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Foundational Statement
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Proposed AALHE Foundational Statement #1: What is assessment in Higher Education?

To be voted on by AALHE members in November, 2019

Assessment is the process of collecting and analyzing information to determine if progress is being made toward a desired end. While this broad definition is applicable to a range of goals and organizational contexts, AALHE focuses on the assessment of student learning and institutional effectiveness within the context of higher education.

Student learning outcomes assessment is a process in which members of the higher education community identify what students should be able to do by the end of an educational unit and determine the degree to which they meet these goals. It also requires us to consider how to use the information systematically gathered on student performance to improve the teaching/learning process.

Institutional effectiveness assessment focuses on the extent to which an institution is making progress towards its mission and vision. When engaged in this process, members of the higher education community use the information collected to inform action taken for improvement.

The aim of student learning assessment and institutional effectiveness assessment is the ongoing enhancement of quality. AALHE supports these efforts in quality improvement by promoting assessment not just “of learning" but more importantly “for learning.”



Proposed Foundational Statement Authors

Sesime Adanu
SUNY Broome Community College


Jason Brunner
University of Colorado School of Pharmacy


Jodi Fisler
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia


Robert Flaherty
United States Air Force Academy


Cynthia Howell
Capella University


Jill Kern
Eastern Washington University


Karen Menard
University of Guelph


Jeremy Penn
University of Iowa


Jane Marie Souza
University of Rochester


Constance Tucker
Oregon Health & Science University


Erin Thomas
Illinois State University


Felix Wao
University of Oklahoma


Bob Wilkinson
Wartburg College


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Phone: 859-388-0855
Email: info@aalhe.org

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