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Academic Program Assessment

Overview of Assessment at UC Merced

Why We Assess

Faculty, staff and students engage in assessment as a means for continuously improving the activities through which we realize our mission of teaching, research, and service.  

Integration of assessment into our planning processes is essential to this effort. As the newest and most rapidly evolving campus in the UC system, assessment helps us meet our educational and research goals, even as our growth demands changes to the means by which these outcomes are achieved. Looking forward, assessment will keep our programs current, serving the needs of the 21st century San Joaquin Valley, California, the United States and the world.

Assessment activities at UC Merced are guided by our Campus Principles of Assessment, which describe our commitment to practices that are consistent with our status as a research university, and are meaningful, impactful and sustainable. 

How is Assessment Practiced?

Assessment is campuswide activity. All academic programs, co-curricular and administrative units engage in both annual assessment and periodic review processes.

Although the details of these practices vary with professional culture, the overarching purpose and timelines are the same. Academic programs and administrative and co-curricular units are expected to assess one or more intended learning and/or service outcomes per year, summarizing this activity in annual reports that are shared with relevant leadership. Building on this annual work, each program and unit engages in a comprehensive periodic review process once every seven years, with the goal of refining future efforts in light of past performance and the evolving institutional and higher educational context.

The links below provide information on the relevant policy, procedures, timelines, resources and support. 

For information specific to the Division of Student Affairs, visit the Divisions' Assessment, Research and Evaluation homepage

How is Assessment Supported?

Assessment expertise and support for faculty and staff is distributed across the campus, including within each of UC Merced's three schools and the Division of Student Affairs. This distributed, rather than centralized, model is intended to provide expertise specific to the particular needs of each unit. Coordination across the campus is provided by the Office of Periodic Review, Assessment, and Accreditation Support. A complete list of assessment-knowledgeable staff, their units, areas of expertise and contact information is available here.