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Unit Assessment System


The college's Unit Assessment System (UAS) 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 program-specific professional standards, while also allowing academic programs great individual autonomy in identifying and assessing program learning outcomes (PLOs).

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.

  • SurveysThe 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.


The UAS has its roots in the late 1990s, when the college developed its conceptual framework as part of its NCATE accreditation process. Throughout the early 2000s, the college’s UAS continued to evolve, with programs identifying student learning outcomes, collecting relevant data, and using that data to inform practice.

In Fall 2007, as part of the continuing effort to refine the UAS, the college’s Assessment Committee was formed to provide greater central support to assessment. This committee was established as an official faculty committee reporting to Faculty Council in March 2009. The committee is responsible for developing policy to support UAS implementation and for evaluating and refining the UAS on an ongoing basis.

In addition to the Assessment Committee, the Dean’s Administrative Leadership Council plays a central role in implementing the UAS and supporting the work of program coordinators and other faculty. Other groups, such as the Graduate Programs Committee, the Credential Coordinators Group, and individual departments provide feedback on proposals and implementation processes to continually improve the UAS.

To learn more about the UAS and the program improvement process, please take a look at the diagrams below.