Missouri State University

History of Assessment at MSU

Plan for Improved Student Learning and Assessment

Missouri State University began its current assessment program by the appointment of the campus wide Assessment and Reform Steering Committee in 1986. After research and inquiry, the committee developed an assessment plan for the campus in response to the national and state trends. The committee included faculty, administrators, and student representatives.

The assessment report stated the purposes of undergraduate education and proposed that they become a set of standards for the assessment of student achievement. The final report of this committee was endorsed by the Faculty Senate in April 1987. Consequently, the president allocated budget funding and office space for a center to implement assessment and instructional support activities.

The Board of Regents established the Center for Assessment and Instructional Support (CAIS) during the summer of 1987. The Vice President of Academic Affairs became responsible for the administration of the CAIS. The appointment of a director and an assessment council provided for the implementation and management of an assessment and instructional support program. The Assessment Council included eight faculty representatives and three administration representatives who were appointed by the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Student Government Association appointed two student representatives.

The Faculty Senate approved new organizational guidelines for the Assessment Council in 1991. The Senate expanded the membership to nine representatives and added an executive committee. In addition, the changes included a revision of the functions of the Assessment Council.

Representatives of assessment programs at public four year colleges and universities in Missouri organized a consortium in 1991. The Missouri Assessment Consortium provides an institutional exchange on issues associated with assessment within the state. The Director of the Missouri State University Center participates in this consortium.

The director of the Center organized department representatives into an assessment liaison faculty group in Fall 1992. The primary purpose of this group was to improve communication with the academic departments. Workshops for the group focused on the expectations and requirements for the North Central Association Accreditation Review.

In compliance with University planning procedures, the Assessment Council drafted a formal mission statement for the CAIS. The Faculty Senate approved the mission statement with specific objectives for the CAIS in 1993. The Assessment Council revised the CAIS mission statement in 2004.

The Assessment Council became an eleven member group including a faculty member from each college, a representative from Academic Affairs, two student representatives, the CAIS director, and a representative from the University Planning and Advisory Council in 2004. Elimination of the University Planning and Advisory Council reduced the Council to ten members.

On July 1, 2005, the University moved to a provost governance model.  With this new model, the Vice President of Academic Affairs position was replaced, and the CAIS moved under the oversight of the Provost.  When the CAIS director retired in the spring of 2010, the provost moved the functions of the CAIS from the Office of Institutional Research to the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL).  Due to this transition, the CAIS was renamed the FCTL Assessment Division.  At the end of September 2010, an Assessment Research Coordinator was hired to help the Director of the FCTL establish, manage, and coordinate comprehensive data gathering and sharing systems to improve the quality of instruction and student learning outcomes at Missouri State University.