Assessment and Evaluation
At the Graduate Center, assessment occurs at every level: course, program, and institutional. At the course and program level, student learning outcomes are assessed through course and milestone evaluations (e.g., the first- and second-level exam, the dissertation process, advising and mentoring). Additionally, every 10 years academic programs undergo an external review which evaluates how well the program has implemented changes from the last review, and what needs remain. Institutional-level assessment takes the form of reaccreditation every 8 years along with periodic strategic plan assessment. Individual administrative offices also evaluate their outcomes as part of administrative and educational support assessment.
More details about each of these assessment processes can be found below.
According to the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, student learning outcomes are the “expected knowledge, skills, attitudes, competencies, and habits of mind that students are expected to acquire at an institution of higher education.”
At the Graduate Center, Student learning outcomes are assessed at the program level through examining program milestones such as the first and second level exams. This is an annual, cyclic process, overseen by the Outcomes Assessment Committee, where each program is guided through a self-study of a particular student milestone or outcome, and sets goals for improvement, if needed.
Every ten years, programs at the Graduate Center undergo an external program review. In preparation for the visiting team of reviewers, programs embark on a self-study with input from the Office of Institutional Research and the Provost.
Learn more about Academic Program Review
Programs are encouraged to evaluate their courses and instructors through course evaluations conducted at the end of each semester. OIRE provides support to interested programs in conducting these evaluations, and can provide training, if needed, in developing course evaluations, disseminating them, and analyzing the results to improve the way courses are taught in subsequent semesters.
OIRE is overseeing an assessment process for all non-academic offices at the GC, which include administrative and educational support (AES) offices. Assessment allows AES offices to determine whether goals are being met, provides feedback about activities and outcomes, and helps identify areas of strength and those that need improvement.
This assessment is a self-study with guidance and support from OIRE. Each office may choose to focus the assessment based on the top priorities of the office, its central activities, or to answer significant questions about processes or outcomes.
To ensure the success of the 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, the Graduate Center is implementing an assessment process to measure progress toward achieving its major strategic goals. The process evaluates educational and institutional effectiveness and relays conclusions to relevant decision-makers, especially concerning resource allocation.
This assessment is linked to other ongoing institutional assessment processes, such as the: 10-year doctoral program external review cycle, Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation self-study, annual CUNY Performance Management Project, and outcomes assessment.
Learn more about Strategic Plan Assessment, including a draft of measurable performance outcomes.
Middle States accreditation is a collective reflection process evaluating how well higher education institutions like ours achieve their mission and goals, what things need to be addressed immediately and what can be improved over the next eight years. Most importantly, this is an opportunity for the community in each school to think critically about its priorities and bring constructive suggestions and healthy discussion to ensure student success and the institution’s sustainable development.
Learn more about Middle States Accreditation, including information on our successful October 2020 site visit.