Walden University participated in 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, from 2006 through 2011.

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. Participation lasts for four years, but Walden University opted to participate for a fifth year in order to further continue and complete plans.

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.


  • Established university standards for creating assessment plans
  • Revised school and college mission and vision statements
  • Broadened the involvement of staff in student learning assessment
  • Revised the learning outcomes assessment cycle and format
  • Introduced the graduation survey, employer survey, and ETS Proficiency Profile
  • Implemented faculty review panels to examine samples of student work
  • Extended the membership and role of the University Assessment Council

As part of its role in the academy, Walden shared 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). Walden University was also asked to share its experience and accomplishments with other universities entering the Assessment Academy via a conference presentation.

The Assessment Academy Team for Walden included:

  • Dr. Eric Riedel, Chief Academic Officer
  • Dr. Shari L. Jorissen, Office of Institutional Research and Assessment
  • Dr. Linda Gatlin, The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership
  • Dr. Jörg 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

Walden University currently has two individuals who serve as mentors for other universities going through the Assessment Academy process. These individuals review and give feedback on the plans submitted by the other institutions in order to assist them in strengthening their institution’s assessment processes.

  • Dr. Shari L. Jorissen, Office of Institutional Research and Assessment
  • Dr. Sandra Harris, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Learn more about how Walden measures the quality of its programs to support student learning. Request information, call 1-866-492-5336 in the United States, or see a list of international phone numbers.

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