Director's Message

Dr. Amy Liu

Dr. Amy Liu, Professor, Director, Office of Academic Program Assessment

Assessment is an integral part of our commitment to student learning and student success, and an integrated part of the mission and strategic planning of this university. The Office of Academic Program Assessment (OAPA) is a division of the Office of Academic Affairs with administrative oversight provided by Dr. Don Taylor, Assistant Vice President (interim), Academic Programs and Global Engagement.

OAPA assists our university and various academic units (programs, departments, and colleges) by:

  1. Providing leadership, support, coordination, and feedback for the annual assessment of student learning outcomes for all degree programs at each level (baccalaureate, master, and doctorate);
  2. Strengthening the assessment component for the periodic review of academic programs (Program Review);
  3. Facilitating and leading various initiatives that result in high-quality and sustainable assessment practices for an institution-wide understanding of student learning;
  4. Serving as a campus-wide resource for improving the culture of assessment;
  5. Promoting a culture of evidence-based decision-making and continuous learning and improvement at Sacramento State.

To achieve these goals, OAPA works closely with campus leaders including deans (the seven colleges, undergraduate studies, and graduate programs), department chairs, program directors, and assessment coordinators. This office also collaborates closely with many campus units including the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Assessment (PACA), the Program Review Oversight Committee (PROC), the Committee for Writing Across the Curriculum (CWAC), the Office of Institutional Research (OIR), the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), and the Academic Technology and Creative Services (ATCS) Center.

Since annual assessment is the foundation for program review and university assessment, this office encourages colleges, departments, programs, and faculty members to:

  1. Evaluate whether their program learning outcomes (PLOs) – together with assignments, standards of performance at graduation, and other data – demonstrate the meaning, quality, integrity and uniqueness of their degree programs;
  2. Explicitly integrate all the assessment efforts in the academic unit, including direct assessment, indirect assessment (such as exit surveys), and/or student reflections or transcript analysis. This helps faculty collect key social, demographic and curricular data about the students, so the program will have a better understanding of students’ learning and success;
  3. Use high-quality assessment data for: (a) curriculum, budgeting, or strategic planning at the department, college, or university level, and (b) improving student learning and student success;
  4. Conduct follow-up assessments to see if changes have significantly improved student learning and student success;
  5. Use curriculum maps, rubrics (such as the VALUE rubrics), and backward design to explicitly demonstrate where learning, assessment, and improvement take place for EACH PLO.

To achieve these goals, we strongly encourage colleges, departments, programs, and individuals to use the expertise and resources at OAPA as they design or revise their annual assessments and program review. We can help the university, the departments/programs, and individual faculty design a high-quality and sustainable assessment process and reduce their workload/stress in the long run at the same time.

We look forward to working with you!