MCAD faculty are encouraged to use curriculum-based assessments, such as Junior and Senior Reviews and Mid-Program Reviews, as direct evidence to assess student learning in their programs.

Other sources of evidence, such as the results of institutional surveys and other data, are also used as indirect evidence of student learning. When used together, these direct and indirect sources create a holistic picture of students’ achievement of learning outcomes.

Indirect sources of evidence we utilize at MCAD to assess student achievement include:

Student and Alumni Surveys

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

The NSSE survey collects information about first-year and senior students’ participation in programs and activities that MCAD provides for their learning and personal development. The results of the survey provides an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time and what they gain from attending MCAD.

Course Evaluations

Course evaluations are an important tool that helps improve teaching and learning at MCAD. Student feedback assists instructors to modify and improve the approach, pedagogy, and content of the subject for the future.  Course evaluations also help department chairs to evaluate courses and make curricular changes.

Exit Survey

The MCAD Exit Survey is administered annually to candidates for graduation enrolled in all programs. The primary purpose of this survey is to obtain information about students’ satisfaction with a range of academic and co-academic experiences during their studies and to inquire about their plans for the future.

The Outcomes (First Destination) Survey

Each year, Career Development surveys MCAD alumni within one year post-graduation to gather information regarding employment status, graduate/professional school enrollment and starting salaries.

Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP)

The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) is an online survey designed to assess the longer-term impact of arts-school education. Every three years, MCAD alumni are asked to respond about the relevance of their arts training to their work and further education. MCAD’s findings are compared to aggregated national data and our AICAD peer institutions.

MCAD Alumni Survey

Similar to the SNAAP survey, our internal alumni survey collects information about the longer-term impacts of an MCAD education.

Healthy Minds Survey

The Healthy Minds Survey is a web-based survey study examining students’ mental health, use of health and wellness services, and related issues among undergraduate and graduate students. Participating in HMS allows MCAD to examine how mental health symptoms affect academic outcomes.

Institutional Data Sources

MCAD also regularly collects and interprets institutional data to support curricular and co-curricular improvement. Although not associated with a particular learning outcome, these institutional data help to create a narrative around student achievement.

Examples of institutional data include:

  • Admission, retention, and graduation rates
  • Enrollment statistics (e.g. Ten-day statistics; exiting student reports)
  • Final course grades, grade point averages, and attendance records
  • Student transcripts
  • Learning management systems (e.g. Blackboard) data
  • Awards and/or scholarships received by students or alumni
  • Departmental budget projections and reports
  • Reports on co-curricular programming, external partnerships and outreach