The University of Central Missouri implemented a student-learning model based on the principles of Alverno College’s Assessment-As-Learning approach and Total Quality Management in 1991. Supported by grants from the Fund for the Improvement of Post secondary Education (FIPSE), this student-learning model established explicit student-learning outcomes as the organizing principles for educational programs and demonstration of competency in those outcomes as a condition for graduation. This Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) model established an explicit timetable for goals related to student learning and development and remains the centerpiece of Central’s assessment initiatives.
During its ten years of experience and feedback, Central revised the original model. Now called Central’s Quality Improvement Program (CQIP), Central has extended its application to all University units and functions. CQIP for academic programs consists of ten components organized around three original major assessment goals. CQIP directs each department/unit or faculty/staff group responsible for a program to:
- Identify and validate student-learning outcomes for its programs;
- Create faculty structures and processes to assure student learning of complex outcomes;
- Identify methods to assess student achievement and determine how the results of assessment will be used to improve student learning; and
- Implement student assessment, documenting student progress and how the results are used to improve student learning.
Each year every unit on campus must include at least one goal related to implementation of CQIP as part of its annual planning and reporting process. Permanent funds designated for support of quality initiatives have been established in virtually all of the university’s academic departments. Additional funds to be used for improvement efforts are available from the Office of Assessment and Testing Services.
In 1987, the university established the Faculty Senate Assessment Committee, now called the Faculty Senate University Assessment Council (FSUAC) to reflect the campus-wide membership and scope. The FSUAC is primarily responsible for development, implementation and oversight of the university’s assessment program. A detailed description of the council’s function, structure and membership is available online by visiting the Faculty Senate University Assessment Council.