College of Education - Annual Assessment Process


All colleges should have a college-wide process that assesses the degree to which academic programs/units reach their student learning outcomes. The college-wide assessment process in the College of Education is called the College of Education Annual Assessment Process (COE-AAP). This process serves three inter-related purposes:

  1. Annual assessment plans help programs/units continuously improve and track the degree to which improvements contribute to student success.
  2. Annual assessment plans constitute evidence that the college is working toward continuous improvement for discipline-specific accreditors. Specifically, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) requires that colleges have a quality assurance system that “documents how data enter the system, how data are reported and used in decision making, and how the outcomes of those decisions inform programmatic improvement” (Standard R5.1).
  3. Annual assessment plans help programs/units make data-driven decisions and support resource requests and annual reports to administration.

Assessment Cycle

The assessment cycle is a closed loop of planning, implementing, measuring, collecting and analyzing, reporting and strategizing, improving, and then planning again. The cycle is closed by programs/units use of data for continuous improvement. Assessment is an ongoing activity with different benchmarks that allow programs/units to debrief, discuss, and redirect their efforts towards more effective use of resources to meet unit goals.

photo of the assessment cycle

 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • What is the process?

    All academic programs/units will have a plan based on assessing student learning outcomes. These annual reports will serve as the basis of the COE-AAP. 

  • What is the plan?

    Assessment plans contain a set of outcomes, measures, targets, findings, and reflection on how those findings will be used to improve the program/unit.

  • What is the process of submitting a plan?

    Programs/units should plan an assessment strategy based on student learning outcomes. Each annual plan does not need to capture all dimensions of the program/unit but should create a measurable and meaningful process for assessing the program/unit’s ability to meet its goals. The plan will be reviewed by the College of Education’s Office of Assessment for completeness. If measurement methods are inappropriate, authors will be consulted and asked to resubmit. Once accepted, the plan will be implemented, and data will be gathered. Programs/units will then report the results of their assessment and make recommendations for improvement based on these results.

  • What are some best practices for submitting the plan?
    • Plans should rely on direct measures (faculty or industry experts assessing students’ ability to meet a student learning outcome).
    • Plans can include indirect measures (students assessing their own ability to meet an outcome), but this should be done only to support direct assessments.
    • Course grades (final grade submitted for a course) should not be used as an assessment measure as it is not granular enough to be useful.
    • Plans should focus on “end-of-program” experiences or activities (capstone projects, comprehensive exams, licensure exams, defenses, final projects, etc.).
  • When is the plan due?

    Plans are to be submitted in September/October for academic programs/units. Results will be gathered in May/June.

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