Higher Education Assessment Certificate

Program Overview

This certificate program provides an opportunity for educational professionals to earn a credential in organizational and learning outcome assessment. The program is intended to advance the careers of educational professionals interested in institutional research, outcomes assessment, enrollment management, and organizational effectiveness. The primary target audience will be professionals working in institutions of higher education who have experience or responsibilities in the aforementioned areas. Secondary audiences may be those working in the aforementioned areas but at the K-12 level or in educational services organizations.

Curriculum Overview

Students must have completed an undergraduate degree with a minimum 2.7 GPA before applying to the program.  This 15-credit program of study consists of five courses offered online in an accelerated, seven-week format. 

Certificate Offered

  • Higher Education Assessment Certificate


Tricia, Nolfi, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor
Bierenbaum Fisher Hall 202L

Program WebsiteHigher Education Assessment Certificate
Associated DepartmentDepartment of Graduate Education, Leadership, and Counseling

Related Programs

Program Requirements

(15 credits)

Required Courses
LEAD 511Facilitating Culture and Process Change in Organizations3
EDUC 540Leading Operations, Change and Assessment in Higher Education3
EDUC 541Assessing Organizational Performance in Higher Education3
EDUC 542Assessment of Student Learning in Higher Education3
Select one of the following:3
The Higher Education Organization
Communicating Educational Data
Total Credits15

Courses and Descriptions

LEAD 511 Facilitating Culture and Process Change in Organizations 3 Credits

Organizational culture and existing processes can enable productive and effective environments, or they can be barriers to carrying out the central missions of corporations, not-for-profits, governmental or educational institutions. For organizations to thrive and survive in the future they must be able to change and develop rapidly. This course provides a working knowledge of the key theories and practices necessary to be an effective change agent. Students develop skills in diagnosis, design of interventions and strategies for communicating change.

Prerequisite(s): LEAD 510 or concurrent with LEAD 510.

EDUC 525 The Higher Education Organization 3 Credits

This course allows students to gain perspective on the historical and societal context of higher education in America and the organizational structures, functions, behaviors, and cultures that exist within institutions.

EDUC 540 Leading Operations, Change and Assessment in Higher Education 3 Credits

In this course, students will gain an understanding of the daily and long-term operational challenges colleges and universities face. The course intends to cultivate a strategic mindset about higher education organizations and a recognition that institutions exist in a competitive environment that require them to change in order to survive.

EDUC 541 Assessing Organizational Performance in Higher Education 3 Credits

Through this course, students will be introduced to the concept of institutional effectiveness which focuses on an institution’s ability to use planning strategies and evaluation information to assess current performance and plan for improvements. Students will understand the importance of a performance assessment culture including the presence of clear performance goals and measures, collaborative decision-making, and engaged leadership. A focus on determining what should be assessed in academic and administrative units and strategies for initiating performance assessment programs is reviewed.

EDUC 542 Assessment of Student Learning in Higher Education 3 Credits

This course examines institutional effectiveness matters focusing on assessment processes in higher education. It explores topics such as the evaluation of academic programs, assessment of student learning outcomes, and involvement in accreditation and accountability demands in higher education. Here, the focus is on how colleges and universities are doing assessment, at the classroom, program, and institutional levels. The course covers the pragmatic planning skills and decision-support tools relevant to assessing student learning. Just as businesses are expected to adhere to compliance and ethics standards, this course provides an in-depth look at how universities’ adherence to standards pertaining to academic success can and will lead to an assurance that accredited universities are achieving their institutional goals, meeting the public's’ expectations, and realizing their greater societal mission.

EDUC 543 Communicating Educational Data 3 Credits

Through this course, students will develop skills in statistical communication, incorporating data into delivery methods such as writing, public speaking, teaching, informal conversation and collaboration, programming, and graphic visualizations. Students will understand the importance of creating a data-informed culture and how it contributes to an organization’s success. They will also learn methods and strategies of how to communicate to a non-technical audience.