The following article was abbreviated from the “Outstanding & Sustainable Operation - Evaluation Preparation” written by Dr. Li-Yun Tsai, the chair of Department of Optometry, Da-Yeh University.

The Department of Optometry, Da-Yeh University was established in 2014 with the support of the Ministry of Education and it formally started the recruitment in 2015. The department aims to deliver professional skills and knowledge in optics, emphasizing the cultivation of humane care and professional ethics. The department’s goal is to develop high-quality optics professionals to improve the quality of optometry and strengthen the care for the public’s vision health. The department’s mid and long term goal is to expand cooperation with industries, enhance research capabilities, and cultivate optometry professionals that meet the needs of society. We work hard to contribute professional knowledge to the researches on optometry and visual science, becoming the cradle for the elites in vision prevention health care and the related researches.

The purpose of program evaluation is to evaluate and recognize the education quality.  Various systematic self-evaluation mechanisms have been developed right after the establishment, through the department’s self-examination of the operational efficacy and sustainable improvement mechanism, to ensure the achievements of teaching quality, educational goals and students’ learning performance by working together with external parties. In the end, we hope to enhance the operation performance comprehensively. For the first time through the evaluation process of the project “Accreditation of Degree-granting Programs”, the department received the accreditation valid for 6 years after demonstrating a strong and consistent record of teaching quality and academic achievement.

PDCA is followed by the institution as the quality assurance philosophy. In order to ensure the department’s sustainable operation, the department has carefully planned the self-evaluation system and commissioned the Taiwan Assessment and Evaluation Association (TWAEA) to conduct program evaluation. Starting from the institutional accreditation, the comprehensive accreditation plan was carried out from top to bottom. Speeches and meetings related to the evaluation were organized for understanding more about the goals, principles, content and standards of the evaluation. The department started to plan the work schedule for self-evaluation since August 2018; in the meanwhile, the department followed the regulations of program evaluation made by TWAEA. The department cooperated with the institution for the preparations on evaluation-related matters. The task force for department evaluation was formally established in September 2018 to define the evaluation indicators, literally making the preparation by listing out the core and supplementary documents.

The department is led in a democratic way. All decisions and regulations are the resolutions agreed by all members through meetings. Members of the department are all clear with the development goals and strategies, and know how to implement them. The validity of this “Accreditation of Degree-granting Programs” is 6 years, and it is all due to the concerted cooperation of the members from the department. We are also very grateful to TWAEA’s recognition of our efforts. Although the accreditation lasts for 6 years, we still work hard to maintain each standard and implement it in our daily operation.

Evaluation is actually a self-assessment, the comments and suggestions from the reviewers are the best ways to help the department understand and supervise itself. Looking back on the entire evaluation process, it was substantial and challenging. With several meetings of reviews and discussions, the whole process was very helpful to the overall development of the department. After releasing the accreditation result, regular meetings are still held to discuss for further improvements. PDCA is continuously applied for quality management cycle to review and revise the curriculum and learning development goals to speed up our development progress and pursuit of excellence.

TWAEA has worked hard to promote the professional knowledge and skill related to accreditation and also the provision of accreditation services. To enhance the quality in higher education is always the mission of TWAEA. In recent years, TWAEA not only has started to join the members of the international accreditation organizations, but also worked closely with professional associations in Japan, Thailand, Europe, Russia, New Zealand, Croatia, Hong Kong and Macau for further cooperation.