Guidelines for Assessment Criteria
The following are guidelines for assessment plans and criteria that might be used by individual doctoral programs.
- Does the overall plan specify how the program will conduct the assessment at each of the program’s assessment points and how the data will be gathered and used?
- Are the program’s assessment points sufficient in number and at the appropriate moments for measuring overall student success?
- Has the program developed an appropriate rubric for each assessment point? Are the rubrics clear, well developed, and designed to generate useful data?
- Has the program appropriately distinguished between direct and indirect measures for each assessment point?
- Are direct measures clearly articulated and sufficient in number?
- Are indirect measures clearly articulated, and do they address quality of work, as opposed to simply quantity?
- Does the program make and use assessments of students who did not succeed as part of its overall assessment process?
Criteria Specific to Stages of Graduate Career
- Student demonstrates the ability to grasp and synthesize core concepts and theories of the discipline.
- Student demonstrates the ability to think critically and understand texts/problems within the context of the discipline and the assessment point.
- Student demonstrates the ability/potential to communicate at a graduate level in writing and oral performance.
- Student authors/co-authors articles in refereed and/or well-respected journals.
- Student attends/presents research at top-tier conferences.
- Student demonstrates knowledge of key principles, methodologies, and subject areas within the discipline.
- Student performs well on written and/or oral exams as appropriate.
Dissertation Proposal and Defense
- Student persuasively demonstrates the significance, originality, and plausibility of the research/dissertation project.
- Student writes the proposal well and presents it succinctly and clearly.
Dissertation and Defense
- Student writes a solid dissertation that not only confirms mastery of the field but also creates new knowledge within the field.
- Student writes the dissertation well and successfully defends it to the committee.
- Graduate provides feedback to the program on its strengths/weaknesses in preparing students for the next career stage.
- Graduate gives an accounting of his or her success since graduation.
- Student who fails to graduate also provides feedback to the program on its strengths and weaknesses.