Assessment of Student Learning Committee Meeting (ASLC)

Date: February 15, 2012

Present: Dean Bart Finzel, Stacey Parker Aronson (chair), Nancy Helsper, Stephen Burks, Amanda Granaas, Carrie Jepma, Jana Koehler, Kristin Lamberty, Natasha Myhal, Denise Odello

Absent: Ted Pappenfuss, Roger Rose (in class)


Program Review:

Bart informed the committee that the program review process has been reformed, and a group has been created to agree on the procedure. Ideally, he would like to include two members from ASLC, two from the Curriculum Committee and 3-4 at large members.


General Education Assessment:

According to the latest accreditation report by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the HLC was generally satisfied with our General Education requirements (created in 1988). However, we need to stop talking about how were doing and show them. To that end, UMM is tasked with reaffirming and assessing our General Education requirements and substantiating their effectiveness by the year 2015 in the form of a report, to be prepared jointly by the ASLC and the CC. During the fall semester of 2011, the Curriculum Committee sponsored some conversations about General Education during which some modest improvements were suggested. It was also suggested at this meeting that, by analyzing (1) discipline assessment reports on General Education (direct measures) and (2) the Survey of Graduating Seniors (indirect measures), we come up with an aggregate report. The Dean suggested that we also consult National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) data and then determine what is missing.


According to Nancy, Gary Donovan used to conduct a survey of alumni, and the Alumni Association is currently planning to survey alumni within the next six months. These survey instruments dealt and will deal primarily with outcomes such as where graduates attended graduate or professional school and where they found employment.


It was suggested that we pull data from the discipline assessment reports from approximately two years ago, at which time disciplines were asked to consider General Education requirements within their disciplines. It was also suggested that we ask disciplines to focus on General Education requirements within their disciplines during the 2012-2013 academic year.


Here is a tentative timeline:


      This spring (2012), we will develop a process for assessing the general education program based partly on looking at what kinds of data we have already (indirect measures from the student survey and direct and indirect measures reported by disciplines in their GER focused reports from 2008-2009).

      We will share this process/plan with the campus before the end of spring 2012 so that disciplines can plan their assessment for the 2012-2013 school year to include GER focused elements.

      We will create samples and/or cheat sheets to help disciplines with their assessment planning and reporting so that we get the kinds of GER information we need for the HLC report.

      In the spring semester of 2014, we will create a report for the HLC from the discipline data reported in their assessment documents and from the new, improved survey of graduating seniors.


Curriculum Mapping:

So far, 15 disciplines have responded. It was suggested that we put the aggregate information online to share with other disciplines.


Survey of Graduating Seniors:

At 65 questions, the survey as it is currently structured is too long to ensure substantial compliance. It was suggested that we

      restructure it and randomize the questions so that only 1/3 of the questions appear in the survey each year.;

      consider that timing is important in terms of the return rate (seniors general take it in February);

      create incentives (book store coupons, for example);

      synch it with student APASes;

      identify a faculty member to spearhead the effort;

      consider purchasing a new survey software tool or sharing the new one that the Twin Cities campus is purchasing.



When it was suggested that we determine whether or not to administer the survey this spring semester, in light of the possible changes to the General Education requirements, Kristin moved that we NOT conduct the survey this year, but instead, spend time exploring the new survey tool and revising the survey. Steve seconded the motion. The motion passed (unanimously).


Future Actions:

      Nancy has agreed to find and distribute the following reports:

o   the latest NSSE Trend report;

o   Jim Togeas (previous ASLC chair) interim HLC (Higher Learning Commission) NCA (North Central Association of Colleges & Schools) report of October, 2007;

o   and the interim HLC NCA report of 2005.

      Kristin has agree to look at the discipline assessment reports to determine during which year(s) disciplines assessed the General Education requirements within their respective disciplines.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m. The next meeting will be scheduled soon.