“The effectiveness of an institution rests upon the contribution that each of the institution’s programs and services makes toward achieving the goals of the institution as a whole.”  (Middle States Commission on Higher Education)

QTA continues its contribution to that end through the following accomplishments:

Goal 1

Monitor the implementation of assessment, review results, and provide recommendation for the final year of current core goals.

  • The 2018-2019 core assessment cycle included a review of lifelong learning, art appreciation, quantitative and scientific literacy. QTA provided no recommendations in the 2018-2019 Core Report for the core goals of lifelong learning and art appreciation since it was their final cycle of core assessment.
  •  QTA co-chairs met with science faculty to discuss recommendations to continue current assessment methods and encourage additional faculty participation to provide usable data for student improvement in the science courses.
  • The assessment process of quantitative thinking selects students who are close to graduating with a two- or four-year degree and is a follow-up to the pre-testing that was conducted of these students their first semester on campus. As noted in the 2018-2019 Core Report it has been a struggle to obtain an adequate number of students to complete the post-testing.  This semester, QTA supported ARP’s decision to adopt a new approach that gives school deans and course instructors a bigger role in the process. School deans will work with department heads to identify appropriate courses for each program to conduct the assessment. All students in the selected courses will be asked to take the post-test as part of the course with the assistance from course instructors.

Goal 2

Continue to pilot assessment tools designed for Foundation core goals and investigate delivery modalities for campus-wide implementation.

  • The 2019-2020 academic year began the transition from assessment of “old” core to the assessment of the new Foundation core goals. Assessment of written communication, a skill assessed under both core models, was completed under the guidance of new leadership in the English department. The department head worked with QTA to understand previous challenges in the collection of “appropriate” papers and initiated a small group to review and revise the writing rubric to better align with the other Foundation rubrics in language and in levels. QTA will collaborate with the English department to conduct a small pilot in Spring 2021 of a revised rubric.
  • As mentioned in Goal 1, quantitative thinking, a skill assessed under both core models, transitioned to a new post-test structure in the spring. Using this new process, assessment of quantitative thinking will continue to be conducted on an annual basis.
  • The third pilot of the Foundation core goal critical thinking involved a significant larger number of faculty with 31 participants in the fall and 50 members in the spring. Results and feedback will be used to finalize training instruction for the campus-wide assessment of critical thinking in the 2020-2021 academic year. For example, in the spring feedback survey, 83% of those responded did not collaborate with faculty in their program who will be applying the rubric to a different program class. This will be an essential area to highlight in the training.
  • The initial assessment pilot of the Foundation core goal collaboration using a common rubric involved 11 full-time faculty members. Unfortunately, due to the transition to remote learning in March, the majority of faculty were unable to assess the engagement of teamwork and collaboration with their students. Therefore, the collaboration pilot will be repeated with the same faculty cohort in the Spring of 2021.

Goal 3

Review evidence collected in the MSCHE document roadmap to ensure accuracy and currency to support the self-study process.

  • The evidence previous collected by QTA members in the document roadmap was reviewed for accuracy. The roadmaps were then distributed to the Steering Committee members for use within their work groups.
  • Although not a component of the document roadmaps, it is important to note that QTA members were instrumental in the initial process of identifying and developing institutional priorities for the Self-Study Design Document.

Goal 4

Continue to offer support and assessment-related professional development for internal stakeholders.

In lieu of the Assessment Academy this academic year, members from QTA presented the following professional development sessions:

  • Four face-to-face training sessions for faculty selected for the Critical Thinking Assessment Pilot. Co-chairs designed a training video for supplemental instructions on use of the critical thinking assessment rubric.
  • Co-chairs provided assessment workshops to faculty and school leadership in Accounting and Business Administration, School of Transportation and Natural Resources Technologies, School of Construction Design Technologies, and members of Enrollment Management.  
  • QTA was represented at assessment presentations designed for new faculty and program review participants.
  • QTA members assisted in the development and presentation of the January All Faculty Assessment of Critical Thinking session.

Goal 5

Promote quality assessment documentation through the recognition of exemplary annual assessment reports, course and program level assessment records.

  • QTA co-chairs and provost worked together to review each academic school’s annual assessment report and provided feedback to highlight the strengths and areas for continued improvement in assessment process and documentation.
  • QTA co-chairs provided feedback to the leadership of each administrative unit highlighting strengths and areas for continued improvement in assessment practice and documentation.