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Office of the Provost
Assessing Student Learning

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Q. Our program already has a professional accreditation assessment process. Can we submit our existing assessment process in place of this requirement?
A. Programs may request permission to substitute a professional accreditation process as the assessment protocol by showing how that professional accreditation process maps onto the institutional framework for assessment.

Q. What programs will be assessed?
A. All degree or certificate granting programs listed in the graduate and undergraduate bulletins such as the BA, BS, MA, MS, Ph.D., JD, MSW, Ed.D., M.D. must be assessed. School and campus-level general education curricula will also be assessed.

Q. May a school or campus aggregate majors for the purpose of assessment?
A. Schools and campuses may choose to aggregate majors with strong overlap in goals and curricula. Departments and programs may assess Areas of Concentrations within majors.

Q. How should dual degree programs be handled?
A. Dual degree programs (e.g. AA/AS, BA/BS, MA/MS, MD/PhD), and joint degree programs (BS in Econ/Statistics) should be assessed if these are separate programs for the purposes of assessing student learning outcomes. Departments should make that decision after considering if the programs have considerably different goals and outcomes that would warrant separate assessment plans.

Q. Who should participate in the assessment process?
A. Faculty are integral to the assessment process since they are the ones who are best qualified to set and assess the goals for student learning in their discipline.

Q. Is assessment just a temporary trend in higher education or is it here to stay?
A. Assessment is now mandated on all levels including federal and state government and professional and regional accrediting agencies. It is likely to remain an integral part of how we prove and, perhaps more importantly improve, institutional effectiveness.

Q. Do we need to assess every aspect of our program every year?
A. It is not necessary to assess every aspect of a program each year. Useful information can be obtained by assessing three to five learning outcomes every three to five years.

Q. In what manner should assessment matrix documents be submitted?
A. Deans, directors, and campus presidents are to submit documentation of the assessment process in the form of an Assessment Matrix for each degree program as part of their annual planning document. Assessment Matrix materials should be ordered by department, with a table of contents included, and burned on to a CD. Schools in the health sciences should send the CD to Vice Provost, Patricia Beeson in 809 CL.

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