Projects look to improve student learning

Selected as one of 14 schools, Missouri Southern begins the Academy for Assessment of Student Learning this fall to improve student learning.

“The application process was completed this summer,” said Dr. Richard McCallum, vice president for academic affairs. “We were attracted to the structure, the focus and the support network that the Academy will provide to us.”

Broken down into three projects, McCallum said the first project is an effort to improve the assessment strategy for the core curriculum.

The next is to establish a program review process that would be institution-wide and would look at the various program and department curriculums.

The last project is an effort to begin looking at learning outcomes the University thinks are appropriate for the first-year experience and assess them to see if they have been accomplished.

“Those three projects were what we submitted in our proposal,” he said.

McCallum said the projects begin in November with the University sending a team to a training conference.

“The training conference will give us state-of-the-art information regarding the assessment of learning outcomes,” he said.

During the conference, he said they will have the opportunity to partner with other institutions.

“There is a collaborative opportunity for us to pool our ideas with other institutions who are working on similar kinds of activities,” McCallum said.

University President Julio León said Southern is honored by its selection for this process.

“We have demonstrated that we are moving toward an accreditation process,” León said.

McCallum said the Academy for Assessment of Student Learning is a new effort the HLC developed.

“The Academy is a four-year obligation where you as an institution make the commitment over the next four years to focus on these particular efforts,” he said.