The Institutional Report

Overview: The institutional report is based on the findings of the institution’s self-study and, with the exception of an institution-specific theme, must include the components described below. However, the institution may structure its report in the way it finds best suited to tell its story, reordering and perhaps combining these components as needed. A suggested order for the components follows:

  • Introduction: Institutional Context; Response to Previous Commission Actions
  • Compliance: Review under the WSCUC Standards and Compliance with Federal Requirements; Inventory of Educational Effectiveness Indicators
  • Degree Programs: Meaning, Quality, and Integrity of Degrees
  • Educational Quality: Student Learning, Core Competencies, and Standards of Performance at Graduation
  • Student Success: Student Learning, Retention, and Graduation
  • Quality Assurance and Improvement: Program Review; Assessment; Use of Data and Evidence
  • Sustainability: Financial Viability; Preparing for the Changing Higher Education Environment
  • Institution-specific Themes(s): Optional
  • Conclusion: Reflection and Plans for Improvement

The required and optional components of the institutional report are described in the next section. Numbering is provided for ease of reference; it does not indicate relative value or a required order of presentation. In general, each component should include a discussion of the topic within the context of the institution; analyses undertaken; a self-assessment and reflection; areas of strength or significant progress and areas of challenge; and next steps, as appropriate. When plans are described, targets, metrics, and timelines should be included, as appropriate.


Length of the Report and Citation of Standards: The institutional report narrative is typically 12,000 to 18,000 words (approximately 50-75 pages, double-spaced) in length. In the body of the report, it is helpful to hyperlink to relevant documents in the exhibits in order to support each assertion and to provide easy navigation for reviewers.

References to the Standards and citations of specific CFRs are included, as appropriate, in the body of the report. It is not necessary to cite all the CFRs because these will have been addressed in the Review under the Standards. Instead, the institutional report can cite only those CFRs of direct relevance to the topic under discussion (i.e., meaning of degrees, student learning and achievement, student success, quality assurance, planning for the future, and possibly an additional theme). Institutions may cite others, as relevant to their narratives.

When the institutional report is submitted, it should be accompanied by the Institutional Report Certification Form, signed by the president/chancellor, affirming the accuracy of the information presented and the institution’s intention to comply fully with the Standards and policies.