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Graduate Learning Outcomes Assessment

Graduate Learning Outcomes Assessment (GLOA) improves graduate education through evaluating how well students are achieving a program’s academic goals. A sustained GLOA process is the national standard for improving teaching, mentoring, and learning in higher education. 

In Fall 2022, the Graduate School will launch a new GLOA Program. Each Ph.D. program will set their own graduate learning goals and assess their progress towards meeting those goals every three years. This allows programs complete control over the best assessment approach for their program’s primary learning goals rather than creating a one-size-fits-all approach for every program.

The first year will require a rapid assessment as we roll out this new process, but subsequent cycles allow for multiple years of data collection and reflection. As noted by the Graduate Council, the value of the GLOA process comes from discussions about a program’s graduate learning outcome goals and the assessment of meeting those goals. Importantly, the assessment process is required for our accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 

To facilitate a smooth rollout of the GLOA process on campus, we will stagger the Colleges and Schools on different rotation cycles. Every spring, graduate programs will be notified of which Colleges/Schools will be included in the GLOA for the following academic year. This figure summarizes the GLOA assessment materials and cycle across four years.

To support programs, the Graduate School will offer GLOA training in collaboration with the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center (TLTC) during the Fall 2022 semester. TLTC staff also are available for private consultations to assist programs in their GLOAs. 

We encourage UMD’s graduate faculty, students, and administrators to explore the resources below to learn more about the GLOA process. 

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