Academic Assessment

Arcadia University has established a robust commitment to effective assessment practices in Academic Affairs. Using mission-based foundations and systematic exploration, faculty and staff at Arcadia are committed to analyzing evidence of effectiveness of areas such as student learning, faculty efficacy, program effectiveness, and the successful achievement of all programs meeting the standards of their accrediting bodies. Arcadia University believes that the continuous, structured and thorough exploration of teaching and learning leads to dynamic university-wide improvements, as well as to the acknowledgement of successful practice.

Arcadia believes that every project works best when the assessment:

  • Fosters and encourages improvement and growth;
  • Serves a clear and stated purpose;
  • Addresses the various needs of the units dynamically;
  • Incorporates both outcomes and experiences;
  • Provides continuous and outcomes-based feedback;
  • Serves as a collaborative vehicle for engagement;
  • Meets the needs of not only the university, but students and the public, as well.

Institutional Accreditation: MSCHE

Middle States Commission on Higher Education serves as Arcadia University’s regional accrediting body and is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.  Every 8 years, Arcadia conducts a Self-Study guided by the Middle States Standards for Good Practice and adheres to the MSCHE policies regarding course development and assessment.

Program Accreditations

Accrediting Body Arcadia Program Current Until
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) University 2019
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPT) Physical Therapy 2022
Accreditation Review Commission on Education - Physician's Assistant (ARC-PA) Physician's Assistant 2018
Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC) Genetic Counseling 2024
  Medical Science 2018
Pennsylvania Department of Education Teacher Education 2018
Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Public Health 2018
National Association of Art & Design (NASAD) Art & Design 2019
Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC) Counseling Psychology 2021
Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) Forensic Science 2022
Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) Masters of Business Administration 2028

Program Reviews

Arcadia University Academic Programs which do not require industry assessment by an accrediting body conduct a Program Review every 5 years. The Self Study invites and External Review following the Self-Study and a public presentation of the project in the academic year following the External Review.

Department Program Review I Review II
History and Political Science History, Political Science, International Studies, International Peace and Conflict Resolution 2017-2018 2022-2023
Psychology Psychology, Sports Psychology (MAP) 2017-2018 2022-2023
Math and Computer Science Math, Computer Science, Actuarial Science 2018-2019 2023-2024
Theater Arts BA, BFA, Musical Theater Concentration 2012-2013 2018-2019
Chemistry and Physics Chemistry 2012-2013 2018-2019
Media and Communication Media and Communication 2012-2014 2018-2019
Modern Language Modern Language, French, Spanish Cultural Studies 2012-2013 2018-2019
Music Music (Minor) 2013-2014 2019-2020
Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice Sociology, Criminal Justice 2013-2014 2019-2020
English BA, MAE 2015-2016 2020-2021
Biology All 2015-2016 2020-2021

Curriculum Assessment Team (CAT)

The Curriculum Assessment Team (CAT) assesses aspects of the Arcadia University Curriculum each year.  Made up of faculty volunteers, CAT’s work addresses both direct questions concerning student learning outcomes and broader questions of effectiveness and experience.

Past CAT assessment projects include:

  • 2017-2018    (current) First Year Learning Communities
  • 2016-2017    Pilot, First Year Learning Communities
  • 2015-2016    Development, Preview Learning Goals; Student Learning, Quantitative Reasoning
  • 2014-2015    Requirement Sequencing; Student Learning, Natural/Physical World
  • 2013-2014    Data Collection, Requirement Sequencing
  • 2012-2013    Global Connections Experience, Global Connections Reflection

Student Learning Assessment

Programs conduct student learning assessments internally, with the guidance of accreditation standards, established programmatic outcomes, faculty and staff.  Arcadia believes that dynamic assessment of student learning happens each day, and that each program measures student achievement according to its own vetted rubrics.  Each year, department Chairs and Program Directors report on student learning assessment outcomes in their annual report, which is reviewed by the Dean and the Provost.