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Assessment Overview

MCLA Assessment Cycle: 1. Outcomes, 2. Curriculum, 3. Instruction, 4. Assessment, 5. Reflection

At MCLA, we seek to facilitate evidence-based decision-making by initiating and supporting effective processes and procedures for the collection, analysis, maintenance, and reporting of information on student learning and institutional effectiveness. 

What is Assessment?  

Assessment is a systematic process for improving our educational offerings, based on a cycle of setting Outcomes, mapping Curriculum, planning for Instruction, gathering and analyzing evidence through Assessment, and engaging in critical Reflection based on the results.  Assessment itself does not lead to improvement and effectiveness, but actions based on assessment results can.

Most of us already use assessment in our personal and professional lives.  We set goals for ourselves, receive feedback about our progress towards them, and use that to make necessary adjustments to keep ourselves on track.  In our professional lives we use feedback about what we do and how we are doing it, then use that input to make improvements.  

In higher education assessment is used at the classroom level to determine how well students are achieving the stated learning goals of the course.  At the program level assessment is used to determine if a program is fulfilling its goals.  At the institutional level it is used to determine how effective an institution is in meeting its goals.

We apply the Assessment Cycle...


Campus-wide initiatives that relate back to MCLA's mission statement and strategic goals.

In the Programs

Outcomes Assessment in our Academic Programs, Core Curriculum, and Co-Curricular offerings, including Program Review.

In the Classroom

Resources for assessment used by faculty in individual courses.

Measure what you value; value what you measure.

Why do Assessment?

How do we know our students are learning what we want them to learn?  The ability of an institution to document the answer to that question is a requirement for continued accreditation, but it is also a question that should be asked because it speaks to the fundamental teaching mission of higher education.

Nine Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning