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Self Evaluation Writing Guidelines and Examples


  1. Read your Standard’s section of the Self Evaluation from colleges that have had their accreditation reaffirmed (on ACCJC website, look for “Commission Actions on Institutions” for list of these colleges). Then go to their websites and look under “Accreditation”—the Self Evaluation should be accessible. Example: Leeward Community College.
  2. Read Merritt College’s Midterm Report, available through Accreditation Archives on current Accreditation 2015 website.
  3. Read resources on ACCJC website that pertains to your standard, particularly the Guide to Evaluating Institutions. (link is also on our homepage)



  1. Review the PDA presentation PowerPoint, “Start Making Sense: Writing the Accreditation Self Evaluation”.)
  2. Use the Graphic Organizer (or create one of your own). )
  3. Use the Interview Template to help structure interviews with key Merritt College employees and students.



  1. Use the structure required by ACCJC.
    1. Descriptive Summary—a descriptive overview of what the institution does in relation to that standard. You can do this kind of writing on your own. It’s often helpful to start with a list, and then organize into subsections. Do not worry about your style! Do worry about having plenty of information and grouping related ideas together. Do convert to sentences and paragraphs before sharing with your group.
    2. Suggestion: The Self Evaluation will include, along with the narrative reports for each standard, illustrative examples of processes and systems that support Merritt College in meeting the particular Standards. In your research, keep track of examples of effective practices. Don’t worry about creating the graphics, but do identify the origin of the example so the visual can be developed during the second draft.
    3. Example: A flow chart showing how a new course is developed based on data and analysis of student achievement of learning outcomes would be a visual support for Standard II.A.1.c., “The institution identifies student learning outcomes for courses, programs, certificates, and degrees; assesses student achievement of those outcomes; and uses assessment results to make improvements.”
  2. Self-Evaluation—This will usually be developed through discussion with your Work Group, though you can do a preliminary analysis. The Work Group members will work together to decide the degree to which the college meets the standard. From this general point, your draft will reflect their assessment.
  3. Actionable Improvement Plans—These also will be developed by the Work Group based on the audit. The Work Group will decide on these recommendations, but ultimately, the Accreditation Steering Committee will determine which items are appropriate here.
  4. Do not sweat over grammar, repetition, style, etc. Just get the information across in appropriate depth.
  5. Be open to feedback, and rewrite.
  6. Allow yourself blocks of time to concentrate—it won’t happen during your Student Consultation Time!
  7. Meet with the Accreditation Self-Evaluation Chair, your Standard Committee Co–Chairs, or fellow committee members to discuss the writing—don’t write in isolation!