CQIP - Academic Departments
Guidelines for Implementing Central's Quality Improvement Program
Guidelines for implementing Central's Quality Improvement program (CQIP) encompass both individual student and program assessment.
Assessment of student performances:
Assessment of program effectiveness:
Goal A: Each department/discipline responsible for a program will identify and validate student-learning outcomes for its major programs.
1. Student-Learning Outcomes. Student learning outcomes are the explicit learning goals for students. For degree programs, student-learning outcomes are what students should know and be able to do upon completion of the degree. These expected student outcomes are the content knowledge, skills , and, if appropriate, attitudes defined collaboratively by the faculty in the department/discipline, including:
- Generalized student-learning outcomes of Central’s General Education Program (higher-order thinking, communicating, interacting, managing information and valuing),
- Degree program core outcomes, if applicable (e.g., BSBA degree core, MBA core, etc.),
- Major program outcomes.
For non-degree programs (e.g., Religious Studies, Philosophy, Anthropology) student-learning outcomes are those goals that relate directly or indirectly to either program specific outcomes of academic department/disciplines or to the generalized student outcomes of the General Education Program.
a. The department/discipline faculty have collaboratively identified, discussed and approved the student-learning outcomes for its programs. (Programs is used here to refer to either degree programs or services provided by the department or unit.).
b. Undergraduate degree programs--student learning outcomes include the general education outcomes of communicating, higher-order thinking, interacting, managing information and valuing (generalized student-learning outcomes) as well as outcomes specific to the degree program core and major outcomes.
c. Undergraduate degree programs--student learning outcomes include knowledge, skills and, if appropriate, attitudes (e.g., discipline specific code of ethics, etc.).
2. Outcomes Validation. Validation of student learning outcomes refers to the process by which departments/disciplines have their learning outcomes reviewed and evaluated by individuals external to the university. In effect, this process is designed to validate the relevancy and appropriateness of the student learning outcomes defined collaboratively by the department or unit.
a. The student learning outcomes developed for the program have been evaluated by appropriate groups with knowledge of the program and program needs (e.g., advisory councils, alumni, employers, graduate schools, discipline experts, certification bodies, career services, or similar entities).
b. The department/discipline faculty have established a procedure which will ensure regularly scheduled re-validations of program outcomes, thereby facilitating early identification of changes in student learning needs.
c. The department/discipline faculty have documented how the feedback from the validation process was and will be used to redefine and improve its program outcomes.
3. Communication of Program Goals (Outcomes Communication). This component addresses the methods by which students, faculty, the university community and external constituents are informed of the nature, content and structure of the program assessment outcomes and processes.
a. The department/discipline faculty have developed and established a formal and continuing program and procedure for student orientation to prepare its students for the experiences they will have in their program of study, e.g., orientation courses, brochures and orientation components in an introductory course in the major.
b. Student learning outcomes (generalized, program specific, and course) are clearly communicated to students in every course by instructors through a variety of means, e.g., syllabi, learning experiences, assessments, and assignment review.
c. The department/discipline faculty have established a procedure for assuring that new faculty/members understand what the generalized and program specific student learning outcomes are, how they are integrated into the department/discipline's programs, how they are used in designing and conducting courses, and how assessment is used to improve student learning and development.
Goal B. Each department or faculty group responsible for a program will identify methods to assess student achievement and determine how the results of assessment will be used to improve student
1. Evaluation of Alignment Between Student Outcomes of Program and Program Offerings (Curricular Evaluation). This component deals with the when, where and how department/disciplines will teach, assess and give feedback to their students and faculty regarding the identified student learning outcomes.
a. The department/discipline faculty have performed an analysis of its major program to determine when and where its student learning outcomes are to be practiced, developed and assessed. This includes an evaluation of course offerings and development of a curricular matrix which displays program outcomes on one axis and program courses on the other. For non-degree programs, this would involve the identification of the processes/student experiences that relate to the learning outcomes identified by the department/discipline.
b. The department’s faculty has collaboratively designed a sequence of courses, leading to program coherence.
2. Methods Used to Teach and Assess the Student Learning Outcomes (Pedagogy and Assessment). This component refers to the specific methods by which the student learning outcomes identified by the department/discipline faculty (See Goal A.) are taught and assessed in courses.
a. The department/discipline can provide evidence that the faculty have developed learning experiences, (e.g., lectures, discussions, team learning, group presentations), applications, and assessments for the student learning outcomes identified by the department/discipline for its courses. These teaching and assessment methods should include, when appropriate, such things as:
- clear statements of course outcomes to be learned and/or assessed
- specific criteria and rating forms (i.e., scoring rubrics)
- observation and assessment of student performance
- use of feedback to students
- use of peer assessment and student self-assessment
b. The department/discipline faculty have developed a process by which feedback from in-course assessments will be given to students and faculty to improve student learning.
