Office of the Provost

Form and Deadlines for Department/ Program Assessment Plans and Annual Reports

The document linked to below is the Southwestern University Academic Assessment Plan template, to be used by Department and Program Departments for developing unit missions, goals, and criteria for success as part of the SACS Reaffirmation of Accreditation process.

April 11, 2013

TO: Academic Department/Program Chairs
FROM: James W. Hunt, Provost and Dean of the Faculty
SUBJECT: Department/Program Assessment Plans and Annual Reports

Please plan to submit your plan and report no later than Wednesday, May 15, 2013.
I. Department/Program Assessment Plan – please submit electronically to John McCann (with a copy to Christine Vasquez):

We are now in our sixth year of annual assessment of department and program student learning outcomes.  This annual process has been rewarding in terms of rich discussion and analysis of teaching and learning at Southwestern.  Another result was the approval of our academic assessment reports by SACS in our recent 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation process.   As usual at this time of the year, we request an updated and revised version of last year’s assessment plan.  As a reminder, the assessment plan addresses the following information:

  • A mission statement for your department/program.
  • A set of goals that reflects the overall mission for your department/program (a minimum of 3 goals should be listed).
  • A list of student learning outcomes (generally, there will be at least two outcomes per goal).
  • A brief description of how each learning outcome is being assessed (both direct and indirect measures).
  • A brief description of the results of the assessment.
  • A brief description of how your department/program is using (or has used) the assessment results to make decisions regarding curriculum and/or pedagogy.  In other words, what changes and improvements have you made based on the results of the assessments?

You need not revise or update the entire document, but at a minimum the plans should incorporate 1) data on student learning that departments and programs have gathered through their assessment mechanisms in the past academic year and 2) improvements you have made as a result of assessment.  Over the summer the Academic Assessment Committee will review the past academic year’s (2012-13) department/program assessment plans and any additional writing and capstone rubrics you may have recently completed.  The Committee will respond with detailed comments and suggestions.  Please feel free to contact John if you have any related questions.

II. Department/Program Annual Report – please submit electronically to Jim Hunt (with a copy to Barbara Jean):
In a separate document, please provide –
  • A brief narrative regarding departmental/program activity during the 2012-2013 academic year and the department’s/program’s aspirations for the coming year, and
  • A brief evaluation of the faculty members in your department.  These may be just a few sentences, but it would be helpful to have your assessment of your department/program faculty in regards to their teaching, professional growth, and contributions to the University.

I would like to thank you in advance for your efforts in updating your department/program assessment document and the brief narrative annual report.  I know the work of the Department/Program Chair is done in addition to all the other responsibilities expected of faculty at Southwestern. You are to be commended for your efforts in this vital aspect of the life of the University.  Please feel free to contact me with questions.