Assessment of student learning is an integral part of a successful, learning-centered university.  Every member of the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith community participates in the process of student learning.  Assessment results provide evidence about what and how our students learn and guide us in making purposeful changes that directly impact and improve student learning.

Each academic program creates student learning outcome goals, objectives, and measures. Goals are clear, meaningful statements of purpose or aspirations for the program. Each program identifies four student learning goals specific to the program. These goals form the cornerstone for the program-level assessment plan. This plan corresponds to the program review cycle. Programs report annually on these student learning outcomes. Each spring, the program will write a report on the measures, their utility, and their effectiveness in measuring student learning. At the end of the program review cycle, the program will update a CALO plan. This calendar serves as the timeline for that process.  

Each academic program has a five-year assessment plan, which is stored in LiveText. Faculty need to know the LiveText username for their college and its password in order to access a plan template in LiveText. Contact the CALO college representative or the CALO co-chair to get this information. The plan contains the following:


Four program-specific goals (or outcomes) that students have upon graduation from the program of study:

  • Two direct measures for each program outcome
  • Two assessment targets for each program outcome
Direct measures provide evidence of actual learning. Here are some examples of direct measures:
  • Standardized test
  • Locally designed quiz, test, or paper
  • Student portfolio
  • Capstone project
  • Performances, products, or creations
  • Case study
  • Professional or disciplinary practices (e.g., medical students interacting with patients)
  • Team-based or collaborative projects
  • Internships or service projects
  • Oral examination
  • Measurements by rubrics or checklist




Four Program Learning Outcomes (PLO) Goals

Fall & Early Spring Program faculty members conduct assessments, collect and evaluate data, and begin draft of PLO annual report.
March Program faculty members complete the assessment report corresponding to the year on the reporting chart. (see below)
April 1 Assessment report is complete and submitted for CALO review
April 1-15 CALO members review the assessment report using the PLO Review rubric. Suggestions for improvement and comments are posted to the PLO report by April 15 to allow time for revision.
April 15-30 Program faculty members make appropriate revisions to the report for final review by CALO members.
May 1 Deadline for submitting revised reports to CALO.
May 15 The CALO annual summary report of assessment activities is prepared for the Provost and Deans. Any program not meeting the standards will be made aware of this designation by the Dean.
Sept. 15 Program faculty members make necessary revisions (as suggested in the assessment report) to their PLO plan and submit for review by CALO members.
  Year 1 2018-19 Year 2 2019-20 Year 3 2020-21 Year 4 2021-22 Year 5 2022-23
PLO Goal 1 XX   XX   *
PLO Goal 2   XX   XX *
PLO Goal 3 XX   XX   *
PLO Goal 4   XX   XX *


* Year 5 - Summarize the results for each PLO Goal. Specifically describe how the assessment results were used to improve student learning in your program. Using this data, determine the PLO assessment for the PLO 4.0 Cycle.