Undergraduate Academic Assessment Process


All undergraduate programs and transcripted certificates offered for credit by NC State are expected to fully participate in the assessment process, regardless of method or location. However, University requirements are flexible enough to allow programs and/or colleges wide latitude in implementing the procedures, including integration of undergraduate and graduate program review where desired.

The faculty and Associate Deans will be aided in their efforts by the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA), the Office of Institutional Research and Planning(OIRP), and assigned university consultants.

Important Dates

  • February 28, 2020: DUPs and DGPs submit assessment reports to department heads in the APA application: go.ncsu.edu/APA
  • April 24, 2020: Department heads review assessment reports
  • May 8, 2020: Department heads submit a summary report to their dean’s designee
  • May 22, 2020: Dean’s designee reviews assessment reports
  • June 5, 2020: Dean’s designee submits a summary report to the Provost’s Office

Drop-In Sessions

The Office of Assessment offers process and drop-in sessions throughout the year. Drop-in sessions are for directors of undergraduate programs (DUPs) and other faculty involved in the assessment of academic programs to come and discuss their assessment plans, review data collection, analysis and review report drafts.  Drop in any time during the hours listed below to work with an Office of Assessment staff member.

  • January 10, 2020; 1:00-3:00pm; Park Shops 211-D
  • January 24, 2020; 1:00-3:00pm; Hunt Library 5234
  • February 7, 2020; 1:00-3:00pm; Park Shops 211-D
  • February 14, 2020; 1:00-3:00pm; Hunt Library 5234
  • February 21, 2020; 1:00-3:00pm; Park Shops 211-D
  • February 28, 2020; 1:00-3:00pm, Hunt Library 5234

We have added additional (virtual) drop-in sessions hosted on Zoom:

April 17, 2020; 2:00-3:30pm https://ncsu.zoom.us/j/874434244

April 24, 2020; 1:00-2:30pm https://ncsu.zoom.us/j/202223767 

May 1, 2020; 12:00-1:30pm  https://ncsu.zoom.us/j/416944641 

May 8, 2020; 1:00-2:30pm  https://ncsu.zoom.us/j/726544030

Please contact Dr. Stephany Dunstan (sbdunsta@ncsu.edu) with any questions.

Academic Program Assessment (APA) Application and Assessment Guidelines

Basic Expectations for the Assessment Process

1) Learning Outcomes – Each program and transcripted certificate must have a set of comprehensive student learning outcomes which are measurable (i.e., need to use action verbs such as those found in the Bloom’s tables online) and can all be assessed within a 3 to 5-year cycle. We generally recommend narrowing down the list of outcomes to 4 to 7 high-level outcomes (e.g., analyzing, synthesizing, creating, etc.) the faculty would expect students to be able to do or know as a result of graduating from the program.

2) Measures – Each program and transcripted certificate must use direct measures of learning that are aligned with the outcomes such as test questions (not grades) or projects with a rubric (or another method that will allow for systematic review of the course product) from upper-level courses. When done well and in the aggregate, these methods will allow programs to determine not only the extent to which students achieved the outcome, but will allow faculty to identify both strengths and areas for improvement for the program, which is a requirement of the process (for an example of how to show these, see the “Example Report” listed above. Each program can measure as many outcomes as they deem appropriate each year as long as they are all assessed within 3 to 5 years. A single tool or set of questions from a major exam may be used to assess multiple outcomes.

3) Using Results – Each program and transcripted certificate must make clear decisions based on the data collected. Decisions may or may not include changes to the overall program or courses and changes to the program may or may not be big changes. The spirit of the process is that the faculty review the data and make decisions regarding whether changes are needed and if so, what those changes should be. If the faculty determine that no changes are needed, please explicitly indicate that as a decision made based on data.

4) Submitting Reports – Each program and certificate submits an assessment report in Academic Program Assessment (APA) Application. Reports are due the last business day of February each year. Instructions for submitting reports in APA can be found above.


All programs and transcripted certificates are encouraged to utilize any of the resources below throughout the assessment process. The use of a curriculum map is recommended  to help programs identify the courses in which outcomes are addressed and where the best direct evidence can be collected. A curriculum mapping template is available in the “Assessment Resources” link below.

University Regulation

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