Year 0 Planning Request: Graduate Programs

A printable Word document of this template can be found here. 

Submitted by:

Which programs are requesting a planning year?
Indicate all majors, options and certificates that are included in this planning year










Year 0 request forms are September 15th.


Part 1: Review and approve program learning outcomes. 

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs): PLOs should be written as specific, measureable statements describing what students will be able to do upon completion of the program.  The assessment of PLOs provide feedback on the accumulated knowledge, skills, and attitudes that students develop as they progress through their graduate program.  Plans should include PLO’s that would cover all types of graduate programs, depending on the nature of your programs (i.e. Master’s Thesis, Professional, Course work, Doctoral Dissertation, or Certifications).

(For help in developing learning outcomes see “Program Assessment Overview”, under Resources on Provost Page:

Are you keeping existing outcomes?   Yes ____                  No ____

If No: please identify all that apply:
Consolidating PLO’s   ____
Rewriting PLO’s to be more assessable ____
Rewriting PLO’s to be  more aligned with program objectives ____



Part 2: Development of Assessment Plan

Each plan will require the following information:
Threshold Values: Along with PLOs, plans should include threshold values; minimums against which to assess student achievement for learning outcomes.  Threshold values are defined as an established criteria for which outcome achievement is defined as met or not met.

Methods of Assessment & Data Source:  Assessment plans require evidence to demonstrate student learning at the program level.  This evidence can be in the form of a direct or indirect measure of student learning.  Both direct and indirect assessment data must be associated with the program’s learning outcomes.  An assessment rubric will also need to be included that demonstrates how evaluation of the data was used to assess student achievement.
Timeframe for Collecting and Analyzing Data:  Develop a multi-year assessment schedule that will show when all program learning outcomes will be assessed.  As graduate assessment reports are biennial, faculty review of assessment results may only occur every other year, however, annual faculty meeting to review these data and discuss student progress may be beneficial. 

Are any of your exiting thresholds, methods or data source rolling over to your new plan?       Yes                            No

If you are developing new planning documents, please indicate what your committee will be developing (mark all that apply):
New threshold values ____
New Assessment Methods  ____
New Data Source/s  ____


Developing a multi-year rotation and data collection.  In reviewing your existing planning schedule, will be keeping the same rotation?         Yes                         No

In the following fields, please indicate what will be completed, and by whom.  It is recommended that during Year 0 Planning that assessment data is collected to determine whether it will be supportive of the learning outcomes.


Part 3: Program Assessment

The assessment report should identify how assessment was conducted, who received the analyzed assessment data, and how it was used by program faculty for program improvement(s).  Assessment reports should also reflect on previous assessment and program improvements by identifying previous program-level changes that have led to outcome improvements.

What is your current method?  What has, and has not been effective? Please include the current plan and schedule.  Make a note of what will be updated and or reconsidered
Process Strengths:

Process Improvements:


Part 4: Program Assessment Plan

Program Description (from catalog) – If updated please include a brief statement as to what determined the need for the update.  NOTE: all catalog descriptions should be updated in Courseleaf – curriculum management system  If your graduate program in not in the CIM system, please contact the Provost’s office for assistance.

All plans must include assessment rubrics (the methodology of how student artifacts are to be assessed, and a threshold for student success attainment).  All outcomes should have some evaluative process to define “successful” completion.  In reviewing your process, what areas of the assessment plan will be updated, check all that apply: 
Outcome rubrics  ____
How data (student artifacts) are collected
When data are collected ____
Who participates in the assessment process  ____


B) Program Learning Outcomes, Assessment Schedule, Methods of Assessment, & Threshold Values
All program assessment plans will need to provide the following information, which will demonstrate the alignment between PLO’s, the data collected (student work/artifact), and threshold value. Below are examples the information planning tables and rubrics should provide.












Data Source

Threshold Value

Demonstrate a substantive breadth of knowledge in the field of study.





Qualifying Exam

80% of students will meet or exceed expectations on first qualifying exam attempt.































Example:Rubric Qualifying Exam for MS Thesis & PhD Students


Expectations not met

Meets Expectations

Exceeds Expectations

Motivating the work

The reasons for the work are not covered or only minimally covered

Big picture presented.  Reasons for research question laid out

Motivation is clear and documentation and/or data is used to show the importance

and need for the work

Defining the specific research question

Not clear what problem is going to be addressed

Clear what problem

is being addressed

Clear what specific problem is being addressed

Experimental design and analysis

Experiments and analysis are not clear. Experiments are not tied to research question. Alternatives are not presented

Clear experiments and analysis with specific anticipated results and alternatives tied to research question

Rigorous design of

experiments and analysis that not only include alternatives but are designed so that a negative finding is still very informative

Integration with core material

Core material is not

understood well or not connected to proposal

Core material is referenced and relevant parts are used to strengthen proposal

Core material is used to gain new and potentially important insights into field


Writing is unclear, organization is poor

Writing is clear, organization is


Writing is at the level of a fundable grant


Slides hard to read, organization poor. Speaker cannot be heard clearly

Slides are clear

Presentation organized

Speaker projects

Presentation equivalent to talk at national conferences


Does not understand

questions and/or not able to answer questions

Understands & answers

questions, with potentially some


Understands and responds to questions as well as gives

context to larger issues around questions

(Example provided should be deleted before submission – your rubric may be very different, it just needs to explain the criteria used for evaluating student achievement).

Part 5: Planning Goals

What is the goal for the end of Year 0, and who all will be involved in the process?  Include information on how the need for change was determined, who will be involved in the planning process, and how will faculty be informed of the new process?



Submit report to