Assessment Philosophy


The assessment process involves both gathering information and using that information as a means to improve teaching, student learning, student services, and administrative services. It includes making our expectations explicit and public, and setting appropriate criteria and high standards. It centers on systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches those expectations and standards; moreover, it enables us to use the resulting information to document, explain, and heighten performance. Assessment helps us create a shared academic culture dedicated to continually improving the quality of higher education. Thus, assessment is not a single set of actions, but an ongoing cyclical process, which permeates the institution.


What is assessment?

Assessment at GWC:

  • consists of an ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of information
  • helps us evaluate the degree to which we are fulfilling our mission
  • focuses on assessment results to improve programs, services, teaching and learning
  • facilitates broad communication and dialogue centering on outcomes
  • includes both quantitative and qualitative data

Who participates in the assessment process?

Participants include:

  • instruction, student support services, administrative services, and executive services
    • individuals: faculty, staff, and managers
    • groups: committees and programs/departments

How are the results of assessment used?

Results are used to:

  • promote student success
  • make improvements at the institutional, program, and course levels
  • generate self-reflection, collaboration, and dialogue
  • identify and respond in meaningful ways to student and community needs

Why assessment?

The process of assessment:

  • empowers faculty, staff, and administrators to more directly and efficiently improve student learning
  • generates information for proactive decisions within strategic planning
  • creates opportunities to reflect as individuals and groups
  • enables us to comply with external regulations and expectations