Assessment is a systematic process used to determine if students learned what was intended. It is a cyclic iterative process that engages stakeholders in analyzing and using information on student learning to confirm and improve teaching and learning. Assessment is used to evaluate whole programs such as academic majors, core curriculum, and residence life. It is not used to evaluate individual faculty and courses. Learning is a product of students' experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. These experiences may include student clubs, practicums, community service, and work. The life of the classroom both reinforces and is reinforced by student life outside of class.
CSM Academic Programs and the Student Development Division have established student learning goals/outcomes and objectives that serve as the framework for the assessment programs. With the focus of the goals/outcomes, the academic programs and Student Development Division systematically gather, document, analyze, and interpret evidence of student learning. Assessment is one way that departments and programs affirm their strengths and plan improvements that contribute to the university's overall effectiveness.
The assessment programs play a key role in the continuous quality improvement program and promote the CSM philosophy that learning is everyone's responsibility. Assessment promotes ownership, and ownership promotes commitment to excellence. As stated in the mission statement, CSM is dedicated to the education of women in an environment that inspires academic excellence. Assessment provides evidence of the level of academic excellence.