Mercer is committed to providing you with an excellent education. Assessment is the processing of measuring the impact that education has on students. This means that we assess our academic programs based not only on what faculty teach, but what students learn.The following statement appears in the university Bulletin: Mercer University conducts a university-wide assessment program to measure student progress toward educational goals, to evaluate academic programs, to improve learning and teaching, and to evaluate institutional effectiveness. Students are active participants in a variety of campus-based assessment activities that focus on attitudes, satisfaction and academic achievement. It is through student participation in the assessment process that the University can better understand itself and better serve its constituents. We want to be able to demonstrate that we are making a difference in your lives. To demonstrate that Mercer creates change and growth for you, we have developed a number of methods to assess your progress. Because it is important for you, your families, prospective employers, and the community to see the extent of your progress, we expect for you to participate in assessment activities offered by the University. Assessment gives Mercer two kinds of information. First, it lets us demonstrate how good a Mercer education really is. Second, it helps us to identify areas of improvement, so we can constantly improve our programs.
You may be invited to attend focus groups, to complete tests, to develop portfolios of your work, to complete surveys, or to participate in a number of other activities. Many of the assessment activities that you will participate in will focus on the attitudes, skills, and behaviors you learned from general education courses and from participating in co-curricular activities. Other assessment activities will be related to your major field of study. These activities will enable faculty to assess how well they are doing in helping you understand the core concepts and develop essential skills in your major.
In many instances, assessment is your chance to tell us how we are doing. We value your opinion and will use your feedback to enrich Mercer's learning environment for future Mercerians. In many cases, we will share with you the results of assessment activities in which you participate. Assessment activities in your major field of study often provide you with feedback about your strengths and weaknesses, which enables you and your professors to celebrate your strengths and improve your weaknesses. Awareness of your own capabilities is an important ingredient for success both in college and after graduation. Assessment activities are intended to provide useful information to faculty, staff, and administrators. This information help us improve the learning environment for you.
Your participation in assessment activities is very important to Mercer. Many assessment activities enable us to measure your progress from the first year to your last year, which helps us determine how we are influencing your growth. Your participation in assessment activities enables us to demonstrate how your skills and abilities have grown during college. For example, surveying alumni helps us learn how effective Mercer is at preparing you for lives and careers after college.Some assessment activities will enable Mercer to compare our students to students from other colleges. We will be able to improve programs and make changes based on your feedback and performance on various assessment activities.Your responses to tests and surveys are confidential. Before administering an assessment activity, we will tell you how the results will be used so that you understand that the information will never be used in a way you were not anticipating. We report assessment results as summaries of all students' responses. Individual students' survey responses or test results will never be reported inappropriately.