Students and Assessment

Students and Assessment: What’s in it for you?

What is assessment?

The objective of all assessment activities is to document and improve student learning and character development fostered by your experiences at Pace. 

Prospective students (and their parents) want to know that Pace delivers value.  Prospective employers want to know that students from Pace can think, communicate, and possess professional skills. Scholarship sources want to know that an investment in a Pace student returns value to the community. And you want to know that while you are here, we are always examining and upgrading our services to you. 

Assessment gives Pace University two kinds of information. Facts to demonstrate how good a Pace education really is. Facts to pinpoint where progress is most needed.

How do students participate in assessment?

Students participate by completing attitude and opinion surveys, attending focus groups, taking tests, assembling portfolios of your work, and in any number of other ways. 

Some assessments have a "before-after" design to show how, for example, your writing skills have progressed from your first year through the end of your college career. Other assessments look only at immediate "outcomes" – what you have learned in a particular assignment or course. Certain assessments are performed to determine trends in a program's effectiveness over the years. Standardized tests or surveys allow Pace to compare itself with other schools. All of these are extremely important to the well being of the University.

Your responses to tests and surveys are confidential. Before administering an assessment activity, we will tell you how the results will be used so that you understand that the information will never be used in a way you were not anticipating. We report assessment results as summaries of all students’ responses. Individual students’ survey responses or test results will never be reported inappropriately.

Some of the assessment activities you are likely to complete include:

First year students: Experiences questionnaire, health behavior survey, Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey, the Library Experience Survey, the UNV 101 End-of-Semester Survey, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).

Sophomores: Programmatic assessment activities vary by department.

Juniors: Programmatic assessment activities vary by department.

Seniors: The College Student Survey, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), the Senior Outcomes Survey.  Programmatic assessment activities vary by department.

Throughout your college career: The Student Satisfaction Inventory, health behavior survey, and involvement surveys.

After you graduate: Occasional alumni surveys and interviews.

How do students benefit from assessment?

In many instances, assessment is your chance to tell us how we are doing. We value your opinion and will use your feedback to enrich Pace’s learning environment for future students as well as in the near-term to the best of our abilities. Whenever possible, we will share with you the results of assessment activities in which you participate.

Assessment activities in your major field of study often provide you with feedback about your strengths and weaknesses. This enables you and your professors to take pride in your accomplishments and remedy your weaknesses. Awareness of your own capabilities is an important ingredient for success both in college and after graduation.

More generally, assessment activities are intended to provide useful information to faculty, staff, and administrators. This information helps us improve the learning environment for you. For example, Pace has recently conducted a survey of resident students. The results of this assessment will be used to improve the residential life experience. Faculty have used assessment information to change individual courses and to redesign graduation requirements for some programs so that students are better able to develop essential skills and competencies needed for success in their field of study.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

The quickest way to get answers might be to look at Pace University's Institutional Assessment website. The University-wide assessment plan is posted there, questions and answers, the names and email addresses of the individuals on the University-wide Assessment Committee, and much more. 

If you have a question that is not covered on the site, or you wish to speak with someone in person, please contact Barbara Pennipede, Assistant Vice President of the Office of Planning, Assessment and Institutional Research, or any member of the Pace University Assessment Committee.



Pace University gratefully acknowledges Kay Schneider, Director of Assessment and Institutional Research at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota for her willingness to allow us to adapt their site, Assessment at Concordia College: Information for Students.