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Assessment of Student Learning

A hallmark of Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy is the iterative cycle of critical self-examination, reflection and action.

To implement this cycle of assessment throughout the Division of Academic Affairs at Saint Louis University, faculty and staff strive to:

  • Define what "quality" means to SLU, and for SLU, in the contexts of education, scholarship, service and operational support
  • Set measurable outcomes for educational, scholarship, service and operational performance across all programs and units
  • Develop and fully implement the curricular, co-curricular, academic support, scholarship, service and operational support programs designed to foster achievement of those outcomes
  • Regularly measure achievement of stated outcomes (by students, faculty and the institution collectively)
  • Regularly share and act upon achievement data to improve on all that we do
  • Strengthen institutional conditions — cultures, infrastructures, human and fiscal resources and ethos — that intentionally support and advance all of the above

SLU conducts assessment of student learning at both the University-wide and academic program levels for a variety of purposes. Accordingly, assessment results need to be understood and interpreted in their specific assessment contexts. That requires us to be intentional about how and for what purposes the results are reported and subsequently used by various University constituencies as described below:

  • For Faculty and Staff
    Results of the assessment of our graduates' performance are utilized by SLU faculty and staff to understand how and why students evidenced performance as they did; that research, in turn, should evidence what we, as an educational community, can do to improve that performance. It should be noted that program- and University-level assessment results are expressly not used to "grade" students and they are not used in any way to determine if students should graduate or not.
  • For Students and Families
    Knowing how many of SLU's graduates meet our own educational expectations can be helpful to students and families looking for an additional measure of the outcomes and benefits of a SLU education. Most helpful, however, may be knowing that SLU is very intentional about evaluating our educational quality and impact on students, and about acting upon what we learn to improve all that we do.
  • For the Higher Learning Commission
    Since 1916, Saint Louis University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), formerly known as the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The HLC regularly monitors overall institutional quality and integrity, and is focused on ensuring that SLU meets its educational objectives consonant with our University mission.

    A key element of the HLC's oversight is monitoring and offering support for the improvement of our educational assessment efforts. SLU's transparent reporting of our assessment processes, results and — perhaps most important — what we learn from our results to inform positive change,  are all critical to the HLC's understanding (and their assessment) of SLU's institutional performance.
University-Level Assessment: Undergraduate
 Information forthcoming...
University-Level Assessment: Graduate and Professional Programs

SLU's University-Wide Student Learning Outcomes for graduate and professional programs were developed by a team of faculty from throughout SLU's colleges, schools, and centers. The outcomes were endorsed by the Graduate Academic Affairs Committee and the Council of Academic Deans and directors in Spring 2016, then adopted by Provost Nancy Brickhouse in May 2016. 

These outcomes define the educational expectations — informed by SLU's Jesuit educational heritage — for all post-baccalaureate students in degree granting programs, regardless of degree or program of study.

Upon completion of graduate-level programs, all post-baccalaureate SLU graduates will be able to:

  1. Assess relevant literature or scholarly contributions in the field(s) of study.
  2. Apply the major practices, theories, or research methodologies in the field(s) of study.
  3. Apply knowledge from the field(s) of study to address problems in broader contexts.
  4. Articulate arguments or explanations to both a disciplinary or professional audience and to a general audience, in both oral and written forms.
  5. Evidence scholarly and/or professional integrity in the field of study.

Graduate-level programs assess student achievement of these outcomes in their own disciplinary contexts. Assessment results inform program and institutional efforts to strengthen curricula, pedagogy, and educational resources.

View SLU’s graduate-level student learning outcomes

Program-Level Assessment

All SLU programs — majors, minors, and core curricula — are to undergo continuous, on-going assessment of their learning outcomes. Assessment data should be collected and reviewed regularly. Programs submit their most recent plans and annual reports to the Office of Academic Affairs.  These plans and reports are linked below, organized by the associated college, school or center. 

Questions or comments?  Contact Kathleen Thatcher, university assessment coordinator, at 314-977-4189 or kathleen.thatcher@slu.edu

Assessment Resources

Programs

SLU's programs are organized by academic unit. To view a program document in a new tab or window, right click on the document link and make your selection.