Each academic department, academic program, and special program of the College has developed a plan for the academic assessment of students. Quasi-departmental agencies responsible for Collegiate Center and Learning Domain requirements and the library also participate. The assessment of student academic achievement by departments is an integral part of a larger system of departmental and program evaluations. Student assessment is an annual activity in each department [oriented toward gathering outcomes data to be used with other information in the department’s self-evaluation that is to occur once in every seven-year cycle]. Each plan is available online in Faculty Resources. Each is structured in accord with the principles stated below.
Every academic department assesses the academic achievements of students through some combination of the following means:
- graded course examinations;
- required papers or research projects;
- juried recitals or performances;
- Odyssey projects;
- Senior Seminars;
- presentation of papers or projects at state, regional, or national meetings;
- Capstone Experiences;
- laboratory and fieldwork experiences;
- student feedback.
The use and weighting of each of these elements vary from department to department according to the nature of the disciplines. However, the Committee on Faculty monitors every department plan for consistency with campus-wide practices and for the assurance of multiple measures of student performance. Solitary reliance upon graded course examinations or projects and upon internally generated comprehensive examinations is not acceptable. External review of examinations, assignments, syllabi, and overall curricular structure and offerings by consultants from similar institutions are typical components of departmental assessment plans. Every department also has available to it the GRE scores of its majors and the record, as compiled by the Office of Career Development, of its majors in securing placement in graduate school and employment.
The Vision for Student Learning
The assessment of student academic achievement reflects and is governed by this statement, and it is cited here as the basis for the assessment of the College’s success in educating students. To the degree that the graduate has realized this statement, the College has attained success. Measurements of the degree of such success are used, through systematic procedures and policies stated below, in the continual improvement of the College’s programs.