Assessment at UC Santa Cruz

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

  • 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 an annual report, which is due each June to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.
  • External 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.

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

This website provides assessment-related information and resources for UC Santa Cruz. For assistance in defining PLOs, developing evaluation rubrics and assessment plans, collecting and analyzing assessment evidence, and preparing annual reports, please contact Dr. Anna Sher (; x9-4302)


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

The following companion examples and templates are available:

Assessment support

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