HLC Assessment Academy

 

From 2010-2014, Northeastern State University took part in the Higher Learning Commission's Assessment Academy. Two projects were proposed:

  1. To assess the efficacy of NSU's new General Education curriculum
  2. Review student learning assessment at the course and program levels

Project one entailed collaborative efforts with the Academy team, administration, the General Education Committee and the Student Learning and Assessment Committee, and student learning coordinators in each college. Results suggested that the current ETS Proficiency Profile was not closely aligned with General Education outcomes; hence, there was a need to develop rubrics to assess general education outcomes as course-embedded assessments and a need to modify the GE capstone course.

Project two revealed that course and program assessment was compartmentalized by course or major, making it difficult to synthesize those data in terms of institutional, degree outcomes. The institution implemented an enhanced focus on assessment professional development through the Center for Teaching and Learning as well as adoption of the Degrees of Excellence outcomes to better articulate the knowledge and skills students gain through earning a baccalaureate degree at NSU. These degree outcomes include engaging intellectual skills including critical inquiry, diverse perspectives, quantitative reasoning, and communication fluency; demonstrating integrative knowledge; attaining specialized knowledge in the major; completing a capstone or culminating experience that requires integration of degree expectations with career or post-baccalaureate settings; and citizenship experiences that emphasize leadership and engagement.

Working from these projects, the institution has progressed in its implementation of assessment techniques to measure student learning, modify curricula and student experiences, and use data to inform decisions across the institution.