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September 6, 2016

I’m sure that by now you’ve had your fill of the “A” words: Accreditation, Assessment, Assurance, Argument, Assumed (practices).  I certainly have, yet I have to keep telling myself that “A” is the top grade for any Academic (ah, another “A” word) endeavor.  That can only be a good thing.  We are almost to the end of this long process, so please join me in embracing the “A’s” just a little bit longer.  We’re almost there! Alpha is about to become Omega.

Please join me in this 4th of 5 posts featuring highlights of the Assurance Argument.

Cedarville Assesses its Curriculum.  All of the assessment policies and processes involve faculty who operate under the responsibilities spelled out in Shared Governance in the Faculty Handbook (2.6).

Regular Program Review.  This is a systematic review of every academic program. Last year, the regular cycle of program review was reinstated after a short hiatus.  This is an important part of Assessment for HLC.  It involves examination by faculty, administration, and, if a program is recommended for discontinuation, a decision by the Trustees.

Curriculum Proposal Processes.  These are another means of evaluating curriculum change or new curriculum or program proposals.  Depending on the type of proposal, it may need to be approved by up to three levels, and may even need to go to the Trustees for approval. (Faculty Handbook 4.2 and 4.3)

Student Learning Outcome Assessment.  This refers to data that has been continuously gathered from every Department or School.  Data are derived from assignments that can be mapped to Course Objectives all the way to the Portrait Statements and are determined by faculty-created or University-developed rubrics. Analyses of Student Learning Outcomes examine the effectiveness of the course and program objectives in resultant, measurable learning outcomes.  The Office of Assessment and Accreditation has been gathering regular and consistent data on entry or Freshman level and late or Senior level data since 2011.  The Office has been making great gains in developing systems for university-wide curriculum assessment. You should be confident that the Academic area is continually assessing itself and using that data to make improvements in its programs.

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