HLC Academy for Assessment of Student Learning

The HLC Academy for Assessment of Student Learning (Academy) offers member institutions a four-year sequence of events and interactions that focus on advancing the assessment and improvement of student learning and building institution-wide commitment to these efforts.  Participation in the Academy provides institutional teams with opportunities to receive consultation from mentors, interact with other participating institutions to receive and provide feedback on projects, and share good practices in the assessment of student learning. 

Members of ISU’s Academy Team, representing the Assessment Council and the Foundational Studies Council, are Jerry Boyd, Ruth Cain, Chris Fischer, Molly Hare, Linda Maule, and Susan Powers.  The Academy Team works in close collaboration with the Foundational Studies Council, the Assessment Council, and faculty across the university to refine and implement the assessment plan and to discuss findings and identify methods to improve student achievement.  Lessons learned through this project will not only enhance ISU’s efforts to assess achievement of the student learning outcomes of the Foundational Studies program, but also to improve assessment in major programs and the co-curriculum.

The focus of ISU’s four-year Academy student learning project is to develop, implement, and evaluate the effectiveness of a plan for assessing four Foundational Studies learning objectives:

  1. Students express themselves effectively, professionally, and persuasively both orally and in writing;
  2. Student locate, critically read, and evaluate information to solve problems.
  3. Students critically evaluate the ideas of others.
  4. Students apply knowledge and skills within and across the fundamental ways of knowing.

The first year’s work centers on assessment of writing in both the first-year writing program and the upper-division integrated electives.  The Team will work with faculty in the English department and those teaching UDIEs to develop a rubric for evaluating writing.  The rubric will be piloted in Fall 2012 and data collected from a sample of students in Spring 2013.  Additional details about the first year of the project are available here.

Assessment of the Foundational Studies program will include results from ETS Proficiency Profile and the NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement), which will be administered in Spring 2013 and every three years thereafter.  The Team and the Assessment Council will work with the Office of Institutional Research to facilitate administration of these instruments and disseminate results.


Project Year 1 (2012): Assessment of Writing

Project Year 2 (2013): Assessment of Oral Communication

Project Year 3 (2014): Assessment of Critical Thinking

Project Year 4 (2015): Assessment of Quantitative Literacy


Foundational Studies Program

Orientation to Assessing Writing in the UDIEs - May 2012