In industry, there’s an adage to “measure what matters”. In higher education, student learning matters! And, assessment of student learning is a means to measuring this important purpose of our institution. Through assessment, we can better understand our strengths and identify opportunities to level up further.

CARS has been a national leader in student learning outcomes assessment for over 30 years. Indeed, we were recently awarded the 2022 Trudy W. Banta Lifetime Achievement in Assessment Award. It’s an exciting time in CARS as we build on our strengths and begin to chart a new course forward.

Internally, CARS has made shifts to enable more client partnerships where there is high energy for positively impacting student learning at JMU. To provide new services and invest in partnerships, we are making a few changes to academic degree program assessment, notably:

  • Assessment reports will still be due on June 1st to CARS.
  • Beginning in 2024, CARS no longer provides formative feedback using the APT Rubric. The tool is still available as a reference for best practice in assessment.
  • CARS offers new services including focus groups and educational research projects. Our goal is to consult with partners on projects they are energized about that have a good chance at improving the educational experience at JMU.
Program Assessment Change - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Am I eligible to submit an alternative project instead of the assessment annual report (Assessment Progress Template; APT)?

Historically, Alternative APTs were provided to programs that demonstrated exceptional assessment methodology and reporting (Average score of 3.4 or higher) for 2 consecutive years. Since we no longer assign quantitative scores to APTs, the “APT Alternative” is no longer possible. However, programs interested in assessment, educational research, or learning improvement projects can still—and are encouraged to—work with CARS. This work can be highlighted in the annual assessment report. Please see “Services” for ways we can collaborate with you and if you have questions or ideas for a project, please contact us

  • How do I submit the annual assessment report in the future?

Reports are no longer submitted using the eAPT system, but instead using Smartsheet. You can Submit Your Report Here.

  • How long will I have access to the eAPT system?

You will be able to access the eAPT system until December 1st. If would like to receive a copy of any previous document submitted on the system, please reach out to us at We will keep all prior reports on file.

  • Will I receive a kudos letter?

Historically, we sent out kudos letters to Assessment Coordinators (ACs) of programs engaging in exemplary assessment processes. We are no longer assigning quantitative scores to APTs, which means that we do not define exemplary assessment as we did in the past. However, customized kudos letters will be provided to ACs who engage in partnership with CARS beyond submission of their annual assessment report.

Back to Top