September 20, 2018

WSU Program Assessment Grant recipients announced

The Office of the Provost is pleased to announce the inaugural awardees of WSU Program Assessment Grants. The grants were established to promote best practices in program-level assessment of student learning outcomes. Seven collaborative projects were selected from schools, colleges and units across campus for funding that will assist in the piloting, creation or significant revision of a program’s assessment process.

“While many high-quality proposals were submitted, the selected projects stood out for their clear focus on student learning through improvements to core program assessment practices; broad engagement of stakeholders; and high potential for significant impact on students, faculty and staff,” Provost Keith Whitfield said in a campuswide email.

The grant program is one way that Wayne State encourages members of the campus community to engage in an effective, sustainable process of continuous program improvement to support student learning. It also represents the positive trajectory of assessment efforts over the last several years.

“These grant projects reflect the impressive progress we’ve made and continue to make as a campus in using assessment to improve students’ learning,” said Director of Assessment Cathy Barrette.

The inaugural recipients of the WSU Program Assessment Grant are listed below:

College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts — Communication Studies

  • Project title: Who is assessing the assessments: Improving student learning outcomes for Communication Studies
  • Project description: Participants will undertake professional development to design and pilot an assessment tool to measure growth in student learning outcomes from gen ed courses through completion of the major.
  • Collaborating colleagues: Anita Mixon, Brandon Hensley and Denise Vultee

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences — Chemistry

  • Project title: Exit survey for chemistry undergraduates
  • Project description: Participants will implement standardized testing to measure student learning in three new content areas and create and pilot an exit survey.
  • Collaborating colleagues: Andrea Matti and Regina Zibuck

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences — History

  • Project title: HIS 1001 — Defining what it means to "think historically"
  • Project description: Department faculty will host a national expert in history pedagogy and assessment to provide professional development as the foundation for redesigning and aligning course and program learning outcomes and the undergraduate program’s assessment plan to measure growth in student learning outcomes from 1001 through advanced courses.
  • Collaborating colleagues: Jennifer Hart and Elizabeth Lublin

Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences — Pharmacy Practice

  • Project title: Development and implementation of a new capstone course with objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) prior to advanced pharmacy practice experiences in a Pharm.D. program
  • Project description: Pharmacy Practice will create and pilot authentic assessments to determine students’ readiness for clinical placement and the effectiveness of the new capstone course for supporting program learning outcomes.
  • Collaborating colleagues: Justine Gortney, Francine Salinitri, Brittany Stewart and Joseph Fava

School of Social Work — Social Work

  • Project title: Getting more specific: Engaging stakeholders to move from competencies to learning outcomes
  • Project description: Students, faculty and practicing social workers will collaborate to operationalize their new accreditor-mandated competencies as measurable learning outcomes, refine an assessment instrument and develop assignments to align with each.
  • Collaborating colleagues: Shirley Thomas, Neva Nahan and Joy Ernst

Student Services/College of Liberal Arts and Sciences — Writing, Research and Technology Zone

  • Project title: Wayne State University Writing Center tutees: Who uses the center, who does not, and how does use impact students’ academic success?
  • Project description: Staff will undertake professional development; implement improved data collection about student users, their needs and the impact of tutoring sessions on student success; and expand data mining and analysis.
  • Collaborating colleagues: Jule Thomas, Ruth Boeder, Sarah Primeau, Clare Russell, James Lee and Carly Cirilli

For more information about Wayne State’s program assessment process, visit

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