The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, GW’s regional accrediting agency, mandates that we develop and implement an assessment process to evaluate our overall effectiveness in achieving GW's mission and goals, including the education of students in all programs. The results of assessments are used to improve student learning. Assessment is designed to answer two key questions:
- How well are we collectively educating students?
- How well do we achieve real student learning as a fundamental part of our effectiveness?
Every degree program in the University must formulate learning outcomes and conduct annual reviews of some element of their degree programs. These are included in annual reports to the academic deans. Programs can then rely on these annual program assessments for both long-term planning and as the basis for self-assessment in the Academic Program Reviews (APR) required every five years. A large component of GW’s reaccreditation by Middle States is based on our implementation of a “comprehensive, organized, and sustained process for the assessment of student learning outcomes, including evidence that assessment results are used for improvement.”