What is assessment?
as-sess-ment             noun            \ә-‘ses-mәnt\
: the action or an instance of determining the importance, size, or value of <assessment of a problem>

Educational Assessment

To expand upon this definition of assessment, we may infer that Educational Assessment attempts to determine the importance and value of the education that students receive.  Therefore, educational assessment also involves the process of documenting students’ knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs in measurable terms to evaluate their learning.  Assessment can focus on the individual learner, the learning community (a class, workshop, or other organized group of learners), the institution, or the educational system as a whole.

Assessment Process

process cycle

Educational assessment typically attempts to answer the following kinds of questions:

  • What do we want our students to learn? (What are the educational and professional outcomes we want our students to achieve?)
  • In what ways can we help our students achieve these outcomes?
  • How can we measure whether students have achieved these outcomes?
  • How do we know whether students have retained what they’ve learned?
concentric circles

Why do we assess?

In education, students are the driving force behind everything we do. Educators deliver information in a variety of ways to help students accomplish the skills they need to continue on their own career paths.

Although on the surface, teaching and learning are taking place, we have a responsibility to ensure that the quality of the education we are providing meets our own expectations as well as the expectations of our students.

With assessment, we can feel more confident that students are graduating with proficient skills and have truly earned their degrees.

This becomes even more important in the College of Pharmacy, when we consider how much students’ education and experiences can impact the quality of care students will eventually provide to their patients.


Assessment Timelines

The College of Pharmacy conducts programmatic assessments on a regular basis, and the following timelines present the programmatic assessments for each group.

P1, P2, and P3 Pharm.D. Students

Milestone Exams
Student Evaluations of the Curriculum
Student Surveys & Self-Assessments
Course Instructor Surveys

P4 (Graduating) Pharm.D.

Intern Evaluation Forms
Milestone Exams
Exit Survey
AACP Survey

Alumni & Graduate Students

AACP Alumni Survey

Focus Groups
Exit Surveys

Faculty & Preceptors

Faculty Surveys: AACP & Graduate

AACP Preceptor Survey
Intern Evaluation Forms


The College has developed specific assessment plans for its degree programs to address the standards set forth by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC), which accredits the University of Texas at Austin.

The assessment plans available here are slightly condensed versions. More detailed information submitted to the University is contained in the recently adopted assessment management system, TracDatTM.


Beginning in 2009, the College has published its major assessment activities and findings from each academic year for the Pharm.D., M.S., and Ph.D. degree programs in an Annual Assessment Report. This comprehensive report includes aggregate data from assessments completed by professional and graduate students, residents, alumni, and faculty, as well as the status of the implementation of our strategic plan (2009-2014).

Because of the potentially sensitive nature of some of the data, we have restricted access to this report to current UT affiliates who must log in with their UTEID. If you are interested in viewing the report but do not currently have access, please contact us.

2012 Annual Assessment Report

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Pharm.D. Professional Program

Part 3: Pharm.D. Students’ Self-Assessment of Competencies

Part 4: Pharm.D. Milestone Exams – Pharm.D. Alumni

Part 5: Post-Pharm.D. Education and Training

Part 6: Faculty and Staff, Strategic Plan