Professor speaks to his class in language lab, CAS
Professor Scott Hartley, wearing protective glasses, talks with students in the lab, CAS

The self–study document provides an opportunity for a Department/Program to reflect on its mission, goals, and strategic plan. Including internal and external advisors in the review process provides a valuable opportunity for a Department/Program to receive feedback. Therefore, in discussing future plans in the self–study document, Departments/Programs should focus on what they consider to be the most significant issues for which they are seeking feedback. Departments/Programs should consult with their Dean and the Provost’s office to jointly identify these issues and what data beyond those in the self–study, should be included.

The template below should be used to complete the Self–Study document, which must not exceed 11 pages, including the Executive Summary. An additional nine pages can be added for those Departments/Programs with both undergraduate and graduate degree offerings (i.e., 20 pages total if reviewing both undergraduate and graduate degree programs; 12 point font required). Consider the Chair of the Academic Program Review Committee (APRC) a partner throughout the process.

I. Executive Summary

A 500-word abstract of the full report that highlights elements of each part of the Self-Study, including Activities and Performance since the Last Review, the Strategic Plan, and Key Issues.

II. Activities and Performance since the Last Review

A. History of the Department/Program

Provide a brief history of the Department/Program since the last review to explain how the Department/Program responded to its previous review and arrived at its present configuration with respect to undergraduate and graduate education, research, faculty, outreach, etc. Include a short description of the Department/Program's operating/governance procedures and illustrate any changes or revisions that have been implemented during the period of review. Describe updates, changes, opportunities, or challenges with facilities, equipment, or collections during the period of review.

B. Internal Environment

Outline the current strengths and weaknesses of the Department/Program across the following criteria and metrics, in the following order. To complete the assessment, use various sources including judgments of external reviewers in previous reviews, reflection on previous reviews and goals, findings of accreditation teams, and rankings of the Department/Program by national educational associations or scholarly and professional societies. In addition:

    • Provide data for the last five years (or for the period since last program review).

    • For each metric that calls for quantifiable data, provide the a) total number, b) median, c) minimum, and d) maximum for each year and for the five–year span.

    • For Departments/Programs with multiple degrees or both undergraduate and graduate degrees, each criterion should be addressed separately for each degree program where possible. Data (e.g., faculty productivity) that overlap between undergraduate and Department Self-Study Guidelines (May 2014–supersedes previous versions) 2 graduate activities or across degree programs should only be listed once and cross–referenced appropriately between sections.

    • If there are no data to report for a criterion, the department should respond “no data” with a brief explanation (one or two sentences).

    • If a criterion is not relevant, the Department/Program should respond “not applicable” with a brief explanation (one or two sentences).

    • All metrics considered essential to the Department/Program, but not included here, should be reported under ‘other.’

B.1. Faculty

This criterion refers to the current status of the faculty in the Department/Program. Data should be aggregated at the Department/Program level.

    1. List all full–time faculty in the Department/Program by name, year of hire, faculty rank (lecturer, clinical faculty, assistant professor, etc.), and graduate level status. In Section V, provide a two–page (maximum) biographical sketch for each full–time faculty member.

    2. Summarize the Department/Program’s promotion and tenure expectations and workload policy with regard to teaching, research/ scholarship/creative activities, and service.

    3. Describe programs or procedures used to monitor and mentor the progress of full–time faculty as they become eligible for promotion or tenure.

    4. Quantify the percentage of credit hours taught by faculty type (graduate assistants, part–time, full–time non–tenure, full–time tenure track).

    5. Discuss opportunities and challenges related to the current status of the faculty (hires, retires, etc.) since the last period of review.

    6. Other

B.2. Scholarly and Creative Activity

This criterion refers to the core academic mission of research, scholarship, and creative activity. Data should be aggregated at the Department/Program level.

    1. Quantify each type of scholarly/creative activity by faculty rank. (If additional faculty groupings make sense for the Department/Program, quantify by activity type for these groupings as well.)

    2. List honors and awards received by faculty for each year.

    3. Other

B.3. Teaching and Advising

This criterion refers to the core academic mission of teaching and advising that fosters an environment of excellence in Department/Program offerings and a commitment to maintain rigorous academic standards.

    1. Describe each degree program, including its philosophy, defining characteristics, and guiding principles.

    2. List undergraduate and graduate courses (number and title only) and quantify enrollment.

    3. Describe the contributions of the Department/Program to the Division and to the University (i.e., cross–divisional and the Miami Plan).

    4. Provide a summary of the processes used for ensuring quality teaching and advising for both undergraduate and graduate students. Describe the process for gathering and using evidence for assessment of student learning outcomes in your programs. If your Department Self-Study Guidelines (May 2014–supersedes previous versions) 3 assessment reports have been reviewed by an accrediting body or by your Division, please summarize the results of that review and your response. Provide any other relevant evidence of quality teaching and advising (e.g., course evaluations, assessment of student learning outcomes, exit interviews).

    5. Other

B.4. Professional Service

Describe the Department/Program's contribution to professional service activities across multiple levels within and outside of the university.

    1. Departmental
    2. Divisional
    3. University-wide
    4. External: community, region, state, nation, international

B.5. Student Outcomes

This criterion establishes the educational outcomes of the undergraduate and graduate students. Data should be aggregated at the degree program level.

    1. Describe and, if possible, quantify student scholarly or creative activities.
    2. Quantify the number of students participating in practica, internships, productions, or other professional experiences.
    3. Describe and, if possible, quantify the number of students engaged in university service and the number engaged in community service.
    4. List the honors and/or awards received by students each year.
    5. Describe teacher–training and mentoring programs provided to graduate teaching assistants.
    6. Quantify the average time to degree for each degree program.  
    7. For each year, report the percent of students graduating (i.e., completing all degree requirements) within the normative timeframe for each degree.
    8. For each year, describe job placement and placement in advanced–study programs.
    9. Other

B.6. Undergraduate/Graduate Connections

This criterion enumerates the resources/experiences available to Miami undergraduates as a result of interconnections between graduate and undergraduate students. Data should be aggregated at the Department/Program level.

