Assessment for the University
Undergraduate Learning Outcomes Assessment at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
In 2006 the University of Nebraska-Lincoln adopted a set of Core Values that reflect the commitment of a land-grant, comprehensive research university.
- Learning that prepares students for lifetime success and leadership;
- Excellence pursued without compromise;
- Achievement supported by a climate that celebrates each person's success;
- Diversity of ideas and people;
- Engagement with academic, business, and civic communities throughout Nebraska and the world;
- Research and creative activity that inform teaching, foster discovery, and contribute to economic prosperity and our quality of life;
- Stewardship of the human, financial, and physical resources committed to our care.
One of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's (UNL) two overarching priorities is undergraduate education. A high-quality undergraduate program is an important priority for both the university and the state of Nebraska. Higher education plays a key role in retaining talented individuals who can contribute to the economy of the state of Nebraska and attracting young people from elsewhere. UNL, as the state's comprehensive research university, plays a prominent role in engaging those students who have the widest range of choice in choosing where to pursue their college careers. Evidence shows that students tend to locate where they earned their last degree, and the quality of the undergraduate experience is the single most important ingredient in student choice.
Engagement in assessment of undergraduate student learning outcomes is an expression of these core values and of UNL's undergraduate education priority. UNL has been significantly involved in assessment of undergraduate student learning outcomes for more than ten years and continues to innovate and improve the processes through which student learning is investigated.
The Office of Academic Affairs and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources has generously provided funding to support Program Excellence through Assessment, Research and Learning (PEARL) and other assessment activities at UNL. The PEARL documentation of program assessment activities provided the data needed to produce this report.
Some highlights from the undergraduate student learning outcomes assessment activities were implemented during the 2007-2008 academic year. Five key questions were examined:
- How is the outcomes assessment process contributing to improvements?
- What are undergradute programs learning from outcomes assessment?
- What learning outcomes are valued by undergradute programs?
- How is UNL engaged in assessing undergraduate learning outcomes?
- How does UNL ask students to demonstrate their learning?