Assessment Plans DUE September 1, 2024 for all programs

 Please visit the Assessment Process tab for Assessment Plan templates, an Assessment Form, and additional information.

Information for Externally Accredited Programs (Process 2)

A UAC subcommittee is finalizing guidance for externally accredited programs to determine whether the programs may be exempt from most reporting. UAC will work with externally accredited programs to understand how the accrediting body approaches assessment of student learning through a lens of continuous improvement to determine how closely the accreditation standards match UAC guidelines. Some co-curricular and service programs may also be eligible for exemption from most reporting. UAC contacted programs with external accreditation in early February with a link to a Qualtrics Survey to collect information about accreditation requirements for programs. UAC will follow up with programs about alternate reporting by May. If an externally accredited program has not received a link to the survey, please contact UAC at [email protected].

Information for Non-Externally Accredited Programs (Process 1)

Academic and co-curricular/support programs will devise a new assessment plan. Plans are due September 1, 2024.

A recommended approach to preparing the plan is to:

  • Define student learning or student-centered outcomes (SLOs and SCOs) for each program. Programs need 2+ SLOs/SCOs per program and one additional SLO per emphasis or certificate.
  • Map each outcome to courses or activities where the outcome is introduced, reinforced, or mastered.
  • Develop a semester-by-semester or annual plan for assessing each outcome. Best practice assesses SLOs and SCOs early and later to demonstrate student growth and identify areas for improvement.

Data may be collected in introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses (academic programs) or towards the beginning and end of programming meant to support students (SCOs).

Measures, benchmarks or targets, and assessment tools will be part of the assessment report. Programs should discuss these items as they devise their plans to ensure that SLOs and SCOs are measurable and that the tools needed are available and useful.

A video explaining the revised process and a video showing an abbreviated example of an assessment plan for an academic and for a service unit are provided below:

               New Assessment Process, PDCA - Overview     Slides - PDCA Introduction

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

Plans will be uploaded to GVAssess. Please note that GVAssess is currently undergoing significant revision and is not able to accept assessment plans at this time. UAC will let campus know when GVAssess is ready to accept assessment plans, hopefully by January 2024. For now, please write your plan as a Word-compatible document.

Single Outcome examples of an Assessment Plan from an Academic Unit and from a Service Unit are located on the Resources and Support tab, linked here

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

New assessment cycles will be announced by May 1, 2024

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 and student-centered 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.

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 per semester.

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

NILOA: "Assessment That Matters" Report

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

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. (

View More Assessment Spotlights

Page last modified March 25, 2024