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Emporia State University College Portrait

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Emporia State University Learning Outcomes

Emporia State University employs a multifaceted approach to assess the quality of the holistic student learning experience. The Student Learning Assessment Council coordinates the institution-wide assessment of student learning. The Student Learning Improvement Plan is used to coordinate program and department level assessments of student learning. Assessments are aligned with meeting student needs in providing a high quality education and in fulfilling accreditation requirements for the Higher Learning Commission and multiple specialized accreditation agencies. Meeting the standards of the Kansas Department of Education is a major contributor to the overall assessment program. Currently 53 of ESU’s degree programs are accredited. The Council on General Education and the Assistant Provost for Institutional Research and Assessment collaborate on the planning, coordination, and assessment of cross-curricular student learning outcomes. The Council is responsible for advancing the general education curriculum and insuring that students are prepared for successful futures in a fast paced global environment. Meanwhile, the Division of Student Affairs has a robust co-curricular assessment program that measures the attainment of student learning outcomes through a variety of program-embedded direct and indirect assessments. This assessment plan employs a common set of student learning outcomes that are tied succinctly to the institutional mission and strategic plan. ESU uses the Campus Labs platform to collect, compile, and report assessment data in coordination with matching to the strategic plan The Adaptive University and the Kansas Board of Regents Foresight 2020 Strategic Plan. Since1983, ESU has been a leader in the field of curriculum embedded external direct assessments. The Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) program continues to be used to measure general education competencies in reading, mathematics, and writing. Since 2009, ESU has utilized the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) continuous improvement model to measure critical thinking, analytical reasoning, problem solving, and communication skills as a value-added measurement of student learning. However, the CLA was discontinued in the 2014. Beginning in spring 2015, Critical Thinking Skills assessment was completed by faculty in the fields of Biology, History, and Business.  Studen work samples were used to score critical thinking skills using the AAC&U value rubric for Critical Thinking Skills. In 2004, ESU began using indirect external assessments to benchmark student successes and to position the university among its peers in producing highly educated and satisfied students. These external surveys include the National Survey of Student Engagement and the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement. In addition, the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory and its faculty partner, the Institutional Priorities Survey were instrumental in measuring student and faculty perceptions on the importance and quality of the ESU learning experience. Indirect internal surveys (Senior Survey and Career Services Destination Survey) also provide a triangulated view of the student experience and successes upon degree completion. In 2011, ESU participated in the University of Alaska Anchorage Student Learning Progress Model beta project directed by Dr. Gary Rice and endorsed by Dr. Patrick Terenzini. The project utilized 10-year historical institution-specific trend data to examine student success beyond the traditional metrics of retention and completions of first-year full-time freshmen cohorts. Comprehensively, Emporia State University layers its assessment plan to directly measure student learning successes at the course, discipline, program, major, department, college and institutional levels. These assessments include direct measurements of student learning outcomes using both internal and external instruments. Equally important in informing best educational practices, ESU uses quantitative and qualitative methods to gather indirect evidence of student and faculty perceptions of educational quality and institutional commitments to meeting its mission.