Our academic, student support, and administrative units are committed to excellence in student learning, educational practices, and operational outcomes on an annual basis. Because no single approach to assessment is universally accepted, our community members identify different methods of assessment that are appropriate for assessing activities occurring at the program and college-level. While our faculty and staff within each program and unit are responsible for determining the methods and appropriateness of the assessment measures used, our comprehensive institution-level plan outlines ways to provide evidence of assessment and student learning at an institution-level.
At WCU, we ensure quality and demonstrate continuous improvement through annual assessments (Continuous Improvement Reports or CIRs) and Periodic Program/Unit Reviews for both academic and administrative units. At WCU, we gather evidence of our effectiveness across four areas of the institution: academic, student services, administrative units, and institutional data.
Our institutional vision is to be a model of student learning and engagement and our mission is to create learning opportunities that incorporate teaching, research, service, and engagement. In order to assess student learning at the course, program, college, and institution-level, WCU also considers data on student learning through our General Education (Liberal Studies) Curriculum and Quality Enhancement Program, DegreePlus.
It is our policy for unit leaders to review the annual continuous improvement reports (CIRs) and submit the final version to the Office of Assessment. Assessment activities at the college-level general occurs annual at the ends of our spring terms and reports are submitted each year by mid-June.
Assessment of learning at WCU is designed to measure student skills, knowledge, and accomplishments at the program-level. All of our academic programs, including majors, stand-alone minors, and certificates, are required to engage in ongoing outcomes-based program assessment requiring annual assessment reporting.
We believe that defining goals for each program area is an important step in establishing an assessment plan. Our faculty in each program are responsible for developing program assessment plans that are appropriate for their discipline. For each academic major, goals are defined, students’ progress toward these goals is monitored, and results are used to continue, modify, or reinforce aspects of the program to ensure continuous advancement in program quality.
Assessment plans at the program-level reflect our university’s strategic vision and the mission and goals of the program or unit. Each plan includes a listing of the intended student learning outcomes (including any program outcomes) and the means for determining whether the desired outcomes are being achieved.