Assessment Overview

Assessment of undergraduate student learning at Michigan Tech is handled at a variety of levels:

  • General Education Assessment
  • Degree Program Assessment
  • Student Affairs Programs

The General Education and Degree Programs work together to build student academic competencies.  Together, assessment of the General Education, degree program, and Student Affairs programs provide a more complete view of student learning that occurs while a student is at Michigan Tech.

Undergraduate Student Learning Goals

Assessment of student learning is critical to continuous improvement of academic quality. To develop an intentional program of assessment, Michigan Tech established eight Undergraduate Student Learning Goals (USLGs) that all Michigan Tech undergraduates should achieve by the time they graduate.

Key groups and their roles:

  • Assessment Council: charged with oversight and integration of assessment activities across campus, including balancing the requirements of professional accreditation with undergraduate student-learning goals.
  • General Education Council: oversees and implements the General Education curriculum.
  • Goal Committees: help faculty understand, assess, and integrate the USLGs with programs and General Education courses. Each goal committee has oversight for assessment of their designated goal and develops goal-specific resources to assist faculty.

General Education Assessment

The General Education Program lays the foundation for learning. Students are introduced to the Undergraduate Student Learning Goals in the general education core courses required for all students in their first two years at Michigan Tech. All general education courses are expected to meet specified goals.

For information about General Education Assessment, refer to General Education & Assessment of university Undergraduate Student Learning Goals (USLGs).

Degree Program Assessment

All degree programs have established clear and measurable learning goals that identify what students should know or be able to do by the time they graduate from the program. These program learning goals are disciplinary goals to be achieved through the degree program’s curriculum. 

All degree programs are expected to provide opportunities to reinforce and practice the university's USLG competencies introduced by the General Education Program, as well as help students learn how these competencies are achieved in the disciplinary context. 

Faculty in degree programs will need to consider how students will develop and apply USLG competencies in their degree programs.  Both USLG and degree program disciplinary-specific learning goals are assessed as part of the degree program assessment process

Examples of Institutional, Program and Course Level Goals

The table below provides an example of different levels of communication-based student learning goals.

Goal 5 Communication
Institutional level Undergraduate Student-Learning Goal 5a: Students will be able to communicate effectively in writing and in new media, to a wide variety of audiences.
Program level Degree Program Learning Goal: Students who complete the business major will communicate effectively to professional and lay audiences using the common business formats.
Course Level Course Learning Goal (as might appear on a syllabus): Students who complete this finance course will be able to write accurate and complete financial reports.

Students will learn fundamental competencies of Communication (Goal 5) in at least two General Education courses. Degree program faculty can map their curriculum to identify courses that emphasize communication. In these courses, students would receive clear expectations for communication in the discipline and feedback on their written work (such as lab reports or research projects) or oral communication (such as presentations). These artifacts of student work could be used for degree program assessment.

Course Learning Goals

The Syllabus Requirement for All Courses at Michigan Tech states that every course taught at Michigan Tech must have clearly stated learning goals or objectives. These learning goals should align with degree program goals or USLGs. Proposals for new courses should identify which USLGs and/or program learning goals are met by the course. Refer to Creating a Learner-Centered Course Syllabus for additional information.

Student Affairs Programs

The Office of Student Affairs and Advancement has their own mission, goals, and learning outcomes for activities they manage. The Student Affairs and Advancement Assessment Team is responsible for assessing those programs and conducting campus-wide surveys.