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Assessment and Accreditation Council

The Assessment and Accreditation Council advises on and facilitates matters related to:

  • Student learning outcomes assessment
  • The University's reaffirmation of accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission

In 2008, the Council was charged by the Provost to look more comprehensively at student learning outcomes assessment. Over the past eight years, the Council has been working to facilitate a campus-wide effort focusing on the assessment of student learning outcomes at both the undergraduate and graduate curricular and the co-curricular levels. As part of their early efforts, the Council developed a first-generation framework for the assessment of student learning outcomes and established an annual Learning, Teaching and Assessment Forum. Following Northwestern's 2014-15 accreditation review, the Council established a Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Subcommittee in September 2015. The subcommittee's charge is to work across schools and units to identify strategies that encourage and support assessment at the course, program, and school level. The subcommittee comprises members of the Assessment and Accreditation Council as well as additional faculty members and staff involved in assessment activities. In 2015-16, the Subcommittee developed a strategic framework for assessment within Northwestern's decentralized model to articulate an institutional strategy for student learning assessment.

Additional information about learning assessment at Northwestern, including the strategic framework and efforts of the Council and Subcommittee, can be found on the Searle Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning's Assessment of Student Learning website.

In addition, the Council serves as an advising body for the University's reaffirmation of accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. Northwestern was recently reaffirmed for accreditation in July 2015 and will undergo its next comprehensive evaluation for reaccreditation in 2024-25. More information about Northwestern's accreditation process can be found on the University Accreditation page.

Council Members

  • Lina Eskew, Co-chair; Assistant Director, Equitable Assessment, Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching
  • Jennifer Keys, Co-chair; Director of the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching
  • Rob Aaron, Executive Director of Student Affairs Assessment and Planning, Student Affairs
  • Lori D. Barcliff Baptista, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Advising; Professor of Instruction, Department of Performance Studies, School of Communication
  • Megan Blackwelder, Associate Vice President of Program Review, Administration and Planning
  • Stephanie Brehm, Assistant Director for Academic and Strategic Initiatives, The Graduate School
  • Wes Burghardt, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Engineering; Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Sunil Chopra, Deputy Dean, Kellogg School of Management
  • Shoshannah Cohen, Manager of Institutional Analysis, Administration, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
  • Debbie Crimmins, Senior Director of Institutional Research, Office of Administration and Planning
  • Scott CurtisAssociate Professor in Residence, Northwestern University in Qatar
  • Mary Finn, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
  • Victoria Getis, Director of Teaching & Learning Technologies, Northwestern Information Technology
  • Desiree Hanford, Assistant Professor and Director of Academic Integrity and Appeals, Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Larry Hedges, Chair and Board of Trustees Professor of Statistics, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; Professor of Education and Social Policy, Psychology, and Medical Social Science
  • Linda Jacobs, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Bienen School of Music
  • Louie Lainez, Manager, Diversity and Inclusion in the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion
  • Alison Lanser Phillips, Office of the Registrar
  • Becky McAlisterRegistrar, Pritzker School of Law
  • Celia L. O’Brien, Assistant Dean for Program Evaluation and Accreditation, Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Susan Olson, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, School of Education and Social Policy
  • Laura Panko, Assistant Dean (Academic), Administration, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
  • Amit Prachand, Associate Vice President, Information & Analytics, Administration and Planning
  • Mearah Quinn-BraunerDirector for Strategy and Policy, Office of the Provost
  • Susan Beth Wesner, Assistant Dean of the Undergraduate and Credit Programs, School of Professional Studies
  • Lee West, Director of Undergraduate Education, Office of the Provost
  • Jill Wilson, Chair of the Faculty Senate’s Academic Affairs Committee