Program assessment involves providing evidence of the effectiveness of your courses and curriculum. While reporting this evidence may be used to fulfill accreditation requirements, it is also useful for determining whether your college, department or faculty are achieving student objectives that you have identified.
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges (SACS), yet assessment practices at the university extend beyond SACS to include many other accreditation agencies and as well as our own practices of assessment.
In accordance with SACS requirements, student learning must be assessed each year, although specific outcomes need not ALL be assessed in the same cycle. The assessment cycle for programs serves a how-to guide for faculty and staff as they go about thinking through the process of evaluating and developing their programs. Each component of the assessment cycle has links that clarify the purpose for that particular part of the process and how to implement it.
A timeline of assessment reporting activities (i.e., when annual reports are due, etc.) can be found below:
- Decide what students in departments should be able to do.
- Decide what assessments will best help students demonstrate these competencies and develop a plan for how these assessments will take place.
- Carry out the assessments.
- Collect the data.
- Analyze and interpret results.
- Compare results with last year’s results, if applicable.
- Share results with faculty and determine if there has been improvement from the previous year.
- Identify what needs to be done to improve programs, if applicable.
Submit previous academic year’s report in Compliance Assist. This is done every year.
Other important resources for Program Assessment can be found below: