Saint Paul College will be closed for Juneteenth on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. Normal operations resume Thursday, June 20, at 6:30 a.m.


Assessment and Program Review

Assessment for Student Learning


Saint Paul College engages in a variety of assessment initiatives at our campus that are part of our commitment to excellent teaching and effective learning. Faculty and staff outline plans for collecting information to document student learning and to reflect and improve learning at the course, discipline, program, department, and college levels.


Assessment connects student performance to specific learning outcomes. Assessing student learning helps to provide a more detailed picture of what students are learning that is not always reflected in grades, completion rates, or other engagement data like usage or satisfaction. It allows faculty and staff to adjust and improve based on detailed information and to observe trends on student learning over time.

Formative and Summative Feedback

Within a course, you can use Formative Assessments to give timely feedback on student performance to help them as the course/activity progresses. How can they improve going forward? At the end of a course, Summative Assessments to measure student achievement. Did they reach the goal(s) stated in the learning outcome(s)?


Our quality assessment of student learning starts with defining student learning outcomes. We have built a strong foundation for this work by graduating from the HLC Assessment Academy in the Summer of 2021.

All courses at Saint Paul College have defined course learning outcomes, all programs have defined program learning outcomes, and the college has defined college learning outcomes. In addition, we define, collect, and analyze co-curricular learning outcomes to help inform our student services and institutional practices.

To achieve this, faculty and staff create a variety of assessment plans including Signature Assignments within a discipline, Program Assessment Plans, Co-Curricular Assessment Plans and shared rubrics for the evaluation of College Learning Outcomes. Programs and Disciplines include an analysis of these assessments in their annual and comprehensive program reviews. The Academic Effectiveness and Innovation team provide support and resources for assessment including crafting classroom assessments and rubrics.

College Learning Outcomes


The current College Learning Outcomes (CLOs) and associated rubrics were finalized in 2018-2019 as a result of the College’s Assessment Academy project. The final five CLOs were reviewed and revised by faculty, based on feedback, and approved by Faculty Shared Governance and the Academic Affairs and Standards Council in Fall 2018. The associated rubrics were developed using information collected through all faculty exercises at the Fall 2018 in-service, and associated rubrics were reviewed and revised by faculty through multiple feedback loops and test pilots. Final rubrics were approved by Faculty Shared Governance in Spring 2019.


College Learning Outcomes allow us to represent our success and reflect on opportunities for our students and for our institution. They allow us to reflect on the quality of our institution as a whole and offer insights as we strive for improvement. The College Learning Outcomes also assess the outcomes of our general education courses and provide information on how students are meeting outcomes of our broadest associate of arts degree.


The faculty developed rubrics for assessing the college learning outcomes. Links to the current five College Learning Outcomes and associated rubrics are below. Once data is collected it is documented in SPOL and can be used as part of our institutional and program reviews.

How do I Assess in SPOL?


Saint Paul College is committed to improving student learning through assessment and evaluation of student learning at the co-curricular, course, program, and college levels. AEI provides resources for faculty and staff as we continue to strengthen the College’s culture of assessment.

The tool we use to record and track our assessment of student learning as well as our budgeting and planning goals is here:

SPOL (Strategic Planning Online)


Having a database like SPOL lets us link various assessment measures to classes and keep track of assessments over time. The database is used as a resource for both documenting the work done by students as well as comparing assessment data over time. It allows us to aggregate data from different class assessments and map them to a program learning outcome, or to a college learning outcome.


We offer a variety of guides and tutorials for using SPOL.  If you are having trouble finding your class in SPOL, or if something is not displaying the proper information.

Co-Curricular Assessment


Co-Curricular Learning Outcomes (CCLOs) are defined as the knowledge, skills, and abilities students should learn in experiences outside of the classroom. As a result of multiple retreats, consultation, collaborative meetings, and research on best practices, members from numerous Student Affairs areas developed a strong foundation of five shared CCLOs in 2018-2019.

Co-Curricular Learning Outcomes (CCLOs)


Students will be able to communicate clearly in a variety of settings.

Community Involvement

Students will be able to build community through involvement outside the classroom.

