Assessment at Western Oregon University
The role of assessment at Western Oregon University is first and foremost to guide the ongoing effectiveness of our programs in helping our students meet the Undergraduate or Graduate Learning Outcomes as well as their Program Learning Outcomes. Assessment provides us with some of the information we need to examine our practice to ensure that our programs promote student learning in alignment with our outcomes and mission. Additionally, assessment provides us with one valuable tool by which we can document to our stakeholders that we are engaged in mission fulfillment.
At WOU, all academic programs engage in assessment by doing the following:
- Determining Program Learning Outcomes (PLO).
- Aligning at least one program learning outcome to an Undergraduate Learning Outcome (ULO) or Graduate Learning Outcome (GLO). Courses that are offered as part of the General Education Program must also align to the General Education Learning Outcomes (GELO) required for the element of the General Education program which they support.
- Ensuring that all courses align to at least one PLO or ULO/GLO and identifying clearly on all course syllabi which PLOs and ULOs are featured in that course.
- Selecting at least one PLO on which to focus annually using the instruments, assignments and strategies that the program determines to be appropriate and report their results to the relevant Academic Dean.
- Engaging in conversation with all members of the program based upon the assessment information and reporting on those conversations to the relevant Academic Dean.
- For Course goals aligned to ULO/GLOs, identifying a signature assignment and provide input on student learning of aligned ULO/GLOs to the appropriate Professional Learning Community during the academic year in which that ULO/GLO is highlighted.
- Incorporating the program assessment information into the regular 7-year cycle of Program Review as part of the self-study.
Program Assessment — Every Year
Academic Programs include majors, minors and certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels; general education; co-curricular and academic support services within Academic Affairs. In addition to the Campus-wide assessment of learning outcomes at the undergraduate and graduate levels, academic programs also engage in strategic assessment.
Each year every academic program assesses student achievement of at least one program learning outcome. Any revisions or updates to the assessment plan are filed in June of the preceding academic year. The report for a given academic year is due on October 31 of the next academic year. For example, a plan filed in June 2019 will be used to guide the collection of assessment data during the 2019-20 academic year. The report on that data will be filed in October 2020.
You can find your program’s assessment plan and reports submitted in the past at this link: Program assessment (WOU campus access only: You will be prompted to provide your paw print – portal – credentials)
Quick link to download the Program Assessment Plan Template
Quick link to download the Program Assessment Report Template
Rubric for self-assessment of plans and reports: What are we aiming for?