University Assessment Panel


Notes from Meeting of

17 April 2009


The seventh meeting of the University Assessment Panel (UAP) was held on Friday, 17 April 2009, at 10:00 a.m. in Altgeld 203.




Douglass announced that the Assessment Manual developed by the Office of Assessment Services is complete and available online at

The manual provides good resources for both those new to assessment and those already actively engaged in it.


Cassidy announced the Provost was seeking those interested in attending two webinars hosted by the University Leadership Council which are related to assessment and accountability measures. An email will be sent to panel members with further details.


Franklin announced that NASPA also had webinars available on similar assessment topics, and would forward the information to those who were interested.



First Year Composition Report


This writing assessment intends to assess the effectiveness of the First Year Composition program on student writing ability. Matched samples are collected at the beginning of English 103 and then again at the end of English 104. The writing samples are scored by English Department faculty using a rubric that can be found on page three of the report. Each sample is reviewed by two reviewers who each score one to three on each of the criteria, giving final scores ranging from two to six.  Results showed an increase in scores between English 103 and 104 on all subscales. Detailed results can be found in the report which is available at:


Follow UP VSA/College Portrait


The panel reviewed a handout pertaining to the Voluntary System of Accountability – The College Portrait ( NIU is currently implementing processes to be part of the VSA. The handout covered common questions and answers about the VSA –College Portrait and included a sample of sample site for a university. The first section presents information such as student characteristics, cost of attendance and financial aid, retention rates, and number of degrees awarded.  The second section presents information about institutional characteristic such as the Carnegie Classification and result from the Clary report.  The third page will allow NIU to ‘personalize’ the content. This page has nine buttons for which NIU can assign content of our choice. Additionally there is a Student Perception & Experience section and Learning Outcomes section in which data & reports from NIU’s own assessment plans can be linked.   


Review of Status Reports  


Assessment summary reports were reviewed for the Office of Admissions and for Career Services. A summary of the panel’s feedback will be sent to the departments.  


This is the last meeting of the 2008-2009 academic year.



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