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Continuous Improvement through Program Assessment


As an important part of the university’s accreditation and continuous improvement process, each program is required to submit an annual assessment report to the academic assessment committee at the end of spring semester describing its assessment results and program modifications. Programs that are new to the process or have not submitted a recent report are required to also submit a planning report by the end of November.

While programs may use the report guides provided by the assessment committee, they may also use a different format that better serves their purposes (e.g., professional accreditation) as long as the program report describes modifications based on the direct assessments of student learning. Some programs report multiple assessment results for all of their learning outcomes, for example, while other programs focus in depth on assessment results for a small number of learning outcomes. 

A few reminders. Programs should describe assessment results for specific student learning outcomes (and not grades for a course in general, for example) so that the link between the learning outcome and the assessment result is clear. All learning outcomes should be assessed through direct measures (e.g., tests, projects) rather than exclusively through indirect measures (e.g., surveys, self assessments). Also, close the “feedback loop” by describing how the results obtained will be (or were) used to modify the program and whether the modifications measurably improved student learning.

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