April 16, 2021
April 16, 2021
April 17, 2021
Graduate programs may use assessments in preparation for accreditation. There are numerous and significant challenges that underlie the assessment of technical graduate programs. Such challenges include the number of core courses taken by every graduate student, which is generally small, and the timeframe over which those courses are taken, which is normally three to four semesters. Such a program design precludes the outcome assessment typically associated with technical accredited programs at the undergraduate level. The approach taken at one Midwestern university is to evaluate the program at three levels. At the graduate school level, each student’s graduate committee assesses that student on achievement in five categories of competence. In addition, the students are asked to self-assess their individual level of achievement when nearing graduation. These results are summarized at the program level. A third level is evidence-based. Data from courses is used in the assessment of competencies. The overarching structure is based on the graduate school learning competencies that were developed at the university level and are common to all graduate programs. Each department may then amplify the basic competencies to include outcomes specific to its programs. The level of achievement in each of the competencies is summarized in a department-level report. This report is reviewed with the graduate faculty and with the program’s Industry Advisory Board to solicit inputs and suggestions for improvement. A culture of continuous improvement is facilitated through documentation of program improvement suggestions and disposition. This paper describes the structured approach and the outcomes of the pilot assessment using this approach.
Mott, J. H., & Johnson, M. E. (2021, April), Work-in-Progress: A Structured Approach to Graduate Program Assessment Paper presented at 2021 Illinois-Indiana Regional Conference, Virtual. 10.18260/1-2--38286
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