Linking Program Assessment to Institutional Goals
Integration of major institutional research-based planning and evaluation processes is a mechanism to focus all university constituents on implementing and evaluating strategic initiatives designed to improve institutional quality and effectiveness. While educational program assessment to foster evidence-based improvements is strongly infused in the culture of many universities, drawing intentional connections between program assessment, which primarily focuses on student learning outcomes, and institutional strategic planning, can be challenging for faculty. This paper highlights the assessment work of three diverse disciplines in a large public research institution that have articulated connections between their program’s student learning and program outcomes and elements of the university strategic plan. Case studies are reported to show how program assessment outcomes and measures can be linked. This paper explores the benefits and challenges of explicitly linking outcomes or measures in program assessment to university planning.
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