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 the 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 and/or review:

  • Fosters and encourages improvement and growth;
  • Serves a clear and stated purpose;
  • Addresses the various needs of the units dynamically;
  • Incorporates both outcomes (numbers) and experiences (narrative);
  • 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 2027
Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy (CAPT) Physical Therapy 2022
Accreditation Review Commission on Education - Physician's Assistant (ARC-PA) Physician's Assistant 2028
Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC) Genetic Counseling 2024
Pennsylvania Department of Education Teacher Education 2025
International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Masters/Certification in Literacy Studies: TESOL and Reading 2021
International Dyslexia Association (IDS) Master/Certification in Reading/Reading Specialist 2021
Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Public Health 2025
National Association of Art & Design (NASAD) Art & Design 2029
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 process begins with a Self Study and is followed by an External Review. The process culminates in a public presentation of the findings in the academic year following the External Review.

Department Program Past Review Upcoming Review
2020-2021
Chemistry and Physics BS 2012-2013 2020-2021
Sociology, Anthropology, Criminal Justice BA 2013-2014 2020-2021
Biology BS 2015-2016 2020-2021
2021-2022
English BA, MA 2015-2016 2021-2022
Masters in Business Administration MBA   2021-2022 (mid)
2022-2023
History and Political Science BA, MA 2017-2018 2022-2023
Psychology BS 2017-2018 2022-2023
Medical Sciences MPH   2022-2023 (mid)
2023-2024
Computer Science Math BA, BS 2018-2019 2023-2024
Modern Languages and Cultures BA 2019-2020 2023-2024
2024-2025
Theater Arts BA, BFA 2019-2020 2024-2025
Media and Communications BA 2019-2020 2024-2025
Modern Languages and Cultures BA 2018-2019 2024-2025

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.

CAT assessment projects include:

  • 2019-2021    Arcadia University Curriculum Student Learning Outcomes Review (Full)
  • 2018-2019    Full Curriculum Review Planning
  • 2017-2018    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

Program Student Learning Outcomes 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.