Undergraduate, Graduate and Certificate Programs
Program level assessment focuses on what and how an academic program is contributing to the learning and development of students as a group.
The purpose of an academic program assessment plan is to facilitate continuous program level improvement. Program assessment plans provide faculty and instructors with a clear understanding of how the program is assessed (e.g., what is being measured and when, who will collect the data and how the results will be used) with the ultimate goal to foster ongoing and systematic evaluation of student learning. More specifically, program assessment plans clearly define the program’s educational mission and the outcomes students are expected to demonstrate as a result of the program. Plans also show the alignment of course curricula to the stated program outcomes, describe how the outcomes will be assessed and outline how results will be used.
At UW–Madison, every academic program – undergraduate, graduate, certificate, capstone and general education – must have an active assessment plan. Quality program assessment plans should:
- Articulate specific and measureable program learning outcomes
- Identify where in the curriculum the learning takes place
- Highlight engagement in at least one assessment activity each year, and at least one direct assessment every 3 years
- Report findings annually to the Office of the Provost including plans for improvement
Accessing Program Assessment Plans
Current UW–Madison academic program assessment plans are available to view and download in Lumen Programs. The plans are also available to view and download in this Google Sheet. Please contact Regina Lowery, email@example.com, with any inquiries.
Updating Program Assessment Plans
For guidance on developing or refining academic program assessment plans, review the guides, templates and examples below. Data, Academic Planning and Institutional Research (APIR) also provides campus data for the assessment of learning outcomes and for context about undergraduate programs.
Basic Assessment Planning Guide and Templates
- Basic Assessment Planning Guide
An overview about creating basic assessment plans for academic programs.
- Assessment Plan Template – Undergraduate Programs
A template for creating an assessment plan for an undergraduate degree program.
- Assessment Plan Template – Graduate Programs
A template for creating an assessment plan for a graduate degree program.
- Assessment Plan Template – Certificate Programs
A template for creating an assessment plan for an undergraduate or graduate certificate program.
- Assessment Plan Template – Capstone Certificate Programs
A template for creating an assessment plan for a capstone certificate.
Example Assessment Plans
- Example Rubric for Masters, Ph.D. Thesis, Dissertation
An example rubric for evaluating thesis/dissertation proposals and defenses.
- Generic Assessment Plan Example – Graduate Programs
An example of a generic assessment plan for a graduate degree program.
- Generic Assessment Plan Example – Undergraduate Programs
A generic assessment plan example for undergraduate degree programs.
- UW-Madison Mechanical Engineering Assessment Plan Example
A sample assessment plan from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UW-Madison.