As the scope of assessment widens, it involves multiple committees, academic and student affairs programs in a well-planned and organized cycle. Central to this process is the central collection point or person for the data and the accountability of committees and academic and non-academic programs for reporting, disseminating, and publishing the summative results of the assessments.
The Director of Institutional Research and Assessment serves as the central office for campus assessment. The Assessment Committee advises the Director while serving as a conduit between the Director and programs. The roles of this office include: conducting and reporting on student surveys, assisting with the annual General Education Review, Program Review, and Annual Program Update, and Student Affairs Annual Report processes. In addition, this office has facilitated in creating Student Affairs Learning Outcomes; established dashboards for reporting enrollment, retention, program completion, survey results; and assisting in accreditation processes.
Aims of University-Wide Assessment
- Provide a continuous source of essential information for instructional improvement and assessment of student academic achievement
- Provide information for making institutional decisions about budget, strategic planning, faculty development, and program changes
- Provide a framework for Learning Outcomes Assessment across academic programs
- Provide a well-planned systematic process for data collection
Undergraduate Assessment of Student Learning
Learning Outcome assessment at VCSU is designed to develop an overall understanding of student achievement. The Learning Outcomes provide a framework for tracking growth in student learning from initial work in the General Education courses, the academic and non-academic programs, and the Senior Portfolio. University-Wide Learning Outcome assessment allows the University to:
- Demonstrate the development of each Learning Outcome during the undergraduate educational experiences at VCSU
- Ensure a consistent educational experience for all students
- Assess learning experiences in General Education courses and strengthen the links between General Education and the major programs
- Effectively provide data for Institutional Review and Curriculum Planning
The Process of University-Wide Assessment
The University-wide Assessment Framework Includes:
- Student surveys: Surveys are conducted in the fall for incoming freshmen, in the spring with upper level general education students, and both fall and spring with graduating seniors. The formative surveys were implemented Fall 2009 for the purpose of showing students’ perceived growth.
- Portfolios: Every graduating senior must submit a digital portfolio. Portfolios are based on the program Learning Outcomes within the student’s major field of study and are evaluated by the faculty in the student’s academic major. The portfolio review provides programs with information about student growth in their areas and provides validation of the program’s Learning Outcomes project assessment.
- Program Review: General Education, academic programs, non-academic programs participate in annual reviews. The Director of Institutional Research and Assessment helps facilitate these reviews.
University-Wide Assessment consists of information gathered from student surveys, Senior Portfolios, program assessment, General Education assessment, and a variety of other sources. The results from these formative and summative assessment measures are made available to academic units throughout the institution.