Academic Affairs Outcomes Assessment
The mission of Wilmington University is rooted firmly in building exemplary and innovative academic programs within the context of a student-centered learning environment. Faculty, staff and administration at Wilmington University genuinely care about their students which is expressed in a number of ways including individual attention to students, small class size, mentoring of new students and flexible course delivery models. Further, “excellence in teaching” and “relevance of the curriculum” are viewed as foundational criteria for excellent student service. It is in this spirit that we routinely assess our academic programs to determine the extent to which learning has occurred and student educational needs have been met.
Outcomes assessment of student learning may be defined as ongoing process of:
- Establishing clear, measurable expected outcomes of student learning.
- Ensuring that students have sufficient opportunities to achieve those outcomes.
- Systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well student learning matches our expectations.
- Using the resulting information to understand and improve student learning. (Suskie, 2004, p. 3)
The process of outcomes assessment of student learning at Wilmington University is embraced in the documents below.
- The Academic Affairs Outcomes Assessment Plan is the guiding document for academic assessment and is further defined in a unit plan produced by each college, the Student Success Center and the Library.
- Central to each unit plan is an academic program map which contains specifics including benchmarks, assessment tools and timelines.
- Essential to this process is the use of results which is reported annually at our Outcomes Assessment Summit .
- Additional documents can be found on the Wilmington University Outcomes Assessment Intranet site (password protected).
Source: Suskie, L. (2004). Assessing student learning: A common sense guide. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc
College- and Area-specific Outcomes Assessment
Student learning outcomes, as reported at the University level, relate to the achievement of the graduation and academic program competencies. In addition, the faculty of each undergraduate and graduate academic program has developed maps which guide the respective assessment process. This mapping identifies the linkage of graduation competencies, program competencies, course objectives, and assessment measures. In conjunction with the maps, templates have been developed by faculty as a reporting mechanism and typically define the scheduled assessment activity, benchmarks, annual levels of performance and specific decisions or actions taken (“closing the loop”) to improve student learning. The templates are designed to provide a record of previous year’s data collection and decisions/actions carried out based upon these data.