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Working Group 8: Institutional Assessment and Student Learning Assessment

Standard 7: Institutional Assessment
The institution has developed and implemented an assessment process that evaluates its overall effectiveness in achieving its mission and goals and its compliance with accreditation standards.

Fundamental Elements of Institutional Assessment
An accredited institution is expected to possess or demonstrate the following attributes or activities:

  • documented, organized, and sustained assessment process to evaluate and improve the total range of programs and services; achievement of institutional mission, goals, and plans; and compliance with accreditation standards that meets the following criteria:
    • a foundation in the institutionís mission and clearly articulated institutional, unit-level, and program-level goals that encompass all programs, services, and initiatives and are appropriately integrated with one another (see Standards 1: Mission and Goals and 2: Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal);
    • systematic, sustained, and thorough use of multiple qualitative and/or quantitative measures that:
      • maximize the use of existing data and information;
      • clearly and purposefully relate to the goals they are assessing;
      • are of sufficient quality that results can be used with confidence to inform decisions;
    • support and collaboration of faculty and administration;
    • clear realistic guidelines and a timetable, supported by appropriate investment of institutional resources;
    • sufficient simplicity, practicality, detail, and ownership to be sustainable;
    • periodic evaluation of the effectiveness and comprehensiveness of the institutionís assessment process;
  • evidence that assessment results are shared and discussed with appropriate constituents and used in institutional planning, resource allocation, and renewal (see Standard 2: Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal) to improve and gain efficiencies in programs, services and processes, including activities specific to the institutionís mission (e.g., service, outreach, research); and†
  • written institutional (strategic) plan(s) that reflect(s) consideration of assessment results.

Standard 14: Assessment of Student Learning
Assessment of student learning demonstrates that, at graduation, or other appropriate points, the institutionís students have knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with institutional and appropriate higher education goals.

Fundamental Elements of Assessment of Student Learning
An accredited institution is expected to possess or demonstrate the following attributes or activities.

  • clearly articulated statements of expected student learning outcomes (see Standard 11: Educational Offerings), at all levels (institution, degree/program, course) and for all programs that aim to foster student learning and development, that are:
    • appropriately integrated with one another;
    • consonant with the institutionís mission; and
    • consonant with the standards of higher education and of the relevant disciplines;
  • a documented, organized, and sustained assessment process to evaluate and improve student learning that meets the following criteria:
    • systematic, sustained, and thorough use of multiple qualitative and/or quantitative measures that:
      • maximize the use of existing data and information;
      • clearly and purposefully relate to the goals they are assessing;
      • are of sufficient quality that results can be used with confidence to inform decisions; and
      • include direct evidence of student learning;
    • support and collaboration of faculty and administration;
    • clear, realistic guidelines and timetable, supported by appropriate investment of institutional resources;
    • sufficient simplicity, practicality, detail, and ownership to be sustainable; and
    • periodic evaluation of the effectiveness and comprehensiveness of the institutionís student learning assessment processes;
  • assessment results that provide sufficient, convincing evidence that students are achieving key institutional and program learning outcomes;
  • evidence that student learning assessment information is shared and discussed with appropriate constituents and is used to improve teaching and learning; and
  • documented use of student learning assessment information as part of institutional assessment.
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