Critical Thinking

Students will be able to make informed decisions through critical thinking.

Goal Setting

Students will be able to reach their goals.

Navigating Processes

Students will be able to use resources to navigate processes.

Co-Curricular Assessment Continued


Student learning can occur in all corners of higher education institutions. Gaining a better understanding of the learning that occurs outside of the classroom informs and guides improvements to individual student services and programming. Co-curricular assessment also fosters collaboration opportunities across the institution that are grounded in the student voice, student perspective, and overall student experience.  


Each academic year, student services and other co-curricular areas execute their co-curricular assessment plans utilizing a variety of assessment methods that include rubrics, surveys, and quizzes. After collecting learning outcomes assessment data in Fall and Spring semesters, results are evaluated to drive improvements. Staff and faculty can access more information, tools, resources and archived reports on the Employee Portal below.

Saint Paul College also co-founded and leads the Minnesota State System Co-Curricular Assessment Community of Practice. Since Summer 2018, this collaborative network has grown rapidly by providing resources, professional development, and partnership opportunities across the state.

Employee Portal



As Saint Paul College responds to the needs of its students, and as it responds to community needs, changes are made to programs and courses. All curricular changes, from the course level to the program and college level, are discussed, approved, and documented at the Academic Affairs Standards Council (AASC). AEI provides support for all these areas of curriculum development.


AASC provides faculty with a chance to propose changes to a broad audience that discusses and approves any changes. Keeping a centralized location for all changes allows the college to keep track of updates and maintain records and catalogs. This process also allows for robust debate and discussion across divisions and across the college.


AEI supports the college in navigating the processes and documentation needed to make curriculum changes. On the curriculum development page, you can find forms for program modification, new program proposals, program closures, course modification, new course proposals, and course retirements. You can also find information about the Academic Affairs Standards Council meeting dates, agendas, and minutes.

Academic Program Review


Program Review provides a systematic process for faculty to gather and analyze both program and assessment of student learning data to guide meaningful improvements to teaching and learning. The results of program review are used to inform program and institutional planning and budgeting.

Faculty conduct a Comprehensive Program Review every three years with annual monitoring reviews during the years in between. The program review process includes integrated support for faculty at all stages of the review cycles.

Support is provided by the Academic Effectiveness and Innovation division. In addition to programs that confer awards such as associate degrees, certificates and diplomas, Program Review also applies to courses within a discipline or area of study that do not conclude with an award, but instead, support or contribute to students’ achievement of them.


The goals of Program Review are to:

  • Provide an institutional process that guides systematic program review and continuous program development for student success.
  • Develop concrete action plans addressing areas of improvement
  • Reflect on how the program meets the vision and mission of the college.
  • Discuss how a program reflects our commitment to becoming an Anti-Racist and Trauma Informed Institution.
  • Provide a systematic process to discuss program achievements, challenges, and needs.
  • Inform the institution’s annual planning process and identification of annual priorities.
  • Align program priorities with college and program–level annual planning and budgeting.
  • Provide opportunity for dialogue with colleagues about the program’s strengths, opportunities, and future planning.
  • Contribute to regional and specialty programmatic accreditation requirements.


Faculty can use Program Review Templates to begin the process of gathering information and documenting successes, challenges, and opportunities. The yearly timeline is a great place to keep track of the cycle of assessment and program review. Institutional Research provides access to interactive data dashboards that contain detailed data and information on student success and program success. Every program is required to complete a program review annually. Every three years programs will complete a comprehensive review.

Student Services Annual Reports and Work Plans

Key Resources

Student Services areas at the college provide key resources, services and programming that are integral to student success. By capturing information on department goals and initiatives, highlights of strengths and accomplishments, measurements of progress, strategic planning alignment, challenges faced, and resource requests each year, Directors of these areas document the impact on student success and share their department’s stories.

Reports and Work Plans

AEI works collaboratively with the Director of Strategic Planning and Effectiveness , Student Services Directors, the Dean of Student Success, and the AVP of Enrollment Management and Student Success to provide guidance and feedback throughout the process. Staff and faculty can access more information, templates, and archived reports and work plans on the Employee Portal