Duties and Structure of the Assessment Council

Duties and structure of the Assessment Council, in order to fulfill its charge:
Initial duties in 2016-2017:

  • Review, revise, and implement assessment plan forms and report forms
  • Review, revise, and implement timelines for assessment plans and reports
  • Review and update “Learning Assessment at Prairie State College”
  • Review all assessment plans and provide peer-review/feedback
  • Develop assessment plan for the next three years
  • Update current pages on website, including “Curriculum and Assessment” page
  • Develop a common language
  • Engage in professional development and remain current in assessment research and best practices


  • Elected Department Chairs (12)
  • Dean of Assessment
  • VPAA
  • VPSA
  • Manager, Planning, Effectiveness, and Accreditation
  • Director, Institutional Research and Planning
  • Faculty Volunteers (3-4)
  • Representative from CWGELO and faculty development committees and FYE
  • Students (3-4)

AC Leadership:

  • Co-chairs (VPAA and a department chair chosen by department chairs)
  • Secretary/recorder (Dean of Assessment)

Member meetings:

  • 1st Monday of each month, entire Assessment Council
  • 3rd Monday, in working groups

Decision-making process:

  •  A quorum (50% plus 1) must be present for any decision to be made.
  • Decisions, when called for, should be made by consensus.
  • When consensus cannot be reached after 30 minutes of discussion, a vote may be taken.
  • A motion must receive a majority of those present to pass.

Summary charge of the Assessment Council

  • The AC shall serve as a clearinghouse, a think tank for all activities involving assessment at the College
  • The AC shall have a number of roles
    • Support role (to support faculty coordinators and others who are actively engaged in assessment)
      • Plan and provide professional development on assessment
      • Maintain resources for assessment, including tutorials
      • Encourage faculty (employee) conversations and collaboration on assessment
      • Serve as engaged, supportive readership at every stage of the assessment process.
      • Provide constructive and critical feedback for all engaged in assessment
    • Leadership role (to establish a vision, standards, and goals for assessment at the College)
      • Develop and promote a vision for assessment at Prairie State College
      • Facilitate a collaborative culture of student learning outcome assessment by engaging students, faculty, staff and administration in assessment activities across the institution at the general education, program, course, and co-curricular levels
      • Analyze and articulate trends revealed through assessment of student learning outcomes at the College
      • Establish “good practices” for effective assessment
    • Coordination role
      • Gather and review assessment plans and reports
      • Establish working groups as appropriate
      • Recommend changes and improvements in assessment efforts
      • Ensure that assessment is completed at the course, program, co-curricular, and general education levels.
      • Provide opportunities to discuss assessment results, implications, and improvements.

Conceptual Framework

  • Assessment is “first and foremost about student learning....” (Angelo, May 1999)
  • Assessment should be “intellectually compelling, professionally rewarding, and relatively unburdensome.” (Angelo [in Banta, 2002])
  • Assessment should be cultivated throughout the College in academic, co-curricular, and non-instructional areas.
  • Assessment should be used to measure, improve, and document what the College does.
  • Assessment should involve both full-time and part-time faculty, staff, administration, students, and members of the community.
  • Assessment should be an ongoing process of reflection and improvement.
  • Assessment results should be shared appropriately with the community served by the College.
  • Assessment is separate from the faculty evaluation process and assessment results are never used to evaluate faculty performance in the classroom.

General Information

The Assessment Council was created in 2016 to support assessment efforts on campus. It is comprised of members from across the institution: faculty (department chairs and volunteers), administration, and student affairs are all represented, with plans for future participation by students and local community members. Its role is to serve as a clearinghouse and think-tank for all activities involving assessment at the College.

The Assessment Council offers support, leadership, and coordination to the College. It offers professional development to support coordinators developing their plans, and offers feedback to support coordinators creating meaningful and actionable plans. It develops and promotes an actionable vision for assessment at the College and establishes best practices to follow. It ensures assessment is completed at the course, discipline, program, co-curricular, and general education levels.

For more information, please contact Carolyn Ciesla at (708) 709-2949 or