3. Professional Development. Professional development refers to a department/discipline faculty plan to prepare faculty to teach and assess the student learning outcomes (both program specific and generalized student outcomes) that have been identified by the department/discipline. This plan could also include a method for developing faculty skills related to instructional technology.
a. The department/discipline has established a professional development plan focused on preparing faculty to teach and assess the student learning outcomes identified by the department/discipline.
b. The department/discipline can document the professional development activities of its faculty related to the department/unit goals.
c. Professional development related to assessment of student outcomes is included in annual faculty development plans (as appropriate).
4. Structured Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom (Co-Curricular). This component refers to learning exercises outside the classroom that specifically address the outcomes specified in the student’s major/minor program and/or General Education. It is expected that these exercises would involve feedback to the student and documentation of the student’s progress towards competency in the outcomes assessed (i.e., demonstrated the requisite knowledge and skills). Opportunities for such co-curricular experiences would be student internships, practica, work-study, student-teaching, service learning projects, student government and employment to name a few.
a. The department/discipline faculty have developed and used activities outside the classroom (both on and off campus) for application and/or assessment of specific student learning outcomes in the program.
b. Faculty have assessed and documented student learning outside the classroom, and provided feedback to the students regarding their performance.
Goal C. Each department or faculty group responsible for a program will implement student assessment, documenting student progress and how the results are used to improve student learning.
1. Assessment System for Determining Progress of Students as They Move Through Their Program (Formative Assessment). Formative assessment refers to assessment performed during a student’s program to document student progress, supply feedback to the student, and provide information for program evaluation. Formative assessment is typically embedded in individual courses.
a. The department/discipline faculty document and evaluate formative student learning data to be used for program improvement and feedback to students.
b. Faculty evaluate the set of formative assessments used in the department/discipline on a regular basis.
2. Assessment System for Determining Competency of Students in All Student Learning Outcomes at Exit from a Program (Comprehensive/ Summative Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes). This component applies to degree programs only.
Comprehensive or summative assessment refers to assessment of the entire set of student learning outcomes of a particular program (to include the generalized student outcomes of the general education program). This comprehensive assessment should be administered towards the end of a student’s program and may involve a variety of assessment measures (e.g., standardized objective test, performance-based assessments and locally developed instruments). Department/disciplines will determine how the outcomes are assessed (e.g., in or out of the classroom, with or without the use of external evaluators) and documented. A comprehensive entry assessment of the program outcomes may also be used to 1) identify the strengths and weaknesses of entering students; and 2) to measure learning gains made by students when exiting the program by comparison of entry and exit scores/results.
a. The department/discipline faculty have implemented and evaluated (internally by the faculty and externally by a group determined by the department) a comprehensive, formal exit-level assessment of program outcomes. This assessment is used to provide a measure of improvement in student learning, document student competency, and provide important information to the department regarding overall program quality.
b. The department/discipline's faculty can describe how they use summative assessment results to 1) guide course design, 2) modify curricula and instructional methods, 3) improve the formative assessment system, 4) document individual student performance, and 5) evaluate overall program effectiveness (See 3 below.).
3. Program Assessment system based on the aggregation of individual student performances and other assessment inputs. Program assessment involves the use of data and other information to improve program quality. Program assessment may result in changes in individual course requirements, course pedagogy or the degree program curriculum.
a. The department/discipline faculty have developed processes to aggregate individual student performances on formative and summative assessments as input to the program review process.
b. The department/discipline faculty have identified other types of program information (e.g., results of alumni, employer and intern surveys; input from external advisory councils; etc.) and applied this information in the program review process.
c. The department/discipline has established a routine (on-going) process for reviewing information related to the performance of the major program and for making changes to improve the performance of the program.
d. The department/discipline can document program changes (course content, course pedagogy, program curriculum, etc.) that have been implemented as a result of the program assessment process.
4. Graduation Requirements. This component is NOT an official part of the university Assessment Timetable. Although this component remains a goal of the hcbps assessment model, the college and university have not approved it at this time. This component establishes demonstration of student competency (i.e., minimal proficiency) in the content knowledge and skills that define the degree program as a graduation requirement.
a. The department’s faculty have collaboratively established minimum student performance standards for all program outcomes as a condition of graduation/program completion. Student demonstration of having achieved these standards is determined by completion of all summative assessment requirements. This graduation requirement is clearly stated in the catalog and communicated to students as part of Goal A, 3.
b. A copy of the student performance standards is available in the department, Office of the Dean, Office of Assessment and Testing Services, and Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.