Assessment is an enduring, cyclical process intended to be informative in nature. This process includes identifying areas of strength as well as areas that need to be improved at both the curricular and institutional level. Assessment
examines how the various components of the institution function together as a whole.
At Mercyhurst University, assessment is the ongoing process of:
The assessment of student learning focuses on the central mission of the university; it
determines how well and how much our students are learning. Institutional effectiveness
depends on determining if all of the components of the university are contributing to achieving
the set goals. It builds upon the contributions of each program and service, especially in how
they contribute to student learning. Both academic and institutional assessment are based on
the assumption that, given students’ pre-college preparation and socio-demographic traits, the
outcomes they can demonstrate will be affected by the environment to which they were
exposed (Astin, 1970). By providing a rich, purposefully structured environment, and
experiences both inside and outside of the classroom that encourage student engagement, we
believe Mercyhurst may foster better outcomes than would have been expected if the students
had been exposed to another environment.
At Mercyhurst, assessment activities are managed within distinct units throughout the