Assessment @ Allegheny

Academic culture is built on the questioning of assumptions, and the rigorous testing of one’s beliefs.  Academic assessment, in its best form, is doing just that: it asks us to determine what our students are learning–and when. It is not sufficient to wave one’s hands and assert that our students are learning because we are teaching them. That kind of reasoning would not be acceptable in an Academic paper, and neither should it in our teaching.

Assessment at Allegheny has two major parts: assessment of our general education and assessment of our majors, minors and other academic programs.  Direct assessment of the general education programs queries how well students are meeting our institutional learning outcomes in Speaking and Writing Seminar (SWS), the Junior Seminar and the Senior Project. Our distribution requirements (DR) are assessed directly in classes that carry a DR tag on a 4-year rotating schedule. We also use the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), NACE’s First Destination Survey and other tools to conduct indirect assessment.

Every academic department creates and annual assessment plan that contains both direct and indirect assessment of their course and program-level outcomes. That plan is reviewed by the Curricular Assessment committee. After the end of the academic year, departments gather in retreats to analyze and discuss the results, adding any actions that they deem necessary. The results of these deliberations are submitted annually to the Curricular Assessment Committee for review and feedback.

This is a repository for resources regarding assessment practices at Allegheny College. More will be added soon.