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Assessment of Program Learning Outcomes


Program level assessment activities provide rich data that can confirm the efficacy of program design and inform strategic improvement of college, department or program design. A campus culture of assessment facilitates intellectual environments in which students can learn. 

The assessment of program learning outcomes is also an important aspect of our accreditation. UC San Diego is accredited by the regional accreditor "WASC Senior College and University Commission" (WSCUC). To learn more about the university's accreditation, visit

Assessment Milestones

The following milestones are included in the current program learning outcome assessment cycle:





 1. Reflection Report

Review prior assessment activities and document lessons learned

Narrative Reflection

 2. Program Learning   Outcome Review and   Revision

Make data-informed adjustments to program learning outcomes


 3. Curriculum Map

Clarify relationship between courses and program learning outcomes

Data Matrix, with Narrative Reflection (download the curriculum map template)

 4. Assessment   Implementation Plan

Determine how the program will measure student attainment and analyze results

Data Collection and Interpretation Plan (download implementation plan template)

 5. Assessment Report

Analysis of assessment data and artifacts, along with recommendations

Narrative and Statistical Report
        Click below for more information about each milestone , deliverable, and submission details.

Milestone 1. Reflection Report

Milestone 1. Reflection Report
Submit Report: HERE


To accomplish this milestone, departments are expected to use the Reflection Report document to guide a review of their current assessment process and discuss successes, challenges, and barriers to their assessment efforts in the past five years. 

Milestone 2. Program Learning Outcome Review and Revision

Milestone 2. Program Learning Outcome Review and Revision


The goal of this step is to review and revise your program learning outcomes. Use the assessment results of the past five years and other relevant program information and data (e.g., changes in program enrollment, new requirements by your discipline-based association, current workforce skill requirements, or new program missions) to improve your program learning outcomes, and align (where applicable) your program outcomes to WASC and UC San Diego Core Competencies. 


Milestone 3. Curriculum Map

Milestone 3. Curriculum Map
Submit Curriculum Map: HERE

A Curriculum Map is a matrix that shows the connections between courses and program learning outcomes. It demonstrates curricular coherence, identifies redundancies and/or gaps in outcome coverage, and illustrates where in the curriculum a program learning outcome is introduced, reinforced, and demonstrated. It serves as a powerful assessment planning tool by showing alignment of the curriculum with overall program learning outcomes.

Milestone 4. Assessment Implementation Plan

Milestone 4. Assessment Implementation Plan
Submit Plan: HERE

After defining program learning outcomes and developing a curriculum map, departments are ready to identify program learning outcomes that they would like to assess during the current cycle, and plan for how they will carry out that assessment. The data collected through the assessment process informs the selection of appropriate program requirements (e.g., lower-division courses, capstone course, internships, and undergraduate research experience) for collecting assessment data.

Milestone 5. Assessment Report

Milestone 5. Assessment Report
Submit Report: HERE

An assessment report disseminates findings, documents the assessment process, influences future actions, and responds to requirements by accreditation bodies (e.g. WSCUC and professional accreditation bodies). 

A typical assessment report:

  • Contextualizes the assessment work by describing the program, the assessed learning outcomes, and purposes of the report.
  • Describes assessment methodologies and procedures (e.g., types of measures, sample sizes, response rates, responsible people, timing of the assessment activities, a copy of instruments (questionnaire, rubric, prompt questions)).
  • Synthesizes data from multiple sources around stated goals.
  • Aligns recommendations/implications with assessment findings.

Assessment Resources and Consultation Services

The Teaching + Learning Commons (  is available to support assessment activities at the course and program levels. 

Course Level Assessment

The Commons are available to consult with individual instructors regarding their course assessment. Expertise and recommendations can focus on the following topics: 

  • Developing course learning outcomes
  • Aligning course learning outcomes with course assessment
  • Designing rubrics for assessing projects, papers and presentations
  • Developing survey questionnaires to collect students’ feedback, perceptions and self-assessment of learning outcomes
  • Conducting classroom observations
  • Conducting student focus groups
  • Designing and administering online mid-term course evaluations
  • Organizing and interpreting assessment results

Program Level Assessment

The Commons is available to collaborate with departments and academic programs on conducting program assessment. Expertise and recommendations can focus on the following topics: 

  • Developing and revising an assessment plan
  • Aligning program learning outcomes with courses by developing a curriculum map
  • Selecting or developing assessment instruments (e.g., surveys, focus group protocols)
  • Conducting student focus groups
  • Organizing and interpreting assessment results

Funding Support

Assessment Grant Application Information

Announcement: Grants for Program Learning Outcomes Assessment
Please submit form and corresponding documents (see below) to Marie Sidney @

Faculty can request up to $10,000 from the Dean of Undergraduate Education for one academic year to support the implementation of an Assessment Plan. Faculty are strongly encouraged to work with the Teaching + Learning Commons to develop their assessment plan. Prior to applying for funding, programs should submit Milestone 1- the assessment reflection report and Milestone 3- the curriculum map. 

Applicants are encouraged to work with the Teaching + Learning Commons ( to develop their assessment plan. Requests will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Awards will be announced within 30 days from receipt of request.