Institutions must ensure an ongoing and effective process for assessing student learning. In particular, computing courses and programs of study must incorporate clearly defined, measurable student outcomes which demonstrate that student achievement at the course level promotes successful attainment of program goals. (The ACM CCECC has provided sample assessment rubrics.) Competencies, which indicate a student's ability to do something successfully or efficiently, may also be used to measure achievement.
This relationship is demonstrated when:
* For each program of study a collection of program outcomes is identified;
* For each course in the program a collection of student learning outcomes is identified;
* For each course, topics of study and learning activities are selected and designed to support the course student outcomes;
* Each course student outcome supports one or more program outcomes; and
* Each program outcome is supported by one or more course outcome.
Effective assessment provides valuable feedback to faculty and academic leaders for continuous improvement of pedagogy, course content and program outcomes, in order to better prepare students for future studies and careers. In addition, effective assessment fosters articulation between institutions and promotes student transfer, and documents employment readiness and facilitates job placement. Accreditation requirements, performance-based funding and public demands for accountability also make effective educational assessment a necessity.
Avenues for assessing the success of an associate-degree program might include:
* institutional or program accreditation
* student performance-based measurements
* industry advisory councils
* program completion rates for students
* job placement rates for students
* post-transfer success by students
* student success rates on certifying examinations