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"We’re All in the Same Boat": Achieving an Institutional Culture of Assessment

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Accreditation and Outcomes-based Education

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.17.1 - 25.17.18



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Paper Authors


Sandra A. Yost University of Detroit Mercy

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Sandra A. Yost is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy, where she is active in institutional and engineering program assessment. She teaches in the areas of design, E.E. fundamentals, linear systems theory, mechatronics, control systems, and signal processing. She is currently serving on the ASEE Board of Directors as the Vice President for External Relations.

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Laurie A. Britt-Smith University of Detroit Mercy

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Laurie Britt-Smith is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at UDM. She is the Director of the writing program and writing center and a member of the university's assessment team.

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“We’re All in the Same Boat” Achieving an Institutional Culture of AssessmentThis paper is the second of two that explores the application of principles of organizationalchange theory to the problem of achieving valid and sustainable assessment processes in a privateuniversity. In this paper, the results of a pilot effort to achieve systematic assessment activities ina subset of key courses in the University of XXX’s liberal arts core curriculum will be presented,along with the findings from building on these successes.Building on a mandate from the institution’s regional accreditation body, University of XXX is inthe process of implementing a new general education core, consisting of student learningoutcomes that are based on the cognitive levels in Bloom’s taxonomy, rather than a cafeteria-styleassortment of courses. The courses that are being designed or adapted to satisfy these outcomesmust include an assessment component that will enable the institution to evaluate theeffectiveness of this core curriculum.What is remarkable about this effort is that it has been an entirely faculty-driven process, anddemonstrates successful collaboration across academic units with very different cultures, all withnegligible staff support from institutional administration. As such, the approach could serve as amodel for smaller institutions whose size does not allow for the appointment of full-timeassessment professionals to replicate the successes described here.For the engineering programs at University of XXX, this new core curriculum will provideopportunities for more substantive direct assessment of student outcomes (a), (f), (g), (h), and (j),as described in ABET’s Criterion 3.

Yost, S. A., & Britt-Smith, L. A. (2012, June), "We’re All in the Same Boat": Achieving an Institutional Culture of Assessment Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20773

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