June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Educational Research and Methods
24.1116.1 - 24.1116.20
Student Learning Outcomes: Effectively Satisfying Multiple Accreditation RequirementsAbstractIn June 2013, re-accreditation self-study reports for nine undergraduate engineering programswere submitted to ABET, Inc., and the university’s Periodic Review Report (PRR) wassubmitted to the regional accrediting body, the Middle States Council on Higher Education(MSCHE). Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) is a primary requirement of bothagencies, each with a significantly different scope, focus, reporting requirements and criteria orstandards. Effectively satisfying both demands can be challenging for many reasons, includingleadership and coordination at many levels, avoidance of duplicative effort, faculty buy in, andavailability of resources. Below we discuss how we addressed or are addressing these challenges.In response to MSCHE’s evaluation of our 2008 university self study, a 2009 progress reportdescribed “progress made toward the assessment of student learning outcomes in the College of Arts& Sciences... educational goals adopted at both the program and college levels and… qualitative &quantitative, direct and indirect means…measuring progress toward those goals.” The 2013 PRRprovided “a comprehensive description of the evolution of student learning outcomes assessmentpractices across the university since the last visit , with special attention to the evolution ofsuch practices within the College of Arts and Sciences.” With strong assessment of SLOs inundergraduate programs in the Engineering College, graduate and graduate programs in the BusinessCollege by AACSB, and programs in the graduate-only College of Education, the only area thatlacked an overall SLO assessment plan was the Engineering College’s graduate programs. Withthree different college graduate SLO assessment systems and no overarching assessment system, thechallenge was for university administrators to define a comprehensive SLO assessment program atthe university level while coordinating with the Engineering College as they designed their ownsystem that supports the university system and complement the systems in the other three colleges.The university-level challenge was first addressed by creating a process whereby the standingfaculty Graduate & Research Committee (GRC) and an appointed Enhancing GraduateEducation (EGE) committee worked together to create a sustainable process for periodicprogram review with the individual program leaders. In this review, the program leaders providetheir interpretation of the five new university-level graduate student learning competencies:Knowledge, Application of Knowledge, Context, Communication, and Leadership, theirmethodology for incorporating the learning competencies into their academic program and theirmeans of assessment and continual improvement. MSCHE’s overall evaluation of our PRR was“superlative” including “university assessment practices of graduate Student LearningOutcomes [were] particularly thoughtful...the plans and the examples of implementation…thesupport structure for Student Learning Assessment at the college level, point to a strongarticulation between the University vision and the programmatic outcomes assessment.”The current implementation of the framework in graduate programs in the Engineering Collegeis evolving, with early advocates of SLO assessment, such as the Technical EntrepreneurshipDirector, providing leadership and sharing best practices of effective assessment programs toachieve the goal of them being useful and sustainable. A status of assessment chart is used tosummarize the degree to which progress is being made overall and in each of the colleges.
Lennon, G. P., & Ochs, J. B., & Brown, D. G. (2014, June), Student Learning Outcomes: Effectively Satisfying Multiple Accreditation Requirements Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23049
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