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Office of Evaluation, Assessment and Research

The Office of Evaluation, Assessment, and Research aims to enhance decision-making by providing strategy, support, and consultation regarding systems of learner assessment, program evaluation, and educational, and institutional research.

Faculty develop and disseminate educational competencies and learning objectives, design curricula, assess student achievement of learning outcomes, and use results to improve teaching and learning. Members of the Office of Evaluation, Assessment and Research work directly with programs to advise on these processes and tie them together across the university for efficiency, effectiveness, and unity.

On an annual basis, the University Executive Committee reviews the institutional process (illustrated below) and modifies it as appropriate. Results of learning outcomes and program evaluations result in changes to the defined competencies or learning objectives, the curriculum or pedagogy, or new systems of assessment.

Program Evaluation

Our office promotes program evaluation efforts across Upstate’s academic programs. We work with program leaders and stakeholders to craft and maintain meaningful systems for monitoring progress on program and institutional goals that inform decision-makers at all levels.

We work regularly with colleagues to:

  • Examine group level student outcomes (e.g., national and licensing exams, employment/placement, graduation and retention rates, and publications)
  • Use qualitative and quantitative methods to collect information from current students
  • Implement and analyze stakeholder surveys (e.g., alumni and employers)
  • Communicate the results of program evaluations and work with program leaders to establish next steps and follow-up processes

Assessment of Student Learning

Our office supports efforts to assess student learning and performance. It is our goal to work with deans, department chairs, faculty, coordinators, students, and other stakeholders to ensure that assessment methods are fair, valid, reliable, consistent, and useful.

To this end, we:

  • Create, implement, and maintain student assessment systems
  • Perform item analyses and work with faculty to interpret assessment results
  • Maintain systems for tracking student performance on specific program competencies
  • Maintain a Brightspace site of assessment tools and information for internal use
  • Create and present faculty development sessions on assessment methods
  • Consult on the use of new assessment tools
  • Work with the Curriculum and/or Outcomes Committees within the colleges

Statement on Assessment

We view it as our professional responsibility to assess learners, faculty members and programs. We value assessment in courses and programs to provide evidence of adequate knowledge, ability, and skills to advance Upstate’s mission.

Institutional Student Learning Outcomes

Our graduates demonstrate:


Knowledge and skills specific to their discipline


Ability to engage in inquiry, analysis/reasoning, and creative problem-solving


Ethical and professional behavior


Effective communication

Student Learning Outcomes Committee (SLOC)

The Student Learning Outcomes Committee (SLOC) works to enhance Upstate's systems of learner assessment and program evaluation. SLOC partners with academic degree and certificate programs to maintain and improve student learning outcomes portfolios and assessment plans. SLOC also contributes to accreditation efforts that relate to these areas. SLOC members include representatives from all four colleges, key administrative personnel and students. Educators seeking support and/or guidance in learner assessment or program evaluation can contact one of their college's listed representatives.

Committee Charge:


To create and maintain a portfolio of the programs of assessment of student learning and evaluation of educational programs at both the college and institutional level.


To foster best practices and quality improvement in assessment of student learning, evaluation of educational programs, and use of these outcomes in program planning across colleges.


To facilitate program compliance with accreditation standards regarding the assessment of student learning and use of outcomes for institutional effectiveness from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

To request meeting minutes, the annual report, or an invitation to an upcoming meeting, please email Lauren Germain at [email protected].

Susan Graham with Dr. Mantosh Dewan

SLOC Awards & Recognition

Susan Graham Excellence in Assessment Award

The Susan Graham Excellence in Assessment Award was created by Academic Affairs and the Student Learning Outcomes Committee to recognize one faculty or staff member per year who has demonstrated dedication to advancing student learning through innovative assessment practices.  This award honors individuals who have crafted creative and thoughtful assessment strategies that recognize the diverse needs of students and the importance of holistic and varied assessment strategies in fostering student learning.

Submit A Nomination

LEAP: Learning & Educational Assessment Processes

Upstate Medical University Process to Assess Student Learning and Educational Program Effectiveness

SUNY Upstate’s Learning and Educational Assessment Processes are dynamic and cyclical. However, for optimal accessibility of the documents, the process is depicted in a linear fashion.

Process to assess student learning and educational program effectiveness flowchart

Develop and Disseminate Competencies and Learning Objectives

Process Informed by:

  • Accrediting Agencies
  • Professional Organizations
  • Workforce Needs
  • Assessment of Student Achievement
  • Evolving Healthcare Needs and Standards
  • The analyses and results of previous Learning & Educational Assessment Process cycles

Design Courses and Experiences for Students to Achieve Outcomes

Process Supported by:

  • Faculty Development Office
  • Academy of Upstate Educators
  • Educational Communications
  • Online/Distance Ed Office
  • Clinical Skills Center
  • Simulation Centers
  • Finance & Administration Office

Assess Student Achievement of Key Learning Outcomes

Student Outcomes & Program Evaluation Measures Include:

  • Graduation Rates
  • Licensure Rates
  • Employment Rates
  • Surveys (Alumni, Employers)
  • Student Experience Surveys
  • Exams (Written, Computer-based Testing)
  • Clinical Skills Assessments
  • Work-based Assessments
  • Simulations
  • Research
  • Assessment of Professionalism

Use Results to Improve Teaching and Learning

  1. Revise Competencies & Learning Objectives
  2. Modify Courses & Educational Experiences
  3. Change Assessments

Sample Changes: 2018-2020

COGS: Student Curriculum Committee member, adjusted course review to consider perception and performance at once [3]

CHP: NYS needs assessment → New degree program (Behavioral Analysis Studies) [1,2]

COM MD: End of first year exam scores → Summer Strengthening Program [2]

COM MPH: Changes to comprehensive exams to more fully assess concentration competencies [3]

CON DNP: Revamped Biostatistics course to include qualitative methods to inform final projects [2]

Institutional: SIM Center [2,3]

College-Level Learning & Educational Assessment Process Charts

Responsibility for this process resides in college and program faculty curriculum and Evaluation Committees with support from and authority delegated by the President and Academic Deans. Annual review is by Dean’s meeting.