Policies & Regulations
Academic Affairs


Academic Learning Compacts
Number: 2.0510P
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New Policy

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Major Revision of Existing Policy

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Minor/Technical Revision of Existing Policy

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Reaffirmation of Existing Policy

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Repealed Policy

Effective Date: 12/1/2005
Revised Date: 10/1/2009
Responsible Division/Department:
Academic Affairs/Office of Institutional Research and Assessment


I. OBJECTIVE & PURPOSE

In accordance with the Regulations of the State University System of Florida Board of Governors Chapter 6C-8, this policy identifies the minimum content of Academic Learning Compacts (ALCs) at the University of North Florida. It articulates a sequence of steps that must be followed to ensure that ALCs reflect essential learning outcomes, that they are kept up to date, that their learning outcomes are assessed on a regular recurring basis, and that the results of their assessment inform continuous program improvement. The purpose is to ensure clear communication to students of program learning outcomes and their means of assessment, and to ensure continuous review and improvement of program quality.

II. STATEMENT OF POLICY

Each undergraduate academic major offered by the University of North Florida and listed on the State University System Academic Degree Inventory will have a published Academic Learning Compact (ALC) which can be viewed by students and other interested parties. This publicly available ALC will clearly articulate:

a. learning outcomes for program graduates. These outcomes must address, at a minimum, content/discipline-specific knowledge and skills, communication skills appropriate to the discipline, and critical thinking skills.

b. a list of the types of assessments that students might encounter in the program and that faculty will use to judge how student learning reflects the expected outcomes, and with a clear indication of the alignment between the types of assessments and the learning outcome(s) for which they provide evidence.

In addition, the internally available portion of the ALC will contain:

c. a curriculum map that demonstrates how program instructional content supports student attainment of the identified outcomes.

d. a plan for a four year cycle of assessment that includes assessment and continuous improvement of each outcome based on the results of the most recent assessment.

It is the responsibility of the academic departments to ensure that each ALC is kept up-to-date and to create an ALC for each new undergraduate program proposal.

III. STATEMENT OF PROCEDURES

The following procedures will be used in implementing this policy:

1. New program proposals must be accompanied by a draft ALC for the program. These ALC's will be reviewed and approved by the Executive Director of Assessment.

2. As faculty change programs of study or make other curricular modifications within a major through the APC process they are obligated to update the corresponding ALC as appropriate.

3. Assessments must include external validation of student or program-graduate accomplishments. In this context, external validation means assessment which goes beyond a faculty member grading the work completed by a student in a course he or she taught. External validation might include a departmental faculty committee review of student work completed in a capstone course. External validation could also mean students taking a national or state examination in their respective discipline or certification or licensure examinations. Except in unusual and well-justified circumstances, course grades may not be used as evidence of learning.

4. Faculty will implement and review the results of the assessments listed in the ALC on a cyclical basis, with some outcomes assessed each year, with each outcome assessed at least every four years, and with a plan for and results of a continuous improvement process for each outcome documented on an ongoing basis.

5. Faculty teaching in the major will use the results of the assessments identified in the ALC during their respective program reviews in determining program effectiveness. The results from the ALCs will also be used in meeting SACS standards.

6. The Executive Director of Assessment will conduct a yearly audit to ensure that complete and updated ALCs are posted on the UNF website.

7. When appropriate, faculty may use outcomes developed for professional accrediting bodies as part of their ALCs. If these do not include all of the key elements required in an ALC, they must be supplemented with outcomes addressing the missing areas (e.g., communication, critical thinking).

8. When appropriate, faculty may use assessment systems developed for professional accrediting bodies as part of their ALCs. If these assessment systems do not include all of the required elements (e.g., external validation) they must be supplemented to include the missing element(s).