Lindenwood University was one of just seven colleges and universities nationwide named a 2019 Excellence in Assessment designee, a national program aimed at recognizing colleges and universities conducting comprehensive assessment of student learning outcomes as a means to drive internal improvement and advance student success.
The Excellence in Assessment designation, established in 2015, is the first national designation of its kind, spotlighting institutions that successfully integrate assessment practices across the institution, providing evidence of student learning and using assessment results to guide institutional decision-making and improve student performance. The program is jointly sponsored by the Voluntary System of Accountability, the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Other 2019 designees include Bucknell University, Auburn University, Missouri State University, Sam Houston State University, and the University of Northern Iowa. Finger Lakes Community College won a Sustained Excellence designation.
“The Excellence in Assessment Award is a significant honor and achievement for Lindenwood,” said Dr. Bethany Alden Rivers, associate vice president for institutional effectiveness and chief assessment officer. “Institutions with this designation are recognized as national leaders in assessment and continuous improvement.”
The application for the award was written and submitted by Lindenwood faculty members Geremy Carnes, Areerat Kichkha, and Kate Herrell, who was director of academic assessment at the time.
The designation was created to acknowledge on a national level the important work colleges and universities are doing through comprehensive assessment activities and to highlight those practices so other institutions can draw upon them to inform their own efforts. As part of the application process, colleges and universities were asked to detail the specific assessment activities they have undertaken, along with the reason such efforts are a priority for them. The designees needed to demonstrate how aligned processes, building from classroom-based assessment, foster a coherent, collaborative approach to assessing student learning.
“The Excellence in Assessment Designation is the first national, jointly sponsored designation to recognize institutions moving assessment of student learning from a compliance exercise to one of meaningful engagement,” said Dr. Natasha Jankowski, director of the National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment.
The application process for the designation includes a rigorous and systematic self-study. Accredited, degree-granting institutions working to implement and sustain comprehensive use of assessment of student learning outcomes are eligible to receive the designations. More information on the designation can be found on the EIA Designation web page.
According to the organization, “Lindenwood University’s assessment approach centers on multiple forms of outreach for faculty and staff to participate and learn from one another to allow for engagement, connection, and support of its assessment activities…Connecting its plentiful indirect measures and standardized scores to more direct measures of student learning across general education, Lindenwood is leveraging resources and opportunities for engagement to gather useful results to provide a more complete picture of student learning.”