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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 2 - Faculty and Academics
Previous Publication Date: June 18, 2019
Publication Date: February 8, 2021
Responsible Executive: VP for Academic Affairs


2.21 Academic Program Assessment


I. POLICY STATEMENT


The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) provides quality education by offering students the opportunity to acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes/values through all aspects of instruction. Because quality education results from careful planning and regular review of student learning outcomes, educational units will be responsible for program assessment activities and for ensuring that such activities meet institutional standards.


II. RATIONALE


This policy establishes procedures for student learning outcome assessment at the program level at UTSA.  The purpose of this policy is to ensure that each academic program covered by the policy has identified expected student learning outcomes, has assessed the degree to which those outcomes have been achieved, and uses the results of those assessments to make improvements to the program.  Information derived from the assessment of student learning outcomes is used to facilitate student learning and development, to promote faculty and staff growth, to improve the quality of academic programs, to achieve the university's mission in accordance with the strategic plan, and to meet expectations of various external stakeholders such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).


III. SCOPE


This policy applies to all academic programs including undergraduate and graduate degrees, and certificate programs, and the academic administrators and faculty assigned to those programs.


IV. WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY


http://www.utsa.edu/hop/chapter2/2-21.html


V. RELATED STATUTES, POLICIES, REQUIREMENTS OR STANDARDS


  1. SACS Commission on Colleges Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement (Standard 8.2.a Student outcomes: educational programs)
  2. For UTSA guidelines, see the Continuous Improvement and Accreditation website under Academic Affairs.

VI. CONTACTS


If you have any questions about HOP policy 2.21, Academic Program Assessment, contact the following office:

Continuous Improvement and Accreditation
210-458-4704


VII. DEFINITIONS


Academic Program: For the purposes of this policy, an academic program is defined as a program of study over a period of time that leads to a degree.  Within a department, each undergraduate, master’s, or doctoral program is considered a separate academic program.

Student Learning Outcome Assessment: The systematic collection, review, and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning and development.


VIII. RESPONSIBILITIES


  1. Under the direction of Academic Affairs, Continuous Improvement and Accreditation
    1. Develops/revises assessment procedures to keep current with assessment best practices.
    2. Communicates procedural information including guidelines and other specific information relevant to the assessment cycle to associate deans.
    3. Provides instruction and guidance to faculty and administrators.
    4. Maintains the assessment software system.
  2. College Dean
    1. Assigns responsibility for coordinating college assessment to an associate dean from the college.
  3. Associate Dean
    1. Works with representatives from college departments and programs to ensure the quality of program assessments, effective functioning of the assessment process and compliance with institutional expectations as articulated on the Provost's website.
    2. Reviews college assessment plans/reports and provides feedback to college deans.
    3. Oversees entry of approved assessment plans/reports into the assessment software system.
  4. Department
    1. Develops a programmatic student learning outcome Assessment Plan for each departmental academic program.
    2. Organizes the department’s assessment process, ensures faculty participation, prepares the Assessment Findings Report for each academic program, and submits departmentally approved reports to the appropriate associate dean.
    3. Examines the information collected through assessment and evaluates those results against program expectations to identify opportunities to make program improvements (i.e., closes the loop), prepares a Use of Results for Improvement Report an Implementation of Improvements Status Report for each academic program, and submits departmentally approved reports to the appropriate associate dean.

IX. PROCEDURES


  1. General Requirements for Program Assessment
    1. All academic programs will participate in assessment or improvement activities annually.
    2. Assessment will be conducted by department faculty and administrators (e.g., chair or director).
    3.  Continuous Improvement and Accreditation will maintain a software system of annual program assessment reports and will notify the associate deans of current deadlines and any revisions to the assessment process.
    4. The Continuous Improvement and Accreditation office will maintain a set of guidelines specifying the process by which program assessment takes place. See section V.B. for the web link.

X. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR INITIAL IMPLEMENTATION


None


XI. FORMS AND TOOLS/ONLINE PROCESSES


None


XII. APPENDIX


None


XIII. Dates Approved/Amended


06-18-2019
02-04-2021