Office of Academic Affairs

Five Year Review Template

The following guideline is intended to guide conversations within the unit and provide an organizational tool for the self-study report. The report should provide not only evidence to support each response but also evaluative comments regarding how well the unit is doing in achieving the desired outcomes.

I. Unit Mission

What is the mission of the unit? (OK to link to URL)

In what ways does the unit support UMSL’s mission and the campus’s strategic plan, Gateway for Greatness (G4G)?

Please provide introductory information about the unit that includes:

  • A brief history;
  • The unit’s facilities, faculty, and staff;
  • Academic programs in the unit; and
  • A brief review of changes since the last review.

II. Program Excellence

Please provide evidence of how the department promotes excellence in its academic programs.

  • What assessment tools do you use to maintain or improve quality?
  • How does the unit foster teaching excellence among the faculty?
  • How is teaching effectiveness evaluated? Provide examples of quality instruction.
  • What innovations have faculty instituted to engage students more, including instructional approaches, scheduling, and delivery mechanisms?

Please analyze your programs’ quality, separating them by undergraduate and graduate level.

  • What are the program goals for student learning? (May link to where they are posted)
  • What assessment tools has the unit used to gather and analyze data to determine whether students have met those goals?
  • What strengths and weaknesses did assessment data reveal?
  • How are assessment results for the program documented?
  • What department discussions have occurred regarding the assessment data?
  • What changes have been made because of these discussions?
  • How do you assure continuity of the program to assure that student outcomes are met when part-time faculty teach the courses?

General Education

  • Which of the courses taught by your department are designated for General Education credit?
  • How often has each course been taught in the past 5 years?
  • How has your department assessed the effectiveness of these courses in achieving the stated skill and/or knowledge goals for general education?
  • What kind of evidence of learning was used to assess the course? (e.g. papers, portfolios, examinations)
  • What kind of rubric was used to assess student learning?
  • What were the findings of the assessment?
  • What actions has the department taken given the assessment activity?

Student Retention

  • Who advises students and how are those assignments made?
  • How do you evaluate the quality of advising in your unit?
  • What is the rate of undergraduate and graduate retention since the last five-year review?
  • What strategies do you use to recruit and retain undergraduate and graduate students, including how you handle courses or programs with large drop-out rates?

Student Engagement and Success

  • How do co-curricular activities (e.g., research, trips, honors, community work, etc.) support student learning?
  • What measures of student learning do you use at the end of the program (capstone activities, standardized exams, etc.)?
  • What percentage of graduates meets all learning outcomes? What process do you have to remediate those who fail to meet outcomes?
  • Please evaluate the placement of your students after graduation.
  • What strengths and weaknesses emerged from your analyses of the success of students in each program?
  • What actions have you taken to promote greater student success?

Distance (synchronous and asynchronous) and Other Alternative Offerings

  • Evaluate the unit’s offerings at off-campus sites and online.
  • How does the program assess these classes/programs to make sure learning outcomes are achieved at the same rate as on-campus classes?
  • What other factors do you use to assess the quality of courses delivered via alternative systems?
  • What are your future plans for alternative class/program offerings?

III. Research Excellence

How does the unit promote excellence in research? How do you evaluate the effectiveness of the support?

Please evaluate the quantity and quality of faculty members’ scholarly activities for the five-year period.

What evidence do you have that the five-year record of securing grants, contracts, and gifts reflects the national record within the discipline?

How do you review each graduate faculty member’s ability to chair dissertations?

IV. Community Engagement

What is the nature of your unit’s engagement with the community?

How does the unit promote excellence in their community engagement activities?

How do community activities relate to your programs and the goals and mission of the unit and the university?

What evidence do you have of the results of these activities and their quality?

V. Resources


  • Does the unit have the appropriate faculty composition (e.g., size, expertise, diversity)?
  • How is faculty workload assigned in your unit?
  • How are part-time faculty and teaching assistants selected, oriented, supported, and integrated into your unit?
  • What processes are in place to mentor non-tenured and junior faculty?

Other Resources

  • Do the unit’s administrative structure and policy-making processes allow the unit to meet its goals?
  • What university structures or processes promote or hinder the unit in meeting its goals?
  • How does your unit compare to our peer institutions in the Delaware Study? What changes are needed?
  • How effectively does your unit use technology instructionally, administratively, and in research?
  • How are resources allocated in the department?
  • If more resources were available where would you invest those funds and why?

VI. The Future

Using the Gateway for Greatness as a model, how are faculty planning the unit’s strategic goals and ways to meet them?

What department is your unit’s aspirational peer? What will it take for your unit to achieve that level of success?