AT CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, NORTHRIDGE


POLICY
The purpose of assessment is to facilitate the highest quality educational experience for our students through the systematic collection and interpretation of student competencies at graduation, at defining points through the curricula (General Education and major), and at entrance. WASC requires assessment on two levels:

  • the impact of programs, departments, and units in their specific context such as curriculum goals and objectives, and
  • the impact of all programs and services on student learning and development.


OBJECTIVES
Assessment at California State University, Northridge has three major objectives:
  • Support of curricular revision and program review: Outcomes assessment is based on curricular goals and objectives that are closely tied to applicable professional and graduate admission standards. The results of assessment, together with faculty expertise and trends in the disciplines, are the driving forces of curricular innovation.
  • Creation of a culture of evidence about the impact of programs.
  • Enhancement of the intellectual life in a structured way.
In order to meet WASC assessment requirements by the Spring 1998 semester, each department and program will need to develop and implement student outcomes assessment plans for every major baccalaureate program which they offer, using appropriate professional and student input. The exact method will be determined by the department/program and will differ based on the goals and objectives developed. The University will make available grants to departments for the development of assessment procedures. A major goal for our campus is to have 23 departments with assessment plans implemented by May of 1997.

A second goal will be to assess GE as soon as the new package goes into effect.


POLICY
All graduating seniors should be included in outcomes assessment projects. Among the types of assessment methods that might be used are portfolios, capstone seminars, certification examinations, senior papers or juried performances, productions, recitals , and art shows, or research projects, or supervised field-experience. Departments may have, unique to their particular subject(s), other assessment projects of this kind.
  • The project must have curricular value and must be meaningful in the context of the major.
  • Preferably, the project will be adapted from or included in an existing program requirement or course.
  • The students will have a high-stake in the outcome of the project which can be, at the initiative of the department and, if necessary, at the approval of EPC, a graduation requirement or part of a required course.
  • The project will evaluate competence in the major and relevant basic skills.
  • To the extent feasible, the project should be organized to give programs and the University visibility in the community and professional world. Therefore, departments and programs are encouraged to actively seek sources outside of the University, including alumni and employees, for involvement in all stages of assessment.
  • Departments may develop assessment procedures under this draft policy until a formal assessment policy is in place.
  • Results of assessment activities should reflect on the program or department rather than individual faculty.
  • Results of assessment should be reported as part of the program review. They should be considered in other curricular reform projects. They can be shared with the public through appropriate media.

INITIAL STEPS
All departments/programs will appoint/select an assessment liaison faculty member.

The Coordinator of Assessment, the Assessment Subcommittee, and the Director of Institutional Research will provide work-shops and training opportunities for liaison staff and other interested faculty.

Following the training, faculty from each department will begin the process of formalizing goals and skills to create the student outcomes assessment for that department/program.

 


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  R.Madison 2003
 Updated June 2003