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Assessment at UC Santa Cruz

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Program learning outcomes
A complete listing of UC Santa Cruz's program learning outcomes (PLOs) by degree program. [More]

2017 Symposium on Assessment
Our third symposium will be held January 27, 2017. [Click here to RSVP]



This website provides assessment-related information and resources for UC Santa Cruz.


UCSC's Guidelines for the Development and Assessment of Program Learning Outcomes describes the campus framework for defining learning outcomes (PLOs), collecting and analyzing assessment information, and using evidence to improve instructional programs.  It provides step-by-step guidelines to assist UCSC faculty as they develop and implement an assessment plan for their programs.

The following companion examples and templates are available:

Assessment support

For assistance in defining PLOs, developing evaluation rubrics and assessment plans, collecting and analyzing assessment evidence, and preparing annual reports, please contact:

In planning their assessment, programs may also consider making use of indirect evidence such as that collected in official campus student surveys:

The UC Undergraduate Experience Survey  and UCSC Graduate Student Survey are on-line surveys are conducted every two years.

UC Santa Cruz Symposium on the Assessment of Learning

The third Symposium on Assessment of Learning will be held on January 27, 2017.  Bringing together faculty, graduate students, assessment staff and administrative leaders from UC Santa Cruz and other UC campuses, the annual event is designed to provide opportunities to discuss critical issues in teaching and assessment, to share approaches and results, and to envision future directions for our campuses.  Click here to view the 2017 symposium agenda and presentations.

Presentations from previous symposia (November 2015 and October 2014) are also available for viewing; those events featured presentations and round table discussions about assessing student learning, evidence-based improvement, and mentoring graduate students in pedagogy and assessment.

Assessment calendar

As a matter of policy, the campus engages in regular and meaningful assessment that directly leads to program improvement.

  • Annual program assessment.  Annual program assessment involves carrying out an assessment study of program learning outcomes; it includes designing evaluation rubrics, collecting evidence, analysis, and reporting of findings and recommendations for program improvement.  See the guidelines for preparing the Annual Academic Program Report on Assessment of Learning Outcomes, which is due each June to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.
  • Regular external program reviews.  Academic program reviews emphasize the department’s (or interdepartmental program's) plans for growth and improvement of instruction and scholarship.  As such, reviews include summaries of annual assessments of degree program learning outcomes and discuss effectiveness and ways to improve programs.

Program learning outcomes

A complete listing of UC Santa Cruz's program learning outcomes (PLOs) is available here.

Assessment-related sites

  • WASC accreditation (Academic Affairs) - as part of its preparation for re-accreditation, the campus will describe and evaluate its assessment and program improvement efforts.