Educational Assessment

HEOP Student

Purpose and Core Values of Educational Assessment

Grounded in the Mercy University mission to provide motivated students with the opportunity to transform their lives through education, our mission regarding educational assessment is to guide and support faculty and staff in their efforts to improve the quality of courses, programs and the student learning experience by clarifying expectations and using reliable and valid measures of learning achievement to determine the impact of pedagogical and support strategies. 

Below are the core values of our educational assessment process: 

  • Continuous quality improvement 

  • Faculty-driven assessment processes 

  • Collaborative decision-making

  • Assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process

  • Scholarship of teaching and learning

  • Use of optimum quality, meaningful, and purposeful assessment measures and evidence that are faculty-centered

  • Integrating technology toward operational efficiency

  • Promoting transparency in assessment policies, processes, and activities. 

Institutional Student Learning Goals and Learning Outcomes

The guiding principle of the assessment process continues to be educating the whole student, which embodies the University’s mission, and reflects Mercy’s Institutional Learning Goals and Learning Outcomes. 

Attributes of  

Mercy University Graduates 

Institutional Learning Goals (ILGs) 

Mercy University graduates are expected to:  

Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) 

Mercy University graduates should be able to: 

Collaborative and Equitable 

ILG 1: Recognize and embrace the contribution of diversity and inclusion in building an equitable and just society  

ILO 1: Integrate knowledge about diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice 


ILG 2: Be creative, adaptable, and critical thinkers who build upon their liberal arts foundation and integrate their learning across disciplines 

ILO 2: Demonstrate creativity, adaptability, and critical thinking across disciplines 


ILG 3: Contribute to society through responsible social and ethical action  

ILO 3: Demonstrate principles of responsible social and ethical action 



ILG 4: Be self-directed, reflective learners who can integrate and apply their knowledge and experiences beyond the classroom  

ILO 4: Integrate knowledge and experience relevant to real-life applications as self-directed, reflective learners 

Skillful and Knowledgeable  

ILG 5: Demonstrate disciplinary knowledge and skills that foster collaboration and support personal growth and career success  

ILO 5: Synthesize disciplinary knowledge and skills that support personal growth and career success 

Types of Assessment

All academic programs have learning outcomes which provide expectations for student learning and are published on the program websites. 

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) are assessed annually. Programs create an annual assessment plan which identifies the PLOs it will assess, as well as the appropriate assessment measures and assessment methods for each. The assessment process requires non-accredited programs to collect evidence of student learning on at least 25% of their PLOs in each of the first four years of the cycle; with analysis, interpretation and implementation of changes occurring each year, as necessary.  In the fifth year of the cycle, faculty in non-accredited programs conduct a comprehensive self-study (rooted in a variety of performance indicators, including student learning) that guides programmatic change. The process for accredited programs is similar, but follows the timing of their disciplinary accreditation cycles. See “Academic Program Self-Study” below for more information on this process. 

The program self-study is a reflective tool for faculty under the leadership of the Academic Unit Head in each program.  Its purpose is to identify the program’s strengths and weaknesses, resource distribution and needs, and potential areas for improvement.  

While academic programs complete an annual assessment of their key courses and program results, the formal program self-study is required every five years for non-accredited programs to facilitate profound reflection and investigation by Academic Unit Heads and their faculty. The self-study report generated by non-accredited programs includes: 

  1. Brief Overview 

  1. Curriculum and Student Learning Assessment 

  1. Student Demographics, Enrollment, and Retention 

  1. Faculty and Staff 

  1. Facilities and Equipment 

  1. Informational and Student Support Resources 

  1. Program Marketing 

  1. Summary of the Program’s Needs and Prospects 

  1. External Review of Program Self-Study 

For accredited programs, program self-study is required and aligns with the programs’ accreditation cycle to facilitate profound reflection and investigation by Academic Unit Heads and their faculty. The self-study report generated by accredited programs includes the completion of the Mercy University Academic Program Self-Study Executive Summary for Accredited Programs approximately one year after the accreditation site visit. Academic Unit Heads submit the program’s most recent external accreditation self-study report (including appendices if applicable), any follow-up reports to the accreditor, and the most recent external reviewer report. 

Upon completion, the self-study report for all programs is reviewed by the appropriate curriculum committee. Informed by the evidence in the self-study report, and with a particular emphasis on student learning outcomes assessment data, the committee submits a summary of its findings along with recommendations for program development and improvement to the Academic Unit Head, Dean, and Provost.  The Deans use this information for planning for the school. At the start of the following school year, the curriculum committees hold a meeting at which the Deans and Academic Unit Heads discuss what advances have been made on the committees’ recommendations for program improvement.  

The Office of Educational Assessment (OEA) supports faculty in their efforts to promote continuous improvement of student learning by providing direction in the use of sound assessment practices that reveal the impact of pedagogical and curriculum changes. 

OEA provides faculty support related to: 

  • Defining program and course learning goals and learning outcomes 

  • Planning and implementing assessment at the program and course levels 

  • Collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data 

  • Reporting and presenting findings 

  • Identifying and implementing strategies to improve student learning

  • Completing academic program self- studies

  • Designing surveys for assessment purposes

  • Consulting on educational research design

  • Evaluating educational initiatives

  • Supporting programmatic accreditation efforts 

Contact Us

Office of Educational Assessment 

Dobbs Ferry Campus