The patterns and practices of student assessment varied greatly by institutional
type for most of the domains examined in the national study. Several of
these differences are outlined below. For more detailed information, see
the individual reports by institutional type by clicking on the heading
for that institutional type.
Associate of Arts Institutions (Peterson, Augustine, Einarson &
Most likely to report their student assessment process was initiated
by a state plan or requirement.
Most likely of all institutional types to collect data on students'
entry-level educational performance.
Patterns of student assessment approach reflect open-door admissions,
vocational emphasis, and diverse, mobile student body.
Most likely to use a formal centralized plan or policy for student
assessment that requires specific activities for all units or programs.
(Peterson, Augustine, Einarson & Vaughan, 1999b)
Least likely to report the influence of a state plan or requirement
for student assessment.
Most likely to collect data on students' cognitive domains (higher-order
skills, general education, competence in major field, etc.), and students
experiences and/or satisfaction with the institution.
Least likely to have an office providing faculty support for using
More likely than other types to report that student assessment
information has had a positive impact on regional accreditation evaluations.
(Peterson, Einarson, Augustine, & Vaughan, 1999b)
Regional accreditation requirements are more often perceived as
having a positive influence on the institutions approaches to student
assessment than state requirements.
Most likely to collect data on students current academic
progress, basic skills, and satisfaction with the institution.
Most likely to view student assessment as meeting academic improvement
purposes rather than external accountability purposes.
Most likely to adopt a formal decentralized plan or policy where
academic units or programs develop their own assessment plan.
Doctoral and Research
Institutions (Peterson, Einarson, Augustine, & Vaughan, 1999c)
Most likely to report being required to use state-mandated student
Tend to fall in the mid-range among all colleges and universities
of the extensiveness of their undergraduate student assessment approach.
Compared to other types of institutions, research institutions
appear to be less influenced by accreditation requirements for student
Most likely to conduct studies of the relationship between students
institutional experiences and student performance.