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Program Prioritization authors, task force members receive training, establish ground rules

September 23, 2015

More than 200 members of the NIU campus community have taken part in Program Prioritization training in recent weeks. 

Members of the Academic and Administrative Task Forces spent two days with trainer Larry Goldstein in early September, solidifying processes and establishing their own ground rules for the work ahead. Among those determinations were establishment of a task force charter and rules, decision protocols and labeling of prioritization categories.  

The combined task forces voted to require at least 85 percent attendance at any meeting involving program rankings, and at least 85 percent agreement on program ranking decisions.   

They also voted to label the ranking categories as follows:

  • Candidate for enhanced resources
  • Continue with no change in resources
  • Continue with reduced resources
  • Requires transformation
  • Subject to additional review; candidate for phase out

The task forces will continue meeting throughout the fall to develop scoring protocols and establish scoring norms, and to undertake further training for scoring in the Prioritization Plus system.

Meanwhile, program authors (those responsible for drafting narrative responses and providing supplemental data) are undergoing both face-to-face and online training in the use of Prioritization Plus templates. At the 90-minute hands-on workshops, authors are learning the basics of how to login and access institutionally provided data, as well as how to enter a program write-up and provide supplemental data. Sixty-minute online workshops provide authors an opportunity to view all the same steps and ask questions about the process. 

Recognizing that many program authors are receiving assistance from staff and colleagues, the Data Support Team has added a feature that allows those individuals to request additional author status. That feature can be accessed by clicking on Forms in the Data section of the Program Prioritization website. 

Program approvers (those responsible for approving the program narratives prior to final submission) will have access to online tutorials and hands-on training in coming weeks.

The Program Prioritization Data Support Team is developing additional training resources for authors and approvers that include tutorials and quick guides with step-by-step instructions, as well as a glossary of terms.  Those additional resources, as well as archived training sessions, are available on the Training section of the Program Prioritization website.

An external panel of experts from five different universities that have already undergone Program Prioritization will be presenting on campus Oct. 14 and 15. Details on those events will be shared later this week.

For questions about training workshops or resources, users may email the Program Prioritization Data Support and Training Team at

Task Force Training

Members of the Program Prioritization Academic and Administrative Task Forces spent two days getting to know each other and training on  program evaluation in early September.


Administrative training

Program Prioritization Training Team Co-Chair Jason Rhode walks program authors through the steps needed to complete a program narrative.  Rhode and Co-Chair Cindy Kozumplik had worked with more than 150 program authors by the end of the first week of training.