University Council on Learning Outcomes
The predecessor of the University Council on Learning Outcomes (UCLO) was the Assessment Report Development Committee. This task force of faculty and administrators, appointed by the President of Boston College (2007), was charged with developing auniversity-wide framework for assessing student learning outcomes in response to a request by the university’s regional accreditor, the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (CIHE/NEASC). The framework, and progress on its implementation, was subsequently included in Boston College’s Interim Report (2012) and Institutional Report (2017) to CIHE/NEASC; both iterations were met with approval. With this generalized assessment process in place, in 2018 the Assessment Report Development Committee transitioned to the University Council on Learning Outcomes, reflective of the institution’s progress in advancing assessment practices campus-wide.
The charge of the University Council on Learning Outcomes (UCLO) is twofold: to support Boston College with its assessment-related accreditation obligations and to foster academic and co-curricular assessment for student learning.
Assessment and Accreditation
The UCLO monitors the development and implementation of assessment plans in the areas of: the Core curriculum, academic programs, student affairs, and mission and ministry so that compliance is maintained with regional (i.e., the New England Commission of Higher Education, NECHE), specialized, and professional program accreditors. This function involves:
- Ensuring that campus units have a thoughtfully prepared assessment plan (e.g., NECHE’s E1A form) that documents learning outcomes and periodic “closing the loop” updates;
- Confirming that learning outcomes are presented for all applicable programs on the Boston College website;
- Interpreting NECHE’s accreditation standards and policy related to assessment (e.g., NECHE Standard 8: Educational Effectiveness).
Assessment for Student Learning
The UCLO supports faculty and staff with the development and implementation of assessment plans to promote continuous improvement and learning. This function involves:
- Supporting assessment plan (e.g., E1A form) development and implementation by reviewing plans and providing formative feedback;
- Recommending institutional assessment procedures and policies that facilitate assessment activities and encourage the campus’ ever-developing culture of assessment;
- Facilitating the acquisition of assessment-related resources (e.g., grants, national assessment experts/consultants, professional development opportunities) to further assessment capacity building;
- Preparing an annual institutional update on assessment activities which serves to document assessment efforts annually and inform the University’s President, Provost and Dean of Faculties, Vice President for University Mission and Ministry, and Vice President for Student Affairs;
- Foster the exchange of information on all types of assessment: best practices, innovative approaches, pilot-phase experiments/modes of inquiry.
Committee members are nominated by their area’s leadership (e.g., dean or vice president) and appointed by the University Council on Learning Outcomes (UCLO) Steering Committee. The goal of all appointments is to yield a rotating membership, representative of Boston College’s academic and co-curricular units. Members are committed to contributing to continuous quality improvement work using assessment results.
Generally, membership on the UCLO Steering Committee (and/or an occasional affiliate committee), entails:
- Supporting units with the development of learning outcomes and an assessment plan (e.g., E1A form);
- Ensuring compliance, progress/completion, and integrity of assessment processes;
- Regular attendance at meetings;
- Substantive communication ("reporting out") of area assessment activities;
- Contribution to the annual report which describes, in brief, the academic year's assessment activities in one’s area and recommendations in support of institutional level assessment planning and initiatives at Boston College.
UCLO Steering Committee Members, AY22-23
|Name||Area||Term Start||Term End|
|Biz Bracher||Morrissey College||Sept 2021||May 2024|
|Margaret Cohen||University Libraries||Sept 2021||May 2024|
|Jean Baptiste Diatta, S.J.||Graduate Student||ongoing||ongoing|
|Ali Erol||Morrissey College||Sept 2020||May 2023|
|Jess Greene, co-chair||Provost’s Office||ongoing||onoging|
|Stacy Grooters||Center for Teaching Excellence||Sept 2019||May 2023|
|Candace Hetzner||Morrissey College||Sept 2020||May 2023|
||Mission & Ministry||Sept 2022||May 2025|
|Peter Martin, co-chair||President’s Office||Sept 2019||onoging|
|Tom Mogan||Morrissey College||Sept 2022||May 2025|
|Elizabeth Shlala||Core Curriculum||Sept 2021||May 2024|
|Melinda Stoops||Student Affairs||Sept 2020||May 2023|