program outcomes assessment

Program-level Assessment Capacity Enrichment for Equity

Cultivate equity through program-level assessment

Learning outcomes assessment is one of the most powerful tools for identifying and dismantling inequities in student outcomes. If we are serious about closing equity gaps, we can’t afford to leave such a powerful tool on the shelf. 

Design Step 2: Establish Standards and Targets

  • Set standard for achievement for each program goal
  • Identify performance targets that will allow program faculty to feel comfortable with results
How will you know that students have met your expectations? Clarify standards and targets to ensure equity and promote consistency Standards TOOLS ​​​​& TIPS

Establishing target percentages allows faculty to determine whether the program has successfully produced student learning.

Standards for Accreditation

"What does WASC want?"

Contrary to what some fear, the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC, referred to orally as "WASC") is not in the business of telling institutions HOW to assess student learning. On the contrary, the WSCUC Standards of Accreditation reflect agreement among member institutions throughout California, Hawaii, and the Pacific about educational effectiveness.


How can we improve student learning? Act on the results

Celebrate successes and acknowledge areas in need of improvement.

"Consequential validity posits that assessment must be valid for the purposes for which it is used, consistent with relevant professional standards, and--this is the key point here--that the impacts or consequences of its use should be factors in determining validity" (Hutchings, Kinzie, & Kuh, 2015, P. 41).

Analyze & Interrogate Results

We have collected student work. Now what? Make sense of the evidence of student learning

"Collecting data is one thing, but making sense of them is something else. We want to use analytic techniques that are simple, direct, and effective" (Allen, 2004, p. 131).

What can we learn from these results? TOOLS ​​​​& TIPS

The results of assessment activities are most meaningful when they provide insight into student learning in comparison to something else, i.e., analysis of aggregated students’ performance in relation to program learning outcomes.

What do you expect students to learn?

Articulate expectations 

The process of developing learning outcomes invites faculty to reflect on, and then translate, that embodied disciplinary knowledge into clear expectations for students in their majors. We wouldn't want to leave something as important as student learning and success to guesswork.  

Educational equity depends on individual and collective capacity to reflect on, and clearly articulate, learning goals for students.

Analyze Curriculum

When and how often does your program provide students opportunities to demonstrate their learning? Curriculum analysis and mapping for equity

We "need to consider how curricula are structured to advance student learning and how courses within curricula are linked to help students make connections, transfer learning, and reach the goals we set for them in learning outcomes" (Jankowski & Marshall, 2017, p. 27).

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Program Learning Outcomes Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Describe the molecular and structural unity of life, explain how the diversity of living things is generated and perpetuated, and exemplify this diversity among and within life's three domains.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of how genetics, biochemistry and direct observation are used to elucidate cell organization and function.
  • Develop skills in applying quantitative methods to describe, evaluate and model biological processes.
  • Demonstrate the ability to design and execute collection, evaluation And