Liberal Arts Core

Guiding Principles and Underlying Assumptions

1. The university recognizes that the primary motive for LAC assessment is to improve student learning.

2. The assessment of student learning within the LAC should be meaningful to all stakeholders.

  • Both current and prospective students will be better positioned to take responsibility for their own learning if educational goals and objectives are clearly defined and measured.
  • Assessment provides faculty with a forum to discuss student learning.
  • The University of Northern Iowa is accredited by the Higher Learning Association of the North Central Association. A primary component of achieving accreditation is evidence of an active program of assessment of student learning within all academic programs.

    3. The process of demonstrating student achievement within UNI’s Liberal Arts Core begins with the establishment, measurement and use of results by faculty within each category (or sub-category) of the LAC.

    4. Faculty who teach in the LAC are expected to participate in on-going assessment activities.

    5. LAC assessment shall be continuous. Each category (or subcategory) will maintain a Category Coordinating Committee who will be responsible for overseeing assessment activities and submitting either an annual assessment update (when the committee is engaged in steps 1-3 of the assessment cycle) or a final Assessment Report (upon completion of step 4 of the assessment cycle).

    6. Assessment measures are to be clearly described.

    7. The creation of common rubrics shall, when appropriate, be informed by the AAC&U Value Rubrics.

    8. Annual assessment updates and reports for each category (or sub-category) will be approximately 3-5 pages in length.

    9. Direct assessment of student learning is the primary goal of this effort. Indirect assessment will be conducted via the Office of the LAC and therefore not a responsibility for the Category Coordinating Committees.

      10. Course-embedded assessment is an excellent example of a direct measure of student learning if the evaluation consists of the clear measurement of specific learning outcomes. To this end, ideally, neither the student nor the professor should have to create additional tests or assignments to accomplish this task.