ASSESSMENT AND WITTENBERG'S MISSION
Wittenberg's general education learning goals and the program goals of its academic departments and interdisciplinary emphases flow directly from its mission "to provide a learning environment and a teaching faculty of superior quality committed to liberal arts education and designed to impart knowledge, inspire inquiry, and encourage independent thought so that Wittenberg men and women will live responsibly, think critically, judge rationally, communicate effectively, appreciate the aesthetic, and develop a commitment and enthusiasm for learning that will last throughout their lives." The connection between the mission statement and the general education program is evident in the program's 1) foundational goals in writing, mathematics, foreign language, speaking, research and computing; in 2) its arts and sciences goals of: integrated learning; the diversity of human experience; the natural world; social institutions, processes and behavior; fine, performing and literary arts; religious and philosophical inquiry; western historical perspectives and non-western cultures; and 3) in its co-curricular goals for physical activity and community service. Departmental mission statements and learning goals for majors also demonstrate the integral link to mission. The preamble to the General Education Program, which appears in the University's Academic Catalog describes in detail the ways in which the program realizes the University's educational mission.
As the Institutional Requirements Committee reported, "Thus, our emphasis on student learning goals is more than a matter of style--it is a conscious reflection of our commitment, not to offering courses, but to helping students learn. Our student learning goals reaffirm Wittenberg's mission as a teaching institution committed to the welfare of its students."
Our assessment plan provides many opportunities for ongoing feedback regarding the effectiveness of our educational program. Necessarily complex and dynamic, this plan will be put into effect over the course of the next four years. Implicit in the plan is the condition that faculty and academic administrators use the information acquired through assessment to improve teaching and learning and that University planners incorporate the information into planning and budget development. Indeed, the plan incorporates mechanisms to accomplish such use.