Cleveland State University

Office of Academic Planning

Preparing a Traditional Self-Study Report

Each department under review must complete a written self-study report. The following information specifies the content that should be included in each section of the self-study report, and the questions listed below should be used as guidelines. Departments may include other information they deem relevant to the self study.

Please note: Not all questions will be pertinent to all programs. Write a brief, coherent narrative for each section, using the applicable questions as guidelines. The self-study report should be no longer than 12 pages.

If departments, particularly those with 9-month chairs, undergoing review want to utilize the summer months in developing their self-studies then they should submit requests for summer support stipends to their Deanís office.

I. Purposes, Goals, and Objectives

This section should contain a brief statement of the philosophies, goals, and academic objectives of the academic program(s) under review, as well as a brief description of the program(s). This section should also contain a discussion of how those responsible for the program ascertain that the goals, objectives, and purposes are being met. There should be a brief discussion of the ways in which the program serves the needs of its constituency, of the relationship of the program to the goals and objectives of the university, and of the interrelationship of the program to other programs in the University.

  1. What programs does your Department offer? What are the primary purposes, goals, and objectives of the programs? How do they relate to the needs of students, the community, and/or society
  2. How well is each program meeting its primary goals and objectives? How is this determined?
  3. What educational objectives are being considered for the program in the future, and what resources would be required to support those objectives?
  4. How does the program contribute to the full range of the Universityís instructional needs such as service, undergraduate, graduate, evening, and weekend?

II. Curriculum and Program Quality

Describe the curriculum offered by your department and explain how well it fits the departmentís goals and programs. In doing so consider the following questions:

  1. What are the major features of the curriculum offered by your department? Of your departmentís curriculum?
  2. In what ways does your curriculum relate to the programs and service functions offered by your department?
  3. What are the current national trends in your discipline and to what extent do your departmentís instructional and research activities match those trends?
  4. What recent, ongoing, or planned curriculum revision is occurring in your department and what is the rationale supporting it?
  5. To what extent does the program contribute to the instruction of students in other undergraduate and graduate programs at Cleveland State University? In what other undergraduate or graduate programs does your department play a key role?
  6. If the program or any of its components is subject to outside accreditation, what have been the results? Has the program become stronger or weaker since the last accreditation? In what ways? What is the evidence?

III. Faculty

This section should describe the characteristics of the faculty in your Department or Program. Include evidence of teaching quality in your programs. Also be sure to include documentation of research and creative/scholarly activity, publications, external funding, special awards, and University and professional service activities. Include information on how much time is spent by faculty on research, scholarship/ creative activities, and on University and professional service. As a supplement attach a brief (no more than three pages) curriculum vitae for each of the faculty members in your Department or Program. Use the following questions as a guideline when writing this section.

  1. How well do the expertise, education, and numbers of the departmental faculty match the needs of the programs it offers? In what ways, if any, does the faculty need to be augmented to strengthen existing programs or to respond to current trends in your discipline?
  2. How many of the faculty members are engaged in productive scholarly/research and creative activities. How is productivity measured? How does the scholarly/creative activity of the faculty (as reflected in the production of articles, books, performances, etc.) compare to that of peer institutions?
  3. What are the internal and external sources of support for the programís scholarly, research, and creative activities? Is this pattern typical of the discipline, and if it is not typical, how are the differences explained?
  4. How is effective teaching identified, supported, and rewarded? /li>
  5. What is the average teaching load in this program?
  6. What is the average number of students in the courses?
  7. What university, community, and professional service contributions do the faculty members in this program make?
  8. How do these various types of service contribute to the goals and/or functioning of the University?

IV. Students

This section should include information on the proportion of entering students who complete the degree program, the involvement of students in projects with applications beyond the classroom, and the types of positions obtained by graduating students. Describe the assistance provided in the areas of academic advising for undergraduate and graduate students. Also describe the supervision of dissertation and thesis research, independent study, and practice for graduate students. Information on internships and field experience for both undergraduate and graduate students should be provided when appropriate. Include an analysis of the demand for program graduates. The following questions may be useful.

