Researching and Writing the Self-Study Report

Programs collect and analyze data relevant to the self-study report.  In writing the report, programs conduct an evidence-based analysis of the meaning, quality, integrity and sustainability of each program by: 1) discussing and analyzing relevant data; 2) identifying key discoveries; and 3) proposing changes for improvement. Programs build upon these discoveries to create program goals and propose changes for quality improvement. (WSCUC CFR 2.2, 2.7)
The University expects broad faculty participation in the interpretation of data, discussion of results, and decisions for improvement.


Program Overview
Program profile, including what was learned and accomplished as a result of the last review
Meaning, Quality and Integrity of the Degree(s)
Assessing Program Quality
1. Student Learning and Academic Success
2. Student Satisfaction
3. Graduate’s Success
4. Faculty Quality
Assessing Program Sustainability
5. Student Recruitment, Retention and Graduation
6. Contributions to the University
7. Societal and Professional Needs
Proposed Program Quality Improvement
8. Five-Year Program Goals
9. Summary of Proposed Changes and Resources Needed
    Create a profile of your program that describes your department and its mission, vision, etc.  Include what was learned in the last program review and what changes were made based on those findings.  Also be sure to define the meaning, quality, and integrity of the degree(s)* by answering the following:
  • What is the purpose/significance of the program experience?
  • What is your distinguishing way of accomplishing student learning?
  • How is the program more than the sum of its courses?
(WSCUC CFRs 1.2 and 2.2)
* The goals, coherence, sequencing, alignment, resourcing, and overall quality of the educational experience leading to conferral of an institution’s degree (2013 WSCUC Handbook of Accreditation, p. 52).
How well do the program learning outcomes represent the scope and depth of learning appropriate to the degree/certificate program and appropriate to the standards of the discipline/ profession offered? (WSCUC CFR 2.2a)
  • Students actively engaged in a challenging learning environment (WSCUC CFR 2.5)
  • Level of achievement of academic standards for success (WSCUC CFR 2.4)
How well does the curriculum, instruction, and assessment (CFR 4.4) offer sufficient opportunities for students to learn relevant disciplinary and professional knowledge, skills, competencies, etc. for the type and level of degree/certificate conferred?  (WSCUC CFR 2.3)
  • On-going utilization of assessment results for program planning and improvement
  • Current methods and procedures for assessing achievement of student learning outcomes (WSCUC CFRs 2.4 and 2.6)
  • Impact of program improvements on student learning
How does the curriculum align with student learning outcomes at the course (CLOs), program (PLOs), and institution (ILOs) level? (WSCUC CFR 2.4)
  • How do all the parts build on each other in a coherent, intentional way?
  • What has the department learned about the sequence students take courses and its impact on student learning and educational experience?
  • How have department course scheduling practices impacted students’ educational experience in the program?
What has the department learned from annual assessment results during the past five years to guide on-going program improvements?
What academic co-curricular offerings are available to help students succeed (such as academic labs, tutoring, advising, mentoring, etc.)? (WSCUC CFRs 2.11, 2.12 and 2.13)
How do you periodically evaluate online courses offered by your program?
How satisfied are students with your program’s curriculum, faculty, program administration, general learning environment, campus facilities and student services? Do their answers meet department expectations?
  • Student satisfaction as measured by graduating student and alumni surveys
  • Qualitative feedback from students (e.g., interviews, focus groups)
  • Student timely progress to obtaining a degree
  • Reflection on students’ sense of belonging in the program
  • Other program evidence
(WSCUC CFR 2.10)
To what extent are graduates succeeding in relevant careers, graduate programs, community service, creative endeavors (or other methods of determining graduate success)? 
  • Student perceptions about attaining personal and professional goals
  • Information from employers, graduate schools, licensure exams or other external sources to assess graduates’ success
  • Other kinds of achievements or outcomes used to measure graduate success
(WSCUC CFR 1.2, 2.6, 2.10)
How well do faculty meet the needs of the program (e.g., in terms of teaching experience, areas of expertise, academic qualifications, committee and advising needs)?  What are the particular strengths and areas for improvement in the faculty composition? (WSCUC CFRs 2.1, 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3)
  • Evaluation of the teaching effectiveness of faculty(WSCUC CFR 2.9)
  • Professional development, scholarship and service (WSCUC CFR 2.8)
  • Standards for faculty hiring
  • Distribution of faculty workload
  • Integration of adjunct faculty into the program beyond the courses they teach
How well does the program attract, retain and graduate the mix of students sought by the department (e.g., target markets, qualifications)?
How effective are the department’s recruitment and admission processes? 
What does the program do to improve retention, attrition, and graduation rates? 
(WSCUC CFRs 2.7, and 4.1)
How does this program's resource allocation support the mission of the university? (WSCUC CFRs 1.1 and 4.6)  How does this program's resource allocation support student learning?
  • What is this program's vision of their role in 21st century education? (WSCUC CFRs 4.6 and 4.7)
  • What is this program's vision of their role in achieving the University's mission and vision?
  • How does this program use annual assessment to ensure sustainability? (WSCUC CFRs 4.4 and 4.5)
  • What resources are needed for success? (WSCUC CFRs 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5)
  • Is this sustainable over the next 5 to 7 years?

