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Overview of Program Assessment


What is program assessment?

Program assessment is an ongoing process used by students, faculty, and staff to provide information about the impact of program activities on student learning. The goal of this work is to improve student learning outcomes. It should not be used as a tool to evaluate individual students, faculty, or staff.

What are the steps of the program assessment process?

While assessment plans for individual programs will vary, the process generally looks the same.

As you implement program assessment, documentation of learning outcomes and assessment procedures is an essential part of the process.  The documentation showcases how your program uses student assessment data and information to continually improve learning and overall effectiveness. Below is a template you can use for documenting.

As you’re developing your assessment plan consider each step in the process:

  1. Determine learning outcomes
  2. Curriculum Mapping (Align goals with courses)
  3. Collect Assessment Information
  4. Review Assessment Data
  5. Communicate & Use Assessment Results
  6. Close the Loop

Why is program assessment important?

Drake promises to offer its students “an exceptional learning environment that prepares students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and responsible global citizenship.” Every academic program, as well as the Drake Curriculum, has an obligation to keep and substantiate this promise. Assessment evidence can help us ensure that we are in fact, in fact, fulfilling that promise.


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