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OIE supports the alignment of the university's academic and administrative units with Rice's strategic goals and accreditation requirements.

Strengthening Our Programs

What is Strengthening Our Programs (SOP)?

In his 2007 “Call to Conversation,” President Leebron asked, “Are we offering . . . the kind of intense, transformative intellectual experiences that characterize the best undergraduate education?”   The purpose of the Strengthening Our Programs approach is to help all Rice academic programs answer President Leebron’s thought-provoking question.

Strengthening Our Programs: Teaching and Learning for Rice’s New Century is Rice’s process for review, discussion, and connection.  The goals of the SOP approach are:

  • To reflect on current practices,
  • To provide a system for curriculum review,
  • To identify programmatic strengths and needs,
  • To meet institutional goals for improved education.

By engaging in these processes, we ignite conversations over what we are doing, where important connections or disconnections exist, and how we can support a culture of excellence in teaching and learning across the campus.  All programmatic decisions should be aligned with Rice’s Institutional Vision and Goals.

There are two stages of the SOP process.  In Stage One, programs identify their course level and program level Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), which leads to the development of a curriculum map and finally, a formal assessment plan.   In Stage Two, programs delve more deeply into their philosophy and methodology to ensure that the program’s curriculum is aligned with its mission and values.  The Office of Institutional Effectiveness is available to guide programs through this process and to provide resources as needed.  Please contact us at oie@rice.edu.

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