A lead faculty (not necessarily the DGS) should be identified who will move the process along. An initial faculty meeting with student participation is a good starting point to explain the purpose of developing the program’s educational goals. This should be followed with in-depth discussions to articulate the specific goals and methods to assess students’ achievement of them.
Programs should, at a minimum, involve program faculty and current students in developing and updating their goals. Depending on the program, they may wish to include former students and/or representatives from industry, agencies, or community. The involvement of students is critical.
The development of goals and assessment methods can be completed within a semester. The implementation of program goals, the assessment of students and introducing changes in the program based on the assessment results, is an ongoing process.
The Graduate School offered workshops in the spring 2014 and fall 2014 semesters to help programs begin the process. Additional workshops will be offered as needed. Graduate School staff are also available for consultation.
The process begins in discussion among graduate program faculty and students about the program’s educational goals. This will likely include examination of current materials used to describe the program and a reflection on what the program anticipates will be the knowledge and skills of its graduates.
Some programs may have outcomes that are already defined as part of an accreditation process.
Programs may find it useful to consult the most prevalent outcomes identified by the ten programs that participated in the pilot project, as well as the domains identified by the planning committee during the initial planning process.
It is up to each program to develop the process for evaluating or assessing graduate student outcomes. However, evaluation/assessment plans that programs have already shared may serve as examples other programs can draw from to develop or update their plans.
Programs should revisit their educational goals, assessment methods and graduate student outcomes at some regular interval (e.g., every three years) to ensure that they are current and effective, and contribute to program quality.