President Dominic Dottavio
Public accountability for student learning plays an important role at Tarleton State University, as our institution grows and strives to deliver its culture of excellence for students. Learning-outcomes assessment improves student learning by measuring results of instruction to answer essential questions: “What knowledge did students learn?”; “What skills did students gain?”; “What values did students embrace?” Simply stated, student-learning outcomes—observed and measured—lead to improved learning.
The successful atmosphere for learning thrives from teamwork between student and teacher, just as faculty partnership in assessment and accountability is crucial to improvement of the learning process. It is imperative that all faculty collaborate in the student-learning assessment process.
Results of learning-outcomes assessment benefit our students and Tarleton as a whole. All stakeholders in this process play an important role in meeting our goals for student learning, academic standards, scholarship, diversity and access, faculty and staff development and enrichment, instructional technology, curriculum development and assessment, and resource enhancement.
Academic Affairs Statement
Provost Karen Murray
Setting goals and monitoring achievement serve to benchmark academic improvement, so assessment is a driving force behind Tarleton’s mission of "an academically challenging education experience" with learning grounded in real-world experience and effective teaching, research, scholarship, and service. Faculty-driven curricula, goal-setting, and student-learning assessment lead to fulfillment of our mission.
U. S. Dept. of Education
In September 2006, a Commission appointed by Margaret Spellings, the U.S. Secretary of Education, published a report on higher education entitled “A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of U.S. Higher Education.” Included among the recommendations was a suggestion for institutions of higher education to increase the transparency and accountability of programs by providing comparable evidence of institutional performance.
SACS - Commission on Colleges
The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has embraced the concept of continuous quality improvement. The 2007 general accreditation overview states the “concept of quality enhancement is at the heart of the Commission's philosophy of accreditation.” Comprehensive standard 3.3.1 notes the “institution identifies expected outcomes for its educational programs (including student learning outcomes for educational programs) and its administrative and educational support services, assesses whether it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of those results.” Standard 3.4.1 notes the “institution demonstrates that each educational program for which academic credit is awarded (a) is approved by the faculty and the administration, and (b) establishes and evaluates program and learning outcomes.” Also, guideline 3.5.1 requires the institution to identify “college-level competencies within the general education core and provides evidence that graduates have attained those competencies.”
THECB & TAMU System
In the state of Texas, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and The Texas A&M University system have adopted accountability measures designed to assure monitoring and advances in the areas of quality improvement. These measures are monitored on an annual basis.