The assessment process begins when programs or departments identify student learning goals and outcomes. Most departmental goals are informed by both faculty expertise and professional or accrediting agencies. Once learning goals are established, the departments and programs devise ways of measuring or assessing how well students are meeting those learning goals. These assessment methods most often directly measure student learning and are frequently embedded in courses, including capstone courses. Appropriate assessments may also include indirect measures like employer surveys, alumni surveys, and rates of matriculation to advanced degree programs. Departments analyze these data, identify strengths and challenges of the programs, and make appropriate changes to improve their success at achieving their own student learning goals.
Departments also evaluate their success in other critical areas such as meeting the needs of the general education program, offering service courses, and other functions that serve the university’s broader mission.
Departments will submit assessment reports to the Academic Deans each year at the end of May. Based on assessment of student learning and other departmental priorities, the departments may request resources in support of their efforts. The Deans consider departmental requests in the context of college-level priorities, and make recommendations regarding allocations and program development to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Vice President will prioritize new faculty lines and other resources based on these recommendations.