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Evidence of Student Learning

student studying on laptop


We gather evidence of student learning assessment activities through annual continuous improvement reporting (CIR). At the program-level, assessment strategies measure student skills, knowledge, and accomplishments. The data is collected and utilized to determine recommendations for the next academic year. We value transparency and continuously strive to improve the educational experiences of our students. The summaries below outline current evidence from both direct and indirect student learning assessments at the program and institution levels.


Academic Programs

All of our academic programs assess their operational and/or student learning outcomes and report them in an annual Continuous Improvement Report (CIR). Continuous improvement reporting and assessment for academic programs follow the expectations and principles of our institutional accreditor and National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment. To view a summary of assessment results, refer to our Evidence by College


General Education (Liberal Studies)

In Summer 2019, a total of 43 faculty members met to conduct a multidisciplinary review of four student learning outcomes addressed in the General Education (Liberal Studies) Curriculum. A collection of 56 distinct artifacts from 81 course sections were reviewed. Rubrics utilized by all participating faculty members were provided to evaluate performance indicators related to each of the four student learning outcomes. 

Quality Enhancement Plan

WCU’s QEP, DegreePlus, fosters student participation in extracurricular activities that promote transferable skill development. DegreePlus events are developed by our faculty and staff to enhance student understanding of cultural responsiveness, leadership, professionalism, and/or teamwork.

Since Fall 2017, there have been over 500 DegreePlus events.  Of the four QEP themes, events highlighting cultural responsiveness and professionalism have been the most frequent.  

Institutional Surveys

WCU uses National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) data to identify aspects of the undergraduate experience related to curricular and co-curricular learning. In 2015, WCU had 397 first-year students and 388 seniors complete the survey. In 2018, WCU had 289 first-year students and 317 seniors complete the survey. Although NSSE does not assess student learning directly, the results point to areas where our institution performs well and areas that could be improved. 

In 2018, NSSE captured students reporting on how much their experience at WCU contributed to knowledge, skills, and personal development in several areas. Graduating senior students reported that their experience at WCU contributed to their ability to think critically and analytically, work effectively with others, communicate clearly and effectively, and solve complex real-world problems. 

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