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Assessment occurs every day as an organic process conducted by faculty and administrators that are dedicated to improving teaching and student learning.
Assessment is a systematic process to understand, support, and enhance teaching and learning within an academic program. Through this process, it is possible to identify inconsistencies, gaps, as well as strengths within the program.
When assessment is performed from a holistic perspective, the focus shifts from a single group of students to understanding the student learning outcomes within an entire academic program. The concept is to ascertain what students are learning and how effectively everyone involved is helping them learn.
Why is Academic Program Assessment Important?
There are numerous benefits to assessment initiatives which fall into two categories:
Improvement – program assessment provides a platform for faculty and administrators to examine the current state of the curriculum and identify its strengths and recognize weaknesses.
Accountability – program assessment creates the method of demonstrating academic progress and achievements to stakeholders.
These stakeholders include prospective students, employers, and accrediting bodies like NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration) which focuses on MPA accreditation and MSCHE (Middle States Commission on Higher Educaton) which focuses on Baruch College accreditation.