Why Assessment?


Why we engage in Assessment

Educational assessment practices are used to assess achievement of student learning outcomes, both directly within academic programs, and through co-curricular and related learning and formation activities.  At the University, assessment is grounded in our Catholic, Jesuit mission, and broadly guided by the tenets of the Ignatian Educational Paradigm, a way of proceeding that guides institutions to assess learners’ growth in heart, mind, and spirit. Evaluation is one of the five elements of the Ignatian paradigm, and it is informed by consideration of context, experience, reflection, and action.  

We believe that our students attain and achieve far more than we can assess, but sound assessment practices help us to generate results for decision making and quality improvement, when appropriate. Also, sound assessment practices and results help us to tell our story. We want evidence to show that our students are reaching the goals we have set for them and that our students embody the mission of our University.

Progress and outcomes are monitored and measured through both formative and summative assessments. Findings from these evaluations are used to inform decision making, planning and improvement, and resourcing of programs and services. 


Guiding Principles of Assessment

  • Assessment is mission-driven, in the particular context of the Ignatian educational paradigm and our Catholic, Jesuit character.
  • Assessment is integrated within appropriate advisory and decision-making processes and structures. 
  • Assessment is iterative, adapting to changing needs and new opportunities.  
  • Assessment is collaborative and participatory, engaging all members of the University community in reflection.  
  • Assessment is transparent, its processes and outcomes communicated clearly and frequently. 
  • Assessment is evidence-based, supported by quality data and evidence that show how institutional and student learning goals are being met.
  • Assessment is useful, designed and pursued in ways that are practical and relevant to unit and program needs, and cycles for decision making and resource allocation. 
  • Assessment results are used to “close the loop,” with results applied through planning, resourcing, and continuous improvement of programs and services.
  • Assessment is ongoing and cumulative, reflecting our performance over time. 
  • Assessment is itself assessed, its processes and structures evaluated and refined through ongoing reflection and planned cycles of review. 
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