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    Preparing Future Faculty to Assess Student Learning

    Frequent and robust assessment of undergraduate student learning outcomes is essential to improving the quality of U.S. higher education in all disciplines, yet many universities struggle to transform teaching and learning in their classrooms.  One approach to accelerating change involves training current graduate students in the use of best practices for undergraduate learning assessment – before they join the faculty ranks. Strategies to Prepare Future Faculty to Assess Student Learning describes an impressive battery of effective methods for preparing future faculty, including strategies tailored to specific institutional contexts as well as those used by many institutions to meet common challenges. An additional resource, Preparing Future Faculty: A Framework for Program Design and Evaluation at the University Level, was developed using insights from participants in the PFF ASL initiative and is intended to help universities with PFF and PFF-like programs strengthen their programs and develop robust evaluations of their impacts.


    Project Goals


    The overarching goal of the project was to provide graduate students who aspire to faculty positions with strategies to:

    • Identify needs and opportunities in their classrooms and in their programs;
    • Respond to those needs through enhanced teaching and learning techniques; and
    • Engage with other graduate students and faculty in evidence-based conversations within and across the arts and sciences.


    Project Outcomes


     Strategies to Prepare Future Faculty to Assess Student Learning

    Executive Summary

    Full Report

    Preparing Future Faculty Resource Library

    Press Release



    Preparing Future Faculty: A Framework for Program Design and Evaluation at the University Level

            Full Report





    Research Partners


    Through a competitive process, the following universities were selected to participate in the project as funded research partners:


    An additional 19 universities participated in the project as affiliate partners:


    • The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
    • City University of New York Graduate Center
    • Clemson University
    • Emory University
    • Felician College
    • Florida State University
    • Fordham University
    • The Johns Hopkins University
    • Marquette University
    • Purdue University
    • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    • Saint Louis University
    • Tufts University
    • The University of Missouri
    • The University of Missouri-Kansas City
    • The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
    • The University of South Florida
    • Virginia Tech
    • West Virginia University



    Additional Resources

    In 2010, the Council of Graduate Schools was awarded a grant from the Teagle Foundation to explore the preparation of future faculty to assess student learning. The publication, Preparing Future Faculty to Assess Student Learning, reviews recent trends in learning assessment, reports on data from a CGS survey of institutions with PFF and similar programs, and provides insights gleaned from a meeting of assessment experts, graduate deans, and graduate students about challenges and opportunities for future action. A free copy of the report can be downloaded here.




    Julia Kent



    In collaboration with:



    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource on issues regarding graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS collaborates with other national stakeholders to advance the graduate education community in the policy and advocacy arenas.  
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.