What is Assessment?

What Does Assessment Mean to You?

The assessment of student learning outcomes proves to be one of the best ways of determining whether or not a university is fulfilling its mission and goals.  In particular, the assessment program at Missouri State University is designed to assist in the development and maintenance of the highest quality programs and services. 

Assessments may document the mastery of knowledge, competence in performance, practice or practical applications, projects and perceptions of the value of the education received by students. 

Examples of measurements include:

  • Portfolios
  • Projects
  • External validation of student work
  • Certification
  • Licensure examinations performance judged by jury
  • Evaluation of interns
  • Practicums
  • Cooperative education experiences

The information gathered through this process is utilized by University administrators, department heads, and the faculty and staff to both evaluate and improve academic and non-academic offerings.  

The success of this program requires widespread cooperation from the entire university community.  Assessing university outcomes involves currently enrolled students, as well as alumni, employers, and practicing professionals who provide additional feedback.  Results of assessment represent all Missouri State University students in various reports and discussions on and off campus.

The Importance of Assessment to Students

Assessment results may be used for a number of purposes.  Results help to evaluate the effectiveness of the Missouri State University curriculum, represent the performance of Missouri State University students to the public, and represent the university in funding decisions. 

As the primary beneficiary in the educational system, students have the responsibility to contribute to the continued improvement of academic support and instruction. 

You, as a student, are also the main source of information in the progression of assessment.  Student participation in influencing academic quality at Missouri State University involves sharing details about educational experiences through surveys and formal testing. 

Students are encouraged to do their best so that the university assessment will be as accurate as possible.  Results affect how Missouri State University is viewed as an educational institution and are incorporated in legislative funding decisions.  

There are many opportunities to participate in assessments that directly impact the improvement of your university: 

  • All incoming freshmen take part in the evaluation of math and writing skills during SOAR.  
  • Missouri State University policy requires all graduating seniors to take the general education assessment exam.  This test is intended to help institutions improve the quality of their programs and the learning that results.  
  • Graduate students at Missouri State University are asked to participate by submitting the graduate student survey.  Your conscientious participation provides you with the opportunity to ensure a bright future for Missouri State University.