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Quality Initiative Project
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Quality Initiative Project

A.T. Still University (ATSU) is a graduate professional institution focusing on medical, dental, and health science professions, and is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The goal of the Assessment Academy project, part of HLC, was to determine common student learning outcomes, appropriate to healthcare professionals and suitable for institutional‐level assessment. During the first year, the Quality Initiative Project (QIP) team developed five overarching meta-skills, called core professional attributes (CPAs), through multiple town halls and workshops. Once the CPAs were formally established, community stakeholders worked with project team members, using the CPAs to strengthen the culture of assessment within the University.

As the project progressed, the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) and the Office of Assessment and Accreditation (OAA) focused institutional and faculty development programming on the critical thinking CPA. CPA rubrics were collaboratively developed as a resource for faculty members during multiple events, called town halls, which were open to ATSU administrators, faculty, and staff. All five CPAs were incorporated into the University 2016-2020 strategic plan, under the purview of the University-wide Assessment Committee (UWAC). Once approved by UWAC, the CPAs were then mapped to the curriculum, at both the program and course levels, and CPA alignment with course objectives is now required in all syllabi.

Additionally, a presentation of the CPAs is now included in all new-student orientations, and indirect assessment of the CPAs has begun with surveys of graduates and alumni. Looking forward, additional activities include strengthening CPA-related assessments of co-curricular programming, identifying best direct measures being used to assess CPAs within the curriculum, and using findings to further refine student learning outcomes data at the institutional level. The project of the QIP team was integrated so successfully at the institutional level that team members have turned over previous duties to the new responsible parties, delegating goals and objectives of the QIP to UWAC, TLC, OAA, and other committees, as appropriate.

  • Goals +

      • Determine common student learning outcomes for all ATSU students, regardless of discipline;
      • Engage ATSU faculty, staff, and students in discussion of assessment;
      • Incorporate CPA language in course syllabi;
      • Facilitate initiative of mapping CPAs to the curriculum and co-curriculum;
      • Complete HLC Assessment Academy requirements.

  • Quality Initiative Team +

      • Associate Vice President for Academic Innovation, Ann M. Boyle, DMD, MA
      • Dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences, Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA
      • Director of the Office of Assessment and Accreditation, Melanie Davis, DHEd
      • University Data Manager, Jane Hawthorne
      • Faculty Representative, AZ, James Lynskey, PT, PhD
      • Faculty Representative, MO, Neil Sargentini, PhD
      • Assessment Specialist, Jordan Farris