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Assessment Overview

Assessment at the University of Portland is an ongoing and multi-faceted process where mission-aligned student outcomes are regularly measured by faculty and staff in order to determine the extent to which the mission is being fulfilled. It is vital to the planning, budgeting, and overall improvement of the university and it is conducted at several levels across campus. See this helpful chart for a visual summary.

 

Purpose of Assessment: 

The primary purpose of assessment at UP is to improve the student experience through regular evaluation of the effectiveness of curricula and programs as they relate to the university’s mission. The evidence for such effectiveness is produced from measurements of outcomes that are aligned to course and program objectives. Curricula and programs are then adjusted based on how effective they are at helping students achieve these outcomes.

 

Cycle of Assessment:    

Across the differing levels of assessment at the University of Portland, the cycle of assessment is as follows:

  1. First, outcomes are identified as relevant to objectives in question and implemented into the program, department, or college (Step 1).
  2. Then, metrics and assignments are designed in order to measure specific outcomes (Step 2).
  3. Next, those metrics and assignments are implemented and data is collected regarding specific outcomes (Step 3).
  4. Once the data has been collected, it is analyzed in order to determine the extent to which outcomes are being achieved and objectives are being fulfilled (Step 4).
  5. After measuring an individual outcome, the process and data are reviewed and this feedback is incorporated into improvements that are implemented into the program (Step 5).
  6. The loop is closed by determining the continued relevance of the outcome (back to Step 1) and any adjustments needed to the metrics used, or identifying a new outcome that better fits the objective in question.
    *Click here to see a diagram of the process*

The number of outcomes assessed in a specific cycle vary across campus. Some programs measure every outcome every year, or every other year, while other programs focus on one outcome per year. Regardless, all programs and departments measure all of their outcomes as part of regular program, division, or accreditation review.