Student writing in classroom with classmates

Collecting Data to Improve Learning

The Office of College Assessment helps to collect information related to the learning that occurs on campus. The data is then used to improve the educational experience of our students. 

We assist individual professors at the course level, entire departments/programs at the major level, and those teaching in the general education program to identify major learning goals to be achieved and determine how to collect information to know whether or not students have met those goals. We also conduct college-wide projects to address issues of students’ engagement and general academic ability. Our staff assists at all levels of a project, from design to data collection and analysis. We are proud to support the faculty in creating a culture of evidence in support of our teaching methods and positive outcomes with students.

Our skilled professors have developed learning goals and outcomes for each major on campus and collect information about how well students meet these goals. These results are then brought back into the major in terms of course improvements or curriculum changes. By closing the loop, we strive to provide the best learning environment possible.

Students take a number of courses outside their major to provide them with a wide range of academic skills and abilities. Faculty from these courses have identified key outcomes for students and look for ways to collect information to show evidence of their academic achievements.

We have conducted large-scale studies of students' writing and academic abilities to ensure that when students graduate, they're equipped with the necessary skills to be successful in the workplace.

Students' skills and attitudes are developed from the wide range of experiences at Saint Mary’s. With that in mind, we make use of tools like the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to help us understand the overall experience of our students. This knowledge is then used to make appropriate plans for how to provide for the right kinds of support to allow learning to flourish. A new project, the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership, specifically examines the leadership skills of our students and how we can improve students' skills in this arena.

Find Us

Saint Mary's Hall, Room 126
Winona Campus
Hours: Monday–Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Office of College Assessment
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
700 Terrace Heights #1514
Winona, MN 55987-1399