3-Year Assessment Cycle in Undergraduate Programs

UCSC's approach to the assessment of Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) in undergraduate programs features a 3-year reporting cycle. This 3-year cycle is designed to provide departments and programs with key analytical support throughout the assessment process, as well as expand opportunities for them to reflect on results and implement meaningful change.


Each year will be devoted to one major task: Assess (Year 1), Reflect (Year 2), and Improve (Year 3).



Yearly Checklist


Faculty lead:

  • Connects designated instructor(s) with assessment specialists before their course begins
  • Coordinates rubric development across different instructors
  • Decides on scope of student survey to collect self-assessment data
  • Confirms that assessment data is submitted to IRAPS by June 30


  • Works with assessment specialists to design rubrics that align with course activities
  • Receives assistance from assessment specialists about use of rubrics for teaching and providing feedback
  • Schedules TA trainings about rubrics (led by assessment specialists), if needed
  • Promotes student survey (run by IRAPS) in class
  • Ensures that IRAPS receives assessment data by end of quarter

Assessment specialists:

  • Collaboratively design rubric with faculty lead and instructor(s)
  • Set up Outcomes-based rubric in Canvas course to integrate with grading
  • Lead TA training, if needed
  • Design & administer student survey
  • Compile assessment data
  • Conduct analysis and prepare IRAPS report (Summer)


- By Oct 1: Department receives IRAPS report -

Faculty lead, UG director, department chair, & participating instructors:

  • Meet with assessment specialists to review assessment results
  • Discuss assessment results in relation to where skills are taught in curriculum (see Curriculum Matrix)
  • Review & revise curriculum matrix
  • Identify possible program or course improvements based on results
  • Consult with campus experts in teaching, learning, and curriculum about how to implement improvement
  • Discuss Year 3 plan with program faculty
  • By June 30: Submit PLO report to IRAPS


Faculty lead:

  • Consults with assessment specialists about how to evaluate impact of changes
  • Implements & assess changes (over next 2-3 years)
  • Spring: Meets with assessment specialists to confirm changes and plan next PLO study


Want to learn more about how PLO assessment works? See our step-by-step guide.