Assessment has been defined as “(T)he systematic collection, review, and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning” (Polomba and Banta, 1999). Furthermore, “Assessment is an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning. It involves making our expectations explicit and public; setting appropriate criteria and high standards for learning quality; systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches those expectations and standards; and using the resulting information to document, explain, and improve performance” Angelo, 1995).

According to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (2003) “Every institution has an obligation to plan carefully its courses of instruction, to respond to student needs, to evaluate the effectiveness of that educational program in terms of the change it brings about in students, and to make improvements dictated by the evaluative process.” The Department of Geology at Utah State University takes assessment very seriously, and has developed this assessment website in an effort to provide interested parties with useful information about the department’s assessment activities. Please feel free to click on one or more of the links below if you would like to examine specific information related to these activities.