As part of the Educational Program Assessment process, The Citadel identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of using data to make continuous improvements.
Assessment of student learning outcomes at The Citadel involves the systematic collection, evaluation, and use of data to improve teaching, institutional effectiveness, student learning, and student development. Educational programs at The Citadel employ a wide array of strategies for assessing student learning outcomes including standardized tests, locally-developed exams, writing assignments with rubrics, capstone experiences, portfolios, observation, interviews and focus groups, course evaluations, and survey instruments. These program assessment measures are supplemented by institutional assessments such as the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), the National Collegiate Health Assessment, Leadership Writing Assessment, and The Citadel Experience Survey. See the Institutional Assessment page for more about these studies.
Every educational program at The Citadel has defined the specific student learning outcomes expected upon program completion. In addition, each department presents an annual assessment report on its student learning outcomes, programs, and activities, which it enters into the TaskStream Accountability Management System for compilation and analysis.
The annual assessment report requires departments to address mission/purpose, expected student learning outcomes, assessment tools and techniques, assessment results, continuous improvement efforts, and resource needs.
Investing in Assessment – TaskStream Accountability Management System
The Citadel uses the Accountability Management System (AMS) by TaskStream to help promote campus-wide collaboration and communication regarding institutional effectiveness, in part, by providing a communication and resource hub for all of the institution's accountability, outcomes assessment, planning, accreditation, and continuous improvement initiatives. The system’s reports provides real-time activity status and advanced metric dashboards to administrators and faculty throughout the assessment process, helping to promote a culture of assessment and encourage collaboration.
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Creating Intentional Linkages between Planning and Assessment
The Citadel’s Blueprint: A Strategic Plan for Educating Principled Leaders also focuses on the institution’s educational programs and continuous improvement efforts. The plan’s second strategic initiative is to enhance the learning environment, with objectives related to student retention and the creation of programs of distinction within each academic school. The Citadel utilizes a cyclical planning model with intentional linkages between strategic initiatives, objectives, and actions with resources, performance indicators, assessment techniques, and continuous improvement strategies. This process (depicted below) which creates synergy around enhancing institutional effectiveness, embeds assessment and a focus on continuous improvement in the institution’s planning and decision-making processes.
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