Degree Program Expectations
The Degree Program Expectations were developed and approved by the Faculty Senate in May 2014 to ensure all programs are working towards similar expectations aligned with high-quality student learning, and consistently engaging in assessment and continual improvement requirements set forth by the Higher Learning Commission.
Degree Program requirements
All degree programs at NAU are required to demonstrate evidence of the achievement of the following expectations as part of their Academic Program Review or Specialized Accreditation (click here to obtain a pdf of the following list):
1. Degree Program Purpose Statement Accordion Closed
The purpose statement identifies the overall goals or aims of the degree program, as collectively understood by the faculty members teaching in the degree program. The degree program purpose statement summarizes the following in a manner that differentiates it from other academic programs offered at NAU:
- The scope of the program,
- The content studied, skills developed and so on,
- The learning experiences provided, and
- The future opportunities for which it prepares students.
- Programs with emphases also summarize the content and skills unique to each emphasis area.
- Graduate degree programs also address the population that is best suited for the graduate program.
2. Degree Program Student Learning Outcomes Accordion Closed
Degree program student learning outcomes define the scope (breadth and depth) of what students will know, be able to do, etc., upon completion of the degree program. Degree program student learning outcomes:
- Are explicit;
- Are learning-centered (focus on what students learn rather than on what faculty teach);
- Align with the degree program purpose;
- Are appropriate to the level of the degree offered (Master’s degree outcomes would be more rigorous and comprehensive than Bachelor’s degree outcomes, etc.); and
- If a degree program has emphases, the outcomes capture the learning associated with both the common and unique curricular requirements of the degree.
3. Coherent Curriculum Design and Degree Program Curriculum Matrix Accordion Closed
Curriculum has coherent course sequencing and structure designed to achieve the intended student learning outcomes in a manner that both students and faculty can articulate the rationale behind the sequencing and structure of the degree program.
- A written description of how the courses and their sequence relate to students’ achievement of the intended learning outcomes.
4. Systematic Assessment of Intended Student Learning Outcomes Accordion Closed
Information about student learning is collected and analyzed by program faculty to determine the extent students achieve degree program student learning outcomes. Minimally, all broad learning outcomes are assessed using direct methods of assessment toward or at the end of the student’s program of study at least once between program reviews. The following evidence is documented in relation to the assessment of each broad learning outcome:
- Assessment Planning, Design & Data/Information Collection. The academic unit systematically obtains information about student’s performance of learning outcomes using valid assignment(s), performance indicator(s), or measurement tool(s) or approach(es) selected or developed by the faculty members in the program.
- Analysis of Data & Discussion of Findings: Analysis and findings articulate the discoveries and findings for each broad learning outcome.
5. Continual Improvement: Use of Assessment Findings of Student Learning Accordion Closed
Assessment findings are evaluated and used by program faculty for decision making and continual improvement of student learning in an on-going, systematic fashion.
- Based on assessment findings, interpretation and discussion the following actions are documented for each broad learning outcome:
- Application of changes/ improvements to the curriculum, and/or
- Improvement of the assessment, and/or
- Results of student learning strengths are publicized (website, etc.).
- Additional improvements documented in Annual Curriculum & Assessment Reports.
6. Strategic Course Design: Accordion Closed
- All syllabi align with the university syllabus template.
- Class section syllabi align with the “Approved,” “Common,” or “Master” Syllabus. At a minimum, course purpose and learning outcomes of the instructor match the Syllabus of Record.
- Courses with Liberal Studies and/or Diversity Designations align with course design designation requirements.
- Each syllabus provides learning opportunities and assignments designed to achieve the course’s purpose and learning outcomes.
Minor and Certificate requirements
All Minors and Certificates at NAU must have the following:
- Purpose Statement
- Student Learning Outcomes