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Provost's Welcome

Welcome to AU's website on learning outcomes and assessment.

American University is an institution dedicated to academic excellence. Many of our programs are nationally recognized, and our faculty are leaders in their respective fields.

It is natural that in such an environment, AU dedicates itself to articulating expectations for student learning, and assessing the degree to which these expectations are met. Most academic units have a long tradition of setting high standards, assessing progress towards those standards, and finding ways to make the learning experience even better. This website articulates the learning outcomes and assessment processes that AU values.

As Provost, I appreciate faculty and students who strive to meet high academic standards. Assessment, and the invaluable feedback it provides, informs us of areas in need of improvement thereby strengthening our curricula. To that end, the Office of the Provost will make every effort to support faculty as they assess courses and programs and implement strategies toward curricular enhancement.

Scott A. Bass

COLA Mission

In Summer 2003, Provost Neil Kerwin appointed a Learning Outcomes and Assessment Committee made up of faculty and staff from across the AU community. The Project Committee has the following mission:

  • To focus on understanding and improving student learning. Assessment is the tool that can enable a department to determine whether it is meeting its goals in student learning, but it is not the 'end' - it is a means to an end.
  • To support and facilitate assessment activities that can best improve student learning.
  • To facilitate the development of learning objectives across campus and to facilitate knowledge about these objectives.
  • To foster the collection and dissemination of assessment information.
  • To support, foster and document the appropriate use of assessment information for program improvement and promotion.

The Committee on Learning Assessment (COLA) is chaired by Doug Fox from the College of Arts and Sciences and vice chaired by Garret Martin of the School of International Service.

Committee on Learning Assessment 2017-18

  • Quetzalli Barrientos, University Library, qlbarri@
  • Sheila Bedford, KSB, bedford@
  • Michael Cabot, CAS, cabot@
  • Kimberly Cowell-Meyers, SPA, kcowell@
  • Doug Fox, CAS, Chair, dfox@
  • Susan Glover, SPA, General Education, glover@
  • Heather Heckel, SPExS, heckel@
  • Elissa Margolin, CAS, margolin@
  • Garret Martin, SIS, Vice Chair, garretm@
  • Erika Menchen Trevino, SOC, menchent@
  • Karen Froslid Jones, OIRA, ex-officio, kfroslid@