Undergraduate Academic Assessment Goals

All undergraduate students are required to participate in the University’s processes/program for assessing student learning in general education and in the major fields. The purpose of assessment at MU is to provide faculty and administrators with the information they need to ensure high levels of student learning. The key goal is to improve how and what students learn in their programs and to increase how much they learn. At the same time, the process provides documentation of student learning to help programs and the University meet external requirements, including those of accreditation organizations.

Faculty members develop assessment strategies specific to each degree program and conduct assessments at appropriate points in their students’ undergraduate careers. Each program at the University has defined learning objectives for their students that form the basis of assessments. Students participate in assessments of discipline-specific learning objectives and of learning objectives aligned with the University’s learning objectives for all students.

In order to meet the needs of the people of the State of Missouri, the nation and the global society, the University of Missouri shall provide its baccalaureate graduates with a sound intellectual foundation in the liberal arts and sciences and in the student’s chosen major fields of study. Toward that end, in addition to having every bachelor’s degree recipient fulfill appropriate course work requirements for general education and for degree programs, MU strives to have all students achieve the following goals:

Goal 1: Graduates of MU will be able to identify and evaluate new information in light of previous knowledge.

MU graduates will be able to:

  • Identify issues and problems important to society, define their scope, and identify information needed to address them.
  • Find existing sources of information on a topic.
  • Evaluate the accuracy, validity, and reliability of information presented in a wide variety of media.
  • Conduct appropriately focused library, field or laboratory research.
  • Analyze and synthesize information gathered, demonstrating strategic and logical reasoning skills.
  • Demonstrate understanding of costs, benefits, and/or consequences of proposed resolutions of issues and problems important to society.
  • Organize information, data and ideas for further analysis and/or presentation.

Goal 2: Graduates of MU will possess the knowledge, abilities, and skills necessary to communicate effectively.

MU graduates will be able to:

  • Communicate information to a variety of audiences and purposes.
  • Revise and edit their presentations to improve clarity and accuracy.
  • Engage in the healthy and positive exchange of ideas.
  • Apply communication skills in furthering their post-MU careers.
  • Use multiple formats and technologies to communicate ideas effectively.

Goal 3: Graduates of MU will possess the knowledge, abilities, and skills necessary to serve society responsibly.

MU graduates will be able to:

  • Understand the duties of being a responsible citizen.
  • Identify and analyze the requisite behaviors for carrying out their academic and professional lives with integrity.
  • Work collaboratively with others where appropriate.

Goal 4: Graduates of MU will possess knowledge to observe and critically analyze the diverse human experience.

MU graduates will be able to:

  • Engage in life-long learning.
  • Appreciate fine art and literature.
  • Understand the contributions of diverse groups and experiences to life at the individual, community, national, and the world levels.
  • In addition, some students will be required to take standardized tests in their major field and/or for general education.

University General Education Assessment

Each year, a sample of seniors will participate in a University general education assessment examination known as the CAAP Exam, which addresses University general education competencies of MU students in the areas of mathematics, science reasoning, reading, writing and critical thinking.

Major Field Assessment

Prior to graduation, all seniors will participate in assessment of their mastery of course work in their major field. The assessment program is determined by the faculty of each department to measure the extent to which students are achieving instructional goals and outcomes for graduates in that field. The methods of assessment are appropriate to the educational goals for students in their respective major fields. Information on subject field assessment is included with the college and school sections of this catalog. Methods may include:

  • Nationally-normed examinations
  • Portfolio review
  • Performance review
  • Capstone project
  • Faculty-developed exit examinations
  • Exit interviews University