Student Affairs Office of Research and Assessment


Simply put, the assessment of student growth, learning, and development (GLD) outcomes seeks to define and measure the skills, attributes, and qualities students develop and refine as a result of their collegiate experience.  While retention and graduation rates, grade point averages, or even "engagement" are all important markers of student learning, they are merely correlates of actual student learning and occur in concert with and as a result of student GLD. It is actual student learning outcomes that must be operationalized and measured in order to accurately assess the quality of an institution's programs and supports and to inform strategic planning.  Institutional assessment will have matured when accurate definitions and measurement of "what and to what degree" student GLD occurs as a direct result of their collegiate experince.  Clearly, human development in general suggests that people grow, learn, and develop as a result of experiencing life, so it is important that institutions be able to differentiate between normal maturation outcomes as opposed to outcomes for which it is responsible for triggering.


Appropriate understanding, measurement, and management of student GLD must;