Watermark Releases an Integrated, Centralized Hub for Managing and Better Connecting Program Review to Ongoing Improvement Efforts

This content was written prior to the renaming of Watermark products in July 2021, and refers to an old product name. To learn more about the new names for Watermark products, read our press release here.

NEW YORK, NY — June 4, 2020 –Watermark, a pioneer in educational intelligence, launched its newest innovation this week — a centralized hub for program review within Watermark Planning & Self-Study, its next-generation assessment planning and accreditation management solution, to better connect Program Review to both program and institutional improvement efforts. With Program Review, institutional administrators can drive and manage strong program review processes from start to finish for all of its programs.

“Unlike other solutions we’ve seen, Program Review in Watermark Planning & Self-Study is designed around principles of collaboration and reflection — we’d be able to bring together multiple sources of data and the evidence needed to reflect on program effectiveness. We’d also be able to configure and monitor program review cycles, prepare customizable reporting templates with clear guidance, and track the progress for each program from a central dashboard — all while presenting that evidence to contributors in a way that is easy to analyze and reflect on. We’re excited to more easily capture the narratives and recommendations that drive continuous program improvement,” said Dr. Kimberly McElveen, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Assessment at Columbus State University.

Many institutions continue to struggle with disconnected data and technology systems, making it challenging both to use their data effectively and to demonstrate the meaningful improvement of student outcomes and program effectiveness — key requirements for accreditation. Last summer, when the company released Watermark Planning & Self-Study to help institutions more easily collect and report on assessment planning efforts across programs, it was purposefully built on the new Watermark Platform. This platform features a powerful data architecture that enables an institution to leverage its data from external sources, such as the SIS and LMS, across the platform as well as incorporate other streams of data for more integrated processes — including program review.

With the release of Program Review in Watermark Planning & Self-Study, programs can conduct formal reviews from the same system in which they manage assessment planning and prepare accreditation self-studies. Administrators can easily integrate measure results captured in Planning & Self-Study into the program review report, as well as leverage the direct integration between Watermark Planning & Self-Study and Via by Watermark — the company’s next-generation outcomes assessment and ePortfolio solution — to automatically surface rubric-based, student performance assessment data — direct measures and authentic evidence of student learning.

As a result, report contributors have already-organized data to help them more easily view and reflect on their assessment work and as they complete the review. With the added ability to incorporate institutional research data, programs can conduct a more comprehensive evaluation that informs institutional improvement efforts and decision making.

“We want to support colleges and universities in fostering a meaningful culture of assessment and increasing engagement in improvement efforts. With this release for Watermark Planning & Self-Study on our educational intelligence platform, we’re taking an innovative approach to connect ongoing improvement efforts to program review. We’ve streamlined and centralized the process for reporting on student outcomes and program effectiveness, so that you have easy access to the kind of data needed to inform improvement actions – all in one system. We want to give programs better-connected data and an easier way to assess their broader impact on the institution, so that institutions can continue making informed decisions across all levels of the institution,” said Matt Bartel, Watermark’s Chief Product Officer.

The release of Program Review reinforces Watermark’s commitment to streamlining core institutional processes, centralizing previously siloed data, and supporting better reporting so institutions and their programs can continue to make data-informed improvements to student and institutional outcomes. Watermark currently supports over 1,700 higher education institutions with its innovative solutions for planning, outcomes assessment, ePortfolios, faculty activity reporting, course evaluations and institutional surveys, as well as curriculum, catalog, and syllabus management.

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