At Penn College, assessment is a systematic process for collecting, reviewing, and using data/evidence for the purposes of overall improvement of programs/services and enhancing student learning. It is a continuous process, not a “one time” action.
Quality Through Assessment
The Quality Through Assessment (QTA) initiative was created to enhance teaching and learning at Penn College. The Assistant Vice President for Assessment, Research, and Planning serves as a co-chair of the committee which includes faculty, staff, and administration from Academic Affairs; Student Affairs; and Assessment, Research and Planning.
Core Curriculum Assessment
Penn College has established a core curriculum for each of its credentials. The core is intended as a broad foundation that will extend the competence students develop within their majors. Through the courses that satisfy core requirements, students are challenged to integrate knowledge from a variety of disciplines and to extend their learning experience to areas beyond the major. The intended goals of the core curriculum are integrated with and are indirectly measured by students' demonstrated competence in their major courses. Degree-specific cores are presented following these goals.
Student Affairs Assessment
All units within Student Affairs apply a planning/assessment model on an annual basis. The assessment of student learning outcomes (SLO) is a task shared by Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. The collaboration began after the creation of on-campus Residence Life and has expanded exponentially as the student demographics and enrollment shifts occurred. The number of officially recognized co-curricular student organizations, in addition to Student Activities programming that ranges from leadership development to the lecture series, qualifies Student Affairs as a partner in extending students’ learning.
Program Level Learning Outcomes Assessment
All baccalaureate and associate programs are required to develop and assess student learning outcomes in a five-year cycle in specified domains in the areas of content/discipline knowledge, skills, and values. The faculty for each program establishes the program-specific learning outcomes, assessment methods, and criterion for success. Deans of each school or their designees oversee faculty who develop and facilitate courses that include assessments of student learning outcomes with acceptable psychometric characteristics.