Assessment to Improve Student Learning

To achieve the American Sentinel University mission, we must thoroughly assess students’ academic achievement so that we can improve teaching, institutional effectiveness, and most importantly, the educational experience. Assessment involves collecting information about student learning that allows us to measure student academic achievement at the course, program and institutional levels.

Benefits

The benefits of adopting an assessment plan include:

  • Enhancement of learning
  • Enhancement of teaching
  • Improvement of strategic planning
  • Demonstration of institutional effectiveness
  • Promotion of effective/efficient resource allocation

The University is committed to two basic tenets:

  • Assessment should start small and build on small successes.
  • Assessment should be cost-effective and linked to budget planning.

University Assessment Plan

American Sentinel University has adopted in concept the Input-Environment-Outcome model for the assessment of student academic achievement (Assessment for Excellence, A. Astin, 1991). This model emphasizes the consideration of three primary areas:

  • What the student brings to the course/program in which he or she is enrolled.
  • The environment of learning within the course/program.
  • Student outcomes.

These three elements are interdependent and essential in the assessment of student academic achievement.

American Sentinel’s assessment plan involves a broad range of direct and indirect assessment measures that are used at the classroom, program and institutional levels, and throughout a student’s academic program.

Assessment Committee

The university’s Educational Outcomes/Assessment Committee plans for and oversees the implementation of institution-wide assessment. This committee has designed a plan for the assessment of student academic achievement and oversees the execution and continuous reevaluation of this plan.

In establishing our comprehensive assessment plan, we are committed to two basic tenets:

  • Assessment should start small and build on small successes.
  • Assessment should be cost-effective and linked to budget planning.

Reviews, Updates and Annual Reports

The assessment of student academic achievement is an ongoing and evolutionary process. The Educational Outcomes/Assessment Committee reviews and revises methodologies and procedures as needed. The student outcomes assessment plan is reviewed and, if necessary revised, annually.

On the website and in the university catalog, all undergraduate and graduate programs include a description of their program’s benchmarks or outcomes for student learning (i.e. what competencies students should have upon graduating from the program). Each program establishes performance indicators, which allow us to measure success based on student learning outcomes. Data from assessment activities are provided by faculty to chairs, deans and the Educational Outcomes/Assessment Committee.

The committee produces an annual report on assessment activities that is forwarded to the Executive Council, which reviews and approves it. Once approved, the annual report is distributed to chairs and deans, followed by faculty members.

For questions about Assessment please contact:

Bruce Petrie, Ph.D.
Director, Assessment
Bruce.Petrie@americansentinel.edu