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Glossary of Terms

Appointing officer - individual responsible for personnel and program decisions.

Assessment - the process of seeking, evaluating, reflecting upon data, and making changes in order to foster continuous improvement of student academic learning and achievement.

Assessment Plan - formal developmental process for measuring student learning outcomes including data collection and analysis procedures.

Assessment Plan (Student Learning Outcomes) - goals, objectives, measures; timeline, responsible party; component of your strategic plan.  This constitutes the student learning goals section of your Strategic Plan

Assessment report - the formal report on student learning outcomes submitted to the University Assessment Committee (UAC): data collected as described in assessment plan

Benchmarks or standards - specific targets against which we gauge success in achieving an outcome

Competencies and proficiencies - terms used to describe learning outcomes or objectives

Emphasis - area of study within a program with at least one unique objective

Goals - what you aim to achieve: an achievable outcome; goals are not measurable 

Learning outcomes or learning goals - goals that describe how students will be different because of a learning experience; learning outcomes are the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and habits of mind that students take with them from a learning experience

Measure - an instrument used to assess a student action or outcome of the stated objective 

Objectives - a measurable action or outcome that will be a step in accomplishing a goal; detailed aspects of goals; the tasks to be accomplished to achieve the goal; the means to the end; the process leading to the outcome

Outcomes - goals that refer to a destination rather than the path taken to get there; the end rather than the means; the outcome rather than the process

Performance indicators - quantitative measures of overall student performance 

Self Study - the formal reporting focusing on unit function and performance: a snapshot of where your program is right now

Strategic Plan - future plan: vision, mission, values, goals, objectives, measures, timeline, responsible party

Threshold - the performance or achievement level that must be exceeded.  Ideally it is based on benchmarks.

Unit - smallest academic organization recognized by university budgeting.