Walden University is dedicated to creating and sustaining a culture of evidence. The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership has developed an assessment system that ensures that all students who graduate from our programs demonstrate the knowledge and professional skills to be successful.

The Assessment System

The assessment system is a process whereby data is systematically gathered, summarized, and evaluated to strengthen the teaching and learning process and to enhance the quality of our programs.

Key components of the assessment system include:

  • Alignment of Professional Standards
  • Transition Points (Milestones)
  • Major Assessments

Alignment to Professional Standards

All programs in the college are aligned with state or national professional standards when such standards exist. This alignment structure assures that our programs and courses have been developed based on best practices in the professional field. The professional standards are incorporated into the curriculum and assessments throughout the programs of study ensuring that candidates demonstrate what is expected in the profession. View an example (PDF).

Transition Points

Transition points (or milestones) are used to assess a student’s progress throughout a program. Transition points usually occur at admission, prior to field experiences, upon completion of field experiences, and following final completion of the program. Meeting these requirements ensures that a student’s retention, acquisition of knowledge and skills, and performance are on track and are of the highest caliber. View an example (PDF).

Major Assessments

In every program, six to eight major assessments are identified and are aligned with professional standards. Students must successfully complete all major assessments within their program to demonstrate that they have acquired the necessary knowledge and professional skills to be successful in the field of education. Examples of these types of assessments include standardized exams, case studies, unit plans, teacher work samples, internship evaluations, or the completion of dissertations. View an example (PDF).