Examples of Assessment by Institution

Smith College approved a strategic plan in 2007 based on a core commitment to strengthen student capacities within the College’s open curriculum.  Specifically, Smith students will develop the ability to think critically and analytically and to convey knowledge; they will develop a historical and comparative perspective; and they will become informed global citizens.  Smith’s integration of these capacities includes a commitment to holistic assessment of student achievement.


In developing these capacities, Smith relied on the experiences of alumnae regularly gathered through a survey conducted through a consortium of selective institutions.  Ten years after graduation, Smith alumnae were asked about the areas of intellectual development that were important to them in their lives after college.  The selected capacities were driven by the areas alumnae cited as most important.  More than two-thirds of Smith alumnae thought it was very important to write effectively, to communicate orally, to acquire new skills on one’s own, to understand oneself, and to synthesize and integrate ideas and information.  The College carefully chose 10-year-out alumnae, well into the career and life-building phases of their lives when the lifelong effects of a liberal arts education are maturing.  This feedback was an important driver of the development of the capacities around which Smith will be building its curricular plans in the coming years.




Smith College