Self-Study Questions to Consider
Teaching and Learning
- What are the goals for student learning that your department/program endorses? Which goals do you consider to be discipline specific and which do you regard as broader goals of the College?
- How does the department/program determine whether these goals are being met with its current curriculum? What kinds of evidence are used?
- How exactly does the department/program use this evidence to evaluate and improve its curriculum?
- What sorts of active learning opportunities do you offer your students?
- What sorts of faculty/student collaboration does your department/program support? How effective is this collaboration?
- How appropriate is your senior exercise given your departmental/program goals? How does it help your students integrate the information, concepts, and skills that they have learned? How do you use the senior exercises to help you, as a department/program, evaluate your curriculum?
- Are there striking ethnic, racial, and/or gender disparities among majors and non-majors taking courses in the department/program? If so, what might be done to address them?
Related questions that the department/program may wish to consider:
- How coherent are the major and minor requirements? Do students learn of the discipline's historical roots and development? Is there a cumulative progress built in to the structure of the major? Are the courses grouped into fields, with majors required to take one course from each field and several courses from one selected field? Does the major have an identifiable beginning, middle, and capstone experience?
- How well prepared are majors for graduate study? Are they handicapped by not having learned some skills, fields, or schools of thought? How successful are your majors in getting into graduate school? Do they report success or difficulty in their graduate studies? Do they succeed in other career paths?
- How do department/program offerings help non-majors lead satisfying, productive lives? Does your curriculum offer courses that provide useful skills and knowledge for students who will take only one or two courses in the concentration?
- Are there courses outside of your department/program that your students should be encouraged to take?
- How fully does the major take advantage of courses at the other Claremont Colleges? Is there unwanted duplication or neglect?
- To what extent do professors enjoy teaching the courses that they teach? Do they wish that they taught different courses or taught existing courses differently? Is the curriculum flexible enough to allow innovation in teaching and developing courses?
- Is your faculty staffing appropriate given your curricular goals and enrollments? To what degree are your students taught by regular and continuing members of the faculty? Are resources available at the other Claremont Colleges that can help the department/program achieve its curricular goals?
- Is the department/program's goals in either teaching or research hampered to any extent by its physical facilities?
- Are the Claremont Colleges' library collections adequate and appropriate for the purposes of your faculty and students? How do you determine that?
- What are the faculty's scholarly/artistic interests and aims? What factors are likely to shape the fields of expertise represented in the department/program in the future?
- What are the expectations for faculty research/artistic creation/performance in terms of quality and quantity? Are they being met, and if not, why not? How do the department/program's expectations compare with those of the College as a whole and with those of departments/programs in the same discipline at other colleges?
- How is faculty scholarship/art/performance encouraged and supported? Are there any impediments?
- How well is the department or program governed? How is this work distributed among individual faculty members? How is leadership encouraged and developed across the department/program?
- How are junior faculty mentored with respect to their teaching, scholarship/art, and service? Are information and expectations communicated effectively?
- Are there sufficient opportunities for your faculty to interact with one another and share experiences? Is there potential for better interdepartmental and intercollegiate cooperation and complementarily?
- What are administrative and/or technical staff needs within the department/program? Are they currently being met?