2000-2-4Academic Program Prioritization, Revitalization and Rationalization

Responsible Executive:
Senior Vice-President, Academic & Student Success
Senior Vice-President, Strategy & Corporate Services
Issue Date:
November 24, 2011
Supersedes Date:
October 31, 2016
Last Review:
March 10, 2021
Last Revision:
March 10, 2021

Upon request, the college will provide a copy of this policy in an alternate format.

Academic program prioritization, revitalization and rationalization are intended to maintain and enhance academic programming quality while limiting adverse impacts on student access. Demographic shifts, new technologies, changes in employment trends, and global competition will lead to changing student markets and the need for changes to the academic programming. Therefore, careful attention to on-going program assessment, enhancement and revitalization is necessary. As well, the suspension or cancellation of inefficient or ineffective programs must be considered as part of the effort to maintain relevant and strong academic programming.

This policy describes a review, prioritization, revitalization and rationalization model that objectively assesses and prioritizes academic programs on the basis of established criteria that consider the need and demand for programs, their operational efficiency and effectiveness, alignment with College priorities, and the quality of the programs.


  1. All programs will be reviewed and assessed annually using the performance measures and criteria set out in Appendix A.
  2. The performance measures and criteria may be modified from time to time.
  3. Programs that achieve low program rankings as a result of the assessment will be identified for the Revitalization process or, possibly, Rationalization (suspension or cancellation).
  4. Programs not identified for revitalization or rationalization may, nevertheless, have significant performance shortfalls with respect to one or more of the performance measures. These programs and their performance shortfalls will be identified. The program department will address the program performance shortfalls.
  5. The identification of programs with respect to rationalization, revitalization and performance shortfalls will be determined by the senior academic officer(s), in consultation with the Deans Council.
  6. Programs identified for revitalization and performance shortfalls will immediately develop a program plan to revitalize the program or address the specific performance shortfalls.
  7. The identification of programs with respect to rationalization, revitalization and performance shortfalls and the resulting development of plans and supporting budgets and their approval will follow the schedule set out in Appendix B. This schedule may be amended from time to time.
  8. The program plan to address revitalization or performance shortfalls must be incorporated into the program department operational plan and budget for the next immediate planning and budgeting cycle. See Appendix B.
  9. A program assigned to revitalization will be reviewed as part of the annual Prioritization, Revitalization and Rationalization process in the following year. From that review, the program may be removed from Revitalization, reassigned to Revitalization, or rationalized (suspended or cancelled). A program reassigned to Revitalization for an additional year, must either be removed from Revitalization or rationalized following the subsequent review.
  10. When a program is recommended for rationalization (suspension or cancellation), a suspension/cancellation plan must be developed, approved by the senior academic officer(s) and implemented per the schedule in Appendix B. While any overall program revitalization will follow the schedule, the offering of a specific cohort of a program during the Revitalization process is contingent upon sufficient enrolment to financially support that cohort.

Appendix A

The Performance Measures, Targets, Weights and Program Prioritization

  1. The performance of a program relative to each performance measure will be calculated using data for either the previous or current year.
  2. The following calculations will determine the program prioritization.
    1. For each performance measure for each program, a percentage value will be calculated that reflects program achievement within the possibility set of the credential type.
    2. A weight reflecting relative importance will be assigned to each performance measure and used in the calculation of the program score.
    3. The program score will then be calculated as the weighted mean of the performance measure percentages.
    4. The programs will be rank ordered based on the program scores.
    5. The rank ordering of the programs reflects program prioritization.
  3. The following program performance measures, with associated criteria, will be applied to each program.

    Enrolment Outcomes Index

    Student Demand
    defined as the number of domestic first choice applications for Level 01 of a program. International post-graduate programs are excluded from this metric.
    defined as the number of confirmations from students who have been out of high school for more than one year.
    defined as the number of Indigenous students in the program - all levels
    number of confirmations from out-of-catchment + International count
    Adjusted Retention Rate
    percentage of students who move from Term 01 to Term 02, adjusted for at-risk factors

    Graduate Outcomes Index

    Graduation Rate

    measured by comparing the number of students who graduate from a program – within a period of 200% of the normal program length from the date the cohort entered – to the number of students who initially enrolled in the program in term one, using the same cohort of students and adjusting for students who transfer into and out of the program. The provincially mandated and calculated graduation rate will be used.

    The Graduation Rate for the BScN program will be calculated for the first two years of the program.

    Graduate Employment
    percentage of graduates employed in a related field or have gone on to further education
    Graduate Earnings
    median employment earnings of college graduates in a given calendar year, two years after graduation
    Graduate Satisfaction Rate
    percentage of graduates who report they are satisfied or very satisfied
    Experiential Learning
    percentage of graduates who had one or more experiential learning opportunities, defined as co-op work placement, clinical placements, fieldwork, field placement/work placement, mandatory degree work placements, sponsored research projects, interactive simulations, capstone projects, and on-campus work teaching labs.

