uMinnesota adopts new approach to graduate program assessment

January 10, 2013

Traditional, external reviews of graduate programs track things such as time to degree and completion rates every 5 to 10 years at large research universities, but students and professors are rarely asked deeper questions regarding curriculum relevance and program goals. A new effort at the University of Minnesota aims to change that by establishing ongoing, qualitative models of assessment focused on students and action. 8 departments across 8 uMinnesota colleges signed on to the pilot Graduate Review and Improvement Process (GRIP) last year in both doctoral and master's degree programs. Designated students and professors work within each department, as well as with a core group of GRIP student and faculty leaders at the university level, to establish program-specific assessments and action items centered on 3 themes: program goals and whether curricula reflect those goals; engagement with qualitative and quantitative evidence of program success; and creation of an internal "state of the graduate program" report and focused plan for improvement. Inside Higher Ed