Marywood University Policy & Procedure Information


Self-Study of Academic Departments and Professional Departments Policy

Policy Statement

The systematic and recurring review of academic and professional departments at Marywood University is an essential element of their ongoing efforts to improve the student experience. Marywood accomplishes this objective through critical reflection, self-assessment, and strategic planning consistent with their Mission Statement and Core Values.  This review can be met through discipline specific accreditation or this review process.

The review process engages input from various constituencies on campus to obtain a fair and balanced appraisal of a department’s strengths and areas for improvement. Information gathered as part of this review process will help to enhance Marywood’s understanding of the needs of a department, ensure a quality educational experience for students, and allow for the use of evidence-based guidance for administrative decision-making.

In addition, this review process is used to help Marywood University meet the standards of accreditation set forth by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).


Units under review will meet approximately 12 months prior to the designated submission date.  Units will meet with the Assistant Provost and Assessment Coordinator in January prior to the self-study year (Example: if the self-study year is 2023-2024, the unit will meet with the Assistant Provost and Assessment Coordinator in January of 2023 and must submit their document for review to the Outcome Assessment Committee by December 1, 2023).

Timeline for the review process:

  • November 1st: submit draft to unit leadership
  • December 1st: final draft submitted to the Assistant Provost, distributed to the review committee (which committee for clarification)
  • No later than March 1st: review committee issues report to department and Vice President or Provost
  • April: Vice President or Provost invites the department leadership for a post-review meeting.
  • May: Department leadership meets with the administration, including the University President, to discuss the outcomes of the review process and the strategic direction.

Additional relevant information regarding the Self-Study of Academic Departments and Professional Departments can be found on the webpage for the Office of the Provost.






I.   Overview and Purpose

The Outcomes Assessment Committee (OAC) will oversee the Academic Department Review (ADR) and Professional Department Review (PDR) process. Each department will be reviewed every seven years.

Departments reviewed by a professional or accreditation body will not be reviewed by the OAC. If there are programs within a department that are not accredited, they will be reviewed by the OAC.

The purposes of ADR and PDR are:

1. Thoughtful self-assessment and planning objectives for future direction.

2. Evaluation of the department’s current (since the last review) status and overall quality including staff, resources, effectiveness, and identification of future opportunities for growth and improvement.

3.  Goals and recommendations for actions to maximize effectiveness of the department. 

These objectives will allow the department to set strategic goals and direction until the next review process, to share these goals, actions, and timelines with others, and help direct resources toward achievement of these goals.

A listing of programs under review and the departments reviewed by a professional or accreditation body are found on the webpage of the Office of the Provost.

II.  Process

A.   Orientation to Review

Members of the department undergoing review will meet with the Assistant Provost and Assessment Coordinator to discuss the scope and process. This will occur in January of their self-study year. At this meeting, the unit will receive the self-study guidelines and develop a specific timeline. All reviews will include standard areas that will be assessed; in addition, unique items may be identified in the initial planning meeting.

 B.  Self-Study Preparation and Department Responsibilities

The department will prepare a self-study document.  A suggested outline can be found on the Provost Office webpage.   This document will serve as the foundation for review and to outline the department’s recommendations, strategic direction, goals, and plan for implementation. The preparation of the self-study is intended to assist the department’s faculty/staff to establish priorities, celebrate successes, and identify future directions and strategies to achieve future goals.

Departments are expected to gather the necessary input from their constituencies, as well as request necessary quantitative data from the Office of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness.  The narrative of the self-study report should not exceed twenty (20) pages; a self-study appendix should include reliable and valid data and descriptive materials, on which the analysis and self-study are based. The report will be submitted to the department’s immediate supervisor for review and comment prior to the final version. The Assessment Coordinator will also review and provide comment.  The department will provide a copy of the final report to the members of the review committee and the Assistant Provost.

C.   Review Committee

Members of the OAC will meet for no more than two full days in the Spring semester to examine all Program Review documents. Breakout teams (Review Committees) will be assigned for each individual Program Review Document consisting of three members. ADR committees, if possible, should comprise two academic members of the OAC and one non-academic member. PDR committees, if possible, should comprise two non-academic members and one academic member.

The role of a Review Committee is to validate and clarify the self-study report. A written report, fewer than ten (10) pages, from the review committee will be submitted to the Vice President or Provost, along with the self-study and any appendices. The review committee can request additional data or conduct interviews of members of the department in order to complete the report. Once the report is submitted to the Vice President and/or Provost, the Review Committee’s work is completed.

D.   Post Review

The reports generated by the review process will inform the post-review meetings, and be used to develop consensus on next steps. Departments will meet with their immediate supervisor and the Vice President and/or Provost to discuss the recommendations. The formal conclusion of the review process is to assemble the department leadership, supervisor, Vice President and/or Provost, and the University President to finalize recommendations.

The unit leadership will be responsible for informing the Vice President and/or Provost on progress toward the goals identified within the allotted period by completing a brief annual report.



Related Policies

Related Committees


10/31/19 – The proposal to revise and change the name of the Self-Study of Programs and Student Services Policy to the Self-Study of Academic Departments and Professional Departments Policy with corresponding Appendices A through E were approved by the President of the University as recommended by the Policy Committee of the University at its October 24, 2019 meeting.
03/19/21 - The President of the University approved the revisions to this policy as recommended by the Policy Committee of the University.