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Educational Program Assessment (EPA)

The Educational Program Assessment model, as based on Nichols (2005), helps to fulfill a portion of South Florida State College’s (SFSC) Institutional Effectiveness Plan. Educational assessment’s most important purpose is not to prove, but to improve student learning. Characteristics of SFSC’s assessment include the following components:

  • Focused - A small number of program learning outcomes (3-5).
  • Participation - Program learning outcomes are the product of input and discussion by the entire department.
  • Manageable – The assessment process does not attempt to evaluate everything and everybody, faculty, and staff use sampling techniques to identify the critical aspects of learning and improvement.
  • Verifiable– Program chairs/managers use multiple measures to ensure that findings are accurate.
  • Applied – Faculty use assessment results toward improving course student learning, and program instruction.
  • College-wide – Administrators use assessment results toward improving programs.
  • Linked – Educational program assessment is not a stand-alone process. It is linked to the college planning efforts (Unit Action Plan). It is the belief of SFSC administrators, faculty, and staff that the EPA model and the application contained in this handbook embodies a foundation of continuing quality improvement.