No matter how good we are, there is always room for improvement. Program assessment facilitates the ongoing improvement of educational quality, student learning, and student success.
Faculty define program and course student learning objectives or outcomes (SLOs) in the curriculum development and approval processes. SLOs are statements about what students should be able to do, know, or demonstrate at the completion of a course and/or program. They are not only the cornerstone of the curriculum but also of learning assessment; SLOs bring focus to what is important and what should be used to measure student learning as part of a program assessment plan.
In 2022-23, the Program Assessment Review (PAR) in Transition was established to provide an academic program planning and assessment process that acknowledged the integration of Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield curricula into the unified program curricula for Commonwealth University. The PAR in Transition requested an annual report from each program with a brief description (Table 1, p. 2 of narrative sections), Program Student Learning Objectives (Table 2), Curriculum Map (Table 3), an Assessment Plan (Table 4), and an Annual Summary and Action Plan (p.3 of narrative sections). The PAR in Transition User Guide articulated the step-by-step process and offered templates for developing and implementing a program assessment plan and annual report. Programs that were approved after the May 31 submission date or did not submit a PAR can still complete these documents and upload them to the SharePoint site. Programs that submitted the PAR received a completed Academic / Academic Support Assessment rubric as a means of feedback intended to help improve the academic planning and assessment processes. The October 2023 Session (see section below) also provided feedback and exemplar documents with tips about continuous improvement moving forward.
In 2023-24, the Program Assessment Review (PAR) or program annual report will be completed in the new Commonwealth University instance of Nuventive Solutions Premier. The platform includes tabs for general information, curriculum maps, assessment plans / results, and an annual summary and action plan based on data collected and reported by the program and / or institutional research (e.g., see Program Review Data section and dashboards below). This PAR - Nuventive User Guide (still in draft) provides instructions about how to access Nuventive, complete the screens needed for the program annual report, and submit outcomes (see the November 2023 Session below). These annual reports with results / outcomes will be due again on May 31.
Once the State System BOG Policy 1986-04-A: Program Review and associated procedures are available later this year, the annual report format may be revised to reflect data requested for five-year reviews but not currently submitted as part of the annual PAR report.