Assessment Mini-Grants

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In an effort to support a culture of evidence that informs continuous improvement of programs at Cal State LA, the Provost, through the Office of Graduate Studies, is offering assessment mini-grants for assessment projects to be conducted in 2020-2021.

Ten $2,000 mini-grants are available to programs to support teams of two or more full-time faculty for assessment during the 2019-2020 academic year. Both undergraduate and graduate programs are eligible to apply. Proposals will be evaluated based on criteria described in the RFP document . An example of a complete proposal and final report can be found here.

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
     • Proposal focuses on direct assessment of learning outcomes.
         Indirect assessment, such as satisfaction surveys, will not be funded.
     • Proposal is linked to Program Learning Outcomes and articulated in program assessment  plans.
         Proposals must articulate which learning outcomes are being measured, the assessment instruments
         used to measure those outcomes, and the standards students are expected to achieve.
     • Proposal incorporates the assessment of at least one of the five core competencies or GE learning
       outcomes and/or impact of COVID-19 on assessment efforts.
         The WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) asks institutions to describe how
         the curriculum of all programs addresses these five core competencies—written communication,
         critical thinking, information literacy, quantitative literacy, oral communication, or GE learning outcomes
         such as diversity or civic engagement. These competencies are also part of Cal State LA’s Institutional
         Learning Outcome, “Proficiency: Intellectual Skills”.
        In 2020-2021, Cal State LA will be assessing quantitative reasoning, information literacy and the
        GE outcome on diversity at the institutional level. Additionally, given the pandemic WASC is interested
        in having institutions address the following questions:
             o What did you do to assure that students met their course and program learning outcomes?
             o How did you assess the outcomes of the learning experiences and supports provided to students?
             o What can you learn from these experiences that might be useful when classes resume and/or in future
               emergency situations?
        Mini-grant awardees will learn how to align their program-level assessment projects with the institutional
        projects by attending one or more of the Fall Assessment Workshops (see below).
     • Proposal goes beyond routine course-level assessment.
         Projects should provide evidence of student learning that is relevant to the overall effectiveness of the program.
         Most projects will involve the collection of data from multiple course sections at various levels of the
         program (lower division, upper division, capstone), although innovative assessments focused primarily on
         capstone courses could also be considered. Proposals should describe how program faculty will
         “close the loop” (i.e., use assessment data to improve student learning in meaningful ways).
         Grants will not be awarded for tasks that only involve assessment results useful to individual faculty.
         Proposals should also provide justification for why mini-grant funds are needed and how the
         work describe goes beyond the regular assessment processes expected of faculty.
     • Priority will be given to proposals that alleviate current gaps in program assessment.
         Proposals describing how the project will provide useful information for the program and will improve
         upon program assessment procedures are encouraged. Applicants should describe the impact of project
         on the program and its students.
     • Priority will be given to proposals focused on developing processes that are sustainable in the future.
         Proposals should describe how the project promote processes and/or develop instruments and methods
         that can be used for program assessment in future years, even when funding is not provided.


Participation in the following workshops will be required for all mini-grant team members (Venue: Virtual via Zoom—click link below):

Proposals are due by Thursday, October 1, 2020. They should be emailed as attachments to the Director of Assessment, Veena Prabhu, at [email protected]

Mini-grant Proposals (due 10/1/20) please use the template below and include:

        1. A description of the activities including the Program Learning Outcomes to be assessed, measures to be used,

            courses targeted for data collection, and plan for analysis of results.

        2. Budget and signatures of all team members and program chair (electronic signatures will be accepted).

Mini-Grant Awardees: The Director of Assessment and College Assessment Coordinators will review proposals and notify facultyon whether they have been awarded a mini-grant by October 15th. Data must be collected during Fall 2020 and/or Spring 2021.

Awardees (at least one member from the team) must attend the following Fall Assessment Workshops (will be offered via zoom):

      1. Assessment in 5 Easy Steps
             October 30, Friday, 10 – 11:30 am. Zoom Link:
      2. Strategies for Collecting Program Assessment Data
             Friday, November 6, 10 – 11:30 am Zoom Link:
      3. Let’s Get it Started: Adapting VALUE Rubrics to Assess Almost Any Program Outcome
             November 13, 10 – 11:30 am Zoom Link:

• Final Reports (due 6/15/21) should include:

      1. Discussion of methodology, including copies of assessment instruments or rubrics used

      2. Analysis of results, including tables in Word, figures, or Excel spreadsheets with data as appropriate

          (some results may still be pending, but provide a description of preliminary results)

      3. Conclusions drawn, such as future continuous improvement or closing the loop actions required

          (provide projected conclusions if results are still being analyzed)

Reports should be submitted to the Director of Assessment as Word and Excel files, rather than as hard copies.

Reports are due by June 15, 2021. Other resources relating to assessment, can be found on the

Cal State LA website:

For questions, please contact Director of Assessment, Veena Prabhu, at [email protected].


Assessment Mini-Grant Proposal Template – 2020/21 AY

Program Learning Outcomes

Which learning outcomes will be



Assessment Measures

What assignment or activity will you

use to assess the learning outcome(s)?


Criteria and Scoring

How will you score student



Assessment Schedule/Time Line

What courses will you sample and



Faculty Responsible

Which faculty will coordinate data

collection? Data analysis?


Analysis of Results

How will you analyze and disaggregate



Use of Results

How will results be shared, discussed,

and used to make changes?



Describe how $2000 in funds will be

used, including stipends for faculty or

purchase of supplies


Team Member Signature:  

Team Member Name (Print/Type):  


Team Member Signature:


Team Member Signature:


Team Member Signature:


Department Chair Signature: