Assessment & Improvement



ISLAB - The institutional and student learning advisory board

The purpose of the advisory board is to facilitate a comprehensive and effective plan to demonstrate achievement of Middle States accreditation standards and to offer guidance to ISLAC, IEC and their subcommittees in reaching these goals.

The Institutional and Student Learning Advisory Board (ISLAB) current membership:

Dr. Leah Chambers, chair
Mr. Len Cullo, vice president of Finance and Administration
Mr. Jim Geiger, vice president of University Advancement
Dr. Susanne Fenske, vice president of Student Affairs
Dr. Pam Gent, Associate vice president of Academic Affairs
Dr. Sharon Montgomery, director of General Education


The purpose of ISLAC is to help advance a sustainable culture of assessment at Clarion University that is both valued and supported across all divisions.  In addressing this charge, the committee works to ensure that:


1. Clarion University has developed and implemented an assessment process that evaluates its overall effectiveness in achieving its mission and strategic directions and its compliance with institutional accreditation standards;

2. Clarion University's assessment of student learning demonstrates that students have knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with the goals of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and of the university. 

One of ISLAC's most important undertakings in the past two years has been to formalize program assessment at the University. During the 2015-2016 Academic Year, 85% of the programs at Clarion participated in the annual assessment process.

This assessment data is being used to make programmatic changes and to improve student learning across the curriculum. Part of the program assessment process is focused on aligning program outcomes with the University-wide outcomes.

These outcomes align with and were adapted from the AAC&U's (Association of American Colleges and Universities) LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes:

University-wide Learning Outcomes

Students will mature in their understanding of the creative, natural, social and cultural forces that shape the world.

Students will develop intellectual inquiry and problem solving skills, leading to praxis.

Students will commit to personal and professional ethical responsibility.

Students will integrate and apply their learning across general and specialized fields.

The Institutional and Student Learning Assessment Committee (ISLAC) current membership:

Dr. Leah Chambers, chair
Ms. Natalie Armstrong, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Dr. Pam Gent, Associate VP of Academic Affairs
Dr. Chris McCarrick, Department of English and Modern Languages
Dr. Lorie Taylor, Department of Special Education
Dr. Paul Woodburne, Department of Economics


The purpose of this committee is to assess the effectiveness of operations and student learning in the administrative and student support units of the institution.

The Institutional Effectiveness Committee current membership:

Dr. Susanne Fenske, chair and VP of Student Affairs
Mr. Len Cullo, VP of Finance and Administration
Mr. Jim Geiger, VP of University Advancement
Dr. Pam Gent, Associate VP of Academic Affairs

program assessment documents and Resources

 Assessment Resources and Best Practices

This document contains information on the program assessment process, writing student learning outcomes and developing rubrics for assessment.

Guide to Student Learning Outcomes Assessment (updated Fall 2016)

The guide contains important information about the essentials of program assessment at Clarion University. It also contains a model program assessment report and tips for developing an action plan. Any faculty member developing a program assessment plan should read the guide.

Program Assessment Reporting Template (updated Fall 2016)

Faculty developing program assessment reports should utilize this reporting template to work through and document their reports prior to creating them in Compliance Assist. This will ensure that pieces are not lost due to computer issues or glitches with the online program.

The reporting form was modified in the fall of 2016 in two significant ways:

1. Faculty are asked to look back at their previous program assessment reports (turned in last spring or summer) and to describe the progress that they have made on their action plans.

2. The action plan section of the report is now broken down in to multiple, focused questions to better support the development of a thorough action plan.

Program Assessment Rubric (updated Fall 2016)

The rubric includes criteria for departmental program assessment reports that are based on best practices for student learning outcomes assessment. Although how the rubric is used to review reports may change after Fall 2016, the criteria for success that are outlined on the rubric will still be used in that review process.

General Education Assessment

Founders Students

The following reports represent focused efforts to assess General Education at Clarion University, including the assessment of General Education flags and methods of placement in first-year English and Math courses:

General Education Report Summer 2016

Proposal of Changes to Mathematics Placement and Remediation Fall 2016This report is the recommendation of the Department of Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics regarding Mathematics placement and remediation.

Q-Flag Assessment Report 2016 - This report from the Spring of 2016 details an assessment of the university's General Education Quantitative Flag.


Academic and infrastructure scorecards relate information pertaining to the enrollment, financial, and employment strengths of all units at the university.

Employees of Clarion University may access the scorecards for academic and infrastructure programs by logging into the following intranet site with their Clarion University username ( and password.  Others wishing to obtain this information should contact the Office of Institutional Research at 814 393 2522.

Scorecard Intranet Connection



Assessment activities are meaningful only to the extent that they inform improvement at Clarion University.  This web site details the ongoing improvement efforts at the institution in response to the assessment of the original plans.  Such improvements include broad updates to significant university plans, as well as improvements to internal processes.

Last Updated 4/27/17