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Assurance of Learning within the School of Management at Clark University

In accordance with guidelines set by AACSB International, our accrediting body, the School of Management participates in a rigorous Assurance of Learning (AoL) process. Throughout the accreditation cycle, we assess student competencies to ensure that our curriculum is effectively preparing our students to be successful in their chosen field at graduation.

Each degree program has a series of high-level learning goals, such as:  critical thinking; social responsibility, sustainability, and ethical business practice; communication; and discipline-specific knowledge and competence.

The faculty of each degree program break the high-level learning goals down into smaller, concrete competencies that indicate whether students are achieving the learnings goals of their degree programs. For example, graduate programs break the critical-thinking learning goal down into three competencies: recognizing an issue that requires critical thinking, identifying appropriate tools for analyzing the issue, and applying those tools to come to a well-reasoned conclusion about the issue.

Each competency is assessed at least twice in each degree program during every five-year accreditation cycle. In some cases, faculty assess competencies directly, using assignments from core classes within a degree program. In other cases, faculty assess indirectly, but working with a variety of SOM’s stakeholders (students, staff, internship supervisors, alumni, etc.) to gauge how prepared students are to apply their competencies beyond the classroom setting, such as at their first job after graduating from the SOM. For both direct and indirect assessments, SOM aims for at least 70% of students within a program to be competent. In the event that an assessment finds fewer than 70% of students are competent, the faculty stage an intervention to improve the teaching of the competency within core classes.

Assurance of Learning Goals by Program