Student learning outcomes assessment at the program-level (or program assessment) is conducted for the purpose of understanding and strengthening the learning that takes place in an academic program as a whole. It provides faculty a means to ask fundamental questions about the programs they design and in which they teach.
By completing a given set of courses and other requirements, do students actually acquire, in the end, the particular knowledge, skills, habits of mind, and attitudes faculty intend? If not—or if not fully enough—what pedagogical and curricular reforms can be undertaken to improve student learning?
Assessment of student learning outcomes at the program level is based on aggregate data about student learning collected at various points in a program. Program assessment is to be distinguished from assessment of individual student learning at the course level, which results in feedback to students about their learning and grades.