The Internal Self-Study Report should conform to the following outline. Writers may supplement the self-study with additional sections that focus on issues most relevant to the program but all sections must be covered.
Use the outline below to construct the Internal Self-Study Report. Subdivide the self-study by sections based on the outline headings. Allocate three to six months to prepare and write the ISSR. The narrative should be no more than 50 pages. Include supporting documentation (Section IV) so that the consultants have access to it before their on-site visit. Documentation not available online should be provided to the consultants on flash drives. Send the Internal Self-Study Report (one hard copy, a .pdf and supporting documentation on flash drive) to the Executive Secretary in the Office of the Provost by November 15 for Spring on-site visits and April 15 for Fall on-site visits. A specific submission address will be provided. Documents will be sent to the External Consultants at least one month prior to their arrival on campus.
I. Executive Summary for the Internal Self-Study Report
Include an overview of the self-study. Identify critical questions and key areas for review that the program wants to emphasize during the external review. This summary should be no longer than three pages.
Ia. External Consultants: On a separate page, list the names, titles and contact information of potential external consultants. Include a rationale for each one and how they will help answer critical questions and address key areas for the review. Also include the unit and Dean’s preference of onsite visit dates; specifically identify two Sunday-Tuesday dates early-October to mid-November for Fall visits and mid-February to early-April for Spring visits.
II. Academic Unit Narrative Section
A. Academic Unit History and Mission
This section should have input from all undergraduate and graduate programs within the academic unit. It may be updated and reused for each program/major within an academic unit. This section should build on previous reports.
1. Give a brief history of the academic unit.
2. Provide the current mission statement of the academic unit. Explain how the current academic unit's mission statement was developed and who participated in the development.
3. Explain how the mission statement of the academic unit supports the college and university mission statements.
4. Compare the number of students served by the academic unit (not by individual major/program) currently to the number during the previous APR.
a. How have resources accommodated the change in enrollment? Discuss cost-effectiveness related to:
1. Undergraduate or Graduate programs
3. General Education
4. Pre-professional programs
5. Elective courses
b. What significant changes have occurred within the academic unit since the previous APR?
5. Address the adequacy of the staffing level for the academic unit regarding:
a. Classified and wage staff
b. Graduate and teaching assistants
c. Student assistants
6. Evaluate the level of technological support necessary to carry out the academic unit mission.
7. Evaluate the adequacy of non-personnel based support (e.g. operating budget, grants, foundation money) needed to carry out the academic unit mission.
8. Evaluate the adequacy of facilities in the academic unit including instructional facilities and office space needed to carry out the academic unit mission.
9. Based on demands and future projections, make recommendations related to critical areas to achieve the academic unit mission.
III. Academic Program Narrative Section
In this section, describe the degree program/major and as appropriate any minors, concentrations, tracks, etc.
A. Academic Program History and Mission
1. Give a brief history of the academic program/major, building on the last APR.
2. Provide current mission statement of the academic program.
3. Explain how the current academic program mission statement was developed and who participated in the development.
4. Explain how the academic program mission statement supports the college and university mission statements.
B. Program Goals and Objectives
1. Evaluate the program goals and objectives and how they relate to the unit mission.
2. Identify and briefly describe the major activities that have supported efforts in achieving these goals and objectives.
3. Identify the degree of participation and involvement of program faculty in carrying out program objectives.
C. Discuss Academic Program Structure
1. Discuss the process whereby program faculty work collectively to develop curricula and do long-range planning for the program.
2. Evaluate the program in the following areas:
a. Coherence and integrity of the curriculum when compared to standards of best practice as determined by regional and national learned societies.
b. Responsiveness of the curriculum to societal needs.
D. Discuss Program Viability
1. Evaluate the viability of the program in terms of state, regional and national needs. What is unique about the JMU program?
2. Assess the size of the program regarding need for expansion or contraction. Use regional and national data sources regarding demand for the program and placement of majors in the employment market.
E. Discuss Academic Program Resource Use
1. Compare the number of students served by the major currently to the number during the previous APR. How have resources accommodated the change in enrollment?
2. What changes have resulted from technology implemented for the program?
F. Evaluate the Program's Role in the College and the University
1. Discuss the relationship of the program to college and university-wide efforts including:
a. Undergraduate or Graduate programs
b. General Education
c. Minor offerings
d. Cross disciplinary programs
e. Pre-professional programs
2. Discuss the commitment among program faculty and students to college and university initiatives.
G. Discuss the Role of Students and Alumni in the Program
a. Describe the involvement of students in program affairs including student organizations.
b. Discuss student perception of the program (student evaluations, exit interviews, focus groups, etc.).
c. Describe the academic and pre-career advising system within the program.
a. Describe the involvement of alumni in program affairs.
b. Discuss alumni perception of the program, including program effectiveness (example: alumni survey results, national exams, etc.).
H. Summarize and Evaluate Assessment Findings on Student Learning Objectives
1. In conjunction with your academic unit assessment liaison and CARS assessment liaison, provide an interpretation of assessment findings about the quality of student learning in the program. Focus on interpretation of data, uses of results and dissemination.
a. Include relative strengths and weaknesses of student progress on objectives.
b. Provide the curriculum map from the program's latest Assessment Progress Template (APT) report.
c. Highlight how and to whom assessment results were distributed.
d. Highlight changes made to the program based on assessment results.
