Program mission statement creation
Guidelines for Mission Statements on the Assessment Plan Form provided by the University of Central Florida
- State the primary purpose of your program and what the program is intended to prepare students to know think and do.
- For example, you might include educating students to prepare them for particular jobs and/or to prepare them for graduate school.
- Include the primary groups of individuals to whom you are providing your program and/or those that will benefit from programs or services.
- For example, students, faculty, staff, parents, employers, etc.
- Highlight the most important learning outcomes, and/or offerings of your program.
- Make sure that your mission is aligned with the mission of the University.
- Does your statement distinguish you from other programs?
- If the name of the program was removed, it should not be applicable to another program.
Program and course student learning outcomes
In developing outcomes, think
S M A R T :
- Define learning outcomes that are specific to your program. Include in clear and concise terms the abilities, knowledge, values and attitudes a student who graduates from your program is expected to have.
- Focus on intended outcomes that are critical to your program. When the data from the assessment process are known, these outcomes should create opportunity to make improvements in the program that is being offered to key stakeholders.
- The intended outcome should be one for which it is feasible to collect accurate and reliable data.
- Consider your available resources (e.g., staff, technology, assessment support, institutional level surveys, etc. in determining whether the collection of data is a reasonable expectation).
- Include more than one measure (at least one direct measure) that can be used to demonstrate that the students in a particular program have achieved the expected learning outcomes of that program.
Aggressive but Attainable
The following is a collection of questions that might help you to formulate and define aggressive but attainable learning outcomes for your program.
- How has the students’ experience in the program contributed to their abilities, knowledge, values and attitudes? Ask:
- Cognitive: What does the student know?
- Performance / skills: What does the student do?
- Affective: What does the student care about?
- What are the abilities, knowledge, values and attitudes expected of graduates of the program?
- What would the “perfect” program look like in terms of outcomes?
Results-oriented and Time-bound
- Describe where you would like to be within a specified time period (e.g. 10% increase in funding within one year, 90% satisfaction rating for next year, 10% improvement in student performance within two years). Also, determine what standards are expected from students in your program. For some learning outcomes, you many want 100% of graduates to achieve them but realize that this expectation is unrealistic for other learning outcomes. Or you may want to determine what proportion of your students achieves a specific level. If you have previously measured an outcome, it is helpful to use this as the baseline for setting your target for next year.
Measures of student learning outcomes
- Should state an objective means of assessing the outcomes of the program
- Should indicate how each of the outcomes will be measured (preferably multiple measurement approaches for each outcome, e.g. –standardized or local test, portfolio)
- Other examples include, but are not limited to standardized tests (with national norms), other tests used students prior to graduation or program completion, assessment rubrics for use by external reviewers in scoring/evaluating student work, embedded questions in course exams, surveys of graduates, alumni, employers, institutional level surveys, etc.
- The learning outcome can be assessed by independent groups
- Example: If you use a satisfaction survey, the groups could include faculty, employers and industry
- Does the measure have more than one dimension? In your analysis, can you reflect on sub-scores or sub-attributes?