Academic Program Assessment

Statement on Assessment

The last few decades in higher education have seen a significant shift from a focus on what instructors do to what students know and what they can do with their knowledge. The purpose of our assessment is to improve our teaching and advance student learning.

At Sacred Heart, the outcomes from our Core Curriculum and each program are aligned to the mission and learning goals of the University.

Our curriculum and our courses are designed around a series of clear and measurable outcomes. The Core Curriculum has seven learning outcomes, including written communication, critical thinking, and multidisciplinary understanding, which are sampled on a three-semester cycle. Individual programs have a host of additional outcomes that are more specific to professional preparation.

We’ve also developed a comprehensive system of gathering and analyzing evidence to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to help students in the classroom and beyond. Direct measures include papers and projects, exams, portfolios, fieldwork and clinical evaluations, exams, exhibitions, and presentations.

Indirect measures include observations from faculty and course committees, student course evaluations and comments, scores on licensing or certificate exams, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), evaluations from field supervisors, and retention and graduation rates.

We also consider evidence from supporting offices around the University, such as Serving Learning and Volunteer Programs, the Library, and Career Development and Placement. And we welcome feedback from employers, alumni, and parents.

Most importantly, the data we gather is used to develop and refine curricula, allocate resources, and direct our energies. Our goal is to create a community dedicated to excellent teaching and student success.