Degree-Level Assessment Process

During the 2013-2014 academic year, each department submitted an assessment plan for each degree program addressing the following critical components:

  1. What are the degree-level learning outcomes?
  2. What data will be collected to assess the learning outcomes?
  3. How are the data being used to improve student learning?

Departments are asked to implement their assessment plans and write an assessment progress report by mid-November each year. Departments should collect data on at least one student learning outcome each year. Though use of assessment results is not required every year, departments are asked to document their use of assessment results for program improvement at least every 3 years. It is also expected that a full assessment cycle (assessment of all learning outcomes) will be completed at least every 8 years.

Generally an assessment report will reflect data from the prior academic year. The report should provide information about progress made in evidence collection, results interpretation, and use of results. Below are questions to guide your thinking:

  1. What are your current degree-level learning outcomes? Have the learning outcomes been modified over the last year?
  2. What evidence of student learning was collected in the past year? Which learning outcomes does the evidence address?
  3. What have you learned from the evidence you collected?
  4. What recommendations have been generated from discussions of assessment results among the faculty?
  5. What changes did you make as a result of these assessments in the past year?

The next degree-level assessment reports due date is November 14, 2017. Please click here for a description of how to upload your report electronically.

To help units complete their assessment plans and reports, the Office of the Provost and Center for Teaching Excellence will provide continuous workshops, consultation, and support. In addition, the CTE's Documenting Learning Specialist, Joshua Potter (, is available to help units through this process. Joshua will be offering assessment workshops and individual consultations to help units design and implement meaningful assessment plans and reports. Visit the CTE website for a list of workshops and other assessment resources. Please contact for technical support with the Assessment System Online.

Examples of Excellent Degree-Level Assessment Reports

Many departments at KU are engaged in the study of student learning, and their approaches to assessment involve a diversity of methods and practice. Indeed, there is no one best approach to assessment -- all departments have their different strengths, epistemological orientations, and curriculum structures. The examples below, therefore, are intended to be illustrative, but not exhaustive, of excellence in assessment. Exploring these examples may be helpful as you work on your own department's plan.

Documenting, Reporting and Using Assessment Results for Program Improvement

The ultimate goal of student learning outcomes assessment is to enable faculty and programs to plan and implement program improvements to facilitate student learning. In order to achieve this goal, assessment needs to be a shared responsibility.

  • Program faculty are expected to document how they have collected, analyzed, reviewed, and used the assessment results to enhance their programs as a whole.
  • Department chairs and program directors are responsible for coordinating student learning outcomes assessment within their units. They are also responsible for engaging faculty in discussion and use of assessment results.
  • Deans are responsible for coordinating student learning outcomes assessment within their schools. They are also responsible for establishing internal reporting processes and schedules that ensure that assessments are occurring on a regular basis, and that the results are being used to improve programs as appropriate.
  • The Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs coordinates the assessment process, in collaboration with the University Academic Assessment Committee (UAAC), and discusses general recommendations at the university level with deans, department chairs and undergraduate and graduate directors as needed.
  • The University Academic Assessment Committee (UAAC) considers general assessment issues and makes recommendations to the Office of Academic Affairs.

KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times