Chapter 6 - Criterion Three: Student Learning and Effective Teaching
The organization provides evidence of student learning and teaching effectiveness that demonstrates it is fulfilling its educational mission.
Building a Culture of Assessment
The academic assessment plan developed during the 1990s, while updated and refined several times during the past decade, continues to provide the framework for assessment of student learning, through the use of student projects that demonstrate competencies in each of the University Abilities.
The impact of NCATE on assessment at VCSU has been significant. In preparation for the 2008 campus visit, faculty in the School of Education and Graduate Studies
designed a data system to collect the variety of assessments already being gathered, so they could be organized and accessed effectively. In addition, the self study process for this visit required each content area to identify three assessments being used to guide curricular decisions for that area. Since virtually every academic area across campus has students in the secondary education program, this requirement pushed faculty in every division to think more systematically about assessment, data collection, and the uses of that information.
Comments from the NCATE Board of Examiners' Report indicate the success of the School of Education and Graduate Studies (SEGS) in developing and implementing this data system:
- The unit [SEGS] has invested a tremendous amount of effort to develop a comprehensive assessment system that assesses and monitors candidate performance. Data for initial and advanced programs are regularly collected, aggregated, summarized and analyzed by the dean and assessment coordinator who then route results to selected individuals and committees who have may an interest in the findings.
- The assessment system provides regular information on applicants' qualifications and candidate performance at key transition points at both the initial and advanced levels. The data are drawn from multiple assessments from both internal (rubrics and surveys developed by the unit) and external (PPST, Praxis) sources. Assessments are completed by many stakeholders including: cooperating teachers, employers, graduates, faculty, candidates and supervisors.
Current efforts to build on that momentum - the development of an Assessment Committee in 2010 comprised of faculty from every division; the requirement that each program submit an annual program update (APU) with annual data, goals, and reflection; the continued improvements to assessment of the Abilities projects in summer workshops - attest to VCSU's concern for strengthening an understanding and use of academic assessment at all levels - classroom, program, and institution.