The College is committed to ongoing self-examination of educational effectiveness to support evidence-based decisions that ensure students experience the best education we can provide. Departments and programs contribute to this process in two ways. First and most directly, they are responsible for setting and assessing student learning goals for their program. Each department and program has a designated assessment coordinator (who may or may not be the department chair). The assessment coordinator and the chair or director will work together to ensure that the department/program:
- clearly articulates student learning goals for the major/concentration
- develops a plan that indicates how each learning goal will be assessed and when the department/program will discuss assessment findings
- carries out its assessment plan
- documents the assessment process
- submits an annual assessment report to the Dean of the College office (annual assessment report here under "Related Documents")
Because department and program assessment will directly inform decennial reviews, the timing and frequency of assessment activity will reflect the ten-year cycle. While assessment coordinators are responsible for coordinating this process, assessment activities require the input and collaboration of all department and program members; chairs and program directors should organize department and program meetings to accommodate assessment needs.
Programs and departments also support college-wide learning goals, of course. For instance, many provide instruction on effective writing. To facilitate institutional assessment of these College-wide student learning outcomes, departments and programs have gone through the process of noting which program-specific learning goals are related to College-wide goals. The resulting documents are available from Andrea Nixon, Director of Educational Research.
If your department would like help in defining learning goals or developing an assessment plan, Andrea is available to help.