Assessment is an ongoing process and dialogue that is embedded in the overall culture of Gratz College. The College is engaged in ongoing planning and implementation of academic program review, student learning outcomes assessment, institutional assessment, and assessment-related training. Gratz is committed to creating a sustainable culture of assessment dedicated to advancing its mission of providing high quality educational programs grounded in Jewish values.
Gratz College adheres to a Continuous Improvement Cycle that uses the institutional mission as the foundation for all planning and assessment activities. The cycle is an iterative process that involves setting goals, gathering data, and using data to facilitate change. The Continuous Improvement Cycle is depicted in the following diagram.
The components of the Continuous Improvement Cycle are defined below.
- Confirm the Mission – The overall expectations for institutional effectiveness and student learning are made explicit and public through articulation of the institutional mission statement.
- Identify Goals – Institutional learning goals guide the overall assessment of student learning. The institutional strategic plan provides goals that guide the overall assessment of institutional effectiveness. Evolving from these sources, all academic departments adhere to program learning goals (student learning) and all support units adhere to unit goals (institutional effectiveness).
- Select Targets and Tools – Targets for success and assessment tools are selected for use in assessing the achievement of goals.
- Collect and Analyze Data – Data are gathered, analyzed, and interpreted to provide evidence as to how well performance matches expectations.
- Use Results for Planning and Improvement – Through institution-wide reporting and planning practices, assessment results are used to inform change within programs, practices, services, and operations.
The components of the Continuous Improvement Cycle are designed to ensure “closing the loop” on all assessment activities. “Closing the loop” involves analyzing the results of assessment, using results to make improvements, and re-assessing goals and targets to determine the effect of change. The components of the cycle are interconnected, which demonstrates that assessment results and findings are continuously used to guide improvement of programs, practices, services, and operations.