Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes Policy

  • Custodian of Policy: Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
    Effective Date: Fall 2017
    Last Review: April 2017
    Next Review: 2020
    Relevant MnSCU Policy:

    Policy

    The University Assessment Committee oversees assessment planning and reporting for all departments involved in student learning across the university, including both curricular and co-curricular areas. The committee is charged with assuring that these areas have a commitment to student learning that aligns with the mission, vision and strategic priorities of the university. The Committee reports directly to the Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs.

    University Student Learning Outcomes

    1. The Assessment Committee is charged with the responsibility for creating and maintaining university wide student learning outcomes.
    2. The Committee will assure that these learning outcomes are mapped to all of the curricular and co-curricular areas involved with student learning.
    3. The Committee will have responsibility for monitoring assessment of the university-wide learning outcomes in these areas to assure that the university is fulfilling the promises articulated in its mission and vision statements.

    Program Learning Outcomes Assessment

    1. The Assessment Committee oversees the assessment procedure for academic programs at MSUM and approves all plans and reports. The Assessment Committee reports directly to the Provost and Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs.
    2. Each baccalaureate, Master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree program will review its assessment plan and file an assessment report every year. It is expected that programs will routinely gather and analyze assessment data and make appropriate changes.
    3. Each program should specify a set of student learning outcomes for the students who graduate with the degree or certificate. Each program should also identify multiple measures to assess those learning outcomes. If a measure is not identified for each outcome, the program should clearly identify which are not being assessed and why. Each program will have assessed each outcome at least once during a three-year review cycle. At least one assessment measure used by a program must be direct.
    4. Each degree program’s list of student learning outcomes will be published in the appropriate MSUM Bulletin. Prior to their publication, the Assessment Committee must approve the student learning outcomes. Any changes to those outcomes must be approved by the Assessment Committee.
    5. The department chair, or designee, is responsible for initiating assessment planning and reporting within the department/program. Departments and/or programmatic committees will formally approve the assessment plans and reports for which they are responsible.
    6. Programs that have external accreditation are required to provide the Assessment Committee with the Accredited Programs Cover Sheet, a copy of all student learning assessment reports made to their accrediting agency, and response from the agency as allowed by the agency’s timeline. On the Accredited Programs Cover Sheet, externally accredited programs should note specifically where the most recent accrediting report addresses MSUM student learning outcomes such as LASCs and U-WSLOs. Any changes to the program’s outcomes must be reported to Assessment Committee via the Accredited Programs Cover Sheet for its review. Accredited programs are encouraged to consult with the Assessment Committee as necessary and use its resources to inform their assessment procedures.
    7. Upon approval, each program’s plan and report will be posted to the Assessment of Student Learning Web site. The Assessment Committee faculty co-chair will provide regular information to the appropriate Dean or Director regarding a program’s status in the assessment review cycle.
    8. Members of the UAC will provide a written response to the department following submission of the department or program’s assessment plan and report.
    9. Each year, the Assessment Committee chairs will report on assessment of student learning to the Provost’s Council and the President’s Cabinet.

    General Education Assessment Policies

    1. The Assessment Committee will be responsible for gathering and analyzing data about how effectively the general education program achieves its learning outcomes.
    2. The Assessment Committee will develop a timeline for assessing each goal area in the general education program.
    3. After seeking broad consultation, the Assessment Committee will develop the measures through which the student learning outcomes for each goal area are assessed. These measures may include university-wide or course-specific assessments.
    4. When a particular goal area is being assessed, departments teaching courses in that goal area will be required to participate in assessment measures developed by the University Assessment Committee.
    5. The Assessment Committee will publish on its website the aggregated results of general education assessment measures. To the extent possible, departments will be provided feedback about how their students learn on each measure as compared with the university mean score.
    6. The Assessment Committee will recommend to the Policy Administrator changes that should be made to the general education program as a result of its assessment.

    Co-Curricular Department Assessment Policies

    1. Each Co-curricular department director, or designee, is responsible for initiating assessment planning and reporting within the department. These efforts should be aligned with the mission, vision, and strategic priorities of the university.
    2. Each Co-curricular department will routinely gather and analyze assessment data and plans to ensure they are leading to program improvement. Each department will maintain records on the status of the development, modification, and implementation of these assessment plans.
    3. Each Co-curricular department, if applicable, should specify a set of student learning outcomes to guide professional practice. Each department should also identify measures to assess each student learning outcome.
    4. Each Co-curricular department responsible for fostering student learning will review its assessment plan and file an assessment report to the Assessment Committee and the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at a minimum of once every three years.
    5. Each Co-curricular department’s list of student learning outcomes will be available on the university web site. Prior to publication, the Assessment Committee must approve the student learning outcomes. Any changes to those outcomes must be approved by the Assessment Committee.
    6. Upon approval by the Assessment Committee, each Co-curricular department’s plan and report will be posted to the Assessment of Student Learning website.
    7. Each Co-curricular department is responsible for sharing assessment information with constituencies including students and stakeholders.

    Rationale

    As part of the University Assessment Committee charge, it is tasked with developing a policy regarding the assessment of student learning outcomes.