  1. How is academic advising provided for the program, and how effective are the processes? How could advising be improved?
  2. What percentage of entering students complete the degree program? What is the rationale for this figure?
  3. What pertinent honors and awards have been won by students in the program or by graduates of the program?
  4. How many students in the program are involved in internships, co-op, field placement, etc.? Please describe the range of activities and their relationship to the program. /li>
  5. To what extent are graduates of the program successful in obtaining positions appropriate to the level of their education, training, and ability, and what is the evidence?
  6. What assistance is provided to help students find suitable employment or opportunities for further study?
  7. Are students in the program continuing and succeeding in graduate and professional study?

V. Assessment

The assessment section should include a list of the programís specific goals for student learning, evidence that the goals are being met, and discussion of how information about student learning is being used to guide curriculum development or budget decisions. The following questions may be helpful in writing this section.

  1. What are the specific goals and objectives for student learning in the program major?
  2. How do the courses in the program relate to the program goals and objectives for learning? (course syllabi, evaluations, and other materials may be helpful in documenting the relationship)
  3. What methods and practices are used in assessing student learning in the program (for example, standardized tests or licensing exams, student portfolios, capstone projects, performance in courses, alumni surveys, etc.)?
  4. What evidence has been developed to show the effectiveness of the program in meeting its goals for student learning? /li>
  5. How is information about student learning outcomes used in planning, budget processes, or other program development activities?

VI. Resource Support

Discuss the strengths and limitations of the library holdings in the program under review. Also discuss how library acquisitions are determined to meet the needs in this particular program. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the technological support, the facilities, and the staff support for this program.

  • A. Library
    1. To what extent does the library have sufficient resources to support current academic activities and provide for future activities?
    2. To what extent do the budget resources support the purchase of or access to the necessary range of library materials for current and for future academic activities?
    3. To what extent are the materials in the collections readily available and accessible to meet the needs to students in the program?
    4. To what extent are necessary services--e.g. access to copy machines, inter-library loans, access to data bases, computers, etc.--readily
  • B. Technology
    1. In what ways is technology incorporated into your program?
    2. To what extent are the technology resources available adequate for your programís needs?
    3. What specific technological limitations need to be addressed and how can they be improved?

VI. Other Support--Facilities, Travel, Staff, etc.

To what extent:

  1. Does the program have enough office and classroom space to accomplish its goals? Are the offices and classrooms properly equipped? What, if any, improvements are needed?
  2. Are the physical space and facilities provided for graduate students adequate?
  3. Are adequate numbers of properly equipped laboratories available?
  4. Are the telephone, copying, and other allowances adequate to support faculty in their professional activities? To what extent do the faculty members have sufficient travel allowance support to attend seminars and conferences? /li>
  5. Are there enough support staff to support both faculty and students?

VII. Statistical Trends Analysis

Insofar as data are available and the information is not already provided above, write an analysis of statistical trends in the program for the last three years. Consider such elements as: student credit hour production at various levels, number of full-time faculty vs. number of part-time faculty, number of students enrolled in the program, the average annual number of graduates (if applicable), graduation rates (if applicable), number of students involved in internships, co-op, field placement, etc. Include an analysis of any other statistical information available which sheds light on the programs current state and likely future directions.

VIII. Other Information as Needed (optional)

Include any other supporting information that may not have been included in the previous sections.


Appendices may be created for additional charts, graphs and tables and/or for program brochures, news articles, reports or other supporting information. The appendices are not counted in the 12 page limit.

Return to Program Review website.
engaged learning
Mailing Address
Office of Academic Planning
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, AC220
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
Parker Hannifin Admin. Center 220
2300 Euclid Avenue

Phone: 216.687.5324
FAX: 216.687.5372

This site contains files that require the free Adobe Reader to view.