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Program SLO Assessment

Departments complete two separate documents as part of the Program SLO Assessment process: the Assessment Plan and the Assessment Report.  The Assessment Plan provides the opportunity for departments to establish clear and measurable outcomes for student learning.  The Assessment Report provides the opportunity for departments to report directly to the administration the changes to be implemented based on assessment results, as well as to request additional support from the administration.  Departments submit these documents to the Office of Academic Assessment, which allows the College to maintain records of assessment as required by our accreditor.

The Office of Academic Assessment is more than a clearinghouse for this information.  We are here to support you in this process.  Should you have questions at any point in the process, please contact the Academic Assessment Coordinator (x3180).

Document Details

While the Assessment Plan and Assessment Report templates are similar, please note that they are, in fact, two separate templates.

The Assessment Plan template includes:

  • Intended Student Learning Outcome
    State the main student learning outcomes (what should graduates of the program know and be able to do?)
  • Connection to the University/Department Mission/The Potsdam Graduate
    Indicate how the above student learning outcomes relate to the bigger picture or vision that the department has for graduates from its programs
  • Measurable Criteria and Assessment Method(s)
    Data to be collected and how (What unique assessment activities (direct and indirect) will be used to capture evidence that students are achieving this student learning outcome? What   are our criteria for success? What does it look like when a student can_____? How will we know the objectives have been met?)

The Assessment Report template requests the following data:

  • Intended Student Learning Outcome
    Copied from the Assessment Plan
  • Measureable Criteria and Assessment Method(s)
    Copied from the Assessment Plan
  • Assessment Data Summary – Results and Analysis
    Results – Percentage of students at each level indicated
    Analysis – Indicate reasoning for the results (i.e. I think our result of x is due to a, b, c); What do these data tell us?
  • Application of Results for Improving Student Achievement
    Did you find the assessment used effectively captured the necessary achievement data?
    What is working well and should be continued?
    How have the assessment results been used to improve teaching and learning?
    How will the results be used to improve student achievement of the outcome listed above?
  • Summary of Proposed Changes for Upcoming Years
    Copy and paste the proposed changes for each student learning outcome

Submission Cycle

Departments submit their Assessment Report and revised Assessment Plan on a recurring 3-5 year cycle, once at the mid-term review point (three or four years into the cycle), as well as in the year of their Self-Study for program review.

To identify when your department submissions are due, please see the Academic Assessment Cycle.

Annual Assessment Timeline

July/August/September (in years the Assessment Report is due)
Closing the Loop – Meet with Dean to assess which recommendations based upon data analysis can be implemented.

Closing the loop activities could include:

  • Changes to direct and indirect assessment tools and activities.
  • Modifications/Development of new Assessment Plan for upcoming academic year(s).
  • Planning for any professional development related to assessment of SLOs.

By September 30th (in years the Assessment Report is due)
Submit finalized Assessment Report, as well as the revised Assessment Plan to the Dean's office and to the Office of Academic Assessment.

September to May (every year)
Faculty implement the Proposed Changes (from the Assessment Report) and gather data as determined by their Assessment Plan.

January/February (every year)
Departments collect assessment data from the Fall semester for department/program Student Learning Outcomes. 

May/June (every year)

  • Departments collect assessment data from the Spring semester for department/program Student Learning Outcomes.
  • Analyze Fall and Spring semester data (What do these data tell us?)
  • Department/Program faculty meet to:
    • Review assessment data
    • Discuss whether student achievement is meeting expectations (i.e. numbers of students exceeding, meeting, approaching, or not meeting standards for each outcome). (Where are our students’ performances below expectations?)
    • Review the impact of previous changes on student achievement as evidenced in the assessment data (i.e. Did the changes improve students’ achievement of knowledge and skills related to the learning outcomes?).
    • Review assessment tools to determine if anything needs to be added or modified. (How can we improve our program and assessment process? What is working well and should be continued? Did the assessment methods used effectively collect data about what our students have learned? What are our criteria for success? What does it look like when a student can______?)

In addition, in years the Assessment Report is due:

  • Develop proposed changes for the coming academic year(s) along with any changes needed for the current Assessment Plan.