Characteristics of a Mature Outcomes Assessment Program
For The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University
These materials have been prepared for use by academic departments
in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences which offer undergraduate degree programs.
The purpose of these materials is to present an outline of objectives
which, when fully accomplished, would position a program to be considered
and learner outcomes-based. Achievement and maintenance of these
characteristics should ensure accreditation the Higher Learning Commission
of the North
Central Association (HLC-NCA). These materials are adapted from Levels
of Implementation – Patterns of Characteristics, in the 2002 Addendum
to the Handbook of Accreditation. Alignment of items in these materials
the items put forth in the Handbook of Accreditation is provided
in Appendix A.
The Faculty in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences holds the following
principles with regard to the development of a mature learner outcomes-based
in the college.
- A culture of outcome assessment will be best developed at
the level at which students and faculty interact – at the department level.
- Each department desires to maximize student learning. Therefore, it follows that each department desires
to develop and maintain an outcomes assessment program that continually improves teaching strategies and
thereby continually enhances student learning.
- Curriculum, including formal and informal educational experiences, is defined and administered at the
departmental level. Therefore, the responsibility for instituting and documenting
student learning lies at the department level.
- The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the University administration stand
ready to support the departments in their endeavors to enhance
student learning and to report learner outcomes achievements.
- College level communication among departments via the Student Outcomes Assessment,
Curriculum, Academic Affairs, and Advising Committees can foster departmental
program development, and also facilitate and enable reporting of the success of student learning.
Using These Materials
The table format is intended to assist outcomes assessment committees at both the departmental and college levels in planning to develop mature learner-based, outcomes-driven programs. This outline of goals is divided according to the criteria set forth in the 2002 Addendum to the Handbook of Accreditation but has been revised to reflect the language and interests of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. Departmental assessment coordinators can use these to communicate with colleagues about the objectives for which to strive, the areas in which development work needs to be concentrated, and to organize the documentation efforts for reporting success. Some coordinators may wish to use each page as a tab-divider and follow each with corresponding documentation.
Draft 4: March 7, 2002. Prepared from previous drafts by a subcommittee
of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Outcomes Assessment Committee.
Subcommittee members include: Brad Skaar, Bonnie Glatz, Russ Mullen, & Steve Jungst