    Student Satisfaction Index

    Net Promoter Score
    percentage of students who score a 7 or higher on the capstone questions gauging likelihood of recommending Lambton College to a family member or friend considering post-secondary education
    Satisfaction with Teaching and Learning
    percentage of students who indicate they are satisfied and/or very satisfied with the teaching and learning capstone question
    Career Preparation
    percentage of students who are satisfied and/or very satisfied with the career preparation capstone question.
    Cost/Revenue Ratio
    calculated using the College program costing model. The total calculated program costs divided by the total calculated program revenues provides the ratio.
    Capital Needs

    described by the capital expenditures for a program(s), over the past five years, drawn from College ministry-supplied funds (e.g. Capital Equipment Reserves Fund (CERF) and funds from the Foundation that were not earmarked by the donor for a particular program(s). i.e. Capital expenditures are not counted if there is no opportunity cost associated with the allocation of the funds.

    A program’s past five-year capital expenditures per student (total current full-time program enrollment) will be calculated and compared to the College average. The comparison will be presented as a percentage value. Shared capital will be pro-rated between programs.

  4. The individual index weighting will be set annually based on the priorities within that academic year. Within each index, the weighting will be as follows:
    How performance measures are weighted
    Performance MeasuresWeights
    Student Demand40%
    Retention Rate40%
    Graduation Rate30%
    Graduate Employment15%
    Graduate Earnings15%
    Graduate Satisfaction25%
    Experiential Learning15%
    Net Promoter Score40%
    Satisfaction with Teaching and Learning30%
    Career Preparation30%
    Capital Requirements20%

Appendix B

Annual Cycle


  1. May 21 - The Program Revitalization and Rationalization Scorecard - with the most current data, analysis and ratings - is provided by Institutional Intelligence for the consideration of the senior academic officer(s) and the Deans Council.
  2. June 1 – Programs are identified for rationalization, revitalization (initial assignment or re-assignment) and the addressing of financial viability or performance shortfalls by the senior academic officer(s).
  3. Discussion may take place with the Employer-Employee Relations Committee and other employee groups, where and if appropriate.
  4. Mid-June - The PPR&R Scorecard is distributed to all program departments.
  5. June - third week - Programs identified for revitalization and viability reviews identify and form review teams and establish review plan for the fall semester.
  6. Identied programs will be prioritized within Marketing Plan, with the corresponding budget allocation.
  7. September to December - The program taskforce(s) undertakes a review and analysis (SWOT) of the program(s) in revitalization, or a program financial viability review, and then develops the analysis and findings for the revitalization plan and the plan and recommendations for addressing the financial viability of the identified programs.
  8. December to January - The revitalization interim report(s) and the financial viability final report(s) with recommendations are presented to the Senior Vice-President, Academic & Student Success. Approved recommendation(s) are incorporated into operational plans. From the operational plans, department and school budgets will be developed for approval.
  9. January 15 - The formal mid-point Revitalization Report is presented to the Senior Vice-President, Academic & Student Success.
  10. January 15 to June - Implementation of any revitalization approved interim recommendations and the financial viability approved recommendations is undertaken. Implementation is completed in time for the September intake.
  11. Week 2, May - the Program Revitalization Final Report is presented to the Senior Vice-President, Academic & Student Success.
  12. Mid-May - June end - Implementation of approved recommendations of Revitalization Report(s) commences.
  13. October - Senior Vice-President, Academic & Student Success reports to Program and Services Committee on program revitalizations and financial viabilities reviews and provides recommendations concerning program suspensions for Committee consideration.


  1. October - A report on the revitalization and financial viability of programs is presented by the Senior Vice-President, Academic & Student Success to the Programs and Services Committee of the Board with recommendations for program rationalization for the consideration of the Committee.
  2. November - Board considers for approval Program and Services Committee recommendations for program rationalization.
  3. January 1 - The implementation of the plan for the suspension or cancellation of a program will be initiated.

Appendix C

Financial Viability (FV) Review

  1. The FV review will be conducted by the identified program department, under the direction of the program coordinator.
  2. The purpose of the FV review is to identify steps to be taken to improve the program cost-revenue ratio and, ultimately, move the program to a position of long-term financial viability, demonstrated by the program cost-revenue ratio achieving or bettering the College target ratio.
  3. The immediate product of the FV review will be a report, to be completed within 4 months, that describes the reasons for the high cost-revenue ratio, and identifies solutions with the steps to be taken.
    1. At the conclusion of the Program Prioritization, Revitalization and Rationalization process in mid-June, a program will be identified for the FV Review.
    2. By the end of June the FV team will be identified.
    3. The FV review will commence in September.
    4. The FV report will be submitted by mid-December.
  4. The membership of the FV review team, beyond the program coordinator, shall be determined by the program Dean.
  5. The report shall be submitted to the program Dean and the Senior Vice President Academic.
  6. The program Dean will be responsible for considering and acting upon the recommendations from the FV review.
  7. A program failing to identify a solution(s) for the high cost-revenue ratio or failing to achieve the target ratio within a year will be eligible for Revitalization or suspension following the next Program Prioritization, Revitalization and Rationalization review.

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