Duquesne's Foundation for Assessment

Assessment at Duquesne University reflects our complex identity as a research/high doctoral university, as well as our identity as a great American Catholic university rooted in the Spiritan tradition.

Our mission, values, and strategic initiatives provide the foundation for our University-wide assessment plan. Through assessment, the University is able to document its progress for achieving the mission and values 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.

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 that 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.

Assessment of Student Learning reflects a holistic approach to student development at Duquesne. All student learning outcomes, in Office of the Provost 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.

Bridges Common Learning Experience, 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 annual reports that describe how the faculty will use the findings to improve student learning and academic programs.

Using multiple methodologies, including qualitative and quantitative measures, student learning outcomes are documented by Office of the Provost 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 5 years with self-studies and external reviewers, either following university guidelines or through external specialized accreditation bodies.
  • Alumni 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


Bridget Calhoun, DrPH

Associate Provost for Office of the Provost

Alia Pustorino Clevenger

Chair, SLAT

Olivia E. Ramsey

Assistant to the Associate Provost