Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

Elizabeth Jones


Outcome assessments of academic programs have become increasingly critical in recent years. A continuous process formed to "monitor and improve student learning," true assessment serves to focus institutions of higher education on student learning (Allen, 2004, p. 5). It is vital to understand and explore current assessment practices in departments of communication studies to ensure and enhance the quality and future of education in the field. This study represents an initial attempt at establishing a baseline of assessment practices utilized within departments of communication studies. The results exhibit the extent to which assessment is being used for continuous improvement of communication studies undergraduate programs across various institution types. Assessment processes, methods, utilization and communication of assessment results and differences in practice between Carnegie Classifications were explored, with encouraging results. Respondents from communication studies departments were fairly progressive with regard to their views and uses of assessment. However, assessment efforts still need to be expanded. Further research on best practices of assessment in communication studies departments across all institution types could reveal strategies for enhancing the assessment culture throughout the field.