Office of Institutional Effectiveness
SOAPs (Student Outcomes Assessment Plan)
Student outcomes assessment is an increasingly important element in academic program review; five-year assessment plans are being developed by a number of departments and programs, and annual assessment measurements of selected learning objectives are being scheduled.
"The faculty has the primary responsibility for such fundamental areas as curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction." [Article I, Section 6, of The Constitution for the Academic Assembly of California State University, Fresno, page 127-2 of the Academic Policy Manual] and "The faculty should have primary responsibility for establishing the criteria for assessment and the methods for implementing it." [AAUP statement "Mandated Assessment Educational Outcomes" June 1991]
The guiding purpose in the implementation of student outcomes assessment at California State University, Fresno is improved student learning through modified curricula and instruction.
In support of this purpose, outcomes assessment of student learning will take place at the department and program level (including the GE Program, Honors Program, etc.), where data (i.e., quantitative and qualitative observations) and information (i.e., interpretation of the data) can be used most judiciously and effectively to effect change in curricula and instruction.
Student outcome assessment activities are intended to be formative, rather than summative, in nature.
Data and information generated by outcomes assessment activities will remain under the control of the unit initiating the assessment.
Data and information derived from department-or program-developed student outcomes assessment activities shall not be required for personnel evaluations without the permission of the individual faculty member involved.
Outcomes assessment data and information generated by the assessing unit shall not be required for purposes of resource allocation to schools, departments, and programs. Assessing units may be required from time to time to report on assessment activities completed and the impact of those activities on their programs.
Other evaluative processes for personnel or program review and/or management decisions are not precluded by the policy on the use of student outcomes assessment data and information.
APPROVED BY THE ACADEMIC SENATE, MARCH 27, 2000
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