Assessment

"The culture of a university is learning.  In the Ignatian tradition this process is sacred.  For in the act of learning mathematics, Shakespeare, economics, or chemistry,  something about the way God works within knowledge and touches the soul and enlivens our humanity."

Howard Gray, SJ (2008)

Graduate School Goals:

Creighton University embraces the Jesuit spirit of intellectual openness, tolerance and celebration of different gifts and talents. Within the context of Creighton as a Jesuit, Catholic University, the Graduate School provides a value-centered education that develops advanced mastery of a field of study. It puts graduate students in personal contact with faculty scholars in an environment that fosters critical judgment, scholarly initiative and disciplined inquiry. From the Mission Statement emerge six goals.

At the completion of their programs, graduates will:

   1.  demonstrate the disciplinary competence and/or professional
        proficiency with a global perspective
   2.  in service to others;demonstrate an ability to combine critical thinking,
        disciplined research, and effective problem-solving in their field of study;
   3.  demonstrate ethical decision making, service, and civic responsibility in
        accordance with the Judeo-Christian tradition and Ignatian values;
   4.  respectfully and effectively communicate information through all modes
        of expression;
   5.  demonstrate deliberative reflection for lifelong personal and professional formation; and
   6.  demonstrate an ability to work effectively and in solidarity across the distinctions of human diversity.

These six goals provide a general framework for the assessment of student learning outcomes of various graduate programs. Some differences in content and emphasis will be noted between programs given the roles for which their students are being prepared. For example, doctoral programs will put substantial emphasis on the independent conduct of research while programs leading to a master's may put more emphasis on the ability to critique research and interpret findings to non-specialists in their field.

About Assessment at Creighton University

Learning is at the center of the assessment process at Creighton.  As a Jesuit, Catholic university,  we pride ourselves in producing graduates who obtain a “degree of difference” – who carry the imprint of a value-based education.  We can only fully understand and continue to improve student learning through continuous inquiry and investigation. The Graduate School has the distinction of handling a diverse array of programs.  There are master’s degrees in 25 areas of study,  three PhD programs (all in the basic sciences) and six certificate programs. The sophistication and maturity of assessment of student learning varies across these diverse programs in the School.  

Below is a table which contains learning goals, assessment plans, and reports.

The reports section is password protected to internal staff and faculty only. To view a report, click on Report, a new window will open to the CU Portal, log in with your NetID and password, click on Assessment Reports, and then click on the actual report, which will open the PDF in a new window.

Program Assessment Data

Program

Learning Goals

Assessment Plan

Assessment Report
(data is protected)

Atmospheric Science

Goals

Plan

Report

Biomedical Sciences

Goals

Plan

Report

Bioscience Management

Goals

Plan

Report

Business Administration

Goals

Plan

Report

Christian Spirituality

Goals

Plan

Report

Clinical Anatomy

Goals

Plan

Report

Clinical & Translational Sciences

Goals

Plan

Report

Education - Counseling

Goals

Plan

Report

Education - Elementary

Goals

Plan

Report

Education - Secondary

Goals

Plan

Report

Education - Special Populations

Goals

Plan

Report

Education - Leadership

Goals

Plan

Report

English

Goals

Plan

Report

Health Care Ethics

Goals

Plan

Report

Information Technology Management

Goals

Plan

Report

International Relations

Goals

Plan

Report

Liberal Studies

Goals

Plan

Report

Medical Microbiology & Immunology

Goals

Plan

Report

Ministry

Goals

Plan

Report

Negotiation & Dispute Resolution

Goals

Plan

Report

Nursing

Goals

Plan

Report

Pharmaceutical Science

Goals

Plan

Report

Pharmacology

Goals

Plan

Report

Physics

Goals

Plan

Report

Security Analysis & Portfolio Management

Goals

Plan

Report

Theology

Goals

Plan

Report

Here are some summary highlights of where we are in moving and developing the assessment culture within the Graduate School. 

Assessment Highlights 2008-09:

  • Graduate School Assessment Goals: The Graduate School Assessment Goals were revised and approved in May 2008.  This revision was done to align the School goals with the University Assessment goals.  The 2008-10 Gradaute School Bulletin includes assessment goals at University and School level.
  • Program Outcomes:  In the 2008-20 Graduate School Bulletin, all programs were required to have stated Program Goals (no exceptions).  While these goal statements vary in quality, it is a first step in the process. These learning outcomes (or programs goals) are in the table, above.
  • Assessment subcommittee:   We implemented a subcommittee structure for the Graduate Program Directors.  An assessment committee is one of the subcommittees. 
  • Benchmark Document for Distance Programs:  With the initiation of two online options for two of our graduate programs,  we developed a benchmark document for looking at the program Program Review Documents.  To date, this document has been used as formative tool for planning what needs to be in place as these pathways are developed.  This has been done with the Program Directors.
  • Five Column Assessment Summary Tables:  All programs were required to fill out the 5-column summary table.  We placed particular emphasis on the NEED for evidence in the Assessment Results column.  Those programs who only provided process information had their tables returned and were asked to submit additional data/evidence.  We handled this on a case by case basis.  The second round request did generate additional evidence.  This was worth the additional effort. These tables are in the Assessment Plan column, above.
  • Summary of Assessment Tables:  The Graduate Dean’s office reviewed all of the program specific summary tables using key criteria for assessment.  The summary table is part of our 2009 Assessment report.   It provides only a snapshot but it is an attempt to move in the collection direction in aligning our assessment goals from programs to School to University. 
  • Report on Jesuit-Catholic Mission:  A report on mission was submitted to AEA and report committee.
  • Shared Resources:  We ordered a series of books on “rubrics” for evaluating dissertations (humanities, social science and sciences).   Program directors for the doctoral programs were all given this resource as well as those programs who require theses.   
  • Istitutional Models: We shared elements from Purdue University’s Graduate School.  This School is well known by people at HLC to be doing excellent work  in assessment of graduate student learning.  We plan to work with program directors in developing a curriculum matrix as part of their assessment plan. 
  • Needs/Plans for AY 2009-10:  There is a need for more Program Director Development.  

Summary:

This is a process of moving the programs forward that requires building structure and tools.  There continues to be a strong “misconception” that assessment needs additional human resources who gather this data and analyze it.  The challenge is to identify those critical embedded elements that are already in place and can be organized simply to move the assessment effort forward.  So more to come…Gail Jensen, PhD, Dean