Assessment of student learning outcomes follows standards that are consistent with New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
In 2012, the College unveiled its new undergraduate Core Curriculum. The nine mission-related learning goals for the Core Curriculum directly link the College’s Catholic and Dominican identity and intellectual tradition to specific teaching and learning goals. Working collaboratively with the Core Curriculum Committee (CCC) and the Core Curriculum Administrative Team (CCAT), the College is cycling through a deep level of assessment of the Core Curriculum’s mission-related learning goals. On a related note, the CCC has been charged with monitoring the implementation of the Core and has been slowly progressing through each of the core attributes to ensure that objectives are being met by approved courses.
Schedule of Core Curriculum Assessment Review
Based upon the Core’s mission-related goals, the College continues to cycle through assessments of each. Below is a timeline of this assessment work to date.
- 2010-2012: Writing
- 2014-2015: Deep Reading
- 2015-2016: Oral Communication
- 2017-2018: Diversity
- 2018-2019: Moral & Ethical Reasoning
- 2019-2021: Civic Engagement
- 2021-TBD: Quantitative Reasoning
*Note: A results summary that captures findings from all of this assessment work is forthcoming.
Method of Assessment
Joint faculty/administration committees and institutional effectiveness staff (e.g., the CCC, the CCAT) hold responsibilities for monitoring the alignment of Core courses with Core objectives, and for ensuring the ongoing assessment of students’ learning in the Core Curriculum.
Various measures and processes used to assess learning include:
- Several assessment projects have utilized adapted AAC&U VALUE Rubrics, including assessments of writing, oral communication, deep reading, moral & ethical reasoning, as well as a comprehensive, portfolio-based assessment of all Core Curriculum mission-related learning goals by a sample of students in the Classes of 2017 and 2022. Additionally, diversity and cross-cultural understanding, as one of the Core’s proficiency requirements, was assessed more deeply, beginning in the Spring 2017 semester. This specific project involved examining existing College data related to diversity and inclusiveness, analyzing data from community climate focus groups and surveys, and reviewing results from the Openness to Diversity & Challenge Scale (adapted).
- Data are analyzed, summarized, and compiled into an assessment report for each goal assessed.
Closing the Loop
Assessment reports are distributed to the provost’s office, the CCC, and posted to the internal campus portal website which is available to the entire campus community. Meetings may be held for faculty to discuss ways of improving the level of student achievement in Core courses. As part of the assessment process, faculty are asked to reflect on the assessment results and share any pedagogical changes they plan to make in their classes.