Programmatic Assessment Components

Previously, programmatic assessment of academic programs and administrative/student support units at MSU Texas used to be facilitated through the assessment software, Weave. The institution is now utilizing internal resources to track assessment across the campus. The following five components are integral to the assessment process.

  1. Curriculum maps outline the learning outcomes set for each academic program (typically ~5-7) and align the required courses within a degree program to those outcomes. They also identify to what extent students should be able to demonstrate attainment of the outcome in a course. Administrative/student support units are not expected to develop curriculum maps.
  2. Assessment maps document how outcomes will be assessed, outlining both the measures to be used and the targets set for each outcome. Additional information, such as frequency of assessment, courses included in the assessment, and date of last assessment, are also included.  Annual assessment can be thought of as a wellness check for the program and thus the assessment map should only include the key metrics that indicate the health of the program. All programs/units should have an assessment map on file with the IE office.
  3. The Assessment Reporting Form is used to submit assessment findings, narratives, and action plan reports.
  4. Action plan reports document a strategy that was implemented in order to improve an outcome in the past year. It is expected that programs/units will submit action reports for outcomes with unmet targets, and at least one action plan report each year, even if all targets were met in the previous reporting cycle. 
  5. Assessment narratives include responses to the following questions:
    • What did the assessment process for your program look like throughout the year?
    • What were some of the main themes and discoveries from this year's assessment?
    • What are some challenges the department faced during the year that may have impacted assessment processes for findings?
    • What are some assessment-related positives from the year?
    • How did the program/unit work together towards continuous improvement throughout the year?
Programmatic Assessment Timeline

Academic programs are now required to develop curriculum maps and assessment maps that contain ~5-7 outcomes representing the breadth of learning expected of students in the program. Administrative and student support units are only required to submit assessment maps.

This will be a staged process. 

The first 2-3 outcomes should be added to curriculum maps by May 31, 2024 and to assessment maps by November 1, 2024, with the expectation that outcomes are added each year until fully complete by November 1, 2026.

While the assessment maps are not due to IE until November 1, it is the expectation that programs and units be prepared to begin assessing outcomes by the start of the Fall semester. Assessment narratives and findings for the first round of outcomes will be due on Nov 1, 2025.

Starting in Fall 2025, programs and units will also be required to identify one outcome that can be improved and submit an action plan report by November 1, 2026 documenting their attempt to improve the outcome in the past year (whether successful or not).

  • Year 0: Fall 2023-Summer 2024 (Planning year)
    • Programs will submit a curriculum map with at least three outcomes by May 31st and an assessment map for these outcomes by Nov 1st.
    • Assessment reports for 2023-2024 will not be due.
  • Year 1: Fall 2024-Summer 2025
    • Assess outcomes identified in Year 0
    • Add 2-3 more outcomes to curriculum maps and assessment maps by the end of Spring 2025.
  • Year 2: Fall 2025-Summer 2026
    • Submit findings and assessment narrative for Year 1 by Nov 1, 2025
    • Implement action plan for at least one outcome and assess outcomes identified in Years 0 and 1
    • In Spring 2026, programs will add 2-3 more outcomes to curriculum maps and assessment maps, if not yet complete.
  • Year 3: Fall 2026-Summer 2027
    • Submit findings, assessment narratives, and action reports for Year 2 by Nov 1, 2026.
    • Implement action plan for at least one outcome and continue assessing outcomes identified in years 0, 1 and 2.
Assessment Basics

The assessment cycle consists of four main phases: Plan, Do, Check, and Reflect.

Image showing four main points in the assessment cycle: plan, do, check, and reflect.

The planning phase includes identifying the desired outcomes for a given period and creating an action plan, which specifies what steps will be taken to achieve the desired outcomes. Assessment measures to evaluate whether the outcomes were achieved are also developed during this phase and targets are set to specify what level of performance is indicative of success for each desired outcome.

Guiding Questions:

  • What are we setting out to accomplish?
  • What are we going to do differently to make this happen?
  • What resources do we need?
  • How much time will this take?
  • Who needs to be involved?
  • How will we know we did what we set out to do?

Whatever strategies were specified in the action plan are applied or implemented during this phase.


Data is gathered during this phase using the assessment measures developed during the planning phase and is then analyzed, the findings used to determine whether targets indicating successful achievement of the outcome were met or unmet.


The reflection period includes interpretation of findings and discussion regarding any factors that could have impacted results and opportunities to improve outcomes.

Guiding Questions:

  • Were we able to fully implement our action plan?
  • Did anything unexpected happen that may have impacted the results?
  • Did our measures provide meaningful and accurate data?
  • Was our target realistic?
  • Are we happy with the results or are further changes needed?
Key Assessment Terms
  • Outcomes – the (intended) result or (desired) impact of (planned) activity
  • Action Plan – the strategies and objectives devised to achieve the intended outcome
  • Measures – the tools used to collect data
  • Targets – the specific level of performance used to indicate success
  • Findings – the actual results
Assessment Reporting Documents

The entire folder of assessment documents can be accessed here using your MSU Texas Login.