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Academic Affairs Assessment Planning

Ferris State University is committed to making certain our programs and courses provide students with the best possible learning experience so that they will have the skills and knowledge to be successful in their careers and lives. To maintain that level of quality and to work to continually improve the educational environment at all levels, we are dedicated to regularly gathering and evaluating evidence of student learning. This evidence also demonstrates the quality of our programs and courses to future students, possible funding sources, accrediting bodies, and others. 

In addition to the assessment of student learning an important part of assessment at Ferris State University is a variety of other measures of institutional effectiveness, those related to Academic Affairs addressed in the second half of this report, the remainder of university assessment provided separately. 

A calendar of assessment goals and activities will be updated yearly. Below is a list of the key ongoing activities.

Student Learning Outcomes Assessment

Assessment Descriptions


Ferris Assessment Activities

  • All programs, majors, minors, general education, curricular cores, non-degree program entities, and pre-programs will have public measurable learning outcomes.
  • All new programs as part of the curriculum approval process will identify the learning outcomes of the program and the means by which the student learning of those outcomes will be assessed.
  • All courses will have learning outcomes which will be included on the syllabi handed to students. While, faculty may exceed the outcomes for the course, all sections of a course must meet the assigned outcomes. 
  • All new courses as part of the curriculum approval process will identify the learning outcomes of the course and the means by which the student learning of those outcomes will be assessed. 
  • Programs, majors, minors, general education, curricular cores, non-degree program entities, and pre-programs will regularly collect evidence on how well students meet the learning outcomes, analyze the evidence, and make changes as appropriate. These activities are reported through the Advice for Assessment Directors.
  • Departments will structure and organize the assessment of student learning in courses with multiple sections. In the case of General Education, the committees for each general education are responsible for regularly assessing how well that outcome is being achieved. 
  • Faculty members are responsible for conducting assessment of student learning in their individual classes and using that data to improve the curriculum, materials, or pedagogy of the course. Colleges, Departments, and the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning will provide support for and regular training in effective learning outcomes assessment at the course level.
  • The Advice for Assessment Directors will be collected and evaluated each January. Programs not engaged in effective assessment will be notified and offered the necessary support to enhance their assessment activity.
  • There will be a yearly audit of assessment by the FSU Assessment Committee following the collection and evaluation of the YARs to determine where and how the assessment process can be improved and how greater efficiencies can be accomplished.
  • The regular collection of assessment data on student learning as well as the collection of other institutional measures of effectiveness culminates in the Academic Program Review Process following the procedures detailed on the Academic Program Review Web Page. Assessment should be ongoing and not only occur to support Academic Program Review. Rather, Academic Program Review should draw on already-gathered evidence of program effectiveness.
  • The third Friday of each February is designated specifically for Departments and Programs to engage in assessment educational activities or the review of assessment activities. The activities may be varied including an Assessment Fair, educational workshops, meetings dedicated to enhancing assessment, assessment planning sessions, and similar activities.
  • At least once a year, the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning will make available workshops on assessment, and especially course assessment. Assessment at Ferris and the role of course assessment will be an important part of the orientation of all new faculty members. 
  • A Virtual Assessment site will be established and maintained under the guidance of the Ferris State University Assessment Committee with the support of FLITE librarians. This room will provide resources on assessment, assessment data and reports, and material from HLC. This room will also serve as a resource room for site visit by HLC as part of Ferris State University's self study.
  • Assessment is essential to the educational life of Ferris State University. Participation in assessment activities will be recognized as very important service to the institution and be considered as part of Post-Tenure Review and Colleges are encouraged to consider it positively in applications for Promotion or Merit.