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subcommittee on gradate-level assessment meeting notes 10/19/01

Assessment Oversight Committee (AOC)
subcommittee on gradate-level assessment meeting notes 10/19/01

Michael Grant, AOC chair
Candice Miller
Rodney Taylor
Lou McClelland, staff
Carol Bormann, staff
Perry Sailor, staff


  1. Agenda (l ir outcomes gradschl meet0110.doc)
  2. Photocopy of "NCA suggestions and requirements for assessment at CU-Boulder," from PBA web site (
  3. Photocopy of UCB report to NCA for accreditation in 2000, (
  4. Photocopy of PBA web page "Graduate Student Survey, 1997, 1998 and 1999,", and a page linked to the above, "CU-Boulder All Graduating Students, 1998-99," http://www.Colorado.EDU/pba/surveys/grad/97-99/gr99all.htm
  5. Letter from Lydia Snover, MIT, to members of AAUDE, inviting participation in HEDS graduate student survey, and an attachment from HEDS with information about the survey (l ir survey grad heds_gss_invite.doc).
  6. Photocopy of the HEDS survey from Web, (was at, not currently available on web)

Lou: Taking a step back from evaluation of individual students - what does sum of individual evaluations say about a program? Professional accreditation - engineering accreditation does not include grad level, journalism does, others (business, music) unknown.

Relevant materials (see handout):

  • What NCA says. Description of committee (AOC). Brought up document containing VC DiStefano's charge to AOC on computer, did search for term "graduate," found reference to NCA report and statement "While the initial emphasis will be on undergraduate education, we plan to address graduate level assessment in the near future." Rodney: Should grad school have someone on committee? Lou: That's one of the issues for this meeting. Rodney says probably yes.
  • What we said to NCA - see handout - section on learning assessment at graduate level. Lou emphasized that NCA reporting requirement is "How do you use assessment to improve?" Not "Did you do something called 'assessment'?"
  • NSSE survey of undergrads, and senior surveys, focus on whole campus, colleges, and about 25 depts with 80% of the students. Others, Lou thinks, are so small that faculty know every student and are constantly talking (in an informed way) about how they're serving students and how they can improve. These departments would be asked "Can you make a statement about how you're doing this?"
  • Is what grad depts. are doing (comprehensive exams, etc.) enough? A: No, they're good tools, now the next step is to step back and look at more globally - summarize, consider in planning and decisionmaking.
  • Decision: Candice, Rodney will join AOC as members, representing Graduate School.
  • Discussion of NSSE survey. Lou showed results on web site -- http://www.Colorado.EDU/pba/surveys/NSSE/00/index.htm. Power of this type of study is comparisons across institutions - institutions send entire population of their students to NSSE, who select sample. So common sampling method across institutions. And comparisons across UCB colleges and depts.
  • Then discussion of something (maybe) comparable for grad. ed. - HEDS. Problems - small N of institutions, no AAU publics, only 3 AAUs period (Vanderbilt, Rochester, MIT). Snover wants us to be in it, but we have reservations - no standard sampling, no standard time of administration, very long. Unknown response rates at other institutions. So - Lou says we're certainly not ready to recommend HEDS.
  • If we want to say anything about use by our fall '03 report to NCA, best bet is to stick with what we have (stuff going on in departments now, e.g. comprehensive exams, plus surveys we're doing now), push them forward. These should be tools we use.
  • Mike: Need letter to departments, comparable to what Mike is working on for undergrads, soliciting reports of assessment efforts. Hopefully depts. are doing assessment already, at least some are, and will just need to report what they're doing. Mike will do this letter.
  • Rodney said he would send copies of grad. program assessment instrument for depts that grad school has developed to AOC members for review, before next AOC meeting. These were sent (as boilerplate versions) to depts. Grad school has copies of the instruments departments developed based on this boilerplate, but nothing on results or use of results. Then decided it would be better for Rodney to not send these to AOC, but rather would instead write up a generic example, and some examples of differentiation from that. And he will also solicit examples of assessment use from departments.
  • Lou: have to decide if we will re-institute grad survey (now suspended). Tentative yes, but should look at 00 data first. Carol will assemble, will meet with Rodney.

PBA: PS-- L:\IR\OUTCOMES\aoc\gradnotes011019.doc

Last revision 06/04/04

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