About The Unit Assessment System (UAS)
The college's Unit Assessment System (UAS) (PDF) exists to support student learning and program effectiveness throughout the College of Education and Affiliated Programs. The UAS allows the college to aggregate candidate performance data around the college Conceptual Framework, state guidelines, and NCATE and professional standards, while also allowing academic programs great individual autonomy in identifying and assessing student learning outcomes (SLOs).
Undergirding our UAS work is Astin’s I-E-O model (2012), which guides our efforts to collect data to help us understand who our candidates are when they come to us (Input), the quality of their experiences while they are with us (Environment), and quality and extent of their learning both during and after their time in our programs (Outcomes). Also foundational to our work is the idea that the UAS should be designed to allow our faculty and staff to collect meaningful data to guide program improvement activities.
The system is comprised of a series of committees, offices and processes that support the collection, analysis and use of data by faculty, administrators and staff throughout the college. Among the key elements are:
Assessment Plans: Each program has an assessment plan that identifies its learning outcomes, links those outcomes to the college conceptual framework and state, and national standards, and articulates one or more signature assignments for each outcome. Data collected around each unit transition point (Admission, Advancement to Culminating Experience, and Exit) are reflected on each plan.
Signature Assignments and Rubrics: Outcomes are assessed by signature assignments, which are typically faculty-created, course-embedded assignments given in common across multiple sections of a course. To ensure fairness, consistency, and accuracy, assignments are scored using a common, faculty-created rubric.
Surveys: The unit and the CSU have a suite surveys that gather candidates, alumni, and employer perceptions of the educational experience and the effectiveness of our academic programs.
Data Collection and Reporting: Signature assignment data are collected each time a related course is offered, while surveys are administered according to a master calendar. The Assessment Office prepare graphs of signature assignment criteria scores for programs to use for analysis and program improvement. Each program reviews data on all outcomes, reports on its findings, and identifies program improvement actions, in alternating years.
Assessment Committee: The College Assessment Committee oversees and evaluates the UAS. It works collaboratively with bodies in the college (e.g., Dean’s Administrative Leadership Council, Faculty Council, Graduate Programs Committee) to review data and take action.