Student Learning Assessment
As an institution of higher learning dedicated to educating the "whole student", Haverford College is dedicated to evaluating student learning inside and outside the classroom is fundamental to what we do. The College has endorsed the Consortium for the Financing of Higher Education (COFHE) statement on learning assessment, which articulates the multifaceted nature of outcomes and measures that illustrate our students' learning achievements. Haverford is a member of the New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability, a collaboration which leads and supports efforts within the higher education community to gather, report, and use evidence to improve student learning.
Student learning assessment begins with articulating learning goal articulation. In 2009-10. the faculty drafted a set of institution-wide learning goals in 2009-2010 entitled, "Goals and Aspirations of a Haverford Education". During 2011-12, each academic department articulated a set of departmental student learning goals that define particular skills, methodologies, foundational concepts, and habits of mind that will be mastered by students choosing to major in that discipline.
An ongoing Tri-College (Haverford, Bryn Mawr, & Swarthmore) initiative supported by the Teagle Foundation has served as an important catalyst for innovating, developing, and supporting all phases of assessment (goal articulation, strategy, measurement, feedback). The focus of the project is on sustainable direct student learning assessment at the departmental level.
At Haverford, every student’s major program culminates in a senior thesis or capstone project, which serves as a primary direct summative assessment of disciplinary mastery. This project requires students to apply the skills, methods, concepts, and habits of mind specific to their major field in the production of new knowledge, the original synthesis of existing knowledge, and/or creative artistic expression. The Library leads several projects to study and assess student research skills in conjunction with the senior thesis.
In addition to the senior project, a number of other direct and indirect assessment activities demonstrate student learning. Faculty members assess learning through exams, papers, and other standard assessment measures while our students are matriculated at Haverford. Faculty also assess progress through the close advising relationship that exists between students and faculty. The Committee on Student Standing and Programs (CSSP) and the Committee on Honors and Fellowships (COH) also play a role in assessing student learning.
Given our mission to provide a transformative undergraduate experience, many of our learning goals must be measured over time. Therefore, we ask our current students and alumni to reflect on their experiences at Haverford to help us understand the extent to which we achieve the developmental aspects of our educational mission are being achieved.