The following material should be included in the self-study "binder" that is completed by the director and presented to the committee chairs and members at least two-weeks prior to the first program review committee meeting.

Most importantly, the binders reflect the results of the unit's thorough self-study. The binder may either be in hard copy form (an actual binder) or, preferably, a collection of electronic documents presented to the committee on thumb drive.

The binder must include:

  • Up- to-date mission, vision, and values.
  • S.W.O.T. Analysis
    • Members of the department and/or key constituents should join together to create the SWOT analysis. Materials and training on conducting a SWOT analysis will be available through the program review website.
      • Strengths: What are the unit's top 5-7 strengths?
      • Weaknesses: What are the unit's most significant 5-7 weaknesses? (This would include such issues as being under-staffed, under-budgeted, insufficiently trained, etc.).
      • Opportunities: What problems, challenges, changes, external forces exist now or will exist that will provide opportunities to meet new needs, develop new services, etc.
      • Threats: What issues threaten the unit's ability to succeed now and in the future?
  • An analysis of the department's current performance when compared with key national standards. Often (but not necessarily) CAS standards, these are agreed upon at the initial meeting with the AVP, director, and co-chairs.
  • Current and future objectives – The department should include the list of key ongoing objectives, with an emphasis on those in the planning database. The present and future are more important in this case than past achieved objectives.
  • An update on the previous program review's recommendation - The self-study binder must contain a report on the status of all recommendations that were approved as part of the unit's previous program review.
  • Policies & Procedures manual - All units should provide an up to date, complete policies and procedures manual. This consists of step-by-step procedures for all primary unit functions.
  • Up-to-date organizational chart.
  • Position descriptions and EWP's - All units should provide up to date position descriptions for every position in the unit. For classified employees, these will be EWP's, for A&P faculty they will be job descriptions.
  • Key customers, customer groups, constituents - All units should provide a list of key customers and constituents. This should include both key units and key individuals. This is to help the committee do its research.

Depending on the department, the self-study binder may also include:

  • Relevant budget Information – this is particularly relevant if the director believes the unit is under-funded and can make that case.
  • Results of recent learning assessment work.
  • Internal audit reports (if appropriate).
  • Samples of constituent interaction activities including any past customer research.
  • Recommendations for questions to be asked as part of customer surveys and focus groups.
  • Data from recent accreditation work.

Program review committee chairs are free to require whatever self-study information is needed, in their view, to provide the most helpful data for making the strongest recommendations for quality improvement, whether they are listed above or not. This should be discussed at the opening meeting.

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