EIU has long had an established tradition of program level assessment including annual reporting since at least the mid-2000's. In 2019, the University began a campus-wide process focused on identifying strategies that would make the assessment of student learning more meaningful and impactful--and in the process advance the goal of continuous improvement. To review and refresh the process, the Provost appointed a Taskforce of administration and faculty stakeholders from across the University to review existing policies, practices, and timelines, as well as review the compliance practices of peer institutions. The Taskforce issued a report and recommended a process that more fully engages the academic deans, as the former process was centralized and excluded any college-level review. Additionally, the updated 2019 process recognizes the unique nature of accredited programs, requires faculty to more explicitly document efforts to close the assessment loop, and creates a biennial process that includes a more formal review by the Office of Academic Affairs in Year 4. The initial policy change focused on undergraduate programs only. In 2020, the Council for Graduate Students also revised their practices and adopted a biennial process.
To learn more about the policy and process, please review the summary.
1) When does my program submit a report?
All undergraduate programs are scheduled to report on assessment activities (Student Learning Outcomes) every two years.
2) What period of time does my report cover?
Each report covers only a two-year period, the two years immediately preceding the report submission.
3) This is "Year 2" for my program. What does that mean?
This means that your report goes to your College Dean (or Dean designee) for review.
4) This is "Year 4" for my program. What does that mean?
This means that your report goes to your College Dean (or Dean designee) for review and then to the VPAA Office for review.
5) What does "Year 2" and "Year 4" mean going forward?
Your program stays its course on the biennial cycle. Year 2 means one review (by the Dean); Year 4 means two reviews (Dean + VPAA). Then, your program cycle resets.
Year 2 -- Year 4 -- Year 2 -- Year 4 -- ad infinitum
6) Should I use a template?
Yes. Please use the template provided.
7) My program is accredited. Does this affect what I submit?
Yes. Please see the detailed Accredited Programs document.
For “Year 2”: Ordinarily, accrediting bodies require annual (or periodic) reporting of critical program assessment data. Programs should submit a copy of the annual (or periodic) report most recently submitted to the accrediting agency.
For "Year 4": Complete the Year 4 Template, as well as the following three appendices:
- evidence of ongoing accreditation (document stating accreditation status)
- annual (or periodic) accreditation report
- summary of the annual assessment data by SLO
The Summary of the Assessment Data by SLO prepared by programs is expected to be a chart or other means of presentation
that describes the annual data collected, when, where/which course(s), by whom it was collected, and the assignment or activity. This summary should correspond to the record-keeping documents maintained by the academic program. Programs may also include an optional cover memo (not to exceed one page). The cover letter might include any information or highlights the department believes would be important to demonstrate academic excellence and program quality.
8) My program is accredited AND we just completed (in the last calendar year) a significant review. Does this affect what I submit in "Year 4"?
Yes, in these scenarios. If your accredited program completed:
a full 8-year IBHE report within this calendar year (this cannot be the short IBHE report)
a major reaffirmation document that evidences your successful application to your accrediting agency,
you may, with permission from the VP for Academic Affairs or designee, substitute either of these major reports for your typical Student Learning Outcomes report, in "Year 4." To be approved, these documents must substantively discuss assessment, outcomes, and data, and have been prepared and submitted within the same calendar year.
9) When are reports due, and to whom?
Reports are due October 15th to the College Dean (or Dean designee). After Deans' review, completed reports should be sent to Dr. Suzie Park, Special Assistant to the Provost on Student Learning, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
10) Are there examples of Student Learning Outcomes reports?
Yes. These are archived here.
11) What happens to these reports?
Share them! Our assessment process is designed to facilitate real improvements in student learning. Thus the reports should be shared and discussed with faculty at the departmental level. The reports themselves are archived on our assessment website.
12) I have even more questions. Where would I direct these?