Assessment Expectations

Each academic, advising, and co-curricular program at GVSU has an assessment plan that outlines the process of systematically collecting and analyzing data to evaluate the program's impact on the desired student outcomes. This page describes the current and ongoing expectations for student outcomes assessment at GVSU. 

Expectations vary by program type.

Assessment Tasks for all programs

Assessment Task

Process 1 responsibilities and expectations (all non-externally accredited programs, some externally accredited programs)

Process 2 responsibilities and expectations (externally accredited programs with UAC approval)

Identify student learning (SLO) or student-centered outcomes (SCO).

Completed by the program; at least 2 per program or  certificate,  with at least 1 additional per emphasis.

Specified as part of the requirements from the external accrediting body.

Map outcomes to courses and activities.

Completed by the program. Calendar in Assessment Plan and curriculum map (academic programs).

Specified as part of the requirements from the external accrediting body.

Develop a semesterly or annual plan for assessing each outcome.

Best assessment practices include assessing outcomes early and late in a program to help identify strengths and areas for improvement. Academic programs should use a curriculum map as part of their plan; co-curricular programs should use a calendar of events or other appropriate structure.

Specified as part of the requirements from the external accrediting body OR constructed by the program to aid in data collection and analysis required by the accreditor.

Report on the progress made regarding outcomes.

Programs are expected to upload assessment results annually into GVAssess. Programs may upload assessment tools and describe benchmarks or targets, or analysis of results, at this time. Reporting in GVAssess will be linked to the assessment calendar provided by the program.

Prior to each review by UAC, programs provide an executive summary (~1 page) highlighting important findings and any areas of concern.

Biennial analysis of assessment outcomes and “next steps”. UAC will review programs biennially, as in the past.

Biennial analysis of assessment results with an eye towards addressing concerns or continuous improvement. Measures, benchmarks or targets, and assessment tools are included in GVAssess. Clear plans for next steps to address concerns or continually improve student outcomes, based on assessment results, are added. Corrective actions or changes planned are described. The RESULTS of these changes will be described in THE NEXT biennial analysis cycle. 

Programs will have a mechanism to “retire” an SLO or SCO if they are satisfied with the outcomes (discussed in the report)  and replace it with a new SLO or SCO to help advocate for resources or continue improvements.

A component of the biennial executive summary is a brief description of plans to address concerns.

Programs approved for Process #2 will provide accreditation reports (full review) the semester after reaccreditation. Programs will reapply for Process #2 at this time.

Assessment plan guidelines

The University Assessment Committee has adopted the following guidelines for academic programs, advising centers, and co-curricular programs at GVSU:

  • Academic programs: Each academic major or degree program should have its own assessment plan consisting of 2+ SLOs. UAC expects units to provide updated reporting annually in GVAssess on all SLOs
    • These are outcomes are common to all students who graduate with a given major. 
    • Units are encouraged to consider incorporating the GenEd Outcomes into their assessment plans where it makes sense to do so. 
  • Emphases: Each emphasis area should have its own unique SLO in the assessment plan for the major. UAC expects units to provide updated reporting annually in GVAssess.
    • These are outcomes uniquely associated with the emphasis and are to be assessed separately from the core SLOs for the major.
  • Certificates: Each certificate should have an assessment plan with at least 2 SLOs; these should be assessed at least once during each 2-year review cycle. UAC expects units to provide updated reporting every two years in GVAssess.
    • These are outcomes common to all who receive the certificate.
  • Advising: The assessment plan for an academic advising program normally includes 2+ SCOs. UAC expects advising centers to provide updated reporting annually in GVAssess on all SCOs. 
    • These describe measurable outcomes arising from advising-related activities and services.
  • Co-curricular: Co-curricular units offer programming that complements academic learning (e.g. University Libraries, Meijer Writing Center, Campus Rec., etc.). Assessment expectations are comparable to that for advising centers; co-curricular units have 2+ SCOs or SLOs with updated reporting annually in GVAssess on all SCOs or SLOs.

Need help?

Click here for a variety of assessment resources: 

Resources and Support 

Page last modified March 25, 2024