Assessment Report Card for Provost’s Council (May 2010)

We might anticipate response to this report to be presented to the Provost’s council by the Vice Provost tomorrow.

attached file Assessment Report Card 5-10-10

Updating and Advancing Accreditation Self Studies

Program Assessment Points and Liaisons:

Thank you for the work you and your colleagues have done and are doing on assessment so far, and thanks for the feedback.   We continue to need your help addressing the many entities that have an interest in WSU’s commitment to student learning outcomes. There are audiences at the state, regional, and federal levels: the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities (NWCC&U), the Office of Fiscal Management (OFM), The Board of Regents, the Higher Education Coordinating Board who in turn report to the US Department of Education.

Communicating to these various audiences and implementing assessment that is meaningful and useful to you at the program level, for WSU, and for our accreditors remains our goal.

So again we need your help putting WSU’s INSTITUTIONAL System of Assessment in place for the NWCC&U report due October 1, 2010.  For that report and to help the NWCC&U respond to the federal pressures they are engaging on our behalf, we need to demonstrate that:

1.      WSU has an institutional system of assessment.

2.      The assessment efforts are verifiable and credible.

3.      EVERY WSU program contributes to this system.

4.      All programs support WSU’s 4 Strategic Goals and Six Learning Goals.

5.      We are using solid evidence to make improvements and guide change.
The next program self-study is due MAY 17, 2010.

·        The self-studyshould include revisions to address OAI feedback for all sections PLUS a section 3 of the template (analysis of data gathered in 2009-2010 and/or methods or tools used; and your program’s assessment action plan for the 2010-2011 academic year).

To prepare for the May self-study, please find the attached template or download a new template from the OAI website at:

·        This site also provides a number of resources that you may find helpful during the revision and drafting process.

·         The OAI has collected feedback from programs, faculty, reviewers, and external assessment experts about the Guide to Effective Program Assessment rubric and done an analysis of the December results. The resulting revised rubric is attached to this note and is also available at:

·        The May self-study and OAI’s feedback are designed to help programs meet the fall semester 2010 NWCC&U accreditation reporting deadline currently scheduled for October 1st, 2010.

We welcome the opportunity to join your assessment team and to answer questions and concerns related to the feedback we have provided.  We hope you will invite us to join you and learn more about the approach you are using and  we can share the resources and strategies we have seen that help make sure this effort is useful for WSU faculty and students (the real focus that makes this work worthwhile).

We recognize, too, that many folks have questions or concerns about this process.  To address those concerns, we invite you to join us at one of two open forums this month to address this context, clarify upcoming reporting needs, and together identify possible approaches and strategies:

Office of Assessment and Innovation Open Forums

April 15th at 3:00 in CUE 502

April 16th at 2:00 in CUE 502

If you cannot make one of these two forums, you’re welcome to call us up, drop by, or invite us to meet with you and your colleagues.

Thanks again for your hard work in this important effort,

Gary Brown

Dr. Gary R. Brown, Director
The Office of Assessment and Innovation
Washington State University
509 335-1352
509 335-1362 (fax)

A Leader Asks, What is the Rain King Chronicle

It’s our blog of the story, or history of this assessment initiative we’ve launched.  We summarize and don’t name names (except our own).  Bits of notes go in this chronicle, for instance the liaison who told us “it is inappropriate for us to share our rubrics.”

It’s not just about keeping a history, which we are wishing we had done on a variety of projects in the past, but, we are also in this work reminded of the Bellow novel.  In the story, the lead character by happenstance becomes the Rain King of a remote African tribe only to learn that the tribal elders are plotting to have him beheaded….

Update for Program Points on Assessment Status

A sample reminder for programs falling behind in the assessment work:

Just a quick note to catch up.  I last recall you were working on an assessment planning report, and we had talked about what we thought was a pretty good plan.  Let us know if there is more we can do to help you with this work.

FYI, making sure everybody is establishing an assessment plan and system is increasingly important.  We’re now completing an update report to the HEC Board regarding status of WSU assessment.  We included the status of colleges as well as the aggregate status o WSU. Individual program level ratings were not included.

The upcoming May report results by program will be made available for public viewing. I am confident when you implement your plan,  your program will demonstrate your program’s and WSU’s commitment to continuous improvement.

Faculty Senate

At Faculty Senate, Thursday, February 18th, concerns were expressed about the assessment initiative.  The concerns largely reflected, we are informed, questions about who was being asked to do this.

On Monday, February 22nd, we have been invited to provide a report.  I have proposed we share the HEC Board report we are preparing this week.

Liaison Writes at Deadline

A Liaison writes….

I am leaving town for the weekend but if you let me know on Monday who missed the deadline, I’ll remind chairs at our 10:30 am meeting that you need these asap.

I talked to [the dean about problematic program] … [snip] do we have to enroll someone from the faculty to engage in the assessment process? I’ll [address] this after the holidays.


As you know, TK is the rock star behind the [2 integrated program plans] with a serious assist from Kimberly Green.  I am hoping we can use these examples of models of how to curriculum map well.  I am convinced that this will be a valuable opportunity once people realize how to do it and what the value is in going through the process.  In general, the [program] teaching faculty are on board.  The paradigm is shifting.  I am always hopeful you know.

Have a good weekend.

Responding to Liaison Concern Regarding a Non-responsive Program

December 17, 2009

We’ve contacted all points and have had good responses from most.  The rebuttal “nobody told me” will not hold.   What will follow, should a program elect not to participate in this process, is simply an “absent” or zero rating on all 4 dimensions.  Non-responsive programs will receive ongoing invitations to work with us.  If by early spring there is no real effort to participate in this critical work, the exposure to WSU’s reaccreditation will need to be assessed and addressed by the Executive Council in collaboration with the Provost and Deans.

[Not all programs elected to respond to the December round. For the summer round, a number of programs were non-responsive in early September, when the Provost put out a call for all programs to respond, resulting in a last minute scramble. Ed.]