Cleveland State University

Office of Student Learning Assessment

Student Outcomes Inquiry

Introduction

Cleveland State, a comprehensive university in the heart of Cleveland, is responsive to the needs of our community. We provide the opportunity for quality higher education to our students; meet the needs of area employers for a continual stream of well prepared graduates ready to take their place in the economy of the region and the state, and address the intellectual needs of our faculty to pursue knowledge and collaborate with other researchers and professionals within and without the institution. We are engaged in a symbiotic relationship – the community energizes CSU and in turn, CSU energizes the community.” This introductory statement from the 2009 Recommendations of the Task Force on Excellence and Engagement captures the intent of CSU’s response to Ohio’s Chancellor of Higher Education in his call for Centers of Excellence among Ohio’s public universities.

In order to assess the current capacity of CSU graduates, departments throughout the university gather information about their students’ learning outcomes and employment opportunities. During the Fall, 2008 semester, an effort was initiated to identify the methods utilized by academic and administrative departments within the University to acquire and assess information concerning outcomes regarding learning and employment among CSU’s students.

Methodology

A three stage inquiry was designed to obtain the information concerning student learning outcome and employment assessment by departments. First, a letter requesting the information was sent to academic department heads (n=38) and to administrative department heads (n=18) in the university. Next a reminder note was sent as a follow-up about six weeks later. Finally, annual academic assessment report files (of those departments not responding) were reviewed to seek evidence of student surveys. The following chart provides the results of the inquiry. Department study reponses

Observations

  • Among 18 administrative units, five conduct student surveys concerning aspects of departmental services and their impact upon students. Thirteen other departments do not conduct surveys regarding student outcomes.
  • Thirty-one of the 38 academic departments surveyed conduct a variety of forms of student outcome inquiries. The most common format is written or verbal exit surveys among graduating seniors concerning their impressions of the academic program and their immediate plans. However, the surveys are not standardized throughout the university. In addition, several departments assess students’ content knowledge and skills based upon curricular objectives or industry or licensure standards.
  • Many departments also survey alumni concerning experiences and employment.