In addition to administering the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) every three years, a UA Graduate Survey has been administered annually since 2006. The survey gathers information including graduate satisfaction with UAF programs and employment after graduation. Additionally, UAF was an early adopter in the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Voluntary System of Accountability, and maintains an up-to-dateCollege Portrait. UAF has participated in the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) for more than two decades.
UAF acts continuously to assess and improve the educational experience for its students. Students in every course evaluate their teachers at the end of each semester. UAF is moving to an online student evaluation system in 2015 to use student feedback in a more timely and responsive manner.
Each certificate and degree program is evaluated every five years in a program review process, which includes a review of each program’s assessment of student learning outcomes. Faculty members evaluate courses in the undergraduate Core Curriculum every year. Since 2004, regular learning outcomes assessment has been expected of every degree and undergraduate certificate program. Approximately 40 programs are reviewed each year and must provide evidence of assessment and of their students meeting the learning outcomes of the program.
Programs are reviewed by a faculty committee, administrative committee, and by the Provost and Chancellor’s Cabinet on quality, productivity, and efficiency criteria. While these reviews are not public, they are available to faculty and administration and each program reviewed receives feedback on its report and Student Learning Outcomes assessment. Programs that are not satisfactory are given targets for improvement or are recommended for discontinuation.
UAF has made a consistent effort toward improving assessment of student learning. All programs have posted Student Learning Outcomes and an assessment plan. Degree programs submit summaries of their assessment activities every two years and undergo program review every five years. UAF has made significant progress toward its expressed goal that each program demonstrate direct evidence of students’ achievement of the program’s intended learning outcomes. The most important link in the chain of assessment of student learning is curricular and programmatic improvement that results from assessment, and UAF is increasingly seeing evidence that programs are using assessment results in meaningful ways.