New Academic Program Assessment (APA) Committee
As the University moves forward, faculty and staff will be operating in a "culture of continuous improvement." A new committee has been formed that will help lead the charge to achieve better processes and metrics that will assess student learning outcomes across all departments. The members of the academic program assessment (APA) committee are: Dr. Gary Tucker, Dr. Patty Horne, Dr. Jason Robertson, Dr. Gene Steadman, and Dr. Metta Alsobrook.

Specific roles and responsibilities of the committee include:
• Providing leadership in identifying major student learning outcomes
• Providing leadership in identifying appropriate assessment methods/strategies to measure learning outcomes at the program level
• Monitoring and documenting opportunities provided for students to actively demonstrate their knowledge, skills/abilities, values and development at the program level
• Supervising program level assessment data collection, analysis and interpretation relative to students' ability to achieve the learning objectives
• Sharing program level assessment results with the curriculum committee and other appropriate groups
• Devising strategies for using assessment results to improve student learning, courses, programs and services
• Ensuring that feedback from program level assessments is provided to students and other stakeholders (through the leadership team)
• Preparing and submitting, with the approval of the VPAA, requested assessment results to the university committee

Under this assessment approach, student learning outcomes will be done by major fields of study/discipline, and not by departments, using Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning Domains as a guide. Evaluation rubrics for academic programs will be developed to help assess the student learning outcomes. The results of this ongoing process will link, as well, into the program review committee. The academic program assessment (APA) committee will lead the way on assessing goals, objectives and expected learning outcomes; as well as in curriculum areas such as degree requirements and a curriculum map; and student achievements and learning outcomes.

The timing for this process is as follows:
-- Department chairs have been notified that each major discipline must have student learning outcomes (SLOs) developed -- By the end of this semester, SLOs and curriculum mapping must be completed. Training sessions are being set up by Alsobrook to help facilitate this process.
-- After these activities are completed, it is envisioned that the first full assessments will be completed in the upcoming spring semester.
-- This effort will serve to not only promulgate continuous improvement in our university, but provide a more solid basis for future interactions with SACS, our accreditation agency.

All faculty members are urged to contact one of the above APA Committee members with questions and any needs for additional information.