Faculty Handbook 2023-2024

F.4.c. Department and Program Assessment Plans

Each academic department, academic program, and general education Collegiate Center unit of the College has developed an annual plan for the academic assessment of student learning for continuous improvement.  This assessment is also an integral part of a regular cycle of departmental and program external evaluations.  Each plan is available online in Faculty Resources along with annual assessment reports and reviews by the Academic Assessment Committee.   Each plan is structured in accord with the principles stated below.

Student Assessment Plans

For each academic department, academic program, and Collegiate Center unit, the Student Assessment Plan [SAP] has the following components:

  • Learning Goals:  We have standardized the expectations for learning goals to ensure they are student focused.  Statements that are faculty or program focused are valuable descriptions of how student learning is achieved, but do not constitute learning goals.  Learning goals also appear on the appropriate web sites for the department, program, or Collegiate Center unit.
  • Curriculum Mapping:  Curricular mapping links each course that contributes to major requirements to the department learning goals addressed in that course.
  • Plan for Gathering Information: The SAP outlines a plan for gathering information.  For each learning goal, the assessment plan includes:
    • At least one form of indirect assessment (measuring students’ perception of their own progress through instruments such as student surveys, exit interviews, etc.)
    • At least one form of direct assessment (measuring faculty perception of students’ progress through instruments such as rubrics for a capstone, common course, or learning goal, standardized exams, etc.)
    • A planned cycle for assessment of the goals (not all goals are assessed each year).
  • Copies of assessment instruments are included in the SAP.

The Academic Assessment Committee and the Committee on Faculty monitors every SAP 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.  Department and programs also have available graduate placement in graduate schools 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.