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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Program Assessment

While assessment happens across the university in a variety of forms, Program Assessment focuses on academic, student learning assessment of majors. OAIR supports the Program Assessment processes by coordinating and providing administrative support and technical expertise to departments.

A unit within program assessment is one or more programs that share Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). Each of these units are responsible for creating, maintaining, and reporting on their assessment plan, providing our office with an annual report summarizing this information: 

  • Updated learning outcomes
  • Measures for those outcomes
  • Results of those measures
  • Any changes they plan out of these results with the intention of improvement
  • An overall Assessment Process Description (APD)
  • Curruculum Map
Assessment Process Description

A statement outlining the conversations embedded in a unit's process specifically focused on their assessment plan, any results, and any potential curricular changes related to it. This description should reflect an ongoing process, not one in the future, the past, or as needed.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Stated in terms of student experience, these Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) include  knowledge or skills sets the students build through the program.

Key Measures

Key measures provide specific indicators of students' progress toward a program's SLOs. Key measures should be based on student work (direct measures). Indirect measures (student-reported data, such as surveys) can also be included.

Results -- including Curricular Changes

Results are in the form of a concise but informative overview of student performance on a unit's key measures. The overview includes an analysis of what these results mean to the unit regarding curriculum.

The curricular changes are directly related to the results of a unit's key measures. These changes might be related to the curriculum content or the curricular process. They can be course level or program level.

This assessment plan reporting does not record every curricular improvement the program makes at every level. Instead, it offers documentation of their systematic assessment of key checkpoints that we believe reflects a larger work they do throughout the curriculum.

Peer Review

Each year the Program Assessment Plans are reviewed by the Program Assessment Committee. This committee is convened by the Office of Assessment and Institutional Research and is comprised of at least one member from each college. In order, to maintain some consistency in the feedback, the committee reviews the plan using a common rubric that identifies the scope and quality of each component listed above. 

Assessment On Assessment Rubric

Click here to download a full PDF.

Assessment on Assessment: What We Have Learned


1. Consistent Reporting. The online platform for data management and aggregation provides consistency in collection and aggregation. 

2. Cycled Reporting. Each program's SLOs are divided into three sets, each set to be reported in consecutive years. This gives programs more time to observe the changes they put into place and draw conclusions about their effectiveness.


3. Reconsidered Timeline. We moved from a late spring reporting timeline to an early fall timeline that, we hope, allows more opportunity for reflection, conversation, and informed decision-making.




Writing Effective Outcome Statements

Choosing the Right Assessment Methods

Reporting Your Results

Qualitative Data: Coding for Organization

Quantitative Data: Presenting Findings Visually