University Assessment Committee (UAC)
The University of Mississippi (UM) embraces an institution wide, ongoing, and integrated institutional effectiveness process that ensures quality institutional effectiveness practices with each of our educational programs. The University requires each educational program to define outcomes, perform regular assessments of its programs or operations, and report results and improvements from this self-assessment biennially. The faculty for all degree and certificate programs participate in the process.
The current assessment process is coordinated by Dr. Kate Kellum, associate director of IREP, under the direction of Dr. Katie Busby, Director of IREP, with the full support of Provost Wilkin and Chancellor Boyce. This process is organized through area assessment coordinators in each dean and vice chancellor’s office and the UAC, with rotating faculty, staff, and student membership representing every school, college, and division (see current members). The assessment coordinators provide guidance and support to faculty and staff for their effectiveness activities. The UAC members work in small groups to perform peer reviews of assessment work for each of the reporting units using rubrics for academic programs and nonacademic units (see 2017-2018 and 2016-2018 Assessment Cycle Instructional Rubric. The UAC recommends improvements in the assessment process, and informally assists programs in planning and conducting assessments by sharing suggestions and information about best practices.
Each assessment cycle is two academic years long (see Assessment Cycle Timeline, and includes the preparation of assessment plans and assessment reports. Programs and units submit assessment plans in February of the first year of the cycle. These plans include outcomes, means of assessment, criteria for excellence, and links to appropriate university and general education outcomes. The UAC reviews these plans and provides suggestions for improvement using a standard form (see Instructional Critique 2017-2019). The program faculty and staff are encouraged to meet with IREP professionals and/or the appropriate assessment coordinator to review the UAC’s written critiques and implement improvement to the process prior to finishing data collection during the next academic year. Please see the following examples of plan critiques from a variety of years, degree levels, and schools (n.b. all critiques are available in the assessment database):
- Air & Space Law LLM 2016-2018 Plan Critique
- Chinese B.A. 2015-2017 Plan Critique
- Criminal Justice BSCJ 2016-2018 Plan Critique
- Social Work M.S.W. 2017-2019 Plan Critique
- Pharmacy PharmD. 2015-2017 Plan Critique
- Political Science Ph.D. 2013-2015 Plan Critique
Program faculty submit assessment reports the October following the end of the assessment cycle. These include results and uses of results (i.e., descriptions of improvements implemented and planned). The UAC reviews these reports and provides suggestions for improvement to the reports or to future assessment activities using the same standard form. The program faculty are encouraged to meet with IREP professionals and/or the appropriate assessment coordinator to review the UAC’s written critiques and implement improvements to the process prior to submitting assessment plans for the next cycle. Please see the following examples of report critiques from a variety of degree levels, years, and schools (n.b. all critiques are available in the assessment database):
- Accountancy Ph.D. 2015-2017 Report Critique
- Anthropology B.A. 2011-2013 Report Critique
- Communication Sciences & Disorders BS 2014-16 Report Critique
- Curriculum and Instruction M.Ed. – Elementary Education 2012-2014 Report Critique
- Music Ph.D. 2012-2014 Report Critique
The programs are divided into two groups. Cycle A assessment cycles begin and end in even calendar years (e.g., 2016-17 & 2017-18). These faculty report results in October of even calendar years and plans in February of odd calendar years. Cycle B assessment cycles begin and end in odd calendar years (e.g., 2015-16 & 2016-17). These faculty report results in October of odd calendar years and plans in February of even calendar years.