With the rising costs of college comes the question about the value of higher education. This question is being asked by parents, prospective students, government agencies and accrediting bodies. Understanding that this is a valid question, colleges and universities are engaging in the process of outcomes assessment.

At Bucknell University, the outcomes assessment serves two primary functions. The first is to provide evidence that our students are learning and developing in and out of the classroom, consistent with Bucknell's mission and educational goals, and that our institutional policies, resources and services are appropriately supporting Bucknell's strategic plan. The second function, equally critical, is to provide a mechanism for a continued improvement of all facets of Bucknell education.

In regards to the outcomes assessment, the Office of Institutional Research & Planning at Bucknell University has the following responsibilities:

  1. To provide ongoing logistical support in all stages of assessment to academic, co-curricular and administrative departments, from planning, through data collection and analysis, to "closing the loop"
  2. To support, and closely collaborate with, faculty-led committees on assessment of student learning, including general education outcomes
  3. To organize workshops and other professional development opportunities for faculty and staff, in order to share recent research and best practices in assessment
  4. To review annual departmental assessment reports and provide feedback and guidance to departments
  5. To promote a culture of assessment and evidence-based planning and decision-making

The purpose of this website is to serve as a central location for assessment-related information, tools, templates and resources at Bucknell University. We hope that you will find it useful and informative.