Southeast Missouri State UniversityThe overall concept of assessment includes attempts to identify ways in which university experiences, both formal and informal, affect students. The primary purpose of academic assessment is to measure student academic achievement and to identify program success. Academic assessment includes attempts to document student achievement in the area of general academic abilities and in their specific academic program areas.
Academic assessment involves both assessment for program improvement and for accountability. As a state institution of higher education, Southeast Missouri State University has a responsibility to document student achievement. The major focus in the design of assessment processes should be the generation of information that is useful in identifying changes that will lead to program improvements that will in turn enhance student achievement.
The faculty had the primary responsibility for the design, implementation, and evaluation of processes designed to assess student achievement. In designing the assessment process, faculty should have the maximum flexibility in selecting the assessment procedures that, in their professional judgment, are not appropriate for the curriculum.
It is essential that assessment employs multiple measures. No one instrument is sufficiently complex to capture the range of student achievement necessary to make a judgment regarding how well a program is functioning.
Assessment is an integral part of the program and department review process. Results from assessment should raise questions about ways in which improvements can be made. Assessment data should be shared openly with faculty and administrators.
The assessment process should be designed to collect information concerning student achievement in the least intrusive ways possible. Students should not be subjected to large numbers of paper and pencil tests from which they see little benefit. Since assessment is intended to be beneficial to students, students should be aware of methods of assessment in use on campus. Where feasible, assessment results should be provided to individual students on a timely basis. Individual student results on assessment measures should be treated in such a way as to ensure student privacy.
April 20, 1992
Director Academic Assessment