The overall purpose of academic assessment at Maitripa College is to improve the educational experience of our students, and to establish a practice of research that informs our planning on the program and institutional level. We do this through a carefully designed assessment process that is rooted in our college values, and structured to reveal data from our students’ experience that we can use to inform curricular design, course content, and pedagogy in accordance with our academic mission.

How It All Fits Together: Alignment and the Assessment Cycle

Assessment at Maitripa College is concerned with engaging with integrity in gathering information about student learning and development in our programs with a focus on improving them, and with an eye towards demonstrating the continued impact of a Maitripa College education on the individual student, the college community, and the world at large. Maitripa College is committed to transparent, careful, data-driven collection and reporting of student feedback based on clear learning outcomes and metrics, and on supporting faculty in their crucial role in this process.

Assessment at Maitripa College is done to improve student learning, and to demonstrate alignment between the Maitripa College mission, college core themes, degree program and course learning objectives, and student learning. The clear alignment of these elements forms the basis of our curricular structure, pedagogical approach, and assessment practices.

Maitripa College Mission. The Maitripa College mission was written in 2005, and updated slightly since then. It is as follows: “Maitripa College is a Buddhist institution of higher education offering contemplative learning culminating in graduate degrees. Founded upon three pillars of scholarship, meditation, and service, Maitripa College curriculum combines Western academic and Tibetan Buddhist disciplines. Through the development of wisdom and compassion, graduates are empowered with a sense of responsibility to work joyfully for the wellbeing of others. We serve our students and the region through diverse and relevant educational, religious, and community programs.”
Maitripa College Core Themes.  Our college mission is expressed through our core themes, what we call the “Three Pillars”: Scholarship, Meditation, and Service.
Program and Course Learning Objectives. Each degree program at Maitripa College is associated with Learning Objectives, which have been arrived at as the result of an internal research process and are reviewed and updated annually. The Maitripa College curriculum for the MA and MDiv degrees has been designed using the Program Learning Objectives as a basis, and each course offered in the curriculum supports these objectives and fulfills its own. Each course at Maitripa College is grouped under one of three “Core Themes” above.
Metrics/Indicators.  At Maitripa College, we rely on both quantitative and qualitative tools to measure the efficacy of our curriculum and the extent to which students are achieving learning objectives. On the program level, our direct assessment methods include semester-end quantitative evaluations and annual qualitative evaluations in which we collect data from students directly relating to their experience in individual classes and with individual faculty. A review of this data facilitates the next step in our assessment cycle, which is to examine our course offerings and instruction to determine if/how they can be improved. On this basis, an action plan is created, along with a plan to assess and document relevant progress.