Northwood University Assessment Summary

Latest Update: 29 July, 2014

1. Purpose

This document provides a high-level overview of the Northwood University assessment system and summary data illustrating end of program performance by students.

2. Background and Context

The assessment system objectives are to:

  • Provide evidence of students achieving program learning outcomes
  • Enable data-informed decisions that improve student learning
  • Meet the current and emerging needs of accreditation agencies
  • Enable external comparisons / benchmarking across institutions
  • Achieve ongoing partnership with shared accountability between faculty and administration
  • Document and publish results and provide easy access for faculty and staff
  • Compliment effort directed at understanding students’ achievement of “Course Outcomes” as outlined in course syllabi.

The system applies to all operating units and programs and refers to the planning, data collection, analysis, and improvement planning associated with assessing student learning outcomes related to academic programs (or Majors).

The key components of the NU Assessment System are represented below.


The system is adapted from the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.  Each component is vital to the overall effectiveness of the system. Without defining the Approach the assessment plans are unclear; therefore, implementation is unclear. Who should collect what data? When and how should they do it? Without Deployment of the plans there is no data; therefore, no basis for performing analysis and to Learn from the Results. Without sharing the results Improvement plans cannot be created and hence programs, and the system as a whole, will not be improved.

Common Professional Component Assessment Data

Each undergraduate and graduate program has detailed assessment plans. Common to all of these is the use of a comprehensive exam which assesses students’ knowledge and skills in a broad variety of core business disciplines such as accounting, finance, management, strategic planning and integration, information management systems, and marketing.

The exam is undertaken by students towards the end of their program and data is compared with students at other institutions.

Undergraduate Summary Data

The following chart compares:

  • The overall CPC scores for Northwood students (blue bar) with the overall scores for other US institutions (blue line).
  • The Leadership topic scores for Northwood students (red bar)  with the scores for other US institutions (red line).
  • The Global Business topic scores for Northwood students (green bar) with the scores for other US institutions (green line).

Undergraduate Common Professional Component Overall Scores


The overall score for Northwood Students is comparable to students at other US institutions and has tended upwards over the last few cycles. The scores for Leadership and Global Dimensions of Business reflect similar trends and both compare well with other US institutions.

Note: Score differences of 1-2 % are not statistically different.

Graduate Summary Data

The following chart shows Northwood CPC overall scores (blue) compared with results for other institutions in the US (red).

Graduate Common Professional Component Overall Scores


Northwood students perform better than those at other US institutions.

Improvement Planning

Data shown earlier in conjunction with that for other assessment measures is evaluated at least annually to identify program enhancements that will improve student learning outcomes as well as continuously improved the effectiveness of the assessment system as a whole. For example, assessment data is used when conducting Program Reviews which are a formal and comprehensive process for ensuring the ongoing relevance and quality of our academic programs.