Continuous Improvement

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Continuous Improvement

Continuous Improvement = A Track Record of Quality Programs, Process Improvement, and Innovation to Deliver Powerful Learning Experiences

Since 2009, the learning systems and assessment processes at University of the Rockies have continued to improve. Assessment at University of the Rockies is primarily course-embedded and provides students with clearly defined expectations, personalized feedback on growth, and timely indications of those areas needing attention. Faculty members have access to the detailed information needed to identify and respond to the strength and weaknesses of individual students, teaching/learning strategies, and curricula.

History of Assessment

The following timeline provides historical context detailing the events and impact of assessment and academic quality at University of the Rockies, with a focus on student learning and success.



  • The Assessment Committee provides oversight of the assessment process, which includes faculty members, deans, and other key stakeholders. The committee met for the first time in July 2009 to confirm its charter, membership, and alignment with the Faculty Senate, as well as discuss the implementation of the revised assessment model.
  • University of the Rockies joins the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Assessment Academy to support our commitment to student learning, accreditation, and compliance. As part of the Institutional Assessment Plan, the Department of Assessment & Academic Quality facilitates pilot assessments for the Written Communication Institutional Learning Outcome.
  • The University introduces "The Gates Model" as the Institutional Assessment Model designed to measure student academic progress at early, mid, and late stages of programs.
  • University of the Rockies subscribes to Quality Matters and begins to submit courses for formal external peer review.


  • With support of the HLC Assessment Academy, the Department of Assessment & Academic Quality continues to gather and analyze data related to the Written Communication Institutional Learning Outcome.
  • The University is awarded a Quality Matters Grant to determine if course reviews and subsequent revisions affect student perceptions of course quality, learning, and satisfaction reported.


  • As part of the commitment to the HLC Assessment Academy, the Department of Assessment & Academic Quality gathers and analyzes data for the Critical Thinking Institutional Learning Outcome.


  • University of the Rockies implements an "Embedded Assessment Strategy," utilizing Waypoint Outcomes™ to gather data related to student performance in meeting institutional, program, and course learning outcomes.
  • At the HLC Assessment Academy participants develop a diversity rubric, and identify key courses in which to place assignments to assess student performance in meeting the Diversity ILO.
  • The University develops the "Convergence Strategy," a collaborative systems strategy to leverage a wide range of information systems and internal processes.
  • University of the Rockies pilots the Community of Inquiry Survey (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer 2000, 2001) with its students over the course of the 2012 calendar year. The initiative serves as a formal step in measuring student engagement across the institution--- based on the Community of Inquiry Model.


  • University of the Rockies is awarded the Quality Matters Award "Making a Difference for Students."
  • Department of Assessment & Academic Quality merges with the Curriculum Department to form the Department of Assessment, Instructional Design, and Academic Quality.
  • Writing Skills Challenge – Ongoing data analysis of student writing integrated into assessment processes.
  • Emotional Intelligence for Success Project (EQSP) project was implemented.
  • Credit Hour Analysis Methodology developed for reviewing courses in all programs.
  • University Fellows Program: Faculty Engagement Proposal accepted.

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