General Education assessment

A page within Faculty Senate


The purpose of assessing the General Education Program is to improve student learning. Assessment is a course-embedded activity that collects information on student learning with respect to the programs' student learning outcomes. This information gives instructors at the course level and the General Education Committee at the program level an understanding of student achievement as it relates to the program outcomes. This data is used as a source of information to facilitate both program and course level improvements.

Student Learning Outcomes

The General Education Program has adopted the following six student learning outcomes (SLO). Note that these are program-level outcomes and not course-level outcomes.

Students will demonstrate knowledge and abilities relating to:
  1. human cultures and the natural world;
  2. critical and creative thinking;
  3. aesthetic perspectives and meaning;
  4. effective communication;
  5. interaction in intercultural contexts;
  6. individual, social, and environmental responsibility.

The Assessment Process

Background and Rationale for a New Process and Pilot

The General Education Committee (GEC) and General Education Assessment Committee (GEAC) have revised the assessment process to better support gathering of information at the program level in response to the Summer 2019 Working Group Report on GE Assessment. In Fall 2019 the GEC voted to use the AAC&U VALUE rubrics and their related outcomes as a tool for assessment. Faculty Senate approved a pause of GE assessment over the 2020-2021 academic year while GEAC drafted a new process. GEAC proposed a pilot assessment program to test out a new process over the 2021-2022 academic year which was approved by GEC on April 5th, 2021. A sample of faculty and courses will participate in the pilot to form two initial pilot cohorts. CATL and GEAC will provide training for participants on use of VALUE rubrics and new assessment procedures on Canvas. GEAC will continue to provide support and feedback to pilot participants.

Pilot Timeline

Spring 2021

  • Recruit Pilot Participants
  • Formation of Cohorts I and II for the pilot

Fall 2021

  • Training workshops for Cohort I
  • Cohort I submits assessment tasks to Canvas for review by GEAC
    • Target Date: October 15th
  • GEAC returns feedback to Cohort I

Spring 2022

  • Cohort I assesses courses
  • Training workshops for Cohort II
  • Cohort II submits assessment tasks to Canvas for review by GEAC
    • Target Date: March 15th
  • GEAC returns feedback to Cohort II

Fall 2022

  • Cohort I submits assessment results for GEAC review
    • Target Date: October 15th
  • Cohort II assesses courses

Spring 2023

  • Cohort II submits assessment results for GEAC review
    • Target Date: March 15th

Training and Support for Pilot Process

A critical part of the pilot process will include faculty training by the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning (CATL) on VALUE rubrics and their application. Faculty participating in the pilot will be provided with ongoing feedback from GEAC throughout the pilot process.

Participants will also be asked to provide feedback on their experience in the pilot to help GEC and GEAC refine the GE assessment process moving forward.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • General Education Committee. GEC coordinates the General Education Program and all policies related to program level assessment. The General Education Committee uses assessment data when fulfilling its obligation to regularly review the program. (refer to Faculty Senate By-Laws, Part II, Section J)
  • General Education Assessment Committee. GEAC reports to GEC and executes the assessment policies established by GE. (refer to Faculty Senate By-Laws, Part II, Section I)
  • Departments/Programs. Departments and Programs are responsible for complying with the assessment policies established by GE. Departments/Programs are responsible for the design, implementation, and use of their assessment instruments.
  • University Assessment Coordinator. The Assessment Coordinator serves as consultant to both GE and GEAC. The Assessment Coordinator also serves as a resource for Departments seeking to comply with the assessment policies established by GE.