Assessment of the Core Curriculum

The University of Nevada, Reno's competencies-based Core Curriculum trains students in communication, quantitative reasoning, methods of inquiry, critical and creative thinking, as well as integration, synthesis, and application of knowledge. The Core Curriculum is integrated into each major, so that the knowledge and skills established in the 14 Core Objectives can be developed throughout a student's progress towards an undergraduate degree.

The Process of Core Assessment

The Core Curriculum Board oversees assessment of Core Objectives, such that courses bearing each objective will be evaluated approximately every five years. Courses delivered by the Core Humanities, Core Math, and Core Writing programs will be comprehensively assessed every five years.

Courses delivered by departments in disciplines will be assessed according to the Core Objectives articulated as the focus for each academic year:

  • 2021-22 Core Objective 7
  • 2022-23 Core Objectives 9, 13, and 14
  • 2023-24 Core Objectives 4, 6, and 12
  • 2024-25 Core Objectives 8, 10 and 11

Each Fall, the Curriculum & Assessment Office will contact departments about the courses that need to be assessed. If the courses are scheduled to be taught during the year, the Curriculum & Assessment Office will initiate an Assessment Plan in Watermark. The Assessment Plan will be assigned to the Department Chair and/or Department Assessment Coordinator, who will upload the results and the course syllabus once the course has been taught and assessed. The completed Assessment Plan will be shared to the Core Curriculum Board for reverification review.

For information on reporting results of Core Curriculum Assessment, please refer to the Purpose & Process Outline available on the Watermark Planning & Self Study Canvas Site (log in to Canvas to access). To request access to the Canvas site, please contact the Curriculum & Assessment Office at

Procedures for Core Assessment

  • If a course satisfies more than one Core Objective (CO), its instructor may assess all COs that have not been assessed within the last five years.
  • Faculty teaching a course that satisfies the specified CO will provide a completed, data-driven assessment report during the year of assessment focused on that CO. The Chair or the Assessment Coordinator will answer the questions in the Assessment Plan in Watermark and attach a current syllabus.
  • The Curriculum & Assessment Office provides standards and sample SLOs upon which departments and faculty can base their assessment measurement tools (e.g., rubrics or examination questions) and their definitions of exceeding, meeting, and failing to meet an SLO. If faculty members use their own criteria or rubrics for assessment, they may be asked to explain in departmental assessment reports their definitions of exceeding, meeting, and failing to meet SLOs.
  • The Curriculum & Assessment Office will coordinate with faculty, provide technical assistance, and provide model processes and measurement tools when necessary.
  • The Curriculum & Assessment Office encourages assessing the work of the entire student population whenever possible; however, when this is not feasible, faculty should rely on random sampling of student work. In a class with fewer than 100 students, 10 should be selected for assessment, and in a class with more than 100 students, at least 10% of the population should be selected for assessment.
  • The Curriculum & Assessment Office will collect and store these reports and any supplementary documents for the Core Curriculum Board to review. The Core Curriculum Board will use the Core Reverification Assessment Rubric to evaluate the course and the assessment process. The Core Curriculum Board will evaluate assessment methods applied as well as departments’ and faculty members' standards for students exceeding/meeting/failing to meet SLOs and the quantitative measurement of SLOs.
  • If the Core Curriculum Board expresses in their review any concerns regarding student performance, course content, or assessment methods, the department will be asked to report on modifications.
  • During the four years following the reverification assessment process, faculty will need to notify their department of any significant changes to CO-delivering courses (i.e., revised SLOs or substantial changes to course content or calendar).