National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment |

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

Featured DQP In Practice

We’ve invited institutions to write a summary of the successes and challenges encountered in furthering student learning through the implementation of the DQP on its campus. We hope that these pieces will spark further conversation and actions that help advance the use of the DQP. To view past DQP In Practices, use the navigation bar to the right.


Using the DQP to Structure Program Assessment in Northeastern University College of Professional Studies

Lauren Nicoll, Assessment Data Specialist, College of Professional Studies of Academy Quality Assurance


Northeastern University College of Professional Studies (CPS) is committed to making high quality academic programs accessible to working adults and individuals from local, national, and international communities. For over 50 years, CPS has been committed to providing career-focused educational programs, offering over 40 online and blended bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. In 2011, the College outlined its vision for its next five-year period, reaffirming its commitment to quality. In order to define the outcomes from which success may be measured, CPS began to formalize its curriculum assessment practices. The Degree Qualifications Profile helped structure this pilot process, starting with graduate programs.

The College of Professional Studies (CPS) first engaged with the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) in 2013 in a retreat with graduate faculty.  This half-day session addressed why degree level competencies are important; how these competencies are classified into learning domains; and how levels of mastery are qualitatively different across the different degree levels. Because faculty were developing assessment plans for their academic programs at the same time, the CPS Academic Quality Assurance office discussed how to write student learning outcomes based on action verbs that reflect an appropriate level of complexity and depth for master’s program students. The day ended with faculty breaking out into workgroups where they outlined and agreed upon the specific competencies that all graduate programs in the College would have, no matter what the discipline.

The next step for the DQP was the development of program-level student learning outcomes across the college. Lead faculty members were encouraged by the College of Professional Studies (CPS) Academic Quality Assurance office to develop outcomes for each of the five domains, which were instrumental in their ability to ensure that all of the competencies the College wants CPS graduates to master were addressed. The CPS Academic Quality Assurance office found that those programs that aligned more closely to the DQP when writing their student learning outcomes had an easier time defining useful direct assessments that apply to each of the areas of learning, using assignments embedded within program curricula and capstone courses. This process also allowed the CPS Academic Quality Assurance office to see where opportunities existed for common assessments across programs.  We’re currently investigating the possibility of expanding the use of ePortfolios within the College so that we can use the AAC&U VALUE Rubrics with signature assignments in multiple programs for benchmarking and continuous improvement purposes.

In addition to looking at programs broadly, we were able to use the DQP to go in depth into student learning and program quality. As a pilot, we undertook a collaborative project with two of the most popular degree programs in CPS: the Bachelor of Science in Leadership and the Master of Science in Leadership. The learning outcomes from the Degree Qualifications Profile were used to analyze the syllabi, book selection, assignments, and course-level learning outcomes to understand where the programs were and were not differentiated well. Program faculty were able to take that information back to use in their own curricular improvements to strengthen student learning and program quality at each level. As our assessment initiatives mature, we look forward to replicating these approaches on a larger scale.


**If you think your institution should be considered for a DQP In Practice, please email Natasha Jankowski, NILOA Project Manager,

DQP In Practice:

Using the DQP to Structure Program Assessment in Northeastern University College of Professional Studies
Lauren Nicoll

The Degree Qualifications Profile Project at Kapi'olani Community College
Anthony Silva

Brandman University Builds Associate and Baccalaureate Competencies Using the DQP
Laurie Dodge and Jeremy Korr

Translating the DQP at an Art and Design School
Melissa Sydeman

Berry College's Degree Qualifications Profile Project
Kathy Brittain Richardson

Marshall University's Degree Qualifications Profile Project
Stephen Kopp

DePauw University: Co-Curricular Inventory
Ken Kirkpatrick

Implementing the Degree Qualifications Profile Framework at the American Public University System
Jennifer Helm

A Focus on Civic Learning
Illinois College

The DQP in Practice at IUPUI and Ivy Tech
Carol Schuck and Mel Winniger

The DQP and the Creation of the Transformative Education Program at St. Augustine University
St. Augustine University

Brandman University Builds Associate and Baccalaureate Competencies Using the DQP
Laurie Dodge and Jeremy Korr

West Coast University's Engagement with the DQP
Errin Heyman

The DQP in Practice at California State University, East BaySusan B. Opp

CIC/DQP Consortium Project - University of Charleston

The Master’s College Uses the DQP to Guide the Development of its Institutional-Level Student Learning Outcomes
John A. Hughes

Westminster (Utah) Incorporates DQP With Existing College-Wide Learning Goals

The DQP in Practice at North Dakota State University
Larry Peterson

The DQP in Practice at North Dakota State College of Science
Gloria Dohman

PLNU Degree Qualification Profile (DQP) Pilot Program
Kerry Fulcher, Margaret Bailey, and Maria Zack

Testing the Degree Qualifications Profile at Miami University

McKendree University Assessment 2.0:  A Systematic, Comprehensive, and Sustainable Model Combining Assessment and Faculty Development

Kansas City Kansas Community College and the Degree Qualifications Profile