Assessment at GVSU

Suspension of UAC-related Assessment Reporting and Assessment Review for academic year 2022-2023

The University Assessment Committee, with the support of Sean Lancaster, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Provost Mili, supports the suspension of assessment plan reporting and assessment plan review for the 2022-2023 academic year to ensure a smooth transition to a more effective and beneficial process.

This past academic year, the UAC spent significant time listening to the campus community, reviewing, and then proposing significant revision to our current assessment plan structure and reporting process. We want to have a process that benefits all stakeholders better, and we are engaged in that effort. The recommendations are forwarded to University Academic Senate (UAS) for consideration, and we anticipate support for the improvements to the process. Given the changes coming, we recognize the necessity and benefit to having programs pause reporting this year while waiting for the revised process to be approved and updates made to GVAssess.

UAC will keep campus informed about the upcoming process, once approved. UAC’s work this year is focused on implementing the improvements and building resources to better support all programs/units. UAC will reach out to you in early 2023 with instructions for revisions to assessment planning and reporting. We hope that the revisions allow all programs to focus on a small number of key student learning and student-centered outcomes that can best support the excellent work and desired improvements of each program.

Please direct questions to Julie Henderleiter, University Assessment Committee chair, at [email protected].

PLEASE NOTE--All assessment requirements for General Education, SWS, FSBC reporting, and any reporting for external accreditation of individual programs will continue as normal.

Assessment at GVSU encompasses several overlapping areas:

  • Program Review: Program review is accomplished through a combination of internal self study with resource analysis, student outcomes assessment, accreditation reporting (where applicable), and external program review. 
  • Course Assessment: Assessment in each GVSU course is guided by a common syllabus of record (SOR, available on Bb) that defines a core set of learning objectives that will be taught and assessment methods that will be employed regardless of which section, semester, year, or instructor teaches the course. 
  • Student Outcomes Assessment: 
    • Student learning outcomes (SLOs) describe fundamental competencies students should know or be able to demonstrate upon completion of an academic programs (major, emphasis, certificate program, etc.). 
    • Student centered outcomes (SCOs) describe the results or products of co-curricular programming.
    • Search for student outcomes and view recent reporting by program
  • General Education Assessment: The General Education (GE) Program teaches the skills and knowledge needed to intelligently participate in public discourse, which are defined via the Student Learning Outcomes of the GE Program.
  • Supplemental Writing Skills Assessment: The Supplemental Writing Skills (SWS) program encourage critical thinking, exploration of values, and self-discovery in courses across the curriculum while emphasizing emphasize the importance of "writing as process" and "writing to learn." Additional information is available from the SWS Program Goals site.
  • Self Study and Strategic Planning: Strategic planning establishes measurable objectives and metrics used to evaluate progress toward achieving strategic plan outcomes. Self study occurs in the year preceding strategic planning and informs planning for the next six-year cycle.
  • External Accreditation Assessment: The 60+ externally accredited undergraduate, graduate, and co-curricular programs at GVSU carry out a wide array of assessment activities in preparation for external review against applicable standards. Externally accredited units also participate in university assessment processes. See the UAC policies page for details.

Quick Links

Assessment Cycles

Assessment at GVSU is an ongoing, multi-layered process: 

  • Annually: Units post regular (at least annual) reporting with updated assessment results for student outcomes (GVAssess) and strategic planning outcomes (GVPlan)
  • Two-year cycle: The University Assessment Committee (UAC) reviews the assessment of student learning, student-centered, and strategic planning outcomes on a two-year rotation, providing written feedback to approximately 1/4 of academic and co-curricular programs every semester.
  • Four-year cycle: The General Education Committee (GEC) manages a process that ensures the General Education skill and knowledge outcomes of each General Education course are assessed every four years, providing annual summaries and a comprehensive report to the campus community at the conclusion of each cycle.
  • Six-year cycle: All units engage in self-study following the university-wide strategic planning cycle.

See the assessment process page for additional details.

Quarterly review cycle chart (webpage | pdf)


University Assessment Committee (UAC)

The UAC is the standing committee of the University Academic Senate that supports and promotes program- and unit-level assessment at GVSU. The committee meets in full session every other week during the academic year (Mondays, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.).

UAC recently developed and adopted new reporting processes in conjunction with the development of GVSU's in-house assessment tracking and reporting systems, GVPlan and GVAssess. For additional information, view the About UAC page of our website.

Did you know?

UAC members review and provide feedback on an average of 71 assessment reports and strategic plans per semester.

Offline versions of the UAC reviewer rubrics are available. 

Resources and Support

The committee is developing resources for faculty and staff involved in assessment planning, implementation, and reporting. Visit our Resources and Support page for details.

For additional support, contact the UAC chair.


Assessment Spotlights

NILOA: "Assessment That Matters" Report Spotlight

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NILOA releases results of third national survey on assessment practices in U.S. higher education

GVAdvance launched Spotlight

GVAdvance launched

The new front-end for the GVAssess and GVPlan databases was released on Sept. 10, 2018. The update merges several systems into a unified interface called GVAdvance. (intranet.gvsu.edu/gvadvance)

Student Outcomes Search Spotlight

Student Outcomes Search

The new Student Outcomes Search makes it possible to easily view the outcomes for programs at GVSU. A snapshot of the latest reporting from the GVAssess assessment database is also displayed.

GVSU Conference (2018): "Program Assessment For Learning" Spotlight

GVSU Conference (2018): "Program Assessment For Learning"

GVSU's university-wide assessment conference in January 2018 was part of a larger conversation about how we can assess student learning efficiently and effectively.

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Page last modified September 6, 2022