General Theme for the Self-Study:
The Transformational Learning Environment
With a relatively new president who has worked with the campus to rearticulate its institutional vision, Case Western Reserve University is at a significant moment in its history. The University is striving to become better recognized for a learning environment that profoundly affects the students, faculty and staff who form our campus community. Enormous energy and investment are being dedicated toward the goal of enhancing our transformational learning environment.
Progress toward this goal will be reflected in several ways. At the most basic level, the effort is based on the premise that learning has less to do with the transfer of information and everything to do with the transformation of the learners. For example, the University seeks to bolster a passion for learning among the students so that they more easily progress from receivers of an education to pursuers and managers of their own learning. Supporting and promoting an engaged and committed faculty will help these faculty members to achieve growth through their efforts in teaching, research, scholarship, and mentoring. Similarly, administrative and support staff members can be engaged more effectively in supporting and facilitating all the learning-centered activity on our campus.
The overarching goal for this self-study is to provide a thorough, critical introspection of the transformational learning environment being developed at Case Western Reserve University. This analysis will provide insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the existing learning environment, elucidate opportunities and means for improvement, and provide guidance for future investments.
Because of the coincidence of several factors (new University leadership, a new University vision, plans for bold, major investments, and the timing of the accreditation review), Case Western Reserve University chooses to pursue a customized self-study. The customized self-study process will allow the University to perform focused self-studies on four topic areas that are core to the continuing development of a successful transformational learning environment. These four areas are: (1) Interdivisional Collaborations and External Partnerships; (2) Faculty Engagement, Motivation, and Commitment; (3) Overall Student Development - Undergraduate; and (4) Overall Student Development - Graduate and Professional. Four subcommittees, each studying one of the four topical areas, have been formed and are working under specific charges for their group.
Many aspects of each of these four topical areas span multiple accreditation criteria specified by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The main body of our self-study documents will include a criterion-by-criterion analysis of the status of Case Western Reserve University, with appendices containing each of the four focused self-study documents. The main body of the report will draw heavily from each of the four subcommittee reports for evidence supporting the satisfaction of the various accreditation criteria as well as analysis of opportunities for growth and continued improvement.