SUNY Oneonta Assessment of Student Learning

Highlights of the SUNY and MSA Assessment and Reporting Requirements

Because Oneonta has consolidated the academic assessment requirements of SUNY and MSA, a brief overview of the key requirements of each organization is presented below. More information about the MSA requirements has been included in the Appendices to these Guidelines.

Both SUNY and MSA expect that all academic programs:

  • will have relevant goals for what students are to learn;
  • will analyze outcomes, that is, identify what students have learned and can do; and
  • will use academic program review to enhance student learning.

Relevant goals are developed by focusing on outcomes that are the most important for success in the discipline, based on principles firmly rooted in the discipline. Furthermore, it is important that methods for meeting the goals be integrated throughout the curriculum.  Students learn specific content and skills in each course. In aggregate, those courses, together with other program experiences such as academic advising, internships, and student-faculty research should result in desired student outcomes at the program level.3 It is also vital that the program be sufficiently explicit about the program goals.   The program goals should be developed by faculty in the program and be clearly communicated to students and other stakeholders such as parents, prospective students, guidance counselors, employers, faculty in graduate programs, and program advisory groups.

SUNY System requires4 each campus to assess each of its undergraduate academic major programs every five to seven years.   This assessment must include measure of student learning and a written report from two external reviewers who have reviewed the program’s self-study and made a campus visit.  Faculty are referred to the Guide for the Evaluation of Undergraduate Academic Programs prepared by SUNY’s University Faculy Senate for guidance regarding program assessment.  This document can be accessed at: http://www.suny.edu/facultySenate/files/Program_Review.pdf.

The Middle States Association requires as part of programmatic review:5

  • That each of the College’s academic programs has:
    • Identified student learning goals for its educational offerings that are appropriate to its higher education mission;
    • Displayed appropriate academic content, rigor, and coherence
  • That curricula are designed so that students demonstrate college-level proficiency in general education and essential skills including:6
    • Oral and written communication;
    • Scientific and quantitative reasoning;
    • Critical analysis and reasoning;
    • Technological competence; and
    •  
  • That the College and its academic programs analyze rather than simply describe their academic accomplishments7.

3 Middle State Commission on Higher Education: Student Learning Assessment – Options and Resources, 2003.
4
SUNY System: Guidelines for the Implementation of Campus-based Assessment of the Major, August 12, 2003
5 Middle States Commission on Higher Education: Characteristics of Excellence in High Education – Eligibility Requirements and Standards for Accreditation, 2006.
6
Oneonta has an on-going, but separate, process for the assessment of student learning related to its General Education requirements.
7
Information about “Description vs. Analysis” is located on page 17 of these Guidelines.

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