Assessment at UNCW

student presenting at poster session

Learning Assessment Council

The Learning Assessment Council is convened by the Vice Provost to make recommendations concerning learning assessment and evaluation to the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Faculty Senate University Studies Committee, and others as warranted. The Council is the coordinating body for learning outcomes assessment and evaluation efforts on campus, defined as the systematic collection, evaluation, and use of information for the purpose of improving student learning and enriching the student experience. It works with the campus community to provide resources on assessment and to help foster a culture of assessment throughout the university. Learning outcomes assessment is not a review of faculty performance, but a means for informing units on the performance of their curricula and co-curricular programs for the purpose of continuous improvement. Learning assessment is therefore an integral component of the UNCW strategic priority of enhancing learning experiences and educational programs.

Learning assessment at UNCW includes both direct and indirect measures of student achievement. Direct measures include: applied learning or capstone experience reflections; student work from general education courses assessed using AAC&U VALUE and other Rubrics; standardized tests;  portfolio or performance assessments; senior project, thesis, or dissertation reviews; internship evaluations; performance reviews by juried professionals; and locally produced examinations. Examples of indirect measures of student learning include: retention and graduation rates; student, exit, and alumni surveys; professional licensure or certification rates; student job placements or acceptances into graduate or post-baccalaureate programs; and local, state, regional, national, and international awards.


  1. Coordinate the activities of all who are involved in the assessment of student learning.
  2. Maximize the flow of assessment information and the use of resources while providing a forum for the discussion of assessment practices and activities. Keep the university community apprised of expectations for assessment, including expectations related to regional accreditation.
  3. Provide oversight and direction for assessment of the UNCW learning goals and continuously evaluating progress toward those goals.
  4. Assist the General Education Assessment Director and Assessment Directors of the various Schools and Colleges in the systematic collection, analysis, utilization, distribution, and exploitation of information to improve student learning, the student university experience, and the academic programs of the university on a continual basis through self-evaluation, especially with regard to the UNCW learning goals.
  5. Work with the General Education Assessment Director and Assessment Directors of the schools and colleges to provide regular reports to the university community, including students, about assessment activities and results.
  6. Evaluate assessment of academic program and student learning outcomes and provide guidance towards improvement of assessment.
  7. Integrate assessment into the university's academic functions by encouraging all degree programs to create student learning outcomes assessment plans, by helping faculty to identify desired student learning outcomes consistent with curricular objectives, and by increasing faculty involvement in assessment activities at all levels.
  8. Create a comprehensive institutional assessment effectiveness plan and periodically evaluate the plan.

2016-2017 LAC Committee

UNCW Faculty and Staff

Cathy Barlow, Vice Provost, Chair

Kathy Browder, Associate Dean, College of Health and Human Services

Lea Bullard, Assistant Director of General Education Assessment

Jaci Dempsey, Interim Assessment Director, Watson College of Education and College of Health and Human Services

David Glew, Associate Dean, Cameron School of Business

Jennifer Horan, Associate Director of Honors College, and Chair of the University Studies Advisory Committee

Andy Mauk, Associate Provost, Institutional Research and Planning

Beverly McGuire, Director of University Studies

Rich Olge, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Linda Siefert, DIrector of Assessment, College of Arts and Sciences and General Education

Paul Townend, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean for Undergraduate Studies

Ron Vetter, Associate Provost of Research and Dean, Graduate School


Dwayne Morgan, Undergraduate Student

Heather Bridgers, Graduate Student, Watson College of Education


Michelle Winstead, Director New Hanover County Social Services

Wanda Marino, Assistant DIrector of Social Work, New Hanover County Social Services