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James Madison University recognized for excellence in assessment

First national designation of its kind recognizes institutions at the leading edge of integrated student learning outcomes assessment

by Caitlyn Read


James Madison University was named as one of five members of the 2017 class of Excellence in Assessment designees, a national program aimed at recognizing universities conducting a comprehensive assessment of student learning outcomes as a means to drive internal improvement and advance student success. The Excellence in Assessment program – the first national designation of its kind – spotlights institutions successfully integrating assessment practices across campus, providing evidence of student learning outcomes, and using assessment results to guide institutional decision-making and improve student performance.

JMU earned the added distinction of Sustained Excellence. This specific designation highlights institutions that have maintained and/or evolved integrated campus-level student learning outcomes assessment over a period of five or more years. Sustained Excellence campuses have a solid foundation and track record of integrating assessment data from across campus and of using assessment results to guide campus programs and curriculum. To date, only five institutions in the world have received the Sustained Excellence designation.

Faculty and staff at JMU have worked hard for the past two decades to develop an intentional, student-learning informed, embedded approach to assessment. The university has been nationally recognized for its assessment practices. Not only has JMU witnessed student growth in each of its five learning clusters, it continues to see efficacy of its redesigned general education program over the last 20 years. Formal recognition of faculty and staff commitment to excellence in assessment is – for many departments – a part of the promotion and tenure process that continues to advance learning improvement on campus. Additionally, JMU provides assessment support collegewide through 11 assessment professionals, over 100 faculty and 40 staff coordinators, and more than 15 graduate students who serve as assessment professionals in training.

The sponsors of the Excellence in Assessment program are the Voluntary System of Accountability, a public college and university transparency initiative led by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, in partnership with the Association of American Colleges & Universities and the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. 

Published: Friday, September 8, 2017

Last Updated: Friday, September 8, 2017

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