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Aligning Assessment Across All University Levels
Unformatted Document Text:  Aligning Assessment Across All University Levels 1 Vicki L. Golich – Dean, College of Arts & Sciences California State University San Marcos 333 S Twin Oaks Valley Rd. – San Marcos, CA 92096-0001 (V) 760.750.4195 – (F) 760.750.3005 (E) ## email not listed ## – (W) www.csusm.edu/golich Assessment is not a popular cause in academia today. Most faculty vigorously resist calls to conduct assessment beyond the very legitimate and traditional assessment related to grading various assignments, quizzes, exams, and research projects. Nevertheless, a number of external pressures suggest that we academics should lead the way in assessment, lest Federal and state politicians impose highly undesirable standardized assessment measures upon us. Regional higher education accreditation agencies have taken up the call for assessment with renewed energy in recent years; perhaps their assessment expectations will save us from ourselves. This paper suggests a pathway for aligning assessment across six (6) levels that meets both external demands and internal university needs, while mollifying faculty reluctance to engage (see Figure 1). The levels considered include (1) regional accreditation agencies – in this case, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), (2) state university systems – here, the California State University System, (3) the University campus itself – California State University San Marcos, (4) the College within the university – College of Arts & Sciences, (5) the degree program – Global Studies, and (6) the individual faculty members in their courses. The recommendations are supported by research regarding best practices in teaching, learning, and assessment. Thinking About Assessment As we think about assessment in higher education, it seems most important to make it meaningful and useful to all who are engaged in it. Thus, assessment is – or should be – a 1 A draft of paper was first presented at a Roundtable Discussion Focused on Assessment of Global Studies/ International Relations curricula at the International Studies Association National Conference in Chicago, IL in 2007.

Authors: Golich, Vicki.
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Aligning Assessment Across All University Levels
Vicki L. Golich
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
California State University San Marcos
333 S Twin Oaks Valley Rd. – San Marcos, CA 92096-0001
(V) 760.750.4195 – (F) 760.750.3005
(E)
Assessment is not a popular cause in academia today. Most faculty vigorously resist calls to
conduct assessment beyond the very legitimate and traditional assessment related to grading
various assignments, quizzes, exams, and research projects. Nevertheless, a number of external
pressures suggest that we academics should lead the way in assessment, lest Federal and state
politicians impose highly undesirable standardized assessment measures upon us. Regional
higher education accreditation agencies have taken up the call for assessment with renewed
energy in recent years; perhaps their assessment expectations will save us from ourselves. This
paper suggests a pathway for aligning assessment across six (6) levels that meets both external
demands and internal university needs, while mollifying faculty reluctance to engage (see Figure
1). The levels considered include (1) regional accreditation agencies – in this case, the Western
Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), (2) state university systems – here, the California
State University System, (3) the University campus itself – California State University San
Marcos, (4) the College within the university – College of Arts & Sciences, (5) the degree
program – Global Studies, and (6) the individual faculty members in their courses. The
recommendations are supported by research regarding best practices in teaching, learning, and
assessment.
Thinking About Assessment
As we think about assessment in higher education, it seems most important to make it
meaningful and useful to all who are engaged in it. Thus, assessment is – or should be – a
1
A draft of paper was first presented at a Roundtable Discussion Focused on Assessment of Global Studies/
International Relations curricula at the International Studies Association National Conference in Chicago, IL in 2007.


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