Assessment at GVSU

UAC-related Assessment Planning, Reporting and Review RESUMING Fall 2023

The University Assessment Committee is resuming assessment plan reporting and assessment plan review under a new model, beginning Fall 2023.

UAC has spent significant time over the past 2 years developing a revised assessment planning and reporting model for campus. The model has support from University Academic Senate, Sean Lancaster, AVP for Academic Affairs responsible for assessment and accreditation, and Provost Mili.

As UAC begins to communicate the revised process to campus, we wish to emphasize the following key points:

  • Reporting expectations for General Education and SWS are not changing. UAC does not manage the assessment processes for General Education or SWS.
  • Assessment expectations for campus are not changing. Assessment includes a process for collecting and acting on information to support continuous improvement.
  • How reporting will happen is changing, with the goal of simplifying the process and increasing the meaningfulness of assessment work.

To help the campus learn about the new processes, UAC is developing a series of videos to help spread the word and foster communication about assessment. Additional videos for non-externally accredited programs will be available in early March.

              Introducing the new process (all programs please view)   Slides for Introduction

Programs with External Accreditation Entities, please view the video linked below:

              Exemption process for Externally Accredited programs

Non-externally Accredited Programs, please view the two videos linked below:
               New Assessment Process, PDCA - Overview     Slides - PDCA Introduction

               Abbreviated Examples of New Assessment Plans and Reports     Slides - Examples of plans, reports

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


A New Model of Assessment Planning and Reporting, Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)

Image describing the Plan-Do-Check-Act assessment model

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

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.

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. (

NILOA: "Assessment That Matters" Report Spotlight

NILOA: "Assessment That Matters" Report

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

View More Assessment Spotlights

Page last modified March 3, 2023