FAQs About Student Outcomes Assessment
What are Student Outcomes? What is Outcomes Assessment?
The University continually examines--that is, assesses--its success in achieving its mission, especially its mission to educate students. Those aims can be regarded as the intended student outcomes of a Fordham education, including the entirety of University programs and opportunities. Some of those outcomes, student learning outcomes, are directly associated with academic or co-curricular programs. In order to assess outcomes, faculty and administrators examine student course work, student survey results, internship and job placement, professional and graduate school admissions, and a variety of other information (see details at the bottom of the page). Most of the results of these assessments are used within the University to improve programs. Some, like the First Destinations Survey on postgraduate outcomes, are also shared widely.
Is my information confidential?
Yes, all of the information collected about students is confidential. Faculty and administrators with access to your work, survey answers, post-graduation activities and any of your academic records have an ethical obligation to maintain your privacy. Before being reviewed by faculty panels, all papers are stripped of any information that might identify the student or instructor. For surveys, survey responses are held strictly confidential and the information collected will only be reported in the aggregate, or as summary results, and will never be tied to individual students. First Destinations Survey data on postgraduate outcomes is reported only in aggregate as well.
Do I have to participate?
You are not required to respond to surveys, to submit your work or to provide information about your post-graduation activities, but we strongly encourage you to do so. Only through projects like these can the faculty maintain high-quality curricula and educational experiences. Thorough information about post-graduation activities enables the University to provide more useful information to future students and graduates.
Who can I talk to if I still have questions?
Contact Dr. Jeannine Pinto, University Assessment Officer, Office of Institutional Research. She's happy to talk with you.
Common Sources of Information
Fordham's faculty and administrators are responsible for ensuring that you are gaining the skills and knowledge the University promises. In order to do so, we periodically review a sample of student work, examining the work for evidence of specific academic achievements. For example, we may look at how well students evaluate evidence or build arguments, weigh competing claims, or express complex ideas, respect different cultures or appreciate historic contexts. From the many papers students provide, we randomly pick a sample. That sample represents different courses, different teachers, and different assignments, but all of the papers will represent a specific part of the Core Curriculum. For example, we draw papers from a variety of EP1 courses in order to draw conclusions about the EP1 curriculum. We do not investigate the performance of specific students or faculty.
Fordham's commitment to educating the whole person requires that the University examine more than student work. Students are asked to complete a variety of surveys throughout their undergraduate careers. These surveys provide administrators and faculty perspectives on students' Fordham experiences that are not available through student work.
The University collects information about recent graduates' initial activities--often referred to as first destinations. Seniors are encouraged to enter information about their plans, employment offers, school admissions offers, fellowships and service commitments in Handshake, our internship and job database. Such information is also collected through social media like LinkedIn, communication between students and Career Services staff, or directly from employers and schools.