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The Office of Research for Student Success (ORSS) at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) is one of the units in the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Effectiveness (VPAPE).

ORSS works on behalf of the Provost to coordinate campus-wide cocurricular student learning assessment and to support the ongoing assessment process by documenting the evidence of student learning and facilitating the evidence-based improvement of the cocurricular programs.

Informed by the Higher Learning Commission’s 2020 working definition of the co-curriculum, ORSS defines cocurricular offerings to include activities, programs and experiences that reinforce UIC’s mission and values, and also complement the academic curriculum. Cocurricular offerings that cultivate student learning as a distinctive purpose are incorporated into the broader cocurricular learning assessment process coordinated by ORSS.

A process of assessing cocurricular learning focuses on answering 3 main questions:

  1. What do we want our students to learn? (developing specific learning outcomes)
  2. How do we know that they learned it? (assessment of learning outcomes)
  3. How can we improve our students’ learning? (using assessment results to improve student learning)

As strategic goals and priorities of your unit, department, and UIC might change over time, answering these 3 questions on a regular basis will ensure the alignment of your cocurricular program with the institutional context.

ORSS coordinates cocurricular learning assessment using a two-year cycle:

Year 1

  1. Develop Assessment Plan
  2. Conduct assessment of the student learning
  3. Submit Findings Report

Year 2

  1. Implement changes
  2. Submit Implementation Report 

This assessment cycle repeats every two years. All information about the assessment process, including unique links to complete the Findings and Implementation Reports will be shared every fall semester with the director of each program. The assessment reports are expected to be submitted to our office every year by the end of August.