At Millersville University, student learning is the primary focus. Outcomes assessment occurs at the program and the University levels with the intent to determine the effectiveness of the programs and provide opportunities to continuously improve student learning.
The University recently updated its General Education curriculum and assesses the following fundamental competencies: critical reasoning, oral and written communication, mathematical reasoning, scientific reasoning, information literacy, and technology literacy.
Millersville is regionally accredited through the Middle States Commission for Higher Education, and 86% of academic programs that can seek accreditation in their field are accredited. Most MU students successfully pass licensure exams when part of the preparation for their professional career. During 2007-08 in the School of Education , 98.9% of Millersville students passed their Praxis exam.
Systematic Assessment at Millersville
Assessment practices at Millersville follow a systematic process at the institution, department and program levels. The document below provides a summary of the assessment cycle at the institution level.
Millersville's Council for Institutional Effectiveness and Accountability recently updated its Principles of Assessment (PDF) which serve to guide the assessment process and practices.
Please use the link provided for Institutional Research for important facts and reports about Millersville University. For information regarding the University Planning Council and University division strategic plans, use the link provided for Strategic Planning. For information regarding outcomes assessment for academic and non-academic departments, use the link for Comprehensive Assessment Summaries.
The key to effective outcomes assessment is clearly specifying intended student outcomes or administrative objectives. Student outcomes are the knowledge and skills that faculty members intend students to get from a course of study. One way to consider student outcomes at the program level is to think about those six to eight skills, abilities or knowledge of concepts that you want students to be able to demonstrate when they complete your program of study.
Administrative objectives are the intended results of service delivery or support to the institution. Outcomes are simply what we intend to accomplish through our work. They provide an ideal platform for the identification of measurable, or ascertainable, criteria - which can also be referred to as "targets."
Assessment of Student Learning
In the instructional assessment forum, Millersville University uses the Learning Outcomes Assessment Plan and Report (LOAPR) process. Programs specify the three to four learning outcomes that they plan to assess, specify coherence with the major and general education courses, identify measurable criteria, collect and interpret evidence, and make improvements based upon evidence. Guidelines for the LOAPR process are located below. For examples of prior year assessment reports, log-in to the Comprehensive Assessment Summary Page.
Measurable criteria "operationalize" the intended student outcomes and administrative objectives. These are indicators that suggest to us if we accomplished what we intended to via educational opportunities or service delivery. It's important to note that measurable criteria maybe either quantitative or qualitative indicators. Qualitative indicators are usually consensus driven and are just as viable as quantitative indicators. While they tend to be more time-consuming and interpretive, they usually provide a rich source of data.