Assessment of student learning is key to the University’s mission, guiding principles, values, and focus on continuous improvement. In accordance with best practice, the University maintains a comprehensive assessment plan, including assessments at the institutional, program, and course levels.
The Institutional Planning and Assessment Committee (IPAC), which includes the President and the Provost, reports directly to the President:
- Conducts accreditation activities related to the Institution as a whole.
- Participates in accreditation of programs.
- Chooses HLC Assurance Argument Team and provides leadership.
- Organizes Assessment of Strategic Plan Objectives and reports on progress annually.
- Guides, and collaborates with the Faculty Senate Assessment Committee.
- Guides departmental assessment of non-academic units.
- Maintains assessment web and portal pages to facilitate faculty, staff, and administrative assessment activities.
- Facilitates assessment education events and activities to promote active and sustainable assessment and improvement practices.
- Oversees campus surveys, including surveys of student engagement.
- Coordinates with the Program Review Committee and evaluates program review reports.
The Faculty Assessment Committee helps develop, review, and facilitate the University’s academic assessment. The areas of responsibility include:
- Planning and coordinating assessment of academic University Learning Outcomes, including assessment of the Core curriculum.
- Reviewing academic assessment data, making recommendations for improvement, and evaluating changes.
- Acting as a resource for academic departments and programs to improve their assessment processes at course, program, and institutional levels.
- Offering opportunities for learning about assessment (e.g. conferences, on-campus meetings, roundtable discussions).
- Collaborating with Institutional Planning and Assessment Committee (IPAC).
At the program level, the University conducts a Program Review on every academic program during a five-year cycle, with updates submitted annually. Academic and student life programs involved in student learning have program missions, student learning outcomes, and plans for assessing program learning outcomes. The missions are aligned to the University’s mission, and the outcomes are aligned to the University’s Learning Outcomes. Program Learning Outcomes are assessed in a variety of ways, including course-embedded methods, student portfolios, capstone projects/ experiences, student productions, and surveys of alumni. Departments analyze and use assessment data to help them improve student learning and ensure program quality.
At the course level, outlines listing University Learning Outcomes, Program Learning Outcomes (if applicable), and the specific course objectives linked to those outcomes provide a foundation for assessment of student learning. Faculty complete course report forms at the end of every semester, analyzing the extent of student learning related to the University Learning Outcomes, Program Learning Outcomes, and course objectives for the course. On the course report form, faculty also suggest ways to improve student learning in the course. These forms are collected and reviewed by department chairs, who strategize with faculty about changes to enhance student learning and increase achievement at the course level.
All non-academic departments are assessed annually. Non-academic units report on their annual goals, measurable outcomes, data sources or activities, planning, budgeting, and improvement via the annual Departmental Goals Survey.