National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment |

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

2017 Excellence in Assessment Designees

The Excellence in Assessment (EIA) program – the first national designation of its kind – spotlights institutions successfully integrating assessment practices across campus, providing evidence of student learning outcomes, and using assessment results to guide institutional decision-making and improve student performance.

Sustained Excellence winners include James Madison University.

Excellence award winners include: Bowling Green State University; the Middlesex Community College; Rio Salado College ; and Southern Connecticut State University.

View 2016 designees here.


Sustained Excellence Designee

Faculty and staff at James Madison University have worked hard for the past two decades to develop an intentional, student learning informed, embedded approach to assessment. James Madison University has been nationally recognized for its assessment practices, most recently the “weigh pig, feed pig, weigh pig” approach to improvement. Not only has James Madison University evidenced student growth in each of its five learning clusters, it continues to see efficacy of its redesigned general education program over the last 20 years. Formal recognition of faculty and staff commitment to excellence in assessment is – for many departments – a part of the promotion and tenure process that continues to advance learning improvement on its campus. Additionally, James Madison University provides assessment support college-wide through 11 assessment professionals, over 100 faculty and 40 staff coordinators, and 15+ graduate students who serve as assessment professionals in training.

Bowling Green State University’s strength in its assessment process lies in its innovative engagement of internal and external stakeholders. Particularly, the development of “Student Learning Analysts” on campus serves as a creative model of student engagement others may replicate. Bowling Green State University’s thoughtful approach to assessment emphasizes the need for cross-campus committee membership, providing space for reviewing data with multiple stakeholders, and sharing and communicating data with a variety of groups. Educating nearly 20,000 students annually, Bowling Green State University continues to strategically use evidence to guide decision-making.

Middlesex Community College’s culture of assessment includes a well–scaffolded assessment infrastructure of shared expectations and alignment of student learning at its institutional, program, and course levels. Campus-wide commitment to assessment is found in Middlesex Community College’s shared governance structure in developing and assessing its six institutional learning outcomes. Documenting the impact of curricular changes, intentional engagement of faculty, key stakeholders, and students throughout its assessment process, integrating co-curricular learning, and availability of campus assessment resources provide evidence of Middlesex Community College’s commitment to excellence in assessment.

Over the past two decades, Rio Salado College has worked hard to refine, align and integrate its Total Quality Management Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle campus-wide. Serving over 55,000 students annually and more than 27,000 students online, Rio Salado College continues to foster a culture of assessment on its campus with a commitment to meaningful assessment. Rio Salado College has developed a model that facilitates intentional collaboration between full-time and adjunct faculty in relation to assessment of student learning on campus. For students, Rio Salado College offers the Student Learning Outcomes Work Lab (OWL), which helps facilitate mastery of its five college-level learning outcomes. Integrating assessment data into its strategic plan and the recent development of its home-grown Assessment Data Display supports efforts in making evidence of campus-level learning transparent.

Southern Connecticut State University’s use of evidence of student learning from a variety of assessment methods provides a big picture of learning on its campus. Wide stakeholder engagement, use of data analytics, student involvement in survey development, and robust examples of rubric development support its inquiry-driven assessment and institutional effectiveness work. Integration of various programs and activities, including participating in several national and even international initiatives, creates innovative assessment practice and better supports student learning on Southern Connecticut State University’s campus.


2016 Sustained Excellence Designees:

2016 Excellence Award Designees: