An important aspect of our educational program is the ongoing analysis of how well our curriculum fulfills the ideals and goals of the college’s mission, educational goals, and the expected learning outcomes articulated by each department and program. Analysis based on learning outcomes plays a crucial role in assessing our programs while maintaining faculty autonomy and creativity.

Each year departments and programs should engage in an annual assessment of their expected learning outcomes. This assessment drives development and implementation of curricula, and completing this assessment annually supports and informs Curriculum Committee reviews, particularly with regard to the report prompt.

Your assessment is an opportunity to explore, understand, and document how your department or program evaluates actual student learning outcomes in relation to expected outcomes and incorporates your assessments into curriculum planning.

A strong assessment includes:

  1. A list all of your department or program student learning outcomes, expressed as statements that clearly articulate what students should be able to do, achieve, demonstrate, or know upon graduation.
  2. A curriculum map that shows how your curriculum is intended to achieve those outcomes.
  3. One or two expected student learning outcomes that you selected for analysis for the current academic year. (These should rotate every year, so that over several years, you have explored each outcome.)
    1. The most significant elements of your program and curriculum that contribute to development of student achievement of the expected learning outcome(s).
    2. The measures (or information and processes) your program uses to understand the degree to which students achieve the expected student learning outcome(s).
    3. What your program has learned about student achievement with respect to the expected outcome(s).
    4. Actions you have taken or plan to take. These might include:
      • Changes to an expected learning outcome(s)
      • Changes in program or curricular elements related to the learning outcome(s)
      • Changes to the ways you measure or collect information about achieving the outcome(s)
  4. One or two expected learning outcomes you will to analyze in the coming academic year:
    1. Measurements or ways of collecting information you intend to use for these outcome(s).
    2. Information necessary in order to conduct a helpful analysis.

Please note that effective, meaningful assessment of learning outcomes does not need to be burdensome or complicated. Whatever the process, establishing meaningful processes to discuss and act on data is key to the usefulness of outcomes assessment.

Please contact Ellen Peters ( Associate Provost, Institutional Research, Planning and Student Success with any questions, comments or concerns. Ellen is available to provide guidance, resources, and data in support of your assessment efforts, regardless of where you are in the process.