In the last decade or so, there has been a nationwide shift from teacher-centered education, to learner-centered education. In the learner-centered model, the focus is on outputs: the knowledge students actually acquire and the skills, competencies or abilities they develop. Oversimplified, it places the focus on what graduates can do when they leave a university.
I’m proud to say that CalSouthern is well ahead of the curve in this area. The university has embraced a learner-centered approach from its inception. We rely on assessment to gather data that allow us to make decisions that ensure students are developing the skills they need to succeed.
So what is assessment? Assessment:
Assessment at CalSouthern
The overarching purpose of assessment here at CalSouthern is to integrate planning, evaluation and budgeting processes into a comprehensive program that encompasses both student achievement and quality support services. Assessment activities are intended to provide reliable evidence that demonstrates continuous, outcomes-focused efforts centered on the improvement of student learning and institutional effectiveness. Following are some specific goals for assessment at CalSouthern:
Assessment at CalSouthern occurs across three components of institutional effectiveness. The three components are academic programs (educational effectiveness), support services (administrative effectiveness) and co-curricular activities (co-curricular effectiveness). Results provide data-driven findings necessary to plan for the growth and improvement of the educational programs, services and related operations, and our co-curricular activities.
What does all this mean to you?
For those outside of the education sector, assessment may be a foreign concept. You might be wondering what this all means to you. To put it in concrete terms, here are the top five learner benefits of assessment at CalSouthern.
CalSouthern’s Department of Institutional Research and Assessment keeps all stakeholders, including our learners and faculty, at the center of our assessment processes. A critical part of that is keeping you informed. So look for regular Assessment Alerts like this where we will share our assessment activities, their results and the resulting improvements. Please keep an eye out for this section in upcoming editions of the CalSouthern Sun.