Assessment at CMU
What will a CMU graduate know and be able to do at the end of their course of study? And how will we know if they get there? Those two questions are at the heart of assessment.
The assessment plan at Central Methodist University seeks to help cultivate a culture of continuous improvement in student learning assessing progress towards the goals set forth in the mission statement. The mission statement guides decisions in the University in all CMU academic and co-curricular programs. The process should:
- Be thoughtful, systematic, and driven by faculty;
- Reflect the goals of particular disciplines, as well as the University Learning Outcomes;
- Guide departments and programs in the creation and refinement of curriculum.
- CMU's University Learning Principles, commonly known as "the Wheel," were adopted in May 2016.
The faculty have ultimate responsibility for assessment of both General Education and Academic Programs. They are assisted by the Director of Assessment, the Assessment Committee, and the Provost's Office. For a more detailed breakdown of assessment responsibilities, please see the Assessment Handbook.
Quality assessment is essential to improving student learning. Through the use of both direct and indirect evidence of student achievement, assessments guide collective actions for improvements in teaching, academic supports, and curricula. The Director of Assessment and the Assessment Committee serve the CMU community by supporting assessment activities, coordinating university-wide assessments, and fostering a culture of assessment. Assessment reporting is compiled in the WEAVE Online data management system.
A program to assess academic achievement is required of all institutions by the Higher Learning Commission as part of their demonstration that they are fulfilling their mission and meeting their educational and otherwise institutionally identified goals. The assessment plan at Central Methodist University seeks to help cultivate a culture of continuous improvement in student learning by annually assessing progress towards the goals set forth in the mission statement. The mission statement guides decisions in the University in all CMU academic and non-academic programs.
In 2007, CMU implemented a web-based software package that helps organize and implement assessment plans. All academic and administrative programs use WEAVEonline to share their mission, outcomes, measures, findings, action plan, analysis, and annual reports with the CMU community. The use of WEAVEonline helps develop a collaborative culture of assessment by allowing communication of assessment across the University.
The faculty have ultimate responsibility for assessment of both General Education and Academic Programs. They are assisted by the Assessment Committee and the Dean's Office. For a more detailed breakdown of assessment responsibilities, please see the Assessment Handbook.
The current strategy of assessment for General Education and academic majors is based on the plan set forth in 2009. The educational goals for the University are intentionally broad statements that guide a culture of learning, but they are not themselves directly measurable with clearly defined learning outcomes. The University understands education to be concerned with the formation of the self, not merely with providing information to an individual who is unchanged by it. Liberal education is formative as well as informative.
The General Education program is intended to fulfill the mission of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences by providing a curriculum that enables students to reach the Educational Goals of CLAS through acquiring habits of mind, habits of heart, and habits of action that embody the good. The development of such habits requires both knowledge and mental discipline in many fields of study. The CMU curriculum is designed to help students make responsible life choices with deep concern for the common good.
The assessment tools used in the General Education program are diverse and address each of the academic goals.
General Education Common Core and Tier II Competencies
Common Core General Education Plan 2009-2010
Tier II General Education Assessment Plan 2010-2011
General Education Common Core Assessment Grid
Tier II Competencies & Measures Grid
General Education Sample Assessment Measures
- Wellness Survey
- CT101 Speech Rubric
- Information Literacy Assessment: Project SAILS
- English Common Final
Assessment Supporting Documentation Examples
Sample Divisional Assessment Documentation
The master course syllabus provides an outline of the contents of the course, as specified by the faculty of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at CMU, regardless of who teaches the course. The master syllabus lists the specific General Education common core competencies that are met in the course.
The Assessment Committee researches, develops, reviews, and recommends procedures/policies to assess student learning in and beyond the classroom. In coordination with the Vice President and Dean of the University and the Associate Dean of the University, the Assessment Committee advises the faculty on the progress of student learning. A yearly report is presented to faculty summarizing assessment of academic programs and General Education, and any changes to the General Education assessment plan.
Chair - Dr. Melissa Simons
Secretary - Prof. Pam Shackelford
Dr. Ashley Lough
Dr. Ryan Woldruff
Prof. Marco Tapia
Dean Sandra Wald
Prof. Cindy Dudenhoffer, Director of Assessment
Dean Suzanne Hickman