Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Elizabeth Jones.


Programmatic student learning outcomes assessment is the process of collecting and analyzing data from a myriad of differing sources in order to develop deeper understandings of what students know, understand, and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences; this cyclic process then utilizes assessment results to improve teaching, learning, and programs (Huba & Freed, 2000). In examining the assessments implemented by Physician Assistant (PA) educators today, a mixed-methods study (i.e., Concurrent Nested Design) utilizing survey research and document analysis was used to conduct a census of all 133 PA program directors in the nation. The results of this descriptive study indicate that PA educators are crafting well-developed programmatic and course-level student learning outcomes. The results also indicate that areas such as resource acquisition for assessment activities and the dissemination of assessment results continue to progress. The synthesis of this data appears to indicate that PA programs are early in the assessment movement. A number of recommendations for practice emerge from this research such as a need for greater levels of assessment-related faculty development and the need for more formalized assessment planning and implementation. This investigation also identifies areas for future research such as the development of guiding principles and best practices to assist PA educators in making evidence-based decisions about student learning.