Office of the

Assessment is designed to support student success by informing improvements to teaching and learning.

Assessment as a Core Value

The ultimate purpose of assessment is to inform programmatic alterations that result in enhanced student learning. Successful assessment promotes ongoing improvement in academic programs and student support services by:

  • encouraging us to think deeply about the outcomes we desire for our students and the methods by which achievement of those outcomes might be supported,
  • providing reliable data upon which to measure whether our students are achieving those outcomes or whether our methods are contributing to or detracting from that achievement, and
  • stimulating us to achieve and maintain high-quality teaching and student support services.
Assessment addresses three fundamental questions about student learning achievement:
  • What have our students learned?
  • Are we satisfied with what they have learned?
  • If not, what are we going to do about it?

Communicating the Effectiveness of Assessment Efforts

Assessment enables us to communicate the effectiveness of our educational and co-curricular programs to a variety of stakeholders and to use resources wisely in carrying out the mission and goals of the University. Assessment facilitates these functions by providing a basis for communicating our achievements to our constituents in an objective and accountable fashion and informing strategic planning and resource allocation decisions.

To learn more about assessment at UMKC, please consult the information on this website and the topics covered in the Assessment Handbook (PDF).

The University Assessment Committee (UAC) is responsible for encouraging, supporting, and guiding the growth of effective student learning outcomes assessment practices at UMKC. The UAC recommends policies related to assessment of student learning, develops the framework for assessment of academic and co-curricular programs, and assists in the developing and monitoring assessment of UMKC Essentials, the general education program.

The UAC reviews program-level assessment plans for all academic programs and provide recommendations for plan improvements to department chairs, program directors, and departmental assessment coordinators. The UAC also assists in developing, monitoring, and revising the university plan for assessing general education learning outcomes.

UAC Members

Meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month, 9:00 am – 10:00 am. The 2020-2021 meeting schedule is:

  • September 10, 2020
  • October 8, 2020
  • November 12, 2020
  • December 10, 2020
  • February 11, 2021
  • March 11, 2021
  • April 8, 2021

The Award for Achievement in Assessment of Student Learning recognizes individuals and programs with assessment protocols that promote student achievement in the classroom or in academic programs. Nominations are open to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs and classes at UMKC. Assessment protocols could be from academic programs or individual courses. We encourage creativity in the nominations and in designing and deploying assessment systems! The ideal nominee will have an assessment system tailored to the course or program, to create a regular framework for documenting, evaluating, and guiding student achievement.

How to Apply
  • Nominations should be submitted according to the instructions on the nomination form.
  • Nominations are due to the assessment office by March 1st (self-nominations are welcome).
  • Please review Assessment Awards Standards for more information.

Click here to access the Assessment Award standards and nomination form.

Assessment Award Recipients


  • BA in Music Therapy program
  • Dr. Kimberley Langrehr, counseling psychology doctoral program 


  • BA in Psychology program
  • Dr. Kym Bennett, BA in Psychology program director
  • Doctor of Medicine Program
  • School of Pharmacy
  • BFA in Dance Program
  • Dr. Erin Hambrick and Dr. Melisa Rempfer, faculty in the Clinical Health Ph.D. program
  • Ms. Debra Woodard, Assessment Coordinator for the M.A. and Ed.S. programs in School Counseling
  • Professor Doranne Hudson, Assessment Coordinator for the Executive MBA program
  • Criminal Justice and Criminology Undergraduate Program

The general education program - UMKC Essentials - is designed to provide knowledge and skills that are important for all students, including:

  • critical thinking,
  • oral communication,
  • written communication,
  • quantitative literacy,
  • civic and community engagement, and
  • culture and diversity.

Direct assessment of student achievement of the student learning outcomes of the general education program consists of course-embedded assessments and standardized instruments. General education assessment is coordinated by the University Assessment Committee, the Director of Assessment, and the General Education Administrator, but is conducted primarily by faculty who teach the general education courses. Course-embedded assessment of the general education outcomes occurs each year through the evaluation of student work generated through signature assignments designed to elicit the general education student learning outcomes. Representative samples of students' signature work are drawn each year and trained faculty panels review these assignments to evaluate achievement of the identified learning outcomes. Results of the reviews are aggregated by the Office of Assessment and used to by faculty to to inform programmatic improvements designed to enhance student learning achievement.

The plan for assessing General Education is outlined in the UMKC General Education Assessment Handbook (PDF).

As an additional direct measure of the general education outcomes, graduating seniors take a general education exit exam. This standardized exam measures students' achievement in critical thinking, quantitative analysis, written communication, civic competency and engagement, and intercultural competency and diversity.

In addition to direct assessment of student artifacts, UMKC utilizes several indirect measures to evaluate students perceptions of their achievement of general education learning outcomes. These measures include the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Senior Survey. The UMKC Office of Institutional Research and Planning administers these surveys and reports the results to support institutional decision making.

A table that shows the relationships between the Missouri Department of Higher Education state-level goals and UMKC's General Education learning outcomes is available here: MDHE Crosswalk (PDF).

Ruth E. Cain, Ed.D.

Director of Assessment

(816) 235-6084