WSU Program Assessment Grants

Congratulations, 2019 WSU Assessment Grant Awardees!

Based on recommendations from a review committee of faculty and staff with extensive experience in assessment, Provost Keith E. Whitfield awarded assessment grants to five projects:

Unit Project title and description Collaborating colleagues


Honors Undergraduate Program

Assessing Skills Development and Knowledge Retention Among Honors College Students:  Comparing Freshman-Level Curricular Outcomes

Participants will obtain professional development to design an inclusive rubric to track growth in writing and critical thinking skills across the undergraduate years, then pilot the rubric, and use the pilot to revise the rubric and develop guidelines for future faculty raters.

Beth Fowler, Tim Moran, Kevin Deegan-Krause, Kevin Rashid



Clicking to Assessment Success

Faculty will develop questions aligned with course and program outcomes to pilot with clicker technology in two first-year classes to address a new ABA accreditation standard requiring the use of formative assessments to complement existing summative ones.

Michelle Taylor, Susan Cancelosi, Meghan Short, Christopher Lund, Anthony Dillof

Liberal Arts and Sciences:


WSU Composition Learning Community: How LC Participation during BC and ICN Courses Impacts Students' Academic Success

Participants will develop and pilot systematic, mixed-methods assessments to evaluate the impact of learning community participation on academic success and student retention in Composition.

Nicole Varty, Jule Thomas, Austin VanKirk, Sarah Primeau, Adrienne Jankens



NCLEX Success: Increasing Clinical Judgement and Incorporating HESI Review through the Nursing Undergraduate Curriculum

In a train-the-trainer model, faculty will obtain and then share professional development in teaching and assessing clinical judgement, a key outcome recently revised by Nursing's specialized accrediting body, throughout the undergraduate curriculum.

Erik Carter, Toefanes Natavio, Olubunmi Daramola, Elizabeth McQuillen, Michael Mooney, Jessica Parker

Student Services:


APEX Program Assessment using the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) in Higher Education

Staff will undertake professional development and develop a systematic method of data collection, analysis and interpretation of student learning to understand the effectiveness of the program's services.

Veronica Killebrew, Mark Jackson, Audrey Whitfield, Stephanie Hawkes, Robert Giles, Nicholas Patterson


To promote best practices in program-level assessment of student learning outcomes and student services programs' goals, the Office of the Provost invites Wayne State University faculty and staff to submit proposals to improve their program's assessment efforts. One-time funds are available to assist in the piloting, creation, or significant revision of a program's assessment instruments or process, or to obtain professional development in program assessment.

Call for proposals

(Download the 2019 proposal form and proposal review rubric for details. Proposal are due May 15, 2019.)

Funding is available for six program assessment grants for a maximum of $3000 each for the AY19-20 grant year. Acceptable uses of funds include:

  • Professional development (e.g., books, fees for webinars, conference attendance, invited speakers)
  • Course release time/buy-out
  • Salary (for a research assistant, student assistant, faculty, staff)
  • Piloting of tools (e.g., commercial tests).

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee following the WSU assessment grant selection process.


Grantees must be WSU employees for the duration of the grant period (September 1, 2019 through August 31, 2020) in an academic or student services program that participates or is willing to participate in annual program assessment reporting in Compliance Assist.

Support for the proposal process:

Consultants are available to help applicants develop an appropriate proposal. Contact the WSU Director of Assessment and co-chair of the University Assessment Council, Cathy Barrette (, with requests and any questions. To see an example of a successful proposal from 2018, download the WRT Zone's application (.docx).

Grant recipients 2018

In a Today@Wayne article about the 2018 grants, Provost Keith E. Whitfield commented: "While many high-quality proposals were submitted, the selected projects stood out for their clear focus on student learning through improvements to core program assessment practices; broad engagement of stakeholders; and high potential for significant impact on students, faculty and staff." The table below describes each of those projects.

Unit Project title and description



Fine, Performing and Communication Arts:


Who is assessing the assessments: Improving student learning outcomes for Communication Studies 

Participants will undertake professional development to design and pilot an assessment tool to measure growth in student learning outcomes from Gen Ed courses through completion of the major.

Anita Mixon

Brandon Hensley

Denise Vultee
Liberal Arts and Sciences: Chemistry

Exit survey for chemistry undergraduates

Participants will implement standardized testing to measure student learning in three new content areas and create and pilot an exit survey.

Andrea Matti

Regina Zibuck
Liberal Arts and Sciences: History

HIS 1001 - Defining what it means to "think historically"

Department faculty will host a national expert in history pedagogy and assessment to provide professional development as the foundation for redesigning and aligning course and program learning outcomes and the undergraduate program's assessment plan to measure growth in student learning outcomes from 1001 through advanced courses.

Jennifer Hart

Elizabeth Lublin
Pharmacy and Health Sciences: Pharmacy Practice

Development and implementation of a new capstone course with objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) prior to advanced pharmacy practice experiences in a Pharm.D. program

Pharmacy Practice will create and pilot authentic assessments to determine students' readiness for clinical placement and the effectiveness of the new capstone course for supporting program learning outcomes.

Justine Gortney

Francine Salinitri

Brittany Stewart

Joseph Fava

Pharmacy and Health Sciences: Physical Therapy

Interprofessional collaboration assessment of physical therapy students in their final clinical experiences physical therapy

Physical Therapy faculty and students will undertake professional development and training to implement a recently piloted assessment for a new learning outcome required by their disciplinary accreditor and evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation.

Martha Schiller

Kristina Reid
Social Work

Getting more specific: Engaging stakeholders to move from competencies to learning outcomes

Students, faculty, and practicing social workers will collaborate to operationalize their new accreditor-mandated competencies as measurable learning outcomes, refine an assessment instrument, and develop assignments to align with each.

Shirley Thomas

Neva Nahan

Joy Ernst
Student Services/Liberal Arts and Sciences: WRT Zone

Wayne State University Writing Center tutees: Who uses the center, who does not, and how does use impact students' academic success?

Staff will undertake professional development; implement improved data collection about student users, their needs, and the impact of tutoring sessions on student success; and expand data mining and analysis.

Jule Thomas

Ruth Boeder

Sarah Primeau

Clare Russell

James Lee

Carly Cirilli