The mission of Clarke University and the core values of Freedom, Education, Charity and Justice of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVMs) form the foundation of a “...caring learning community committed to excellence in education."
The mission statement describes outcomes to be achieved within a learning environment that"...encourages personal and intellectual growth, promotes global awareness and social responsibility, and deepens spiritual values...". Administrators, staff, and faculty through multifaceted curricular and co-curricular processes and activities articulate and assess these outcomes.
Achievement of student learning outcomes is assessed at institutional, program/department and course levels to ensure continuous quality performance envisioned by Mary Frances Clarke and her associates and carried on by members of the Clarke community today.
University Level - Mission Effectiveness and Alumni Surveys
Graduating seniors complete a survey to report data on their experiences of the general education program, major programs and departments. Results from these surveys highlight areas of student satisfaction and areas where further improvements might be initiated. Among these are areas such as personal, intellectual, and spiritual growth.
When departments engage in programmatic review every five years, alumni are surveyed and the results provide additional support for the positive role Clarke University has played, and continues to play, in their life of learning. Among the items assessed are leadership skills, quantitative math skills, personal spiritual growth, community service participation, and the ability to use technological resources. Survey results are utilized by departments to revise and refine academic and student life courses and programs.
Academic Level - Academic Programs and Departments
Clarke University students complete the General Education Program designed around four learning outcomes: knowledge, communication, thinking and spirituality. This program provides students with capabilities and opportunities for integration and synthesis of general education knowledge, skills and values.
The ability to communicate knowledge, skills and values identified in specific learning outcomes is a primary focus of the general education foundational level courses. These outcomes are reinforced through divisional level courses, and in Capstone courses. Throughout the program emphasis is placed on relationships among disciplines, courses, related events, and real-life applications. Outcomes are assessed through rubrics on writing, speaking, thinking, and spirituality. These assessment rubrics provide consistent data on student achievement of general education outcomes throughout the General Education program.
Department chairs provide Annual End-of-the-Year assessment reports on mission, goals, three-year assessment cycle for collecting data on outcomes, achievement of department and institutional outcomes, data analysis, action plans for curricula improvement. Additional information includes Course/Instructor Evaluation Questionnaire (CIEQ) faculty evaluation data, recommendations for faculty development, student and faculty achievements, and societal and economic trends affecting their discipline.
Individual faculty members develop specific course outcomes and design assessment measures within the framework of major programs, service courses, and/or the general education program. To ensure that assessment strategies are a regular component of course planning throughout curricula, syllabi include statements of course outcomes, products and assessment methods.
Academic Program reviews provide an in-depth departmental self-study, to review outcomes and assessments of student learning. External reviewers conduct program reviews of professional programs. Athletic Training, Education, Music, Nursing, Physical Therapy, and Social Work follow prescriptive outcomes legislated by external accrediting agencies.
Non-professional departments conduct program reviews every five years. Departments follow Academic Program Review Guidelines and Evaluation Rubrics. The program review offers the opportunity to assess strengths and weaknesses and to inform administration of accomplishments and concerns. This process also provides assessment data for long-term planning in alignment with Clarke’s strategic plan.
Student Life Assessment
Personnel in Student Life and Academic Affairs work together to view the student as a whole person engaged in learning. Classroom learning, service learning, athletics, campus ministry, counseling, and career service programs all address the development of the whole person. In each of the respective departments, student outcomes are assessed and reported to appropriate program directors.