How well does the program address societal and professional needs (e.g., partnerships with organizations, community involvement, specialized accreditation)? 
  • How well does this program meet current and potential future trends within the labor market and society
  • How well does this program align to needs in the target area
  • How does this program differentiate itself from the competition
  • What are foreseen modifications that may be needed in order to stay current or competitive in the discipline
(WSCUC CFRs 4.6 and 4.7)
Identify the key goals that need to be achieved over the next five years to fulfill your mission.  Prioritize in order of importance and indicate who will follow up and when it will be completed.
Reflect upon the previous sections of this self-study.  Other than adding new faculty, what changes does the department propose to significantly improve the quality of this program? For each proposed change list:
  • Brief description of significant proposed change to improve the program
  • Rationale and evidence from the self-study that support this change
  • Rationale and evidence from the department mission that support this change
  • Resources needed for implementing this change
(WSCUC CFR 3.5, 4.3)
Assessment Plans: Attach annual assessment plans and other pertinent evidence related to assessment of learning
(e.g. rubrics, copies of survey instruments, other assessment instruments).
Strategy Reviews:
  • Inputs (faculty, etc.)
  • Objectives (Department and student learning outcomes)
  • Assessments (what and how they’re measuring and how they’re doing)
  • Analysis (What does it all mean? Are there any gaps? What are they going to do about it?)
  • Forecasting
  • Note: Do NOT include budget sheets
Department Report Cards/Dashboards (if applicable)
Outcomes Alignment Matrix: List all courses offered in your curriculum. Identify program learning outcome/s taught in each course and at what level- (H) High, (M) Medium, (L) Low, or (N) No coverage. Also attach other pertinent evidence of curriculum alignment.
Requirement Sheets for each major, minor and certificate within the program
Faculty CVs: Attach, in alphabetical order, all active faculty CVs
Faculty Work/Teach Load: List teaching load and other assigned duties for each faculty.
Missions: State the University’s mission and your faculty’s mission. State your program mission and how it supports the University and faculty missions.
Please also have all course syllabi updated and available for access through your department website or efolio.
What inferences can you make and what actions will you take in the future based on the evidence provided?
Student Satisfaction Survey Results: Include evidence related to student satisfaction in the self-study narrative.
Graduate Survey Results: Include evidence related to graduate survey information in the self-study narrative.
Alumni Survey Results: Include evidence related to alumni survey information in the self-study narrative.
Student Retention, Attrition, and Graduation: Include pertinent evidence related to student retention, attrition, and graduation in the self-study narrative.
Student Demographics: Include pertinent evidence related to student demographics (gender, age, ethnicity, etc.) in the self-study narrative.
The report should be concise, concentrate on the key issues/evidence/conclusions, and provide an open and impartial view of the program. While writing the report be mindful that it will be viewed by a variety of constituencies: those who will directly respond to the report (external reviewers, Dean, Vice President for Academics) and those within the BYUH community who will have online access to the report at the conclusion of the program review process.
Using the Self-Study Report Guidelines, the self-study report should be 20-25 pages, single-spaced with a cover page, table of contents, report headings and sections, and appendices.
A draft review will take place no later than two months prior to the site visit. The draft will be reviewed by the dean and a member of the Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation Committee.
After the self-study draft is reviewed the department makes any necessary revisions and prepares the final copy.
The final report is due one month prior to the site visit. The following copies should be prepared:
  • Electronic copies will be sent to the review team members by the AAVPCA office
  • An electronic copy will be posted to the department efolio
  • Electronic copies will be distributed to the Vice President for Academics, AAVPCA, Dean, and Program Review Coordinator
  • 3 hard copies should be printed, bound and available for review team members when they arrive on-site
The printing cost for the final report will be covered by University Assessment. The total budgeted cost for all printed copies is $250. Please be mindful of this budget when preparing the self-studies.  Upon the discretion of the chair, extensive appendices may be included in electronic submissions and omitted from the printed versions.  Departments may print additional copies for their record, however, any cost over $250 will be the responsibility of the department.
Departments will print and prepare the hard copies then forward them to the Program Review Coordinator. The AAVPCA will distribute the printed copies during orientation with the reviewers.
While researching and writing the self-study report, the Dean, University Assessment and the Institutional Research Office are available for assistance and consultation. Assessment has set aside support resources for conducting focus groups and administering surveys. The IR Office will provide a standard data set to departments for use while conducting self-studies. It is expected that departments will analyze and use these data sets to generate more questions that can be researched and explored further with IR support.  Departments should familiarize themselves with the Standards and Criteria for Review (CFR) contained in the 2013 WSCUC Handbook of Accreditation Revised. The self-study should address and include reference to appropriate CFRs.


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