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Framework for Program Learning Outcome (PLO) Assessment

In 2016, Boise State implemented a new framework and reporting process for program learning outcomes (PLO) assessment. It is one of the three components of the Integrated Review of Academic Programs.

PLO assessment is ongoing and reporting is required every three years for every degree program through the Program Assessment Report (PAR). PARs provide an opportunity for programs share their progress, findings, and actions that have emanated from the assessment of student learning. Additionally, PAR encourages:

  • Creating, revising, or affirming program learning outcomes for every degree program (or major)
  • Mapping programs to curricular and co-curricular experiences from introduction through mastery
  • Reviewing a department assessment plan and processes
  • Conferring as a program regarding PLO assessment results against department standards for mastery
  • Revising curriculum and/or assessment process in light of assessment results

Responsibility for PLO Assessment

Responsibility for assessing student learning in the undergraduate and graduate academic programs lies within the departments/units (heretofore referred to as “departments”) in which the programs reside. Assessment of learning is intended to be a formative, faculty-led process focused on the collection, interpretation, and use of information to guide curricular and instructional decisions, improve programs and policies, and ultimately contribute to student success through the achievement of intended learning outcomes.


Departments and programs will determine the measures best suited to assessing the PLOs. These measures must provide information that can be used to identify curricular and instructional strengths and weaknesses. Direct measures must be used and can be supplemented with indirect measures, such as student surveys, focus groups, etc.

Contribution to University Foundations

Departments that offer courses as part of the University Foundations curriculum also will be required to fulfill assessment requirements of the General Education Committee. Foundations of the Discipline Reports (FDRs), which are course-level reports, will be required for each FD offering. See details here.