College of Arts and Sciences Assessment Committee (CASAC)

College of Arts and Sciences Assessment Committee (CASAC)
October 18, 2012
To: Department Heads and Program Coordinators
Re: Assessment of Student Learning
 Introducing the College of Arts and Sciences Assessment Committee (CASAC)
 Higher Learning Commission (HLC) recommends more focus on student learning
 Four items toward supporting departments and programs through the process
 Timeline for assessment of student learning will be announced the week of October 29
CAS now has an assessment committee focused on student learning. At EMU, the
responsibility for assessing and reporting evidence of student learning has shifted from the
Office of Instructional Effectiveness and Accountability (OIEA), which Peggy Liggit
coordinated, to the colleges. CAS Dean Tom Venner and Associate Dean Kate Mehuron
initiated and are supporting the recently formed, faculty-led CAS Assessment Committee
(CASAC), which includes four faculty members and three department heads. The charge of
the committee is to coordinate assessment of student learning in degree programs, including
communicating with stakeholders and building capacity across the college. CASAC is building
on the work of the OIEA and Peggy.
Higher Learning Commission recommends more focus on student learning. Recently, the
HLC responded to EMU’s accreditation (AQIP) report. HLC acknowledged our effort in
taking “significant strides in assuring student learning is the highest priority of the institution,”
noting “the revision of the General Education program, greater focus on program level learning
outcomes, and integration of assessment results into Program Review processes.” However, the
HLC admonished us for relying “heavily on external specialized accreditation to assure program
strength and…not [providing] comprehensive results related to program level accreditation.”
HLC added: “there is a need to take a more concerted effort in implementing this final stage of
the process to ensure that assessment is used to improve student learning” (AQIP Feedback
Report, Sept. 2012, p. 1).
Four key actions toward supporting assessment of student learning processes in degree
programs. All CAS undergraduate and graduate degree programs must design assessments
that demonstrate that students are learning and submit a report on how the process
informs program changes and efficacy. Here are the four actions:
1. CASAC will send you a timeline the week of October 29 that is humane and doable;
2. CASAC encourages programs to develop—or continue to develop—assessments that
fit program goals and needs;
3. Consider appointing a departmental assessment liaison to coordinate with CASAC;
4. CASAC and the Faculty Development Center will coordinate training.
Timeline for Assessment of Student Learning will be announced week of October 29.
Since CASAC was formed by September 27 and first convened October 4, the committee is
developing a timeline. For now, no assessment reports are due. You will receive a timeline the
week of October 29, or sooner if possible. Materials developed by CASAC will be submitted
to the College Advisory Council (CAC) for review. For example, a template for reporting will
be presented to CAC on October 25; through department representatives, faculty will have
an opportunity to peruse and provide feedback before the final CAC meeting of this term
(November 15).
Finally, although NO reports are due in Fall 2012, CASAC urges departments and programs
to continue working on plans for, or assessment of, student learning. The committee looks
forward to building an effective, useful and humane process with you.
Please email Doug Baker (, who chairs CASAC, with any
CAS Assessment Committee
Doug Baker (English)
John Dunn (English)
Jenny Kindred (CMTA)
Beth Kubitskey (Science)
Department Heads
Suzanne Gray (Women’s and Gender Studies)
Victor Okafor (African American Studies)
Steve Pernecky (Science)
Associate Dean, ex officio
Kate Mehuron