Principles of Assessment
These revised principles are informed by the American Association for Higher Education's "Nine Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning," which we endorse.
- The primary goal of outcomes assessment at Buffalo State College is the improvement of the academic experience of our students. Assessment at Buffalo State refers to a process of understanding the phenomena and outcomes of student learning, as well as clarifying goals and enhancing student performance and program effectiveness.
- The primary purposes of assessment are: to promote the self-assessment of departments or general education areas; to foster the improvement of the curriculum; to provide continuous feedback about our graduates; to promote an exchange among faculty so as to insure that their efforts are converging; and to provide additional justification for resources necessary to address deficiencies or gaps if they are identified in an area of the curriculum.
- In assessment activities, the entire major or general education area, not specific courses or faculty, will be the focus of review and assessment.
- The methods of ascertaining the achievement of curricular goals will be left to the faculty's discretion. Such methods should, however, be measurable (i.e., data is regularly gathered according to established criteria and with consistent standards) and based on results of faculty discussions. Internally, the assessment process will contribute to the examination and improvement of curriculum.
- The assessment plan developed and implemented at Buffalo State will seek to integrate and incorporate existing efforts within the faculties and to utilize existing procedures and processes.
- Assessment efforts at all levels should reflect the mission and goals, as well as the diversity of programs at Buffalo State.
- Assessment activities at Buffalo State should be based on multiple approaches and multiple indices.
- The results of assessment activities will not be used to compare or evaluate individual students, faculty, or academic departments. Assessment results will never be used to punish, publicly compare, or embarrass students, faculty, courses, programs, or departments, either individually or collectively.
- Stringent guidelines will be developed and adhered to in order to insure that confidentiality of assessment data is maintained.
- Assessment results will never be used to make public comparisons among groups of students based on gender, race, ethnicity, or other demographic factors.
- Assessment activities will be used for program assessment only and will not by themselves be used to establish requirements for students to enter, progress through, or graduate from a program.
- Departments are mandated to share with the academic administration of the campus only their ongoing process of assessment and a summary of results in aggregate form, which would also complement requests for needed resources. A common reporting format will be used.
- Departments and campus administration may share assessment reports with appropriate groups, including accrediting agencies and system administration.