What Is Assessment?

Assessment of learning is the process of systematically collecting information about student learning in order to evaluate the effectiveness and quality of instruction, student services, and support.  Assessment results are analyzed then used to make improvements across the institution in order to maximize student learning.  The maximizing of student learning is achieved when assessment results guide institution-wide decision-making ensuring that allocations of human, technology, physical, and financial resources are sufficient to support student needs, learning, and success.  

There are many ways to assess student progress, and the measurement of student learning outcomes (SLOs) is one approach. When working with SLO assessment much will seem familiar as Southwestern College has been conducting various types of assessments since the institution’s inception. For instance, analyzing results from the Accountability Report for the Community Colleges (ARCC), a report from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and/or the new Scorecard to create plans for improvement are processes of assessment.