Program Assessment Overview
What is Program Assessment?
"Program-level assessment looks at how well all students in a program have achieved program-level learning goals". (Suskie, 2018, p.17). Furthermore, it is defined as a systematic and continuous process of collecting, analyzing and using information to improve student learning and the program as defined in the program mission, goals and student learning outcomes. The goal is continuous improvement of student learning, thus program.
Program Assessment answers the following questions:
What do we want our students to learn in our program? (program mission, goals, outcomes)
How are we helping them learn? (Curriculum maps)
How do we know that our students are learning what we want them to learn? (Data/Evidence)
What have we learned about student learning to further improve student learning/program? (Use the Results)
Did the changes made improve student learning? (Implement change & Reassess)
Program assessment cycle below depicts the process. For details on each component of the program assessment cycle please visit Program Assessment Tools.
Why do we need Program Assessment?
- To improve student learning and programs
- To do self-study for Middle-States Accreditation and Academic Program Review (APR)
- To make student learning outcomes the important driven force for program improvements
- To become Data-Driven-Decision Makers
- To identify changes and resources needed
- To inform concerned stakeholders
How to do Program Assessment?
Plan, Do, Check and Act (cycle): A basic guide on how to begin program assessment.
Model adapted from “UCF Academic Program Assessment Handbook”, University of Central Florida, ©2005, edition 2008, accessed September 2016 and has been further modified.
Suskie, Linda. Assessing Student Learning, a common sense guide. © 2004 by Anker Publishing now part of Jossey-Bass.