Criterion Four

The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.

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NMSU-A has a variety of processes for assuring the quality of educational programs, learning environments, and support services. The extensive curriculum development process for all courses, degrees and certificates relies on the exercise of faculty authority over course prerequisites, course rigor, and student learning expectations. Annual academic program reviews involve all levels of academic personnel, and all programs’ budget requests come before APAC. NMSU-A policies apply equally to all students, including Dual Credit students, and NMSU-A adheres to university system policies for evaluation of credit for transcripts.

Continuous improvement of student learning is achieved through extensive use of direct and indirect assessment at the course, program, and institutional levels. NMSU-A continues to work with agencies from the State of New Mexico to develop the capacity for tracking and measuring student success, including program completion, transfer, and employment. Many of these measures are now included in the state accountability reporting requirements, and are reviewed by state legislative committees and executive branch agencies.

The recently revised New Mexico higher education funding formula incorporated some reliance on completion statistics, and expectations are that coming years will see student success measures account for more of formula funding. Increased reliance on these measures will create greater material incentives to more fully incorporate student retention, persistence, and completion in all decision-making.

Many faculty members have received extensive training in assessment practices, sharing that knowledge with campus faculty and others through regional and national conference presentations. However, campus committees and administrators have recognized that both regular and part-time faculty members need additional assessment training, especially at the classroom level. This presents the opportunity to establish a full-time academic assessment coordinator who could assist individual faculty members’ efforts to produce, track, and review data.

  • 4.A. The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs.
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  • 4.B. The institution demonstrates a commitment to educational achievement and improvement through ongoing assessment of student learning.
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  • 4.C. The institution demonstrates a commitment to educational improvement through ongoing attention to retention, persistence, and completion rates in degree and certificate programs.
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    Criterion 4 Chapter Summary

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