Mission Statement: Academic Research and Assessment Office provides resources, guidance, and information for the planning and implementation of student outcomes assessment, academic program review, learning outcomes assessment, and other procedures that support academic program improvement, student learning, and accreditation. Resources for faculty and staff to conduct basic and applied research in support of their academic pursuits as well as grant writing assistance and information pertaining to grant opportunities are also provided.
An Overview of Assessment of Student Learning at VCSU
Assessment of student learning, “an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning,” plays a critical role in helping us to determine and respond effectively to student needs (AAHE Bulletin, 11/95).
Over the past decade, understandings of academic assessment at Valley City State University have developed from an initially broad, unclear discussion to a specific, focused use of Abilities to shape curriculum and define outcome measures. In developing its assessment process, VCSU is guided by the AAHE explanation that assessment involves:
- Making our expectations explicit;
- Setting appropriate criteria and high standards for learning;
- Systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches those expectations and standards;
- Using the resulting information to document, explain, and improve performance. (AAHE Bulletin, 11/95)
A number of individuals and committees at VCSU are responsible for assessing and improving student learning, from the teacher in General Education or major program classroom to the Curriculum Committee and the Faculty Senate. This office supports various assessment activities and the responsibilities of individuals and groups. It also organizes data and communicates information for those individuals and groups undertaking the process of improving student learning.
An Overview of Academic Research at VCSU
This Office provides the following:
- Provides funding and directives for internal mini-grants focused on academic research, particularly research in support of academic pursuits to enhance the reputation of Valley City State University.
- Identification of grant opportunities to support grant activities at VCSU.
- In cooperation with the relevant administrative units on campus and funding sources, we assist faculty and staff in the development and submission external grant applications.
- Maintains the Institutional Review Board (IRB) website and reviews the Human Subjects submissions by faculty, staff, and student researchers.