Provost & Academic Vice President

Plan of Assessment of Student Learning

Revised: Student Learning Assessment Committee: 11-02-06

The assessment of student learning is a multifarious process involving faculty and university staff at the department, college, and university level. The process is guided by:

  • the University Higher Values in Higher Education- Strategic Plan 2004,
  • the Philosophy of Assessment of Student Learning,
  • the General Education Philosophy and Goals,
  • and the Student Learning Assessment Committee (SLAC) Mission and Purpose,
  • and the Graduate Council operating papers.

Purpose of Assessment

The purpose of assessment of student learning is to support the university mission by continually improving undergraduate and graduate education through the cyclical process of identifying learning outcomes, assessing the students' achievement of those outcomes, analyzing the results of learning assessment and using those results as a basis for enhancing the curriculum and the teaching-learning process. Assessment activities will be conducted at various times throughout the university experience and at the alumni level. Program and curricular improvement will be achieved through assessment of general education and of program majors. Individual student learning and progress will be ascertained through assessment in the major. Consistent with the expectations of the public, governing boards, and accrediting bodies, as well as of students, faculty and administrators, the university will inform these constituencies about the achievement and progress of students in meeting academic expectations.

Responsibility for the Assessment of Student Learning

Assessment of student learning is primarily the responsibility of faculty. The Associate Provost is accountable for overseeing assessment throughout the institution in consultation with deans and department chairs, and with the assistance of the Assessment Coordinator assigned to the Provost’s Office.

Assessment of Student Learning in General Education

The plan of assessment is a blueprint for the assessment of student learning in the two academic components forming the undergraduate degree requirement: the General Education Curriculum distribution requirements and the major. These components are to be viewed as complementary and not in isolation.

Assessment in the Undergraduate Major

Plans for the assessment of student learning in the major are developed, reviewed and revised as needed by the departments, reviewed by college deans, and submitted to the Office of the Provost. Approval of major assessment plans rests with the Provost's Office.

Assessment in the Graduate Program

Plans for the assessment of student learning in the graduate degree program are developed, reviewed and revised as needed by the departments, reviewed by college deans, and submitted to the Office of the Provost with copies to the Graduate Council. Approval of program assessment plans rests with the Provost's Office.

Results of Assessment

Results of assessment of student learning are to be used in curriculum review. Results are reported to faculty and students through various means including the Assessment of Student Learning Website, periodic newsletters, academic advisors, etc. On the basis of these results, in the areas of general education, undergraduate majors, and graduate programs, interventions are designed by the appropriate faculty to improve student learning.

Evaluation of Assessment Plan

Assessment is an ongoing process and is, itself, to be assessed for effectiveness in enhancing student learning and achievement.

The Associate Provost will evaluate the assessment process annually by enumerating curricular and other educational changes resulting from the assessment process. Results of this process will form the basis for periodic refinement and revision of the Plan of Assessment of Student Learning, which will be regularly reviewed and updated by the Student Learning Assessment Committee (SLAC). Appropriate faculty and administrative units or other campus constituencies will periodically review the assessment processes and outcomes and provide recommendations for the purpose of improving the process. When appropriate, additional forms of evaluation will be used, such as evaluations by outside agencies (e.g., North Central Accreditation Association, Illinois Board of Higher Education, etc.), administration, faculty, and student surveys, etc.