Student Learning Outcomes Assessment for Academic Programs 2012-2013
The process of providing evidence of continuous improvement in student learning in our various academic programs and general education curriculum is as important as ever. We successfully passed the first hurdle when our SACS reaffirmation was confirmed in December of 2010. However, we, as all SACS institutions, will continue to be responsible for providing evidence of improvement in student learning based on outcomes assessment. In early spring of 2016, Texas State will be responsible for submitting a Fifth Year Report as part of the SACS requirements. Typically most scrutiny is given to the three years prior to the report. For Texas State that would include the academic years 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015. Therefore, it is crucial that we continue all of the good work that has been started. Most importantly, I hope you will continue to focus on the process of academic outcomes assessment as a useful way to assess progress and to stimulate productive dialogues with colleagues that will yield effective means to improve student learning. After all, it is imperative that we show improvement in student learning over the next three years of outcomes assessment (between 2012 and 2015).
Representatives to the Council of Associate Deans for Academic Assessment continue to provide support in the development and review of outcomes and act as liaisons to the Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness. The representative from your academic college conducted a thorough audit of each of the previous educational outcomes assessment reports from your college. Audit reports are displayed on the outcomes reporting Website and should provide guidance as you edit your mission, outcomes, and methods for the 2012-2013 academic year. Please continue to look to your representative Associate Dean for advice and assistance.
As we move into the 2012-2013 academic year, faculty are encouraged to review the mission statement, student learning outcomes, and methods of assessment for each their academic programs. You may consider existing outcomes and methods to be appropriate for your programs; or, as is often the case, you may have determined through the previous cycles that some adjustments to the mission statement, outcomes, and methods are necessary. For example, methods that have consistently been achieved may need to be replaced with other methods or refined methods where improvements can be realized. In some cases, new outcomes and methods may be deemed more important to the success of the program than ones that have been assessed for several years. As we begin the 2012-2013 year, this is a great time to consider modifications in direction -- outcomes and/or methods -- allowing time to assess outcomes and methods and show improvement in student learning before we finalize the fifth year report.
On the Academic Outcomes Assessment Website, your outcomes and methods used during the 2011-2012 academic year have been copied for the 2012-2013 academic year. Until the deadline, you and designated faculty can enter the Website to edit the mission statement, program contact person, outcomes, and methods of assessment. Once the mission statement, program contact person, outcomes, and assessment methods have been updated in the system, it will be the responsibility of the chair/director to review and insure by approval that the mission statement, outcomes, and methods of assessment for each program in your department are acceptable. As in previous years, the deadline for approval by chairs and directors is September 30th.