Santa Clara University

Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Self Study: Three Themes

In the 2004-05 academic year, Santa Clara University initiated conversations about important themes related to the Strategic Plan and the Self Study by focusing on "Future Directions" for the University. A series of 14 "Thought Papers" were commissioned from faculty and staff and were discussed at a major forum attended by more than 200 faculty. In the Winter of 2006, the University began to focus more explicitly on the Self Study: the University Planning Council, a group of faculty and administrators, worked through and discussed the "What Matters on Campus" exercise. This discussion led to a list of 20 possible areas for attention, found in the document "What Really Matters." The University Planning Council then grouped the items, narrowing the focus to six. Several months later, in conjunction with an online survey based on the Criteria for Review, the University community (faculty, staff, students, and board members) were asked to rate the six possible themes. In this survey the six proposed themes were all ranked "important" or "very important" by a majority in each group. Through an extended process of "discernment," three themes consistently emerged as the issues most valuable for self study: "Educating for Competence, Conscience, and Compassion," "Supporting the Teaching Scholar Model," and "Promoting a Community of Inclusive Excellence." See "WASC Self Study Themes: Background Information." A list of possible questions tracing the three themes across the Capacity and Preparatory Review and the Educational Effectiveness Review, can be viewed in the "Proposed WASC Themes: Draft for Discussion."



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