Reporting Your Findings

Step 1:  Identify Your Audience and Responsible Parties
  1. •    Identify Your Audience (e.g., internal vs. external, within department, within division, assessment committee)
  2. •    Determine How the Report Will Be Used
  3. •    Determine How Often a Report Will Be Required (Also, will updates/progress reports be required?)
  4. •    Determine Where the Report Will Be Stored
  5. •    Determine Who Is Responsible for Implementation

Step 2:  Summarize and Prioritize Recommended Actions
  1. Respond to the Overview Questions at the end of each Self-Assessment Guide section
  2. Identify areas of strength (Areas where program performance exceeds criterion and is viewed as exemplary)
  3. Identify areas of weakness (Program areas that fail to meet criterion measures and/or discrepancies among raters exist)
  4. Describe practices requiring follow-up (Program areas deemed less than satisfactory and shortcomings to be strengthened)
  5. Summarize and prioritize actions required for program to meet standards (List criterion measures and related practices the self-study process identified as unsatisfactory, list actions identified through the self-study that require implementation, and prioritize the list by importance, need, and achievability of the desired change)
Step 3:  Write Action Plan for Implementing Changes
  1. •    Identify resources (i.e., human, fiscal, physical) that are essential to program enhancement
  2. •    Set dates by which specific actions are to be completed
  3. •    Identify responsible parties to complete the action steps
  4. •    Set tentative start-up date for initiating a subsequent self-study
Step 4:  Prepare Your Descriptive Report
  1. •    Explain the mission, purpose, and philosophy of your program or service
  2. •    Summarize the available data
  3. •    Provide list of recommendations and action plan
  4. •    Include resources needed, dates for completion, and identify responsible persons
Step 5:  Close the Loop
  1. •    Recommend and communicate action plans for program enhancement
  2. •    Ensure specific actions are aligned with strategic plans
  3. •    Pursue appropriate channels to request needed resources

Examples of Report Formats

There are many ways to report findings of a self-study or program review. See the example template linked here, or reference the approaches below for more options.

Example of Initial Report Format #1
I.    Executive Summary: Who chaired review, who served on team(s), when review was conducted, why review was conducted
II.   Copy of Standards and Self-Assessment Guide
III.  Summary of Initial Findings
IV.  Copy of Original Action Plan Including Scores, Strengths, & Recommendations
V.   Other Comments
Example of Initial Report Format #2
I.    To whom report is addressed
II.   Components of report
  1. a. Introduction
  2. b. Executive Summary of Areas/Components Under Review (e.g., Mission, Program)
  3. c. Organization & Leadership, Staffing/Human Resources
  4. d. Relationships/Partnerships: Academic, Campus, External
  5. e. Financial, Facilities and Technology Resources
  6. f. Ethics, Law, Policy, Governance, Diversity, Access
  7. g. Assessment
  8. h. Recommendation Summary
III.   Review Area Commentary and Recommendations
IV.   Concluding Remarks
Example of Final Report Format #1
I.    Summary of the Self-Assessment Process
II.   Executive Summary of Selected and Consolidated Overview Questions from the SAG sections
III.  Summary of areas of Program Strength
IV.  Summary of areas with Insufficient Evidence and Rating Discrepancy
V.   Summary of areas of Program Weakness with a prioritized Action Plan based on importance, need, and achievability
VI.  Lessons Learned to be Used for Next Program Review
VII. Appendices (including copy of standards and collective ratings)
Example of Final Report Format #2
In addition to the CAS rating sheets, leadership may want the external teams provide a narrative report for each department reviewed. The report should support the CAS ratings and encourage units to make improvements in their programs and services.
In the narrative report, you might provide: 

Cover Sheet
  1. •    The name of the program or subspecialty program that was reviewed
  2. •    The date of the program review
  3. •    The names and titles of the CAS review team members

Body of Report
  1. •    Brief overview 
  2. •    Areas of Departmental Strengths (going beyond compliance and making the program great)
  3. •    Areas of Concern (where a program is generally not in compliance and will need to make changes to become compliant)
  4. •    Recommendations of the committee (strategies for attaining excellence and areas needing improvement)
  5. •    Comments on the Review Process (impressions of the review processes and logistics)