Guided by the accreditation principles developed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the requirements of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Longwood University has actively engaged in determining expected student learning outcomes, assessing “the extent to which it achieves these outcomes,” and providing “evidence of seeking improvement based on analysis of the results.” (The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement, SACSCOC, 2017, p.20). SACSCOC principle 10.4 also states that the "institution places primary responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of the curriculum with its faculty" (p. 23). The determination of learning outcomes and decisions on assessment methods and measures are the responsibility of faculty members with support for and coordination of the assessment process provided by Assessment and Institutional Research staff.
What are core competencies?
In accordance with Goal #2 and Initiative #4 of the Virginia Plan for Higher Education, critical competencies for student success necessary for employment and civic engagement are to be assessed at Commonwealth institutions of higher education. In 2017, the Policy on Student Learning Assessment and Quality in Undergraduate Education was developed by representatives from these institutions with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) staff and approved by the Council. These areas of knowledge and skills that cross the bounds of academic discipline, degree major, and institutional mission comprise four basic competencies that should be achieved by students at all Commonwealth institutions - Critical Thinking, Written Communication, Quantitative Reasoning, and Civic Engagement - plus two competencies selected by the individual institution. Longwood chose Information Literacy and Scientific Reasoning, which are reflected in the institution’s Civitae Core curriculum and learning outcomes.
The following assessment plans developed with Civitae Core faculty define each competency outcome(s) and describe the methods used to assess the knowledge/skills. Assessment reports identify the level of student achievement as a result of courses/experiences and actions taken for improving future achievement. These publicly available reports are developed after completion of a three-year cycle for competency data collection, analysis and faculty professional development.