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Departments with responsibility for recruiting new students need to track data in order to understand the needs and interests of potential students. Data collected about enrolled students inform us of student body growth, retention, and graduation. Data gathered from alumni provide information about satisfaction and employment. Current students play two central roles in the assessment plan: (1) they assess various aspects of the University; and (2) they are assessed for learning outcomes. Students offer assessment of the University through surveys, focus groups, interviews, and course evaluations. The results of their assessments provide feedback to the University departments and colleges. Students are assessed through their academic programs to determine the extent to which they meet expected competencies. As noted in the Academic Affairs Assessment Plan, all programs use course-embedded criterion-referenced assessments (CECRAM). Additional assessment methods include licensing examinations and standardized tests.
Institutional assessment at Wilmington University is successful because of the prominent role that students play in that process. Students are asked for their views through multiple methods over the course of their enrollment and after graduation. Students are vital in assessing the quality of instruction, faculty effectiveness, and the overall quality of the academic program. They are also asked to provide information through surveys and focus groups on issues related to instructional support, student services, facilities and instructional resources. Personal reflection and self-assessment is also incorporated to enhance and personalize the assessment process for every student. Wilmington University stands apart because it not only solicits student opinions, but listens to and uses the students’ collective voice in making decisions small and large. Within a geographic region saturated with higher education institutions, on-line degree opportunities, and state supported higher education institutions, focusing on students has been rewarded with a consistent growth trend. A university-wide approach to alumni feedback was put in place in 2009 through the use of alumni surveys administered through Institutional Research. These surveys augmented those that are conducted through various academic programs.