2. Interpret the quality of the program's assessment activities:
a. Include the strengths and weaknesses of various assessment elements.
b. Discuss how the quality of the assessment process influences the faculty members' confidence in the program's assessment findings.
I. Discuss the Role of Faculty in the Program
1. Describe program faculty achievements regarding:
a. Teaching and advising
b. Scholarship and research
c. Service and support activities
2. Document the appropriateness of full- and part-time faculty credentials for the courses they are teaching. Include complete justifications of faculty credentials for the courses they are teaching, such as curriculum vitae, which may be exported from Digital Measures or Tk20 (may be included in the appendix or on a flash drive).
3. Provide an overview of both internal and external professional development for full- and part-time faculty.
J. Evaluate the Quality and Quantity of Academic and Administrative Support
1. Address the adequacy of the staffing level of the program, given academic unit and program mission in terms of SCHEV base adequacy levels. Use discipline norms and best practices for comparisons.
a. Full-time faculty
b. Part-time faculty
c. Classified and wage staff
d. Graduate and teaching assistants
e. Student assistants
f. Advising support
2. Assess the library resources, indicating the levels and quality of access to information.
3. Evaluate the level of technological support necessary to carry out the program mission.
4. Evaluate the adequacy of non-personnel based support (e.g. operating budget, grants, foundation money).
5. Evaluate the adequacy of facilities in the program including classrooms, labs, other instructional facilities and office space.
6. Based on demands and future projections, make recommendations related to critical areas to achieve the unit mission.
K. Strategic Plan/Initiatives
For all sections below, use information from annual reports, action plans and the university planning database.
1. Describe how your strategic plan relates to the college and the university. Summarize the steps for implementing the strategic plan (e.g., substantive areas to concentrate on, changes in faculty workload, specific efforts to cooperate with other units of the university), the use of existing resources to achieve these changes and if any additional resources, what priorities will be addressed.
2. Describe the methods to be used to assess and evaluate the plan.
L. Potential Areas for Additional Review/Consulting
1. Identify two to three areas (in rank order) in which external consulting could benefit the program. These should not be generalities – the program must identify specific needs that will result in measurable outcomes. For example, the program may need assistance in developing a master's program, managing enrollment or developing hybrid-type instruction. List the areas and provide a brief (two-three paragraphs) justification for each.
The following documents are possible resources of information for the Internal Self Study. Extensive data should be stored on CDs or flash drives and referenced within the self-study.
1. Program requirements and curriculum design, including course descriptions
2. Alumni surveys
3. Number of declared majors and minors – a four-year retrospective summary (provided by the Office of Academic Affairs or academic unit records)
4. The service role of the academic unit – a four-year retrospective of overall enrollments including changes in student-faculty ratio as well as race/gender information provided by the Office of Academic Affairs and from academic unit records
5. Academic Unit Budget Information – salary and non-salary as a five-year retrospective from academic unit records or the Office of Academic Affairs
6. External support and sponsored research – a four-year retrospective (provided by Sponsored Programs)
7. Faculty vitae/information from Digital Measures or Tk20
8. Equipment and facilities – description and evaluation of facilities and equipment available as needed
9. Assessment Progress Template (APT)/ summary of assessment data collected annually in collaboration with CARS
10. The academic unit's current strategic plan and annual reports that provide a history of program changes
11. Course syllabi
12. All reports related to external accreditation
13. University planning database information on program objectives
14. University undergraduate and graduate catalogs
The Internal Self-Study Four Year Interim Report should conform to the following outline. Writers may supplement the self-study with additional sections that focus on issues most relevant to the program but all sections must be covered.
Use the outline below to construct the Internal Self-Study Four Year Interim Report. Subdivide the self-study by sections based on the outline headings. This report should be brief and address only the topics listed in the outline. The entire report should not exceed 10 pages.
I. Status of the Program
A. Compare the number of students served by the academic program currently to the number during the previous APR, including each of the areas below:
1. Student enrollment
2. Graduation rates
B. Compare the current resources to the resources from the previous APR, including:
1. Instructional Resources
3. Support Services (i.e., administrative assistance, technology support, etc.)
C. Compare the status of program graduates to those from the previous APR, including:
2. Certification Pass Rate
3. Graduate School
II. Status of Progress on APR Recommendations
A. Review of Recommendations from the previous APR
1. Based on the action plan created as part of the previous APR, evaluate the success of the action plan-related objective (from the Planning Database).
2. What were the main concerns raised in the previous APR?
3. What steps have been taken to address them? How successful have they been?
III. Modifications to Strategic Plan
A. Evaluation of current and future needs
1. What are current issues facing the program?
2. What new issues do you anticipate the program to encounter before the next external review?
B. Need for External Review
1. Identify two to three areas (in rank order) in which external consulting could benefit the program. These should not be generalities – the program must identify specific needs that will result in measurable outcomes. For example, the program may need assistance in developing a master's program, managing enrollment or developing hybrid-type instruction. List the areas and provide a brief (two to three paragraphs) justification for each.
C. Review of Additional Areas (Optional)
1. The Provost Office, with input from the supervising vice provost and deans, may select specific areas to address in a full report.
If you have questions about the APR process, contact Dr. Jeanne Martino-McAllister.