As a follow up of the 2007 review by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), curriculum and assessment initiatives have been focused on the work of the Liberal Education Reform Team. A variety of assessment tools will need to be identified or developed to assess the new learning outcomes.
Assessment plans from all academic units are developed with support and collection by the Faculty Senate Committee on the Assessment of Student Learning (FSCASL). Many nonacademic units have crafted outcome-based plans.
With the University’s mission and values serving as a driving force, academic accountability advances campus use of the results in strategic planning efforts. The FSCASL continues to review assessment plans and to provide feedback to all academic units. To develop a significant plan useful in teaching, scholarship and stewardship by the deans, the FASCASL and cohorts have many campus resources available, such as the administrative liaison/assistant vice chancellor for curricular affairs and student achievement, the Office of Institutional Research, the Academic Policy Committee and the General Education Committee.
Assessments, such as the following, contribute to awareness of student learning and the learning environment: the Collegiate Learning Assessment, the National Survey of Student Engagement, the Climate Survey, College of Business Learning Goals and Outcome-Based Measures Matrices, College of Education and Human Services DPI Report Updates, College of Nursing's CNNE and CIPR Reports, the College of Letters and Sciences Professionally Accredited Program reviews as well as all program reviews.
The fall 2008 Provost’s Summit on Teaching and Learning focused on assessment practices and building understanding of the new liberal education outcomes. The summit, titled “Sharing Expectations for Student Writing and Speaking,” provided a forum for the University community to discuss learning expectations for writing and oral communication. The use of rubrics as assessment tools to measure student work in these two outcome areas was another focal purpose of the summit.
In 2007-2008, all academic units reported approved assessment plans, with a majority reporting that the plans affected curriculum changes in their unit. In 2007-2008, several assessment plans are scheduled for review including:
- COBA: Common Assessment for BBA (Accounting, Economics, Finance/Business Law, Management/Human Resources, MIS, Marketing and Operation Management);
- COEHS: Human Services and Reading Education;
- COLS: Anthropology, Art, Bachelor of Liberal Studies, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, English (undergraduate), Foreign Languages (French, German, and Spanish), Geography, International Studies, Kinesiology-Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Physical Education Teacher’s Preparation, Mathematics (graduate), Physics (undergraduate and graduate), Psychology (undergraduate and graduate), Public Administration, Sociology, Speech Communication, Theatre and Urban Regional Studies; and
- CON: Nursing (graduate and undergraduate).
To be effective, UW Oshkosh revisits and reflects upon assessment that involves the strategic plan, the student outcome-based assessment plan, the UW System Achieving Excellence goals and measures, the new accreditation standards of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools as well as the assessment criteria of the various accrediting agencies for accredited degree programs.
Wisconsin Campus Compact
To “serve and engage people and ideas for the common good,” UW Oshkosh provides full-time membership in the Wisconsin Campus Compact, benefiting students, faculty and the community. This is the fifth year of the University's association with the Wisconsin Campus Compact.
Student outcome-based assessment plan
UW Oshkosh's participation in a series of internal and external programs of national stature to identify expected learning outcomes to make the assessment of learning possible is ongoing. The following programs provide well-rounded information about student learning and satisfaction.
In spring 2008, the University administered the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) in order to assess the core base knowledge of the environment for learning, student accomplishments and more. To personalize NSSE questions, the University is part of a team that prepared a consortium of questions to reflect activity in the UW System schools, such as depth and breadth of engagement. Additionally, in spring 2008 the University participated in the Climate Survey, a UW System initiative. The University administered the Collegiate Learning Assessment in fall 2008 on a pilot basis.
UW System requires that each campus submit evidence of progress in achieving four sets of systemwide goals. Data from the campuses is compiled at the system level and published under the title Achieving Excellence (www.uwsa.edu/opar/accountability/achieve06/inst06.pdf).
Academic program assessment
The University conducts periodic assessment of academic programs under the direction of the assistant vice chancellor for curricular affairs, with oversight by the Faculty Senate Committee on Assessment of Student Learning. After a two-year moratorium on program review, the Academic Policy Committee continued with the reviews.
Academic program accreditation
Accreditation of the University's academic programs is an ongoing process that is cyclical in nature, tended to by the process of shared governance. New programs, as well as programs in place, are accredited by an outside professional accrediting organization. In spring 2008, the campus received word that the Human Services program was accredited by the Council for Standards for Human Service Education, and the Social Work undergraduate program was accredited by the Council of Social Work Education. During the 2008-2009 academic year, 20 program reviews are scheduled.
In 2007, the University received re-accreditation during a comprehensive visit by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association this accreditation occurs every 10 years. In anticipation of the next review in 2017, the provost appointed the Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Preparation Committee.