Program Learning Outcomes Assessment Expectations for Programs

1) All degree programs, including credit-bearing certificate programs, must have defined learning outcomes for the program that reflect what students will know and be able to do upon completion of the program. These may include statements about student attitudes and habits of mind, if appropriate.

  • Learning outcomes for all programs are published here. Programs and Departments may also decide to publish learning outcomes on their websites and include them in their descriptions in the Bulletin.
  • For assistance writing or revising learning outcomes, please consult the following guide. It is helpful to use a mapping process to ensure that learning outcomes accurately reflect the curriculum. Mapping also helps determine opportunities for assessment by identifying where in the curriculum students can be expected to demonstrate their mastery of each learning outcome.

2) Programs must identify measures to assess each of their learning outcomes. A single measure may be used to assess more than one learning outcome, and multiple measures may be assigned to a single outcome, if appropriate. Programs should aim for a combination of direct measures, such as review of student capstone papers using a rubric, and indirect measures, such as student exit interviews or focus groups. How to Choose an Assessment Method

  • Direct measures: Senior theses, final papers, or other graded projects, comprehensive exams, certification or licensure exams, capstone courses, portfolio evaluations, writing proficiency exams, performance assessments for graduating seniors, locally developed pre- and post- tests, GRE subject exams.
  • Indirect measures: Student surveys, focus group discussions, job placement data, exit interviews, alumni surveys, tracking of alumni awards and achievements, employer surveys, graduate school acceptance rates.

3) Since not all outcomes need to be assessed every year, programs must devise a schedule for assessing all learning outcomes over time to ensure that the appropriate evidence is collected and that responsibility for difference stages of the process are clearly assigned. You may use the assessment plan template here to create an assessment plan to refer to from year to year.

4) Annual reports are due for each degree program each November 15. In the report, programs should describe their assessment work during the past year, summarizing key results and findings and describing actions that will be taken as a result. Instructions for submitting the annual report may be found here.

  • Information gained from learning outcomes assessment is used not only to improve programs, but also as a rationale for curriculum changes in the curriculum proposal process (eCAP) and in academic program review (APR) as evidence of student learning.