Assessment Information

The Office of Assessment provides insights about students, outcomes, and effectiveness to the institution.
President Cureton and a graduating student

What is Assessment?

Assessment is an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning. It involves making our expectations explicit and public; setting appropriate criteria and high standards for learning quality; systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches those expectations and standards; and using the resulting information to document, explain, and improve performance. – Tom Angelo, AAHE Assessment Forum

Assessment is the systematic collection, review and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning and development. – Palomaba & Banta, Assessment Essentials

There are five primary activities of assessment:

  • Deciding what is important to know about student learning and institutional effectiveness
  • Choosing the best ways to measure those objectives
  • Gathering and analyzing information and data
  • Communicating results to appropriate constituencies
  • Using the information to for accountability and improvement.

University of Northwestern is committed to the development and implementation of an assessment plan that focuses on important outcomes, uses multiple measures to gather the best information, uses the information to improve, and distributes this information to interested stakeholders.

Assessment Steering Committee

The Assessment Steering Committee provides guidance to the institution in developing and implementing institution-wide assessment plans and reports, analyzing and interpreting assessment results, and disseminating assessment results to the University community. The Assessment Steering Committee supports institution-wide assessment and the assessment of student learning in the academic programs across venues, which includes curricular as well as co-curricular assessment efforts.

  • Provides leadership in the assessment of learning and service outcomes
  • Consults with and advises the Director of Quality Improvement and Assessment on matters related to policy and procedure associated with academic assessment
  • Designs, develops, approves, or selects instruments that most effectively assess institution-wide outcomes 
  • Analyzes the results of assessment initiatives and publishes periodic reports to appropriate parties for the purposes of initiating appropriate change
  • Receives and reviews annual departmental assessment plans and yearly reports
  • Periodically evaluates the campus-wide assessment plan

Assessment Committee Members 

  • Amy Carroll 
  • Russell Erickson 
  • Steve Harthorn 
  • Nathan Lentfer 
  • Joel Light
  • Jessica Moore 
  • Iyare Oronsaye
  • Christa Rhodes
  • Ying Shen 
  • Pamela Solvie 

The Assessment Handbook contains information for faculty, relating assessment fundamentals, and guidelines for academic departments and professors.

Assessment Coordination 

Cheryl Norman, Ed.D.
Director of Quality Improvement & Assessment
651-631-5247

Delise Welsch
Administrative Coordinator
651-286-7751

Russ Erickson
Institutional Researcher
651-628-7573

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    Assessment Data and Results


    Want to learn more about the experience and outcomes of our students and alumni? Review our student satisfaction surveys and reports on educational outcomes.

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