Data & Results

institutional research - general education & programs - core competencies

Program Learning Outcomes (PLO) Assessment

Welcome to UCSB’s assessment website! This site is intended to help everyone -- faculty, students, and our community:

  • know what our University’s educational goals are;
  • understand how UCSB programs examine themselves in continuous cycles of assessment to inform their curriculum structures and teaching strategies;
  • and explore current samples of student achievement in these areas.

Assessment of all degree-granting programs at UCSB is required to maintain our standing as a federally accredited public university.

Assessment begins with clear educational goals: the knowledge, skills, and values that faculty and programs  aim to foster with students. We call these goals “Program Learning Outcomes” (or PLOs), and faculty develop these within their undergraduate majors and graduate programs.

Program Learning Outcomes


Regular, ongoing assessments allow each program on campus to examine how it is performing based on the learning outcomes that they establish for students (under the larger banner of UCSB’s mission). Program Learning Outcome assessments are faculty-driven, empowering educators in each department to decide what areas in their programs need current attention and would benefit from structured data about student experiences (“indirect” evidence) and observable learning (“direct” evidence).

Assessment How-To


In addition to programs’ internal PLO assessments, UCSB collects campus-wide data on student demographic profiles, retention, graduation rates, and other indicators of institutional health. We also survey our students regularly for direct feedback on their educational experience. These data help us to pinpoint areas of strength and opportunities for better supporting our students’ success.

Data & Results


UCSB departments/programs also conduct regular program reviews  for more comprehensive multi-stage evaluations and reports. These reports are then used for institutional planning, resource allocation, and departmental self-reflection.

Program Review


The assessment team is a hands-on, community-minded group dedicated to supporting and enriching UCSB’s learning environment for faculty and students alike. Please feel free to contact us with any questions!

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