Western Carolina University (WCU) is committed to excellence in student learning, educational practices, and operational outcomes. Our academic programs, student support services, and administrative units engage in ongoing outcomes assessment to reflect the strategic vision of the university. All units are responsible for identifying specific outcomes, measuring progress, and implementing improvements based on findings. As an institution, we ensure quality and demonstrate continuous improvement through annual assessments (Continuous Improvement Reports or CIRs) and periodic review and evaluation of our academic programs, student support services, and administrative units.
Assessment activities at WCU are guided by our university's mission and vision to become a national model for student learning and engagement. This leads us to assess student learning in courses as well as in non-curricular and co-curricular educational experiences. In addition to program-level assessment, WCU evaluates student learning at the institutional level in our General Education (Liberal Studies) and QEP, DegreePlus.
The purpose of assessment in administrative and student support units is to collect, analyze, and use data to drive improvements in the functions of our units/departments/programs. Administrative and student support units uphold our institutional values of responsible stewardship and organizational effectiveness by assessing outcomes to improve their operations.
Program / unit review provides a formative and comprehensive evaluation of the operation and strategic direction for the academic programs, student support services, and administrative units. This process allows faculty and staff the opportunity to articulate goals and explain how current activities support their aspirations. Each unit's ongoing assessment and strategic planning activities are critical to the review process. At WCU, we review all academic programs on a five-year cycle and student support and administrative units on a seven-year cycle.