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Institutional Assessment at AACC

Anne Arundel Community College strives to continuously improve the quality of the programs and services provided to the community. The college implements an ongoing and sustainable continuous improvement process that allows faculty and staff to systematically assess student learning outcomes, administrative effectiveness, and achievement of strategic goals and objectives. Aligned and integrated with the college’s Strategic Plan, assessment occurs across academic programs and administrative units. The image below illustrates AACC’s assessment cycle.

Assessment cycle diagram with five parts: 1) Design learning outcomes/unit objectives 2) Implement learning opportunities/unit tactics and activities 3) Collect and reflect on evidence 4) Improve and innovate 5) Inform planning and resource allocation

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

MSCHE is the accrediting body for AACC. MSCHE's reaccreditation process requires a comprehensive institutional self-study in all areas, with a clear focus on the assessment of student learning. There are seven standards and 15 requirements by which AACC is evaluated. In addition, MSCHE emphasizes that our team use the most robust, direct measures of assessment possible. The next MSCHE site visit is in March 2023. PRIA supports the work of AACC’s reaccreditation self-study efforts.

Learn more about accreditation at AACC.

Learn more about Middle States 2023 at AACC.

Institutional Assessment Team (IAT) and Strategic Planning Committee (SPC)

The Institutional Assessment Team (IAT) is a large multidisciplinary group, representing all academic and administrative units within the college. Its task is to successfully coordinate assessment at all levels: institutional, program/unit and course. It works to streamline the assessment process and validate assessment methods, improving transparency and data circulation.

The Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) at AACC oversees the planning process, as the college decides its major goals and objectives. Included in this is the engagement and assessment of these objectives. In this regard, the SPC oversees the work of the Integrated Assessment Team.

Learn more about AACC’s strategic plan.

Other Assessment Work in PRIA

PRIA spearheads all other assessment work done on campus, including work related to general education outcomes, learning outcomes assessment (LOA), program review and administrative unit assessment.

General Education Outcomes

We assess students’ proficiency with the core general education areas of reading, writing, quantitative reasoning, scientific reasoning, information and technological fluency. This work is done once every three years.

Contact Audra Butler, Ed.S., for information.

Learning Outcomes Assessment (LOA)

Mission Statement

Anne Arundel Community College offers a high quality, affordable and accessible education in an accredited learning environment. The collegewide learning outcomes assessment system supports this central mission by engaging in continuous improvement for student learning in an innovative atmosphere. 

Value Statement

In the Division of Learning, we value assessment that is faculty driven and administratively supported.

Core Values

  • Assessment is nonevaluative: LOA assesses and supports student learning, rather than evaluating teacher effectiveness.
  • Assessment is flexible: LOA supports a flexible system that inspires instructional innovation and continuous improvement.
  • Assessment is manageable: LOA is purposeful and intentional, yet practical.
  • Assessment is collaborative: LOA is a collaborative process that supports student learning and transparency at all levels. 

Contact Audra Butler, Ed.S., for information.

Program Review

Comprehensive Program Review:

The collaborative comprehensive program review process at AACC is a reflective and analytical procedure that promotes the continuous improvement and alignment of academic programs. This internal self-evaluation and assessment allows our teams to address academic quality, and to document continuous improvements to external accreditors and stakeholders. This process helps inform decision-making by setting academic priorities and aligning resources to institutional mission and goals. This work is done once every four years.

Academic Departments

Academic departments, including credit and noncredit programs, participate in these reviews. Vice presidents, deans, academic chairs, research analysts and faculty workgroups engage in this systematic, comprehensive and cyclical process to ensure that our programs are meeting students’ educational goals.

Content of Program Reviews

AACC programs, which include degrees and certificates, are examined within the context of the college’s current goals, priorities and resources. Successful academic program reviews typically contain discussions around the following data:

  • Goals and expectations of the program
  • Alignment with college mission, goals or institutional values
  • Impact, justification and overall relevance of the program
  • Quality of program outcomes
  • Size, scope and productivity of the program
  • External and internal demand for the program
  • Resources and expenses of the program

Contact Audra Butler, Ed.S., for information.

Administrative Unit Assessment

As a complement to learning outcomes assessment (LOA) and program review, noninstructional administrative units are also assessed as part of AACC’s assessment cycle. Units are assessed as to the extent to which they are achieving their stated unit objectives in the context of AACC’s strategic plan, most notably in their contribution to student success.

Noninstructional administrative unit assessment addresses quality and efficiency, with a focus on continuous improvement. This process helps inform institutional decision-making by better aligning resources to fulfill institutional mission and goals. All units participate in this assessment process. This work is done every year, with each unit assessing two objectives tied to the goals of our strategic plan at quarterly intervals.


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