Walden University is a member of the Academy for Assessment of Student Learning sponsored by our regional accreditor, The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Walden was one of 46 colleges and universities accepted into the academy its first year (2006–07). Institutions accepted into the academy agree to work with other participating institutions on a multiyear sequence of activities to share “best practices” and innovations in learning outcomes assessment.

Each institution in the academy selects, plans, and implements projects to:

  • Determine the most important outcomes learned by graduates.
  • Advance the use of learning outcomes assessment. 
  • Improve student learning.

Following an initial meeting with other institutions and Higher Learning Commission staff, Walden’s Assessment Academy Team began implementing a comprehensive student learning project aimed at broadening the impact of its existing outcomes assessment system. The three primary goals of the project included examining and revising current program learning outcomes, improving assessment measures, and strengthening continuous improvement processes that “close the loop” around learning outcomes assessment.

Accomplishments so far include:

  • Establishing university standards for creating assessment plans.
  • Revising school and college mission and vision statements.
  • Broadening the involvement of staff in student learning assessment.
  • Revising the learning outcomes assessment cycle and format.
  • Introducing the graduation survey, employer survey, and Proficiency Profile.
  • Implementing faculty review panels to examine samples of student work.

As part of its role in the academy, Walden shares its work on learning outcomes assessment with other colleges and universities as well as assessment mentors Dr. Kelly Funk (Michigan State University), Dr. Jenell Bramlage (University of Northwestern Ohio), and Dr. Robert Mundhenk (Visiting Scholar, HLC).
The current Assessment Academy Team for Walden includes:

  • Dr. Eric Riedel, Office of Institutional Research and Assessment
  • Dr. Shari L. Jorissen, Office of Institutional Research and Assessment
  • Dr. Linda Gatlin, The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership
  • Dr. Jorg Westermann, College of Health Sciences
  • Dr. Rebecca Sidler, College of Management and Technology
  • Dr. Sandra Harris, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Dr. Katrina Hunter-Mintz, The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership