The Office of Academic Assessment at Pitzer College provides ongoing support for all academic and co-curricular programs in the development of assessment plans, implementation of methodologies, and analysis of assessment data. With emphasis on the alignment of methodologies to strategic planning and program evaluation, the Office of Academic Assessment is a hub for all things assessment at Pitzer College.
What is Assessment?
Assessment involves the intentional and systematic use of student learning data to inform program improvement. (Allen, 2004)
What does Assessment mean to Pitzer?
Assessment at Pitzer College focuses on the following:
- Using assessment data to make informed decisions about teaching and learning
- Using flexible methodologies to allow for faculty creativity
- It is ongoing and relevant to the learning occurring
What is assessed at Pitzer?
At the Institutional Level, assessment focuses on the campus-wide teaching and learning occurring as it relates to our Educational Objectives, which are:
- Breadth of Knowledge. The human experience is the center of a Pitzer education. By exploring broadly the programs in humanities and fine arts, natural sciences and mathematics, and social and behavioral sciences, students develop an understanding of the nature of human experience-its complexity, its diversity of expression, its continuities and discontinuities over space and time, and the conditions which limit and liberate it.
- Critical Thinking, Formal Analysis, and Effective Expression. By comparing and evaluating the ideas of others and by participating in various styles of research, students develop their capacities for critical judgment. By exploring mathematical and other formal systems, students acquire the ability to think in abstract, symbolic ways. By writing and communicating orally, students acquire the ability to express their ideas effectively and to persuade others.
- Interdisciplinary Perspective. By integrating the perspectives of several disciplines, students gain an understanding of the powers and limits of each field and of the kind of contribution each can make; students learn how to understand phenomena as a complex whole.
- Intercultural Understanding. By learning about their own culture and placing it in comparative perspective, students appreciate their own and other cultures, and recognize how their own thoughts and actions are influenced by their culture and history.
- Concern with Social Responsibility and the Ethical Implications of Knowledge and Action. By undertaking social responsibility and by examining the ethical implications of knowledge, students learn to evaluate the effects of actions and social policies and to take responsibility for making the world we live in a better place.
At the program level, assessment focuses on the discipline-specific teaching and learning that occurs as generally outlined by one of our Educational Objectives:
- Understanding in Depth. By studying a particular subject in depth, students develop the ability to make informed, independent judgments.
At the course level, assessment focuses on the alignment of teaching and learning between the creative teaching and varied foci of our esteemed faculty to program and institutional outcomes.