Assessment of Student Learning

Jump to related links

Purpose of Assessment

The purpose of assessment is to improve courses, programs and/or services. Assessment involves the continuous, systematic process of collecting and analyzing data and using that information to improve courses, programs and services offered at Mercy College. Simply stated: Are our students learning what we say they need to learn and is what we say they need to learn the correct thing(s)?

Assessment is:

  • Focused on student learning
  • A set of expectations, criteria and standards that our students must meet, determined by the faculty and staff responsible for those elements
  • Evidence (data) that is gathered and used to improve student performance and learning
  • Helps us to ensure and improve the quality of our graduates and students
  • Ongoing and part of the institution and culture

Mercy College Institutional Learning Outcomes

Mercy College believes that an individual should possess a broad knowledge base that characterizes an educated person and that this knowledge base should be infused throughout all programs. At Mercy College, this knowledge base and the following learning outcomes are emphasized throughout courses and co-curricular activities. Faculty and staff measure a student's mastery of the Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) through college wide assessment tools. These tools allow faculty and staff to measure and document student work, abilities, and growth throughout his/her academic career.

Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

By the time students complete a program from Mercy College, they will be leaders who:


Are committed to social engagement, demonstrating the knowledge and skills required to be an active participant in the betterment of society. To achieve this goal, students will:

  • Certificate (1st year) Level: Describe how one’s specific discipline contributes to society.
  • Associate (2nd year) Level: Apply academic discipline to service learning activities within and/or outside of the college.
  • Bachelor (3rd/4th year) Level: Analyze the influence of service learning activities on one's own life and the lives of others.


Are committed to intellectual inquiry, able to identify, evaluate, and propose solutions to problems in creative ways. To achieve this goal, students will:

  • Certificate (1st year) Level: Identify and explain problems/issues.
  • Associate (2nd year) Level: Solve a problem/issue using relevant information.
  • Bachelor (3rd/4th year) Level: Develop and differentiate alternative solutions to a problem/issue.


Are effective communicators, able to write, speak, and listen as a professional in one’s chosen field. To achieve this goal, students will:

  • Certificate (1st year) Level: Demonstrate appropriate grammar and vocabulary for a given field.
  • Associate (2nd year) Level: Present organized ideas in a comprehensible flow.
  • Bachelor (3rd/4th year) Level: Critically evaluate information and its sources.


Are proficient with ethical reasoning, using the lens of the Mercy Core Values as part of one’s everyday decision-making process. To achieve this goal, students will:

  • Certificate (1st year) Level: Express Mercy’s Core Values when communicating with others.
  • Associate (2nd year) Level: Explain the significance of the Mercy College Core Values to one’s discipline.
  • Bachelor (3rd/4th year) Level: Defend ethical decisions made using Mercy’s Core Values.


Are professionally competent, displaying the capacity to successfully join the workforce in one’s desired field upon graduating. To achieve this goal, students will:

  • Certificate (1st year) Level: Demonstrate the performance of general responsibilities required of entry level employees in a chosen field.
  • Associate (2nd year) Level: Operate in a manner that contributes to the effectiveness of teams.
  • Bachelor (3rd/4th year) Level: Assess the performance of other professionals.


Are committed to lifelong learning, exhibiting responsibility for the future of one’s own educational experience. To achieve this goal, students will:

  • Certificate (1st year) Level: Describe one’s own professional requirements.
  • Associate (2nd year) Level: Demonstrate the ability to set professional goals that support lifelong productivity.
  • Bachelor (3rd/4th year) Level: Develop an action plan for future growth and development.


Certificate level outcomes are at the knowledge/comprehension level.

Associate level outcomes are at the application/analysis level.

Baccalaureate level outcomes are at the synthesis/evaluation level.

Program Learning Outcomes

Each program has individual Program Learning Outcomes. To view Program Learning Outcomes, click Program Information in the green side navigation box on each academic program page.

Mercy College Assessment Committee

The Assessment Committee at Mercy College conducts several opportunities throughout the year to educate Mercy College faculty and staff community about assessment.

Questions? Please contact: