The goal of the UW Colleges Assessment Program is to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the curriculum, programs, and services of the institution. This program includes measuring curricular and co-curricular experiences and activities that nurture students' intellectual development. The Office of Academic Affairs and the Senate Assessment Committee, along with committees at each campus and in every department, involve faculty, instructional and professional academic staff, students, and administrators in the development and implementation of assessment measures. The UW Colleges Assessment Program is guided by the UW Colleges Institutional Assessment Coordinator.
Meaningful Assessment of Student Learning
A major focus of this program is the institution-wide assessment of student learning. In preparing students for success in baccalaureate programs, the UW Colleges regards the following areas of proficiency to be of primary importance in the education of our students: Analytical Skills, Quantitative Skills, Communication Skills, and Aesthetic Skills. To assess student learning in these four areas, instructors measure student proficiency using common standards applied across the academic disciplines. This activity is guided by a Department Assessment Coordinator and/or Assessment Committee in each department. The accumulated results are then used as the basis for implementing changes in teaching and curriculum.
In addition to the assessment of institution-wide proficiencies, each academic department and program within the UW Colleges assesses discipline-specific proficiencies. When assessing student mastery of these discipline-specific proficiencies, instructors use common standards developed within each department and program. The results from these assessment activities are used to improve student learning and teaching within the department and program.
Meaningful Assessment of Co-Curricular Experiences
Another major focus of this program is the assessment of co-curricular experiences on each of the thirteen campuses. This is done through the activities of a Campus Assessment Coordinator and/or Assessment Committee on each campus. This assessment provides a measure of the overall experience that students have on campus; areas of interest include academic advising, student organizations, campus climate, collaboration with four-year institutions, course presentation models (including evening degree programs, campus technology and accelerated hybrid programs), Inclusive Excellence, and the use and success of various student services including tutoring centers and writing labs. Each campus can then use the data collected to improve the student experience on campus and to advance its strategic plan.