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Institutional Research


What is assessment and why do we do it?

At Washington College we are committed to giving every student big opportunities for intellectual growth and widened career prospects. But how can we be sure that we deliver on this commitment? Because we engage in ongoing and rigorous assessment. Assessment is the process of collecting, analyzing and using information to increase student learning. We assess our programs to be sure that we have clearly defined goals and that students are achieving those goals. 

Assessment is required for accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, but we aspire to an even more rigorous standard. We assess our academic programs and resources to ensure that a Washington College education is of the highest quality.

Washington College Assessment Links

1. October, 2013 Chairs Workshop
2. November, 2013 Chairs Meeting
3. Provost Office New Approach to Departmental Assessment


Other colleges and universities have assembled helpful assessment information that may provide useful ideas and suggestions about the collection of assessment data, data analysis, and decision-making based on results.

The links below are examples from some of the most informative sites. If you know of other good assessment sites, please let the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment know. Also, if any of the links on this page become broken, please let me know that as well.


1. The University of Delaware is another institution with a very good assessment program. The link below contains numerous links to tools, resources and assessment reporting:


2. The University of Washington has been conducting assessment for a long time and there are two good links with respect to resources and reports:



3. Gettysburg College also has a very good web site with links to much public information about assessment:


4. Georgetown University has a very good site related to institutional assessment. In particular, there is an excellent link to a short ‘handbook’ for assessing student learning:


5. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education provides this statement about student learning outcomes assessment: “The Commission’s standards, Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education (2006), available for downloading at Publications, focus on student learning in many standards, particularly but not exclusively in the context of Assessment of Student Learning (Standard 14), Related Educational Activities (Standard 13), General Education (Standard 12), Educational Offerings (Standard 11), Student Admissions (Standard 8), and Institutional Resources (Standard 3).”

The various Middle States publications are available as downloads at http://www.msche.org/publications.asp

Updated February, 2011