In alignment with SACSCOC Standard 8.2 (p. 62-75), James Madison University requires each academic degree and certificate program to submit an annual assessment report outlining their assessment practices for the previous academic or calendar year (program's choice). Most programs choose to use the defined Assessment Progress Template (APT) provided by the Center for Assessment & Research Studies as the format for submitting the required information.

The Assessment Progress Template (APT) and Rubric

The APT (template) provides guidance regarding the key pieces of information that will be evaluated in the rating process. It is our hope that the template will help streamline the report-writing process for university assessment coordinators. The template was developed to correspond with each section of the APT rubric. This rubric represents the criteria on which all assessment reports are rated; and was developed to align with JMU's assessment cycle:

AssessmentCycle_APT.png

The APT rubric (insert link to APT_Rubric_Doc) consists of 14 elements, each representing important features of the assessment cycle. Coordinators will notice that each of these 14 elements are represented in the APT reporting template as well. Headers of the template explicitly correspond to the rubric elements. The brief blurbs beneath each template header provide detail regarding the importance of the section, and the types of information that may be beneficial to provide. 

Requirements

An assessment report must be submitted for all academic degree programs, and academic certificate programs. APTs are due to the Center for Assessment & Research Studies (CARS) by June 1st annually (or the first working day in June - see PASS website for specific dates). APTs should be uploaded to the eAPT Assessment Reporting System by the June 1st deadline to be considered complete. We strongly recommend the APT be drafted in Microsoft Word before it is uploaded into the eAPT system.  

Department heads are required to review and approve their program's APTs after they have been uploaded. This can be done by logging into the APT Department Site. 

Both the eAPT system, and the Department Site require a username and password. Assessment coordinators and department heads should be sent login information in March. If you are the assessment coordinator for your program, or the department head and you do not have access to the reporting system, please contact the Program Assessment Support Services (PASS) office via email at programassessment@jmu.edu  

Rating and Feedback

Rating: 

APTs are organized and reviewed by the assessment consultants in the PASS office prior to being rated by teams of faculty and graduate assistants in the summer. During this CHEA-award winning evaluation process, faculty representing each college and CARS assessment graduate assistants receive two days of formal training in the rating process; and then spend the remainder of the week working in teams to rate actual APTs. This process not only allows us to provide ratings for all 120+ programs with a quick-turnaround time, it also gives the faculty raters a behind-the-scenes view of assessment that they have found was helpful in planning their own program-level assessment practices.  

The rater training and rating session is typically held in late July. For more information about this year's rater training, please visit the CARS Professional Development (insert link to PD events page) website. Faculty raters are nominated by the Dean of each college. If you are interested in serving as a faculty rater, please contact your Dean or Department Head to express interest.  

Feedback: 

After the rating process has been completed, the faculty and assessment consultants in the PASS office spend the following months reviewing the reports and corresponding ratings, and quality checking for accuracy. These ratings (raw scores and comments) are then used to create feedback reports for each program or certificate. These feedback reports are disseminated to the Deans and Department Heads no later than October 1st.

APT Alternative

Programs that have earned exemplary status for the past two years are eligible to submit an alternative to the traditional assessment report. The goal behind offering the alternative is to give programs an opportunity to shift their focus from the regular assessment reporting cycle to work on one of the following: 

  • Strengthening the program's assessment processes to increase the quality and usefulness of assessment data, or 
  • Using assessment results to make program-level curricular changes intended to improve student learning  

Programs must meet the eligibility requirements and may consult with the PASS office regarding their project if they choose. Programs electing the APT alternative will still need to submit a report on June 1st, but instead of their regular APT, they will submit a one-page summary document that details their program's plans to make substantial changes to their assessment processes/curriculum; or describes the changes that were implemented in the previous year.  

A program may not elect to submit an alternative report two years in a row. For more information, review this document, (insert APT_alternative doc) or contact the PASS office.  

APT Alternative Examples: 

80's Pop Culture Alternative Example - Assessment Process 

80's Pop Culture Alternative Example - Learning Improvement 

CBIS Alternative Example - Assessment Process 

CBIS Alternative Example - Learning Improvement 

Resources

We understand that writing and organizing the APT can be difficult and that it may be unclear as to what exactly to include in the APT, even while using the provided template. Some program coordinators may find it helpful to view examples of high-quality APTs. Below are links to an APT example for each college. Please feel free to use these exemplar APTs to guide your own writing.  

Exemplar APTs: 

College of Business 

College of Science and Mathematics 

College of Health and Behavioral Studies  

College of Visual and Performing Arts  

College of Arts and Letters 

Additional Resources and Forms: 

APT (template) 

APT Rubric 

General Information for Contents of Each Section of the APT  

APT Complete How-To Guide

Uploading APTs: APT System Guide for Assessment Coordinators

Reviewing and Approving APTs: APT System Guide for Departmental Heads Site

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