Describe the impact of the graduate program on undergraduate:

    1. Instruction
    2. Scholarly/creative activity
    3. Student life and/or co–curricular activities
    4. Other

B.7. Broader Impacts

This criterion encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of broader public and social outcomes. Data should be aggregated at the Department/Program level.

    1. Describe the demonstrated impact of scholarly/creative activity by faculty and students that significantly advances discovery and understanding in the public domain while promoting teaching, training, and learning in the discipline(s) of the Department/Program.
    2. Provide evidence of broadening the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.), particularly relative to the discipline(s) or field(s) of the Department/Program.
    3. Provide evidence of activities that build capacity for scholarly/creative activity, teaching, or service that benefit the university or the community such as facilities or instrumentation; local, regional, national or international networks; campus life; economic or community development; and community outreach or partnerships.
    4. Other

B.8. Viability

This criterion establishes the demand for the Department/Program's undergraduate and graduate degree programs, its current resources (e.g., faculty time, graduate assistantships), and actual/potential revenue it generates. Data should be aggregated at the degree program level.

    1. Describe the undergraduate and graduate degree programs' standing in relation to comparable programs.
    2. Quantify the total number of students who are full–time and, where appropriate, part–time for each year.
    3. Describe the extent to which external funding (e.g., grants, contracts, scholarships, gifts) supports the infrastructure and/or operation of both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
    4. For the graduate degree program(s), quantify the number of student applications; number admitted; number enrolled (i.e., acceptance rate) per year.
    5. Quantify the number of graduate assistantships with (a) MU funding, (b) external funding, and the number of students who are self–funded for each year.
    6. Where appropriate, describe revenue–generating activities.
    7. Other

C. External Environment

Outline the potential opportunities and challenges facing the Department/Program that are influenced by activities and issues outside of the university. Provide a brief explanation if any element below is not applicable.

    1. Describe the availability of faculty and student talent relative to job market and national enrollment trends.
    2. Describe the availability of external resources and funding (including grants, contracts, and gifts).
    3. Describe external developments in society and the economy that can affect the progress or success of the Department/Program.
    4. Describe the regulatory, legal, or political environment that can affect the progress or success of the Department/Program.

III. Strategic Plan

The purpose of strategic planning is to help define the Department/Program's priorities over the next five–plus years. A strategic plan should be directional and guide, but not limit, future opportunities. It should enable the Department/Program to align its strategic objectives with divisional and university goals and priorities, as well as with financial and human resource opportunities and constraints. Finally, it should provide a mechanism to continually review programmatic progress to ensure excellence in teaching, scholarly/creative activities, service, and outreach.

A. Goals

List a set of overall goals for the Department/Program. These goals should be longer–term in nature, should have a horizon of about five years, and should be aligned with the Miami 2020 Plan. While we recommend four to five separate goals as ideal, limit the list to no more than seven. For each goal, indicate the current Divisional and University Goal(s) it supports.

    • Departmental Goal
    • Divisional Goal
    • University Goal

B. Details by Goal

For each goal, address each of the following sections.

    1. Indicators of Success. What indicators are currently being tracked? What quantitative or qualitative indicators will be used to track performance towards this goal?
    2. Strategies and Tactics for Achievement. What strategies and tactics, in order of priority, has the Department/Program chosen to pursue in order to achieve this goal? Why have these particular strategies and tactics been chosen?
    3. Financial Implications. Will new resources be needed to accomplish this goal? If so, identify any resource reallocation opportunities that may exist within the Department/Program. Prioritize a list of additional resources required to achieve the Department/Program’s goals and also prioritize a list of resource reallocation opportunities.
    4. Points of Integration (where applicable). Does achievement of this goal rely on other units outside the Department/Program? If so, what support might be required from these other units?

IV. Key Issues

List three to five key issues chosen based upon a comparative evaluation of the Activities and Performance since the Last Review (Section II) and the Strategic Plan (Section III) that need to be addressed by the Department/Program in order to achieve the goals of the Strategic Plan.

These Key Issues will provide a focal point for the review team to provide feedback on strategies and approaches for achieving these goals.

The list of Key Issues must be developed in cooperation with the Dean of the academic division and the Office of the Provost prior to the submission of the Self–Study, and may include Divisional or University Key Issues as defined by the Dean or Provost. (In the case of a Cluster Review, the Dean(s) will provide a common, cluster-related Key Issue that must be addressed within the department's Self-Study document.)

  • Key Issue
  • Unit Goal(s) Impacted by Key Issue
  • Feedback Requested

V. Biographical Sketches

A biographical sketch, not to exceed 2 pages, of each Faculty in the Department/Program needs to be completed and should include:

  1. Name, title, affiliation
  2. Professional Preparation (chronological order) Institution, Major, Degree, Year
  3. Peer–reviewed Research, Scholarly, or Creative Activities (list up to 10 peer–reviewed publications, presentations, or performances since the last period of review; enumerate total of each type of activity since last period of review)
  4. Teaching and Instructional Activities (list formal courses taught, instructional contributions, and educational developments since the last period of review)
  5. Externally funded activities (list up to 10 externally funded research, scholarly, or creative activities since the last period of review; enumerate total of each type of activity since last period of review)
  6. Advising and advisees (list the number of undergraduate and graduate advisees, and advising activities since the last period of review)
  7. Service to the profession Department/Program, Division, University, External (list of representative activities within each category since the last period of review)