Assessment of Student Learning Policy

Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Technology Solutions
Effective date
March 1, 2005
Last content update
March 6, 2023


Minnesota State Community and Technical College fosters a culture of continuous improvement through the assessment of student learning at the course, program and institutional levels. This policy reflects the College’s commitment to meeting the Higher Learning Commission’s assessment criteria for accreditation.



Curricular learning experiences are required activities that, upon successful completion, lead to completion of a course, certificate, diploma, or degree. Assessments are conducted to determine if students are meeting course outcomes and program outcomes as expected and if changes need to be made to support student success.


Co-curricular experiences enhance curricular learning by providing opportunities for further engagement, exploration and application of content or outcomes from academic programming.


Extra-curricular experiences are primarily social in nature and foster a sense of belonging to the College, within specific academic programs, or amongst students with a common interest.

Institutional Learning Outcomes

Institutional Learning Outcomes serve as the foundation for education at M State and include basic outcomes for all M State graduates of associate degree or diploma programs.

Program Learning Outcomes

The skills and competencies students should be able to demonstrate upon successful completion of a program.

Course Competencies

The skills and competencies students should be able to demonstrate upon successful completion of a course.


Assessment at Minnesota State Community and Technical College includes establishing an assessment plan that incorporates good assessment practices, uses data to measure effectiveness, reports and reflects on results, and results are acted upon to continuously improve student learning experiences. Assessment plans include data collection to assess and improve student learning in:

  • Institutional Learning Outcomes
  • Program learning outcomes
  • Course outcomes
  • Co-curricular outcomes

The goal of assessment is to:

  • 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

Assessment results and continuous improvement activities are a substantial component of the program review process and is synthesized with additional data to inform long-range planning and resource allocation.


Assessment Team

  • Provide input on the assessment processes for the College
  • Are liaison to other committees and stakeholder groups to seek feedback on assessment processes and provide assessment related updates
  • Support faculty through peer mentoring and professional development opportunities


  • Collect student learning data every year, share results with appropriate groups, implement needed changes to courses or programs and report findings to the Institutional Effectiveness Office

Technical Program Advisory Committee

  • Review assessment data at one meeting each year and, based on findings, work with program faculty to recommend curriculum adjustments

Institutional Effectiveness Office

  • Reports institutional data
  • Oversees the College’s assessment process and applicable software, forms, resources, etc.
  • Recommends improvements within the context of the Higher Learning Commission’s criteria for accreditation


Higher Learning Commission Criteria for accreditation, Criteria 3, 4, and 5

Associated Policies and Procedures

Minnesota State Community and Technical College Assessment Procedure

Minnesota State Community and Technical College Program Review Policy

Minnesota State system Board Policy 3.36 Academic Programs

Minnesota State system Procedure 3.36.1 Academic Programs


Next scheduled review


DateDescription of Change

Significant details added to reflect HLC recommendations for good practice, such as defining co-curricular and extra-curricular experiences, and has been updated to include the responsibilities of the Assessment Team.