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Process for PLO Assessment

Departments are charged with development of meaningful and measurable PLOs, which are statements of intended learning focused on what students will be able to do at the conclusion of the program. They differ from objectives that may typically be delivery-centered and may focus on what the instructor will do or what students will experience.

PAR Cycle – 3 year reporting cycle

Every three years, departments will provide Program Assessment Reports (PARs) for each of its programs (certificates and minors are excluded). Programs should review previous PARs and look to build on them over time. New programs that have not yet submitted PARs are encouraged to review the program proposals that were submitted to the Office of the State Board of Education as part of program development. These proposals contain information about the program’s learning outcomes as well as the draft plan for learning outcomes assessment. While the plan in the proposal may be different from what the program actually implements, it can serve as a reminder and a good starting place for dialogue among the faculty. Note: New programs are inserted into the schedule that aligns with the cycle of other programs in their department or college.

PAR Format

PAR reports are due by May 1 and include the following components:

  • Template I, Narrative
  • Template II, Assessment Matrix
  • Curriculum Map Template.

Foundations of the Discipline Reports (FDRs)

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. These reports also are due May 1.

Review Process and Next Steps

Reports are reviewed by teams of faculty and staff using the PAR Rubric (see Rubric for details). The Office of Institutional Research provides training and facilitates calibration within and among the review teams. Feedback from reviewers is assembled and provided back to departments within approximately two months.

Departments are then asked to discuss the feedback and next steps and complete the brief Follow-up Report. Follow-up Reports are due by October 15.

Sharing Results

Results of the rubric review for each program and their associated Follow-Up Report are shared with the appropriate college dean. In addition, University-wide results are posted to the website, shared with the Provost and other administration/governance, and used as part of the University’s accreditation efforts for NWCCU.