Academic Program Assessment

Each academic program leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate is required to submit an annual Program Assessment Report (PAR) in the fall. These PARs include Program Outcomes, Student Learning Outcomes, and Improvement Strategies. All of these components align with both university and department/program missions. There is a distinction between Program and Student Learning Outcomes:

Program Outcomes are components that relate to the structure, administration, and support services offered by the program. They serve to meet institutional, regional, and accreditation/assessment expectations and improve the quality of the programs as a whole. Examples of Program Outcomes include: enrollment trends, admission selectivity, graduation rates, publications by faculty/students, selected items from student satisfaction surveys, and job placement.

Student Learning Outcomes focus on assessing how well students are learning. Student Learning Outcomes assess major knowledge, skills, values, and behaviors taught in the discipline and that are achieved upon completion of the program. These achievement outcomes inform faculty and program leaders for teaching effectiveness, curriculum design, and academic support services. The ultimate goal of the assessment findings is to develop specific strategies to directly improve the quality of education the students receive. Examples of student learning outcomes include: knowledge of the discipline, use of technology, critical thinking skills, and written/oral communication skills.

Be advised that for the 2016 PARs, advanced communication skills, including writing skills, will be a required Student Learning Outcome.

Don’t forget to check the Assessment Documents and Resources link below for your convenience.

The OAA has designed templates, guidelines, and reference documents based on best practices in assessment to make available to program contacts to support the academic and non-academic program assessment process.

Workshop Presentation:

Program Assessment Planning: Outcomes and Measures (Academic) - SPRING 2016