Cameron University has been awarded the 2021 Excellence in Assessment (EIA) designation by the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) in partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and VSA Analytics, a joint initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities.
Cameron is one of only seven institutions to receive the designation for 2021. Out of the seven, Cameron University is one of five institutions continuing the designation of Sustained Excellence and is also the only institution of higher education in Oklahoma to receive the designation since it was launched in 2016.
The EIA designation recognizes colleges and universities that successfully integrate assessment practices throughout the institution, provide evidence of student learning outcomes to stakeholders, and utilize assessment results to guide institutional decision-making and improve student performance. The designation also provides a systematic and nationally recognized evaluation of colleges and universities intended to reveal best practices in institution-wide assessment.
EIA recognizes institutions for their efforts in intentional integration of institution-level student learning outcomes assessment, from classroom assessment to institution-level assessment reported for transparency and accountability. The designation is directly built from the NILOA Transparency Framework, and is the first national program designed to recognize institutions engaging in intentional institution-wide assessment.
“Assessing Cameron University’s learning outcomes is key to fulfilling our mission,” says Dr. John McArthur, President. “Regularly scheduled assessment provides us with the data needed to keep our curriculum and degree programs relevant and robust. We are committed to maintaining our assessment practices to ensure that our students continue to receive a high quality education.”
Evaluation for the designation included a rigorous and systematic self-study led by Dr. Stacie Garrett, followed by a peer review panel of higher education assessment experts from throughout the country.
“Dr. Garrett worked alongside members of our Institutional Assessment Committee – Dr. Kyle Moore, Dr. Karla Oty, and Dr. William Stern – as well as Faculty Emeritus Dr. Howard Kuchta to deliver a comprehensive and well-documented self-study that thoroughly captured Cameron’s assessment practices,” says McArthur. “Without their expertise, this designation would not have been possible.”
Representatives from NILOA referred to Cameron’s commitment to improving student learning outcomes and dedication to integrating assessment practices throughout the institution as a notable accomplishment by stating, “Cameron University is doing an admirable job of involving and developing additional opportunities to incorporate external stakeholders in meaningful ways. Internally, the level of engagement and communication between the Institutional Assessment Committee and programs/units is impressive and a clear strength of Cameron’s assessment process. Additionally, the attention to rewarding faculty for participation in assessment activities formally through promotion and tenure, annual review, and service obligations assists in centering assessment work at Cameron.”
They also provided feedback, noting that “Cameron University has demonstrated excellent assessment work worthy of an EIA designation through its commitment to continuing to improve on an already very solid and mature system. The level of engagement and communication with different groups and between the Institutional Assessment Committee and programs/units is impressive and is the largest strength of the application.”
The purpose of the EIA designation is to recognize the work of institutions that support a culture of evidence and engage the institutional community in a vertically and horizontally integrated student learning outcomes assessment process.