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University Assessment


Assessment at Duquesne University reflects its complex identity as a research/high doctoral university as well as its identity as a great American Catholic university rooted in the Spiritan tradition. Duquesne's mission, values, and strategic iniatives provide the foundation for the university-wide assessment plan. Through assessment the University is able to document its progress for achieving its mission and values as embodied in its strategic initiatives.


Assessment provides Duquesne with the opportunity to document its accomplishments, celebrate its successes, demonstrate good stewardship, and develop as a university. It is an essential element of peer review by regional and specialized accreditation bodies. It demonstrates accountability to the University's key stakeholders and, most importantly, to those generations of students who have attended Duquesne.

Institutional Effectiveness

Duquesne's approach to institutional effectiveness is rooted in its commitment to "serving God by serving students." This commitment is reflected through the thoughtful stewardship of all University resources entrusted to it, including human, physical, and financial resources.

Every major unit manager within each executive division of the University completes an annual report which assesses progress on annual operating goals and describes linkages to the University mission and strategic initiatives. The executive officers serve as the strategic planning implementation team. Through the annual reporting process they are able to align annual operating goals with the University's strategic initiatives and to ensure that assessment results are linked to planning and budgeting processes.

The University assesses its progress through various means including:

  • Dashboard indicators for finance, budget, and enrollment, including admission, retention and graduation rates.
  • Regular review of faculty and staff performance.
  • Annual reports.
  • Specialized accreditation and external review processes and Academic Program Reviews.
  • Benchmarking with various types of peer groups.
Student Learning

Assessment of Student Learning reflects a holistic approach to student development at Duquesne. All student learning outcomes, in Academic Affairs and Student Life, are related to and derived from the University mission through the Dimensions of a Duquesne Education which serve as an organizing framework for assessment by linking the University mission statement to student learning outcomes. The Dimensions focus on five areas: understanding and knowledge; intellectual inquiry and communication; ethical, moral and spiritual development; diversity and global mindedness; and leadership and service.

The core curriculum, a central distinguishing experience for all undergraduate students at Duquesne, is assessed at the University level. Academic programs, including all undergraduate, graduate and professional programs, are assessed at the School level. Departmental and program faculty within each discipline develop, implement and review all assessment plans and outcomes; they then share their findings through their annual reports which describe how the faculty will use them for improving student learning and academic programs.

Using multiple methodologies, including qualitative and quantitative measures, student learning outcomes are documented by Academic Affairs and the Schools through various means including:

  • Assessment reports: each academic program submits an annual assessment report on student learning outcomes documenting assessment results as well as any resulting changes in curriculum, pedagogy, or resource allocation.
  • Academic Program Reviews (APR): every academic program participates in an APR at least once every 7 years with self-studies and external reviewers, either following university guidelines or through external specialized accreditation bodies.
  • Alumni/ae surveys: all academic programs are required to conduct alumni assessment, either independently or by participating in the University's undergraduate and graduate/professional student surveys.

The Student Life Assessment Team (SLAT) advances the strategic initiatives of Duquesne University by coordinating the assessment initiatives of the Division of Student Life. SLAT facilitates the development of a comprehensive assessment process for Student life programs, services, and facilities. SLAT supports the Division of Student Life's dedication to student success in co-curricular learning, in accordance with the Dimensions of a Duquesne Education. SLAT prepares an annual report which reflects the work of each of its major areas and provides information including:

  • Assessment Highlights.
  • Assessment Actions.
  • Department Highlights.
  • Department Goals

There are many resources for assessment at Duquesne provided through our website. If you need additional information please contact:

Dr. Alexandra Gregory
Associate Provost/AAVP for Academic Affairs

Rebecca Jamrozik Mickler
Co-chair, SLAT

Taylor Dreste
Assessment Graduate Assistant

Alia Pustorino Clevenger
Chair, SLAT

Alumni Survey


The 2015 Undergraduate Alumni Survey, conducted online in March 2015, was open to students who graduated December 2013, August 2014 and December 2008 - August 2009.  These students completed either a bachelor's or first professional degree.

2015 Undergraduate Alumni Survey Fast Facts:

  • For every year of survey administration, the description of a Duquesne University education most commonly given by alumni is "academic rigor."
  • 95% of surveyed alumni are either gainfully employed or attending graduate school.
  • Half (50%) of the surveyed alumni who graduated five years ago have already earned a graduate degree.
  • Nearly a third of all alumni (31%) have already earned a post-baccalaureate degree.
  • Two-thirds of alumni participate in community service or other volunteer activity at least several times per year.
  • 19% of all surveyed alumni are currently enrolled in a graduate program.
  • Graduates feel that Duquesne alum are well-respected by community members.
  • Graduates describe other alumni of Duquesne as ethical, service-oriented, well-rounded, and professional.
  • The most important experiences to Duquesne alumni include their relationships with peers, faculty, and academic advisors.

Duquesne has adopted a developmental model for implementing, improving, and sustaining its assessment processes throughout the University. Assessment activities are coordinated by the Associate Provost/Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. The University has implemented a comprehensive assessment plan that was developed in consultation with key committees and was approved by the Academic Council and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Since 2008 many additional resources have been committed to supporting assessment. These include an assessment website, a dedicated budget to support assessment activities including mini-grants for faculty, financial support to support Academic Program Reviews, the purchase of WEAVEonline assessment software to document academic assessment, the purchase of StudentVoice software to document student life assessment, the purchase of SEDONA software to report faculty scholarship, and workshop opportunities for faculty and staff members. These resources are in addition to the significant expenditures made in the schools to meet specialized accreditation standards. The Associate Provost hosts an annual lunch meeting for all faculty and staff members who are involved with assessment on campus in order to update the University community about assessment activities and to recognize their important contributions.

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