UAC Policy Documents

UAC Policies



Policy Summary


Use of Course Grades


Since course grades and GPA tend to be aggregates of assignments measuring multiple student learning outcomes, the UAC does not find the use of course grades acceptable for the purpose of evaluating student learning outcomes (SLOs).


Externally Accredited Programs


To promote a meaningful review process, and in recognition of GVSU’s Assessment Philosophy and Guiding Principles, UAC expects externally accredited programs to follow the normal reporting process for student outcomes assessment, including entry of assessment information into the GVAssess database.


Externally Accredited Programs, revised


UAC has revised its assessment model and assessment process (now PDCA, Plan-Do-Check-Act). As part of the revision, UAC has developed a mechanism for programs with external accreditation, including federal funding, to use much of that work to meet GVSU's assessment requirements. Programs with external accreditation may submit documentation to UAC, showing how their external accrediting body requires assessment of Student Learning Outcomes that is consistent with GVSU's expectations. Programs can be approved to follow Process 2 reporting, see table, to UAC.


UAC Recommendations


UAC recommendations for assessment include:

  • Take a holistic approach: Each course is guided by a common syllabus of record (SOR) with core course objectives and assessment methods that are consistent across sections. Learning objectives and assessment methods should align with program outcomes. 
  • Use assessment results: Closing the loop means using assessment results to inform decisions and improve student outcomes.
  • Strive for focused, ongoing assessment: The goal is for a unit's assessment efforts to be focused, internally driven, and sustainable. Programs are encouraged to continually evolve in their plans.
  • Involve faculty and students: Programs are encouraged to involve faculty in planning, assessment and reporting process and be transparent about assessment practices and results with students.


UAC Recommendations on use of Service and Pre-majors courses in program assessment

The University Assessment Committee recommends that units assess the graded curriculum, from prerequisite to senior level courses, at many points along the path to graduation. This includes intermediate and prerequisite or service courses that students take to prepare them for the upper division courses in the major, where many of the final unit assessments are currently taking place. Some of the intermediate level courses may enroll non-majors. Units may choose to include data from non-majors as it suits the unit. The benefits of assessing across the curriculum include:

  1. Some majors have very linear structures with prerequisite or service courses. Assessing prerequisite or service courses can help units identify and highlight strengths or address weaknesses in their programs.
  2. Assessing prerequisite or service courses can help units identify the effectiveness of changes implemented within their majors or minors and act on the results.
  3. Assessing prerequisite or service courses can allow units offering these courses to demonstrate their effectiveness, including to all units that use them as part of their majors.
  4. Assessing prerequisite or service courses can help in situations where students are falling short of assessment goals.  The cause of the failures might be in prerequisite or service courses instead of the course being assessed.  Assessing prerequisite or service courses might show that to be a fact, not a speculation.

Letter from Provost's Office


This statement summarizes the role of the SPAA Office of the Provost at GVSU (updated Aug 2017). 


GVSU Assessment Principles


GVSU's Assessment Guiding Principles were drafted and approved by the UAC in 2015. The document is the result of collaborative effort and is based on a thorough review of higher education assessment practices around the country. This updates the initial Guiding Principles document written in 2005.  


GVSU Assessment Philosophy


The historical and philosophical assumptions underlying the assessment at GVSU were updated and approved by UAC in 2015. The document is a revision and update of initial 2005 document.


Page last modified June 25, 2024