Welcome to the NICC Assessment Website!

The importance of assessment in all areas of higher education continues to grow both as a measure of learning in the classroom as well as a tool of accountability to external constituencies. There is an increasing desire to ensure that time, effort, and resources at NICC are being invested in the best way possible. In addition, assessment serves as the foundation for institutional effectiveness, how we ensure we’re achieving the institutional mission and goals. This website was created to support the effective assessment and support of student learning and the environment for student success within NICC’s academic programs and educational student support services units.

Broadly defined, assessment is an ongoing, systematic, and organized process aimed at understanding and improving student learning, the environment for student learning, and college operations. Assessment is a recurring process used to examine whether day-to-day activities are successful in meeting unit goals and outcomes. It provides evidence that supports claims that NICC is meeting our mission, goals, student learning, and support service outcomes. Finally, assessment is key to making data-informed decisions about activities, programs, and initiatives within a discipline, department, or institution regarding improvements. (The ongoing nature of this process is illustrated to the right.)

The purpose of Assessment is to promote continuous improvement in the quality of teaching and learning at Northeast Iowa Community College by facilitating the identification and assessment of student learning outcomes utilizing its cross-discipline and cross-divisional structure.

Student learning outcomes are those skills, abilities, attitudes and behaviors that are most likely to contribute to student success, both as a student at NICC and upon graduation. Assessment also provides training and information resources to help faculty improve teaching by integrating and assessing student learning in their individual courses, at the program-level and at the college-wide (institutional) level.

Assessment is at the heart of teaching and learning: Classroom teachers assess student performance all the time, often on a daily basis, gauging student mastery of course learning outcomes. At a shared course, sequence, department or program level, however, “assessment” necessitates that faculty articulate clearly to students and other stakeholders a shared understanding of what students will learn, how they will do so, and to what degree they will demonstrate proficiency.

On-going process of assessment