Our approach to assessing student learning focuses on evaluating what students gain through the formal educational program. We have divided this into three main efforts: assessment of outcomes within majors, assessment of outcomes regarding general education, and assessment of our total education program.
Each major program (departmental or interdisciplinary) has a varying approach to assessing student outcomes, making use of comprehensive examinations or program-specific projects for senior majors. Programs report on what their majors are doing after graduating from Earlham. Every five years, each program reviews its approach to assessing student outcomes.
Each student should achieve a set of broad, College-developed goals as part of the general education curriculum at Earlham. Over the next several years, Earlham will assess student success under these general education criteria to highlight our effectiveness in Abstract Reasoning, Scientific Inquiry, Perspectives on Diversity, the Arts and Wellness, as well as in developing college-level writing skills.
In the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), students respond to open-ended analytical and writing tasks to showcase their development of key academic skills and ways of knowing throughout their years at Earlham. Both of these tools, in conjunction with other assessment projects such as interviews with students, are part of our overall assessment of Earlham College.