The University of Kentucky is committed to ongoing improvement of student learning and effective teaching/learning approaches. Assessment of student learning at both the course and program level provides an opportunity to understand how the general education curriculum and the learning environment are influencing student learning and development. Reflection and analysis of assessment results help us to continuously improve the educational experience for UK students. With that said, there also remains the need to demonstrate compliance with accreditation expectations that were established in the mid- to late-80s when the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) integrated the concept of institutional effectiveness into its requirements and standards. Specifically for general education, the current standard states:
3.5.1 The institution identifies college-level general education competencies and the extent to which graduates have attained them. (College-level competencies) Since the late 80s, discussions on best practices in assessment have become part of the culture of campuses across the southern region and the nation.
Furthermore, in 2008 the UK Senate Council approved the Design Principles for UK’s new general education curriculum. Design Principle Seven states, “The curriculum will specify learning outcomes and the processes for both the systematic assessment of those learning outcomes and ongoing curricular improvement.” General Education assessment is occurring at the University of Kentucky because we are truly committed to continuous improvement of student learning and demonstrating our commitment to SACS and other key stakeholders.