remove a course from the list of approved CAP courses and not participate in the 4-Year Review process, please notify the CAP Office no later than October 15, 2019

  • Faculty members make revisions to CAP 4-Year Review Report
  • Department Chair submits CAP 4-Year Review Report to the CAP Committee (CAPC) as an attachment via the Course Inventory Management (CIM) system by January 22, 2020
  • CAPC reviews submitted Reports:
       - CAPC refers Reports to subcommittee of approximately three members for initial review and recommendation to the entire CAPC (completed by March 2, 2020)
       - CAPC reviews recommendations of subcommittees and determines if more information and/or consultation with faculty and departments is needed. If needed, requests will be made by March 23, 2020
       - During April, meetings with faculty members and/or department chairs, if needed
Decisions by CAPC regarding renewal of CAP course designation and modifications will be provided by May 15, 2020 via CIM

  • Department and unit conversations determine necessary next steps depending on CAP designation status
  • Any final revisions or modifications should be submitted via CIM by September 1, 2020

4-Year Review Workshops: Presentations and Resources

The CAP Office sponsors workshops (generally once a semester) to provide information to departments with courses up for 4-Year Review. The following materials were covered during the specified workshop date. Select the title to download a presentation or document.


Michelle C. Pautz, Ph.D. Assistant Provost for the Common Academic Program

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1302