Assessment of Student Learning

Assessment of student learning

M State is dedicated to quality academics and fostering a culture of continuous improvement to assess student learning at the course, program and institutional levels.

Assessment of student learning goals:

  • Improve student learning and engagement
  • Align course activities and materials with course competencies, program outcomes and Institutional Learning Outcomes
  • Uphold high standards of academic integrity and excellence
  • Promote faculty professional development
  • Ensure stakeholders’ needs are met
  • Provide evidence for programmatic and institutional accreditation

Institutional Learning Outcomes

When students complete a degree or diploma at M State, they can expect to have learned the skills necessary to contribute to the community in which they live and work. These may be technical skills related to a specific job, or they may be skills necessary to facilitate meaningful exchanges with the world around them. The community may include work, family, other educational institutions or any place or circumstance to which a student can positively contribute. These skills are called Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs).

The Institutional Learning Outcomes that serve as the foundation for education at M State are:


Graduates will leave M State with the tools necessary to express themselves thoughtfully, coherently, and compassionately. Equally important is for students to demonstrate competence in the many ways people exchange ideas.

Information Awareness

Graduates will leave M State able to distinguish useful, truthful and meaningful information from the ambiguous, misleading and trivial. Equally important is for students to arrive at reasonable conclusions that can be applied in new circumstances.

Scientific Inquiry and Mathematical Reasoning

Graduates will leave M State knowing how to explore the world using science and mathematics to arrive at evidence-based answers to significant questions.

Equity and Inclusion

Graduates will leave M State understanding the importance of the variety of world views, lifestyles, identities, occupations and commitments that contribute to meaningful lives.

Program outcome assessment

M State's Academic Affairs and Standards Council (AASC) and program advisory committees review program outcomes to ensure they are sound, measurable and current.

Program outcomes are assessed in a variety of ways depending on the program. Methods may include:

  • Programmatic accreditation
  • Licensure or certification exams
  • Internships or clinicals
  • Capstone projects
  • Comprehensive exams

Comprehensive program review

The comprehensive program review process provides a structured, scheduled opportunity for M State programs to develop a strategy for improvement. All programs complete the comprehensive program review process every three years.

Comprehensive program review process goals:

  • Celebrate program achievements
  • Create action items for student learning and other areas of improvement
  • Define the needs of the program so institutional resources may be appropriately applied
  • Demonstrate the relevancy, currency and effectiveness of the program
  • Identify areas where additional assessment, curriculum revision and employee professional development are needed
  • Provide data and information for institutional planning, resource allocation and improvement in student learning
  • Show the program's alignment with M State's mission, vision and student learning outcomes

Co-curricular assessment

Co-curricular experiences enrich the student learning environment by providing opportunities for students to learn from intentionally designed activities, events, programs and services that extend and complement classroom learning.

Through its academic and co-curricular programs, Minnesota State Community and Technical College provides diverse and purposeful learning experiences to support student attainment of educational goals and to support the college's vision of a success story for every student.