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Regulations and Policies

Regulations & Policies

Academic Affairs


This policy identifies the minimum content of Graduate Academic Learning Compacts (GALCs) at the University of North Florida. It articulates a sequence of steps that must be followed to ensure that GALCs 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.


Each graduate academic major offered by the University of North Florida will have a published Graduate Academic Learning Compact (GALC) which can be viewed by students and other interested parties. This publicly available GALC will clearly articulate:

  • a program mission statement.
  • learning outcomes for program graduates. These outcomes must address, at a minimum, (a) knowledge of the literature of the discipline and (b) engagement in independent research and/or professional practice. Additional outcome categories might include communication skills appropriate to the discipline, critical thinking skills, ethical conduct, and other categories that are discipline-specific and/or required by professional accrediting bodies.
  • a summary of the types of assessments students might encounter in the program and that faculty will use to judge how student learning reflects the expected outcomes.
In addition, the internally available portion of the GALC will contain:
  • a curriculum map that demonstrates how program instructional content supports student attainment of the identified outcomes.
  • 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 each GALC is kept up to date and to create a GALC for each new graduate program proposal.


The following procedures will be used in implementing this policy:

1. New program proposals must be accompanied by a draft GALC for the program. These draft GALCs will be reviewed and approved by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

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 GALC as appropriate.

3. Assessments must include the validation of programmatic efficacy beyond having one faculty member grade their students’ work for a course that they taught. External validation can include departmental faculty committee review of student work completed in a graduate thesis, dissertation, or capstone course, or the use of discipline-specific national or state examinations, certification, or licensure test evaluation procedures. 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 GALC on a cyclical basis, with a minimum of two 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 program will use the results of the assessments identified in the GALC during their respective program reviews in determining program effectiveness. The results from the GALCs will also be used in meeting institutional accreditation standards.

6. When appropriate, faculty may use outcomes and/or assessment systems developed for professional accrediting bodies as part of their GALCs. If these do not include all the key elements required in a GALC, they must be supplemented to include the missing elements.

7. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness will conduct a yearly audit to ensure that complete and updated GALCs are posted on the UNF website.

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