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Phase 2: Self-Review

Self-Review Overview

The self review phase includes processes of inquiry, data analysis, and self-reflection, which culminate in a self-study document that summarizes key findings and resulting insights. The self-review phase is faculty-led and should involve the entire program faculty, as well as invite input from other stakeholders such as students, alumni, administration, etc. This phase begins with orientation during spring quarter of year 4, and culminates in a self-study document that includes a synthesis of the previous 4 years of assessment and reflection on data. It provides departments an opportunity to take an earnest look at their progress and performance, determine areas of strength and distinction, and identify areas for improvement and growth. Phase 2 generally lasts about one year.
Phase two

Best Practices

One of the chief purposes of the self review phase is to facilitate inquiry, reflection, and dialog among program faculty. In order to gain the most out of the self review process, consider the following ‘best practices’:
  • Appoint a small team of faculty members to facilitate the self-study process for the department; name one as coordinator or lead.
  • Utilize the fall retreat for discussing roles & responsibilities, potential themes, and other issues relevant to the program review process.
  • Determine a due date for completing the self-study early in the program review process, along with progressive due dates for various sections.
  • Delegate sections of the self-study guidelines to different faculty members to coordinate data and draft a response.
  • Schedule ‘check-in’ meetings with the office of Academic Programs and Planning to discuss questions and request feedback.
  • When utilizing student, alumni, and/or employer input through surveys, focus groups, etc. allow plenty of time for coordination, collection, and compilation of responses and results. Consider offering an incentive to respondents.
  • Consider providing incentive for one faculty member to compile and edit the self-study document in order to give it a coherent voice and logical flow.

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Self-Study Template

The template provides guiding questions to inform the content and structure of the self-study.

Self-study Template [Word]

Self-study Template for Graduate Programs [Word]

Self-study Appendices Template [Word]


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Self-Study Themes

Program-specific Theme

In order to focus the review process in a way that is uniquely useful to the needs of the program undergoing review, the faculty is encouraged to choose a program-specific self-study theme in addition to the institutional theme. The theme should be identified and developed through discussions organized by the department head or chair. Prior to these discussions, faculty members should review the self-study guidelines. Using the self-study theme proposal form, submit the theme idea to the dean for approval. All themes must be approved by the dean and endorsed by the senior vice provost prior to beginning the self-study.

Examples of past self-study themes and issues [PDF]

Theme proposal form [Word]


Institutional Theme

In addition to an optional program-specific theme chosen in the preparation stage, there is a required institution-wide theme that varies by year. For programs beginning their review cycles from 2016 through 2021, the institution is studying diversity and inclusivity.  Information regarding this theme is included within the self-study template.

Previous themes looked at by the university include:

  • Senior Project review
  • Alignment of ULOs with curricula
  • 180 units initiative
  • Graduation rates and other elements of student success
  • The cultural and global competence of students: preparation towards be successful professionals, civic leaders, and informed citizens
  • Faculty engagement in research and professional development

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