Assessing Student Learning in Higher Education

Section 1

Section 2
Background and Rationale for Assessment

Section 3
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Section 4
Assessment Tools and Data

Section 5
Course Assessment

Section 6
Program Assessment
Setting the Stage
Defining Programs
Program SLOs
General Education Programs
Program Assessment Tools
Homegrown Program Assessment Tools
Program/Course Matrix
Program Review and Program Assessment
Sample Program Assessment Reports

Section 7
Closing the Loop

Section 8
Implementing Assessment Training on Campus


Section 9
References & Resources



Using Materials from this Website



Sample Program Assessment Reports

Data from program assessment should be aggregated to protect individual student privacy, individual faculty member's privacy, and individual course sections. The aggregated information is used when preparing unit, department, and institutional assessment reports. Use of the data must be clearly explained. (Will it effect grades, program completion, certificate or degree awards, or only be used for information?)

Program Assessment Reports are most useful when they are aligned with and incorporated into reports that can be integrated into program review and accreditation reports. A program assessment report should include aggregated data and be condensed to minimally include the essential elements shown in the template below.

Sample Program Assessment Report Template

Title of Program:

Program Mission or Goal:

Student Learning Outcomes:

Measurement Methods and Processes:

Data Summary (overview):

Use of Results (in decision making, curricular changes, etc.):

Timeline for Program Modifications or Response to Data:

Appendixes for supporting data

Samples of model reports are found at the links in the resource section. While some of these reports have varying length depending on the amount of supportive data included as evidence and the space required to write the SLOs, the reports are executive summaries of less than one page to a maximum of two pages in length excluding appendixes and Student Learning Outcomes statements.

Some institutions are using a simple table to report on each SLO as shown below.

Program Assessment Report        Department:
Program SLO Method of Assessment Summary Data Interpretation of Results Positive Findings Areas for Improvement Timeline

Ultimately the overall report should be focused and indicate evidenced based modifications subsequent to the assessment. Program assessment, like course assessment, should focus on 1 or 2 SLOs per year. It is better to close the loop on one SLO that to partially complete assessment and reporting for each SLO.

After completing this section the participants should be able to:

Create a set of DRAFT SLOs for a program through faculty dialogue.

Plan for and implement assessment for one or two program SLOs each year.  

Take a moment to consider and write down aspects of your campus program review process and accreditation preparation that might align with program assessment.

List any people that could begin the discussion to streamline these processes.

Proceed to Section 7 - Closing the Loop

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Resources and Links


Sample Reports

Courtland State University in the SUNY System

University of Washington Program Assessment Reports

Busy Chairpersons Guide for Departmental Assessment Reporting
























Section 6
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Janet Fulks
Assessing Student Learning in Community Colleges (2004), Bakersfield College