What is Assessment?

PVAMU seriously takes into consideration the extent to which students are learning and developing. Significant student learning occurs when there is a change in knowledge, skills, and dispositions. In essence, the college and/or program significantly impacted the student. To determine if our students are learning and where improvement is needed, we engage in a variety of institutional assessments. Assessment is the process of gathering information using various methods to systematically gauge the effectiveness of the institution and academic programs to document student learning, knowledge, behaviors, and skills as a result of their collegiate experiences. The University’s mission is fulfilled when these findings are used to inform program development, instruction, and subsequently enhance student learning .

There are many instruments available to assess student learning. PVAMU utilizes direct and indirect measures. Direct assessments are techniques that require students to demonstrate knowledge and skills in a particular area. Alternatively, indirect assessment techniques ask students to reflect on their institution and academic program, and indicate if they believe they have learned and changed as a result. Below are examples of the types of instruments used for direct and indirect measures.


Direct Measures
Capstone projects Case Studies
Standardized Tests (GRE subject exams) Reflective Journals
Comprehensive exams Certification Exams/Licensure Exams
National Major Field Achievement Tests Course Embedded Assessments
Internships/Clinical Evaluation Pre and Posttests
Reflective Journals Portfolio Evaluation Senior Thesis or Major Project

Indirect Measures
Alumni Survey Graduation and Retention Rates
Focus Groups     Exit Interviews
Departmental Survey     Employer Survey
Graduation and Retention Rates  

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