Institutional Effectiveness:  Academic and Non-Academic Assessment

The University is focused on institutional effectiveness and renewal through a commitment to assessment built around the fulfillment of the vision and mission of the Institution.

The Office of Assessment and Accreditation facilitates and supports campus-wide processes for determining and documenting the effectiveness of programs, services, and the institution as a whole in order to foster sustainable continuous quality improvement. The university seeks to encourage and ensure institutional effectiveness and renewal through a commitment to assessing student learning, to fulfilling our overall educational mission, and to planning processes and resource allocation that will support the mission and strategic plan. To that end, the university has developed a systematic process for integrating assessment into the structural and procedural fabric of the university.

All divisions and departments of the university conduct assessment of the effectiveness with which they carry out their specific tasks and responsibilities. These assessments seek to link specific programmatic goals and objectives to the strategic plan. Departments report the results and analysis of the assessment data collected and the use the results to develop action plans to improve processes, services, and student learning. The action plans allow departments and divisional leadership to make data-informed decisions when allocating resources.

Institutional Effectiveness includes: Program Review, Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes (Programmatic and University-Wide), Non-Academic Assessment, and Programmatic Accreditation.

Additional information related to institutional and programmatic accreditation can be found on the Accreditation page.

Assessment at SRU is a continuous cycle inclusive of:

  • Assessment Planning and Development,

  • Data Collection,

  • Evaluation and Analysis,

  • Action Planning, &

  • Resource Allocation

Academic Program Assessment

ATTN Faculty: The link and instructions to Improve (our updated assessment platform) will be added to this web page as soon as a few more technical glitches have been resolved.  The technology should never be the reason that you cannot submit your assessment.  Please email your assessment results and related documents (as a Word, PDF, Excel, file as a link) to by July 1, 2024 and the assessment office will enter your data and return a report to you and the University Assessment Committee Chairperson. In the meantime, if you need an assessment report or have any other questions or concerns related to student learning assessment, please contact or for assistance. Thank you for your patience.  Assessment plans and results are submitted through Improve (formerly TracDat) annually (due May 31st). The plans and reports are reviewed by the Assessment Committee using a standardized rubric. Departments are given feedback and are able to request resources directly related to achievement of Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) to ensure student success.

University-Wide Learning Outcomes

SRU's Student Learning Outcomes (UWO) were revised by a committee of faculty, staff, and administrators in the spring of 2017 and approved by the University Curriculum Committee in May of 2017. The outcomes are:  Effective Communication, Critical Thinking, Scientific Literacy, Quantitative Reasoning, Whole Person Development, Creative and Aesthetic Appreciation, Civic Engagement, Ethics, Diversity and Global Interdependence, and Digital Citizenship. The outcomes are described in detail in the accordion below.

Rock Studies: Formerly Liberal Studies (General Education)

The Rock Integrated Studies Program (the RISP, or, as it is referred to on campus, "Rock Studies") at Slippery Rock University is the general education requirement for all academic majors at the University. It includes 42 credits of the required 120 minimum credits required for graduation. It therefore requires as many credits as many majors, and is just as important as a major to our students' educations. Its purpose is to reinforce connections between learning within major programs and the broader learning gained in an undergraduate curriculum. For additional information or assistance; email

Assessment of Rock Studies

All courses in the Rock Studies Program are to be assessed each semester the courses are offered. Faculty have the option of providing this information via D2L course shells (with permission) or using an alternative reporting form. Rock Studies outcomes are assessed by specific blocks of the program; below are the necessary documents necessary to understand the options and to report required Rock Studies assessment data.


Critical Writing

English 102 D2L Submission

English 102 Alternative Submission

English Permission D2L/Acknowledgement for Alternative Reporting

Critical Reading

English 104 D2L Submission

English 104 Alternative Submission

English Permission D2L/Acknowledgement for Alternative Reporting


Creative Inquiry

Creative Inquiry D2L Submission

Creative Inquiry Alternative Form Submission

Humanities Inquiry

Humanities Inquiry D2L Submission

Humanities Inquiry D2L  Instructions

Humanities Inquiry Alternative Submission

Humanities Inquiry Alternative Instructions

Social Science Inquiry

Social Science Inquiry D2L Submission

Social Science Inquiry D2L Instructions

Social Science Inquiry Alternative Submission

Social Science Inquiry Alternative Instructions

Science Inquiry 101

SCI 101 (Natural) Inquiry Combined D2L & Alternative Submission and Instructions

Science Inquiry 102

SCI 102 (Physical World) Inquiry Combined D2L & Alternative Submission Instructions

Non-Academic Assessment

Plan: Assessment Planning and Development

  • Review mission and goals,
  • Alignment to institutional mission and strategic plan,
  • Determine methods and criteria

Timeline: Continuous (Emphasis on development & implementing action planning)

ACT:  Data Collection: Collect data from direct & indirect methods.
Timeline: Fall & Spring of Academic Calendar Year

Evaluation and Analysis: Review and contextualize assessment data to reveal progress and opportunities.
Timeline: Late Spring Early Summer
Evaluation & Analysis IE Assessment Committee: Review of department assessment plan & reports by the committee using a rubric to provide feedback to departments
Timeline: Fall & Spring Semesters

Action Planning: Using the data evaluated and analyzed to create an action plan to improve/continue/increase impact on department's success.
Timeline: Report and Action Plan due July 31

Assessment plans and results are submitted through TracDat annually (due August 15th).  The plans and reports are reviewed and feedback is given to departments. Additionally, departments are able to request resources directly related to goals and objectives to support the mission of the department, college, division, and institution.

Program Review

The State System Board of Governors Program Review Policy 1986-04-A lists three purposes for the need for system universities to undertake a program review process:

  • To assure deliberate and continuous attention to enhancement of the quality and to assure mission centrality of academic- and student-support programs with State System Universities. 
  • To analyze and employ quantitative and qualitative data, including student-learning outcomes, on individual programs that will contribute to both university and State System planning.
  • To provide the chancellor and Board of Governors, as well as the council of trustees of each university, with assurance that University programs are being assessed in a systematic fashion and that plans for making continuous improvements are developed and implemented.

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania program review Policies and Procedures are integral to the planning processes of the university, an essential element in determining the centrality of programs to the mission and goals of the university, and represent one way the university continually improves its programs. Academic, Student Affairs, and Nonacademic departments participate in 5-year program review as a method for demonstrating current strengths and opportunities as well as strategic planning at the department level.

Institutional Effectiveness

Measures/Methods demonstrating Institutional Effectiveness include:

  • Annual Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  • Regional & Programmatic Accreditation, Academic and Nonacademic Units
  • Annual Institutional Effectiveness Assessment, Nonacademic Units
  • Institutional Surveys Including: NSSE, SSI, and FYE Surveys
  • 5 Year Program Review for Academic and Non-Academic Units
  • Demonstrated alignment of student learning and department goals to the SRU mission and vision, accreditation standards, and the State System Strategic Plan.